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The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]

Trying to find the best pit bike but not sure where to start? There are many different models to choose from, but how do you know which one is right for you?

Don’t worry! In this article, I’ll show you step by step what are the best pit bikes to buy, why some are a lot more expensive than others, and how to choose the best one based on your specific needs and budget!

Just want a quick list? Here are my top picks for different size pit bikes:

  • Honda CRF50F: best 50cc pit bike that’s reliable
  • Kawasaki KLX110R: best stock 110cc pit bike for adults
  • YCF Bigy Factory 190: Fastest pit bike from a manufacturer
  • X-Pro Hawk 125: Cheap new 125cc pit bike for adults
Kawasaki KLX110 pit bike with DR D aftermarket exhaust
Kawasaki set the standard for 110cc pit bikes in ’02

What are pit bikes?

Pit bikes are smaller dirt bikes that generally have a 50-125cc engine, 10-14 inch wheels, and an open-cradle style frame with an air-cooled 4-stroke engine pointed horizontally (towards the front wheel).
The most common pit bike sizes are:

  • 50cc
  • 70cc
  • 110cc
  • 125cc
  • 150cc
  • 190cc

Since they’re air-cooled, they’re fairly simple because there is no radiator or cooling system. It’s pretty simple to rebuild or swap an engine out of a pit bike because they’re small and easy to work on (most components are easy to access with a wrench or tool).

What’s the point of a pit bike?

While pit bikes are essentially kid-sized dirt bikes, they started becoming wildly popular in the early 2000s for one reason – they’re a blast to ride! Yes, if you’re a teenager, young adult, or an experienced vet rider, a pit bike is a great way to blow off some steam, and get your adrenaline pumping, all while being a little safer than a full-size dirt bike that’s much faster.

Riding a wheelie on a Honda CRF50 pit bike without any riding gear
Pit bikes “feel” safer because they’re slower…

Pit bikes can be used for:

  • Riding around the pits at a motocross race throughout the day (that’s where the term came from)
  • Performing stunts such as wheelies
  • Racing in the “pit bike” class for adults at some motocross tracks just for fun (and to put on a show for the crowd!)
  • Learning to ride a dirt bike off-road – whether you’re a kid or an adult

What’s the difference between a dirt bike and a pit bike?

The difference is that a pit bike is one style of bike, while a dirt bike is a broader term for an off-road motorcycle. For example, a pit bike is generally just a small kid’s dirt bike, but a dirt bike can be any size and kind of off-road motorbike.

How much does a pit bike cost?

There is a big range of prices when it comes to buying a new pit bike, and you usually get what you pay for. The more you spend, the better quality, reliability, and performance you’ll get (for the most part).

The cheapest gas pit bike is around $350, while the most expensive new pit bike you can buy is almost 4000 dollars. Most of them are in the $1000-2500 price range, but you can spend hundreds or thousands more on building a pit bike with aftermarket parts/mods.

How much horsepower does a pit bike have?

There is also a wide range of performance when it comes to pit bikes – the smallest and least powerful models only have about 2 horsepower, while the most powerful pit bikes have 18-20 horsepower when stock. 

If you want to dump more money into engine mods, you can get over 20 HP with your pit bike! That is pretty insane for such a small dirt bike, but it gets very expensive and the reliability goes down.

How fast do pit bikes go?

The smallest pit bikes, such as a 50cc can go about 25 mph (or less if they have a limiter), while the fastest models can go 60+ mph. The top speed mainly depends on how powerful the engine is and what the transmission and gearing are set up for.

How fast do you want to spend?

They’re also usually easy to modify for more power or suspension and handling performance. Swapping a 50cc engine out for a larger 125cc or bigger engine can be done with little to no mods because the engine is easy to remove and almost the same size.

The more money you throw at it, the more potential speed and performance you can get out of most pit bikes. However, you don’t always need more power to go faster. Sometimes the best mods are changing something other than the engine or exhaust.

Best pit bike brands 2023

There are many different companies that have made pit bikes over the past couple of decades – some of them have come and gone in a matter of a few years. Many of them are poorly built or just not durable, but there is a handful that will give you good value for your money.

These are the top 10 pit bike brands in 2023:

  • Kawasaki
  • Honda
  • Yamaha
  • SSR
  • YCF
  • Pitster Pro/GPX
  • Thumpstar
  • X-Pro
  • OPA
  • Apollo

How to choose the right pit bike based on your specific needs

There are a few steps that I always follow when recommending the best dirt bike that will fit your needs. You need to decide what your budget is – if this is your first dirt bike then it’s okay to start on a cheaper pit bike as long as you know it’s not going to be as durable.

