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Best Lightweight Dirt Bike – Is Lightest Best?

Looking for the best lightweight dirt bike but not sure which one is right for you? There are a couple reasons why you’d want to get a bike that’s the lightest model possible, but maybe you don’t even understand why it may or may not be an advantage.

In this article, I’ll explain the pros and cons, what are the lightest dirt bikes available, and how to become a better rider.

Why would you want a lightweight dirt bike?

Whether you’re a new rider or just want the highest performance bike, a lightweight dirt bike is beneficial for a couple of reasons. But, just because a dirt bike is lightweight doesn’t mean it’s high performance. I’ll cover this more in a minute.

Acceleration is based on the power-to-weight ratio (assuming you have the same amount of traction – which is a whole other topic). So, if you can’t or don’t want to get any more power out of your dirt bike, the best thing to do is to make it lighter.

The Honda XR200 may not be seen as the best lightweight dirt bike, but it handles very well on the trails because it weighs less than most adult dirt bikes
My XR200 has quite a few “lightweight mods” to make up for lacking horsepower

This is done one of two ways:

  • Remove parts that are unnecessary or not critical enough to compromise safety
  • Replace specific parts with a lighter/smaller version

Not only will it accelerate quicker, but it will almost always handle better, and this brings us to our next benefit.

If you’re a beginner, then riding a lighter dirt bike is better because it’s easier to learn on, especially if you aren’t very strong. Less weight means it’s easier to balance, lean, and turn, which is huge for riding a motorcycle.

So, if you’re looking for your first dirt bike, weight (wet/curb weight – ready to ride with fluids, such as oil, coolant, and gas) is a factor you should consider when picking the right bike for you. It’s not the only factor, but if you’re going to be trail riding or just casual off-road riding, then starting on a heavier bike will make it a little bit more challenging.

Disadvantages of having a lightweight dirt bike?

If it’s a lightweight dirt bike from the factory, then there aren’t many drawbacks to riding one. Riding a bike that’s too small and under-sprung for your weight is the biggest factor. If the suspension is way too soft for your weight, then you’re going to easily bottom out the forks and shock.

This can crack or bend the frame on harsh impacts. It can also cause you to get out of control because the bike can’t absorb the load when you land on or hit something too hard.

On the other hand, if you’re removing a lot of weight off of your dirt bike, excessive cutting of material or parts that are structural could cause the bike to be too weak and break. This could not only end your day of riding, but it could cause an accident that results in you getting injured.
Caution: Please be careful and use some common sense if you’re trimming weight off of a dirt bike.

How much does a 250 dirt bike weigh?

250 seems to be the common dirt bike size in today’s era, so I’ll use it to give you a comparative weight. With that said, you need to know that there are several different kinds of 250cc dirt bikes.

You have 250cc:

Each type of 250 is for a specific style of riding, and the weight of each bike varies.

For example, a CRF250F trail bike weighs 265 pounds, but a CRF250R motocross bike weighs 229 pounds.

36 pounds is a big difference when comparing dirt bikes, and that will affect how they handle. The CRF250R mx bike is built to be a lightweight dirt bike for racing on tracks, so Honda uses as much technology and testing as possible to reduce the weight.

On the other hand, the CRF250F is a starter bike for trail riding, so Honda keeps the budget much lower, which means heavier and simpler parts are used.

With that said, the CRF250F handles better in tight woods because it has a lower center of gravity than the CRF250R.

Bottom line? Get the right bike for the job – don’t take a trail bike to the MX track.

What’s the lightest 250F dirt bike?

The Honda CRF250R is the lightest 250F dirt bike, coming in at 229 pounds wet. Wet weight, also known as curb weight, is the number that you want to look at because that includes all of the fluids (oil, coolant, gas, etc.) in the bike, which is a real-world number.

Some companies only post the “Dry Weight”, which makes it look much lighter, but you can’t physically ride the bike without oil or gas in it.

Motocross bikes are the lightest type of dirt bike because they are built for one thing: racing. You want the bike as light as possible, so they don’t include any optional accessories, such as a kickstand, lights, or handguards that you might get when you buy an enduro bike.

What’s the lightest KTM dirt bike?

The lightest full-size dirt bike from KTM is the 125 SX. It’s 203 pounds without fuel. KTM has changed the game when it comes to the best lightweight dirt bikes because they’ve never stopped advancing their technology for more performance and less weight.

Sometimes this gets them into trouble when they come out with a new model with smaller/lighter parts that aren’t durable enough for the given function over the course of hundreds of riding hours.

Lightest 450 dirt bike

450 dirt bikes don’t weigh that much more than 250cc dirt bikes because they use a lot of the same or similar parts, but that doesn’t mean they feel just about as light.

The big difference is the rotating mass of the engine. The bigger engine has much more inertia, which is the technical term that makes it feel like the bike is heavier because the engine parts that spin are heavier.

This is just one of the reasons why you don’t want to start on a 450 for riding trails in the woods – it will be a handful due to the weight and power!

With that said, the lightest 450 dirt bike is KTM 450 SXF at about 233 pounds curb weight with all fluids.

Learn to ride with confidence on the trails

I can’t make you buy a certain dirt bike, but I always warn new riders to stay away from big and powerful bikes because they’re harder to learn how to ride on, especially in the woods.

It’s one of the most common mistakes, and I want to show you how to correct it and learn how to safely ride with confidence with my free training. Click or tap here to learn more.