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Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget

Looking for the best dirt bike for teenager but not sure where to start? Whether you’re looking for your first dirt bike, trying to convince your parents to get a bike, or getting one for your teenaged kid, you’re in the right place!

In this article, I’m going to show you what to look for when choosing a dirt bike for teenagers, why it’s important to by the right kind and size of bike, and how to pick the best one based on your specific needs so that you save time, money, and stay safe!

How to choose the best dirt bike for a teenager (13-19 years old)

Choosing the right size dirt bike is super important as a teenager if you’re a newer rider, but you also need to pick the right type of dirt bike.
The most 3 most common types of dirt bike for teens are:

  • Trail bike
  • Motocross bike
  • Enduro bike
Riding a Honda CRF230F trail dirt bike on single track trails in the woods with leaves on the ground
Riding my 230 trail bike in the woods is a blast!

If you’re looking for the best starter dirt bike, then I always recommend a trail bike for a number of reasons. They’re easier and safer to ride, they require less maintenance so you can ride more, and they’re often cheaper to buy and maintain.

A motocross bike is for racing on a track. I highly recommend staying way from them if you’re a beginner because they’re harder to ride and not as comfortable on the trails or at low speeds.

An enduro bike is basically a high-performance trail bike (in between a trail and MX bike). They’re also a bad choice if you’re new to dirt biking because of the power, stiffer suspension and tall seat height (if you’re short like me!).

What size dirt bike for teenager – the 2 factors involved

The most common dirt bike sizes for teens are 125-250cc, but that’s just the engine size. You want to start on a slower dirt bike if you’re taking your safety seriously.

Riding a “slow” dirt bike is less likely to get out of control and cause you to crash and get hurt, but there’s more to it than just that. When you ride a slower motorcycle, you can focus more on your riding technique, and this will actually make you a faster and safer rider in less time – pretty amazing, huh?!

So, the best size dirt bikes for teens are:

Depending on your height, the seat height also makes a difference. When you can touch the ground with one foot, you’ll have more confidence as a beginner because your balance skills aren’t very good yet.

So, a good size seat height for teenagers is 30-37 inches (76-94cm) – it mainly depends on your height, inseam, and experience level. As you become a better rider, the seat height won’t matter as much because you can stand on the foot pegs while riding.

What’s the best beginner dirt bike for teenager

A good beginner dirt bike for teens is one that is easy to ride so that you stay safe and don’t have a bad crash right away. This means a bike that has low power and a lower seat height, depending on your height.

This list is all of the latest trail bikes from the top name brand dirt bike companies. They’re in order from smallest to biggest. I’ll go into a little more depth below, and then I’ll cover more options based on your specific age, height, and budget after that

These are the best beginner dirt bikes for teenagers:

Honda CRF125F

An update from the CRF100F, the 125F has just slightly more power, and the 2019+ has fuel injection so you don’t have to deal with a dirty carburetor.

The CRF125F also comes in a big wheel model (CRF125FB) that has bigger wheels and a slightly higher seat height if the small wheel is a little bit too small for your teen son or daughter.
This is a great dirt bike if you’re 12-14 years old or under 5’4” tall.

The CRF125F is a good dirt bike for a 12-13 year old teenager

Yamaha TTR125LE

It’s been around for a while, but Yamaha now only sells the TTR125 in the ‘LE’ model, which stands for large wheel and electric start.

It’s a great bike, very easy to ride, is super reliable, and has a 5-speed transmission (compared to the 4-speed in the Honda 125). It’s a good choice for 13-14 year old about 5’0”-5’4” tall.

2008 Yamaha TTR125 Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
Clean ’08 TTR125

Kawasaki KLX140R F (KLX140G)

Moving up to Kawasaki’s newest model KLX140, the KLX140G (now the KLX140R F) has full size wheels on the smaller chassis. The power is low, but it’s smooth, easy to ride, very forgiving, and handles trail obstacles better with the bigger wheels.

If you don’t care about power but want the benefits of a full size bike, the KLX140G is definitely one to consider if you’re a teenager in the 14-17 year old age range.

2021 Kawasaki KLX140G edited Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget

Kawasaki KLX230R

Jumping up to the 230cc trail bike, Kawasaki’s new KLX230R (not the street legal 230 model) is a direct competitor to the TTR230 and CRF230F (discontinued & updated to CRF250F).

2021 Kawasaki KLX230R Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
Kawasaki’s newer EFI 230 trail bike for teens and adults

It has electric start and fuel injection, making it as high-tech as it gets for trail bikes. It has a slightly higher seat height than the Honda and Yamaha in its class, but the wheelbase is shorter.
What does that mean?

