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What’s The Best 150cc Dirt Bike For You? [Which To Avoid]

Looking for the best 150cc dirt bike but not sure what’s all available? Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first dirt bike, an expert that wants an enduro bike, or somewhere in between, you’re in the right place!

In this article, I’m going to show you how to choose the right type of motorcycle, why a 150cc dirt bike size may or may not be right for you, and how to pick the best one based on your specific needs so that you save time and money.

How to pick the right type of dirt bike

The first step to picking the best 150cc dirt bike for you is to figure out which type you need. Yep, there is more than one type of dirt bike for off-road riding. 

Review of the Honda CRF150R Dirt Bike
2009 Honda CRF150RB that I used to have

The top choices for this size dirt bike are:

  • Trail bike
  • Motocross bike
  • Enduro bike

A trail bike is best if you’re a beginner or just want to casually ride around your farm off-road. They’re generally the most reliable and easy to ride because they’re simple and lower-performance. 

A motocross bike is the top of the line race bike. It has the most aggressive engine and suspension package that’s made for racing and jumping on tracks. 

An enduro bike is basically a high-tech trail motorcycle that’s based on the aggressive nature of a motocross bike. So, it’s in between an MX bike and a trail bike when it comes to how it feels. They’re made for riding faster on trails and off-road. 

Choosing the right size 150 dirt bike

There are several 150cc dirt bikes available and they have different seat heights. Choosing the right size bike will make a huge difference if you’re a beginner or novice rider. If you start on a dirt bike that’s too tall, you’ll be more likely to fall because you don’t have the balance skills when first learning to ride. 

By starting on a bike with a low enough seat height to touch the ground with one foot, you 

Honda CRF150F

Honda made the CRF150F from 2003-2019 with 2 different generations, although they are very similar in performance. It’s an air-cooled 4 stroke trail bike that’s easy and fun to ride on slower trails. 

The power is smooth and the suspension is soft, so it’s great if you’re a beginner learning how to ride. It’s a good size if you’re 5’0″-5’5″ tall, depending on your inseam length. 

Stock Honda CRF150F 4 stroke trail bike for kids and beginners

Honda CRF150R

The CRF150R is not to be confused with the 150F model. It’s a motocross bike that’s completely different. 

It has a much more aggressive engine characteristic because it revs up quickly and doesn’t have as much low-end torque right off idle. This makes it harder to ride if you’re still learning how to properly use the clutch

2007 Honda CRF150R with an aftermarket FMF head pipe
’07 Honda CRF150RB

Kawasaki KLX 140/150

Since it’s close enough to be 150cc, I’m including Kawasaki’s KLX 140 (and the similar KLX 150 that’s not sold in the U.S.). It’s comparable to the Honda CRF150F because it’s a 144cc air-cooled 4 stroke trail bike, but you have different size options.

I like the KLX140 because the ergonomics are good and comfortable, the suspension is pretty good for an inexpensive trail bike, and the engine works great, along with an electric start. You have the small wheel, big wheel, and full size wheel model options – They’re all based on the same engine, but the wheel and tire sizes are different, as well as the seat height.

2021 Kawasaki KLX140G edited What’s The Best 150cc Dirt Bike For You? [Which To Avoid]
KLX140G (now called the KLX 140R F (for full size wheels)

The KLX150 is a street legal dual sport version sold in Europe/Asia that is a good starter bike if you want to ride on the road and off-road. It doesn’t have a lot of power, but it’s lightweight, handles well, and gets pretty good fuel economy around town.

KTM 144 SX

KTM decided to change the game when they came out with their 144cc 2 stroke motocross bike in 2007. The idea was to have a big bore 125 that could compete with a 250F (4 stroke), although I’m not sure what class it was supposed to be in. 

The 144SX is a fast bike because it’s lightweight, but KTM has definitely improved it over the years. It’s under a new model name, which I’ll cover below. 

KTM 144SX Motocross Bike What’s The Best 150cc Dirt Bike For You? [Which To Avoid]
My old ’08 144SX

KTM 150 SX

Starting in 2009, KTM changed the 144 SX to the 150 SX just to round it off and make things more simple. It still only has a 144cc engine, but many companies round up with their dirt bike size names. 

The biggest difference between the 150 and the 125 is that the 150 has noticeably more low-end torque and midrange. It’s not a huge gain, but it’s a little bit closer to feeling like a 200cc 2 stroke

KTM 150 XC

From 2012-2019, KTM had the 150 XC, the enduro version of the 150 SX. It has pretty much the same engine and transmission, but the suspension is a little bit softer for riding off-road.

If you race enduros, hare scrambles, or in the desert and want a small-bore 2 stroke, the 150 XC is a good choice. It’s light, fast, and has the aggressive power characteristic of the MX engine, along with a close-ratio transmission.


The 150 XCW came out as an, even more, off-road-friendly version of the 150SX. It has the same engine, but the power valve and tuning are smoother and broader, making it easier to ride on the trails because it gets traction more quickly.

It has a softer suspension set-up, although it’s not like a beginner trail bike. You can still ride it fast without bottoming out easily if you weigh under 200 lbs. The wide-ratio transmission gives you a lower 1st gear and taller 6th gear, which makes riding technical trails better while still being able to cruise down fire roads without winding it out.

In 2020, KTM came out with the TPI version of the 150 XCW. It’s essentially their fuel-injection system, replacing the carburetor. It smooths out the power and allows you to ride in different climates and elevations without needing to change any jets!

A 2021 KTM 150 XCW TPI 2 stroke is the best 150cc dirt bike for enduro riding
2021 KTM 150 XCW TPI

Husqvarna TE 150

Since KTM owns Husqvarna, they came out with their own 150cc 2 stroke enduro dirt bike. It’s basically the same thing as the 150 XCW with the rear shock being the biggest change. The Husqvarna has a conventional linkage shock, while the KTM has a PDS (no-linkage) rear shock.

Some people prefer the performance of the linkage shock, but it comes down to personal preference – you’d have to ride them back-to-back to feel the difference. The advantage of the KTM’s PDS is that there’s more ground clearance, so you’re less likely to get caught on a big log or rock.

Best 150cc dirt bike for beginners

If you’re just starting out or getting back into riding and looking for your first dirt bike, you’ll want to pick a trail bike. They have less power, making it easier to control, and the lower seat height will be easier to handle – especially if you have short legs like me!

The best 150cc dirt bikes for beginners are the Honda CRF150F and Kawasaki KLX140.

Honda discontinued the CRF 150F, but there are plenty of them available in the used market. With the KLX 140, you have three different size options, so you can choose the right one based on your height.

Best 150cc dirt bike for trail riding

Maybe you’ve been riding for a few years and just want a dirt bike that’s only going to be used for trail riding. 

The best 150cc dirt bikes for single-track trail riding are:

  • Honda CRF150F
  • Kawasaki KLX140
  • KTM 150 XC
  • KTM 150 XCW
  • Husqvarna TE 150

The CRF150F and KLX 140 are better if you’re just a casual trail rider or just want a low-performance bike that’s going to be reliable.

The KTM and Husqvarna 150 2 stroke enduro bikes are much better if you’re a more experienced rider that wants a high-performance trail bike for faster riding on more technical trails.

Best 150 for motocross racing

You essentially have two choices in this category. The best 150cc dirt bikes for motocross racing are: Honda CRF150R, CRF150RB, KTM 150 SX.

The Honda 150R is a 4 stroke race bike for the supermini class because it has smaller wheels. The KTM 150SX is a full size 2 stroke for adults (or if you’re a teen that’s ready for a tall bike) if you want a little bit more power than a stock 125.

How to trail ride with confidence

If you’ve never learned how to properly ride a dirt bike, then I want to help you out so that you stay safe and have fun – especially if you’re a new rider! I put together a list of the basic techniques you need to ride with control and why. Click here to download your free guide.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

what about the Gas Gas 150?


Saturday 4th of November 2023

@Kelley Fager, When KTM murged with Husky and Gas Gas they built a new factory. Husky and Gas Gas use KTM part to build there bikes. Roughly Gas Gas 150's were built in 2019. KTM took a 125 and bored it out to a 144 and then built the 150. from carb to fuel injection to make the power smoother.

Kelley Fager

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

When did they start making one?