It can handle a slightly taller rider, but the shorter wheelbase means it handles tighter turns better, so it would make a good woods bike for trail riding.

Overall, it’s a great choice if you have a 15-17 year old teen boy that’s taller and just getting into dirt biking or upgrading from a smaller trail bike.

Honda CRF250F

Honda has been slowly updating their trail bike lineup, and the CRF250F is one of the latest to take over its 230cc model. It’s pretty much all new, and the new engine with fuel injection makes some more midrange and top-end horsepower while sacrificing a little bit of off-idle torque.

Compared to the Kawasaki 230, the CRF 250F is likely to have more aftermarket parts available to upgrade and modify it because Honda fanatics are crazy about bike mods (myself included). Who’s it for? Teens aged 13-19 that are tall enough to reach the ground.

2021 Honda CRF250F Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
The new CRF250F trail bike

Dirt bikes for 13-14 year-olds

Once you become a teenager at the age of 13, you’re most likely ready for a dirt bike with a clutch. It takes a little bit to get used to at first, but with some simple drills and practicing, it’s not hard.

These are good beginner dirt bikes for 13 and 14 year old teenagers:

  • Kawasaki KLX110R L
  • Honda CRF125F
  • Yamaha TTR125LE
  • Kawasaki KLX140R
  • Yamaha TTR230

What are the differences between these bikes?

The KLX 110R L is the smallest bike in this list – the large wheel model has a clutch and more suspension than the small wheel. The CRF 125 is the easiest to ride with smooth power, especially with EFI on the 2019+ model years and has two size options.

Yamaha’s TTR 125 only comes in one option: large wheels with electric start. The older years have up to 4 options if you want used – they’re still a good starter dirt bike for teenagers.

Kawasaki’s KLX 140 is in the same class as the other 125cc 4-strokes, but the 140 has a little more power. There are also 3 size options, so you can choose based on your height.

I threw the TTR230 in this group in case you’re a tall 13 or 14 year-old. It has the lowest seat height in its class and is very easy to ride if you can handle the size and extra weight.

The best motocross bikes for ages 13-14 are:

  • Yamaha YZ85
  • KTM 85 SX
  • Husqvarna TC 85
  • GasGas MC 85
  • TM Racing 85 MX 2T
  • Kawasaki KX85
  • Suzuki RM85

Dirt bikes for 15-16 year olds

Once you’re in the 15 to 16 year-old age range, you’re transitioning from medium-size to full-size dirt bikes, but it still depends on your height.

The best starter dirt bikes for 15-16 year olds are:

  • Yamaha TTR125LE
  • Kawasaki KLX140R F (140G)
  • Yamaha TTR230
  • Kawasaki KLX230R
  • Honda CRF250F

Which one of these is best for you?

The TTR125LE is still a great choice if you’re not ready for an adult-size dirt bike. The KLX140R F is the smallest full-size dirt bike with the lowest seat height. It’s a great way to take advantage of the bigger wheels and tires if you don’t need the extra power.

The TTR230, KLX230R and CRF250F are all very similar. The TTR has been the same bike since 2005 but is still solid.

The KLX230R is the tallest by a small margin, and the Honda CRF250F has slightly more overall power. These two both have fuel injection, while the Yamaha is still carbureted.

The best MX bikes for 15 & 16 year olds are:

  • KTM 85 SX
  • Yamaha YZ85
  • Husqvarna TC 85
  • Gas Gas MC 85
  • TM Racing 85 MX 2T
  • Yamaha YZ125
  • KTM 125 SX

Dirt bikes for 17-18 year olds

You’re basically an adult by the time you’re 17 years old, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready for the biggest dirt bikes. If you’re getting your first dirt bike, then it’s super important that you buy the right one so that you have fun and stay safe so that you don’t get hurt and miss out on other areas of your life!

The best dirt bikes for 17 and 18 year old beginners are:

  • Kawasaki KLX140R F (140G)
  • Yamaha TTR230
  • Kawasaki KLX230R
  • Honda CRF250F

How to choose the right bike out of these

It comes down to your height, specs preferences, and budget. The TTR230 will be the cheapest used because it’s been around for many years. The KLX230R and CRF250F have fuel injection, while the KLX140R F has the lowest seat height and is the easiest to control.

The best motocross bikes for 17-18 year old teens are:

  • KTM 125 SX
  • Yamaha YZ125
  • Gas Gas MC 125
  • Husqvarna TC 125
  • KTM 150 SX

Dirt bikes for 19-20 year olds

You’re out of high school (hopefully!) and read to ride dirt bikes off-road – woohoo! After you choose the right bike, make sure you grab my free guide on basic techniques to become a better rider faster.

The best first dirt bike for 19-20 year olds are:

  • Kawasaki KLX140R F
  • Yamaha TTR230
  • Kawasaki KLX230R
  • Honda CRF250F

The best MX bikes for 19 & 20 year-old young adults are:

  • KTM 125 SX
  • Yamaha YZ125
  • Gas Gas MC 125
  • Husqvarna TC 125
  • KTM 150 SX
  • Yamaha YZ250F
  • Honda CRF250R
  • KTM 250 SXF

Dirt bike for teenage girl

Maybe you’re a female that’s just getting into riding or want to upgrade from a smaller motorbike. I’ve taught many girls how to ride and think it’s awesome that you want to ride off-road motorcycles too!

The best beginner dirt bike for a teenage girl is:

  • Honda CRF 125
  • Yamaha TTR 125
  • Kawasaki KLX 140

How are these dirt bikes different?

The CRF125 is the easiest to ride because it has the smoothest power with fuel injection (2019+). The KLX 140 is green (color matters more to females sometimes, right?) and has slightly more power, while the TTR 125 is still good and can be found cheaper in the used market.

20200422 174213 Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
Trail riding with my lovely wife on her KLX140!

Best motocross bikes for teenage girls:

  • Kawasaki KX85
  • Kawasaki KX100
  • Honda CRF150R
  • Yamaha YZ125

I wouldn’t recommend a motocross bike to girls if you’re new to riding. But, if you’re experienced and can handle a race bike, these MX bikes above are the models that females like the most.

They’re the easiest to ride in comparison to other brands in the same size class because they have the smoothest power. 

Street legal motorcycle for teens

Maybe you’re ready to ride on the street and want a dual sport bike. Well, depending on where you live, you have to be 16 and pass a riding exam to get a motorcycle endorsement.

With that said, these are the best street legal motorcycles for teens:

  • Yamaha TW200
  • Suzuki DR200S
  • Kawasaki KLX230 S
  • Yamaha XT250
  • Honda CRF300L
  • Kawasaki KLX300 S

Cheap dirt bikes for teens

Need to find an inexpensive dirt bike to start on. I still recommend a quality brand bike, but there are some good used options out there.

The best cheap used dirt bikes for teens are:

  • Honda XR100
  • Yamaha TTR125
  • Honda CRF150F
  • Honda XR200
  • Yamaha TTR230

Honda XR100

Want a cheap dirt bike to learn how to ride with a clutch that’s about as reliable as it gets? The XR100/CRF100 is still a great choice for teens just getting into riding off-road because it’s very forgiving and durable.

2003 Honda XR100R Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget

Yamaha TTR125

Yamaha has 4 options for the TTR125, including a small wheel and large wheel, as well as with or without electric start. You can get a kick-start only for a little bit cheaper if you’re on a budget.
I like the way the 2001+ XR100 feels and handles, but the TTR125 has a little bit more power.

Yamaha TTR125s Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
My two old trusty TTR125’s

Honda CRF150F

Going to Honda’s 150cc trail bike, the CRF150F is a great teenager bike because it’s bigger, taller, and has a little more power than a 125, but is easier to handle than a 230 or 250.

Honda CRF150F edited Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget

The 2003-2005 CRF150F has kick-start only, while the 2006 and newer got an updated engine with electric start and more potential for power if you like to modify.

Honda XR200

This is where dirt biking started for a lot of teens and adults over the years. I still have an XR200, and it’s probably the easiest full-size dirt bike to ride.

It only has kick-start, and they’re getting harder to find, but they’re inexpensive compared to the newer dirt bikes.

Dirt Bike Compression Test Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget
Kick Starting An Old Honda XR200

Yamaha TTR230

It used to be the XT225 and TTR225, but the latest 230cc trail bike from Yamaha is the TTR230. It’s not quite as popular as Honda’s CRF230F, which is why you can usually find them a little cheaper in the used dirt bike market.

2007 Yamaha TTR230 Best Beginner Dirt Bike For Teenager Based On Size & Budget

With that said, it’s still a great bike if you’re a teen or you have a taller son or daughter that isn’t ready for a high-performance trail bike/enduro bike like the WR250F or YZ250FX.

Best dirt bike for a short teen rider

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, being short can be a drawback as a beginner dirt bike rider. It’s hard to ride with confidence on a tall bike unless you have learned proper riding techniques.

So, starting on a bike with a shorter seat height is one way to quickly boost your confidence for your first dirt bike.

These are the best dirt bikes for short teen riders:

  • Honda CRF125F
  • Kawasaki KLX140
  • Yamaha TTR125

Best dirt bike for a tall teen rider

Maybe you have a son or daughter that’s a little taller than most teens but they’re still a beginner.

It’s okay to start on a bike that’s slightly ‘too small’ if safety is a concern because it’s easier to handle a smaller bike as a beginner.

These are the best beginner bikes for taller teen riders:

  • Yamaha TTR230
  • Kawasaki KLX230R
  • Honda CRF250F

What age is a 150cc dirt bike for?

Honda is the only company that has made a 150cc trail bike that I consider a “name brand dirt bike company”. I don’t recommend Chinese made dirt bikes or pit bikes to my friends because they are almost always poor quality and hard to fix when they break – they fall apart more easily than a Japanese or European made motorcycle.

Kawasaki makes the KLX140 (KLX150 in countries outside the U.S.), which is the closest comparison to the Honda CRF150F. They’re both great dirt bikes to start on for trail riding if you’re 18 years old. Most teens and adults will fit them well if you’re under 5’10”.

125cc vs 250cc dirt bike for teens

A 125cc 4 stroke is going to be quite a bit smaller and less powerful than a 250cc 4 stroke. If you’re just starting out, or you’re getting your kid their first dirt bike, just choose the one that fits them the best.

A 125cc trail bike is going to be good for most 12-13 year-olds or if you’re 4’8”-5’2”. Being able to comfortably touch the ground with one foot is a good sign that it’s the right size bike.

How much is a dirt bike for a teenager?

The price of a dirt bike really depends on a lot of factors. What type and size of motorcycle are you buying, and is it new or used?

Going by Yamaha’s new prices, the price of a good starter dirt bike for a 13-15 year old is $3,399, which is the TTR125LE. Moving up to the TTR230, the MSRP is $4,499.
However, there are more options.

One of the cheapest new dirt bikes under $1000 is a 125cc from Amazon. It’s not going to have the same quality or performance as one of the name brand dirt bikes, but it’s a decent starter dirt bike for teenagers.

Lastly, a cheaper quality used dirt bike can usually be found for 800-1500 dollars if you’re patient. Just don’t make the same common mistakes that people make when looking at a used motorcycle so that you don’t end up with a huge project.

Should you buy a new or used dirt bike?

As a teenager, you probably don’t have a lot of cash to spend unless you’re a smart and hard worker, or if you’re fortunate to have parents that will buy you a new motorcycle. For the rest of us that are or were at the age of 18, “cheap” is the name of the game.

First, if you don’t have the money, don’t buy a new dirt bike. It’s not worth taking out a loan.

For your first dirt bike especially, it’s almost always best to buy a used bike. You’re going to scratch it up anyway, and you might not want to keep the same model for a long time, whether you want a different type of motorcycle or you want to upgrade.

How to stay safe on a dirt bike as a beginner

Are you a teenager that wants to ride safely so that your parents will let you get and keep a dirt bike, or you just want your son or daughter to not get injured riding? It starts with choosing the right beginner bike and riding gear, but there’s one more thing that makes the most difference.

It starts with riding technique, and most riders don’t get proper training, so they form bad habits that cause you to ride out of control more easily. If you care about safety and having fun, then I want to help you get started with the basic riding techniques to help prevent bad crashes. Click here to learn more.


Sunday 11th of February 2024

Hi I’m a 13 year old female, 5’6 and about 110 lbs. My budget is no more than $1500 and I’m also a beginner. Which bike would you recommend?

Kelley Fager

Monday 12th of February 2024

Hey Lilly, I'd recommend the Honda XR100 or a Yamaha TTR125L in that price range :)


Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Hi I’m joe and I want a Honda 125cc how much are they normally

Kelley Fager

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Hey Joe, check out my "review on the CRF125F" here - they generally range from $2000-3500 but it depends on a few variables.


Thursday 15th of June 2023

Hey I'm a beginner, 14 years old and 5"1. What dirt bike would you recommend getting? My budget is also no more than $1,000.

Kelley Fager

Monday 19th of June 2023

Hey Mckay, did you like any of the bikes on this list?

Wamala paul

Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

It's good


Saturday 11th of February 2023

Looking into getting my 14 yr old a dirt bike, he’s 5’5” about 140lbs. Was looking at the Suzuki rmz250 and Yamaha ttr230, what’s your recommendation? Also he’s a beginner. Thanks

Kelley Fager

Monday 13th of February 2023

Hey Monica, I'm so glad you reached out! The Suzuki RMZ250 is a high-performance motocross bike, which is bigger, faster, harder to control, and will require more maintenance. The TTR230 is a much better choice because it's generally very reliable, much easier to ride, cheaper to maintain, and safer because it's easier to control. Does that make sense, Monica?