Next, you need to decide on the right size. This comes down to seat height and engine size. After that, it’s just choosing which brand and model you want to get the performance specs that you desire.

What are the best pit bikes?

There are so many options, but I’ve narrowed down the top choices below. Then, I will go into more specifics, such as the best pit bikes for beginners, tall riders, or racing.

So, here are the best overall pit bike models:

Honda CRF50

The tried and true Honda 50cc dirt bike is hard to beat for a little kids’ pit bike. The CRF50 has been around for 20 years, and that came from the XR50 which is identical as well.

CRF50 Vs. PW50 Best Kids Dirt Bike The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]
2006 Honda CRF50F – it hasn’t changed in quite a few years

It’s a great size for kids that are 5-8 years old with a 21” inch seat height. It has a 3-speed semi-auto transmission, so you can shift gears but don’t have to worry about learning to use a clutch.

The biggest downfall is that it doesn’t have an electric start. However, kickstarting is pretty easy with a proper starting technique.

Pros:

  • Extremely reliable
  • Smooth power that’s easy to learn on
  • No manual clutch to learn
  • Low seat height for little kids
  • Can be found cheaper for sale used
  • Plenty of aftermarket upgrades are available

Cons:

  • No electric start
  • Slightly more expensive than cheaper brand 50cc pit bikes
  • Stock suspension is soft for adults

Reasons you should choose the CRF 50:

  • You want a reliable 50cc pit bike for you or your child
  • You want to upgrade the power or suspension as you go
  • You prefer a lighter kick-start only pit bike
  • You can find one used for cheap

Yamaha TTR50

Yamaha came out with their 50cc pit bike in 2008 with the TTR50E to compete with Honda. Its biggest advantage is the added electric start, which can greatly reduce frustration if kickstarting is too difficult for you or your kid (or grandkid). 

2012 Yamaha TTR50 The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]

Just make sure the battery stays charged or it won’t have enough power to start the engine. The TTR 50 is slightly heavier than the CRF 50, but that’s not very noticeable if you’re a beginner.

Pros:

  • Extremely reliable
  • Electric start
  • Smooth power that’s easy to learn on
  • No manual clutch to learn
  • Low seat height for little kids
  • Can be found cheaper for sale used

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than cheaper brand 50cc pit bikes
  • Stock suspension is soft for adults

Reasons you should choose the TTR 50:

  • You want a reliable 50cc pit bike for you or your child
  • You prefer electric start
  • You can find one used for cheap

Honda CRF110

Honda was a little late to the 110cc pit bike class, but the CRF110F is still a winner in most regards. It’s not the most powerful 110 engine, but the fuel injection and electric start make up for it if you’re looking for a perfect first dirt bike without a clutch.

CRF110F The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]

The CRF 110 is made for kids in the 7-11 year age range, but you can ride them at any age. The suspension will be soft if you weigh over 100 lbs, though.

Pros:

  • Smooth engine
  • Reliable
  • Plenty of mods available
  • EFI
  • Electric start
  • Low seat height for a 110 dirt bike
  • Can be found cheaper when buying used

Cons:

  • Expensive when buying new
  • Not as much power as some other 110cc engines
  • Need an EFI fuel controller if you modify the intake/engine/exhaust

Reasons you should choose the CRF 110:

  • It’s as reliable as it gets
  • EFI – fuel injection is really nice if you hate jetting a carb
  • Electric start
  • You don’t want a manual clutch

Yamaha TTR110

Yamaha entered the 110cc pit bike class in 2008 when it replaced the older TTR90. The TTR110E has electric start, modern styling plastics, and is a great pit bike for kids and adults if you want a reliable off-road motorcycle to learn on and ride.

2022 Yamaha TTR110E The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]

The Yamaha 110 is a good size kids dirt bike for ages 7-11 years old, but it mainly depends on how tall you are.

Pros:

  • Smooth engine
  • Reliable
  • Electric start
  • Low seat height for a 110 dirt bike
  • Can be found cheaper when buying used

Cons:

  • Expensive when buying new
  • No EFI compared to the Honda 110

Reasons you should choose the TTR 110:

  • Very reliable
  • Electric start
  • You don’t want a manual clutch

Kawasaki KLX110

The Kawasaki KLX110 has been the standard for 110cc pit bikes since 2002 when it first came out. This Japanese manufacturer built it specifically for kids and adults that want to use it as a pit bike.

2020 Kawasaki KLX110L The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]

This means it’s built with durability and performance in mind. That makes it slightly heavier when stock compared to the other 110cc pit bikes, but it’s going to last longer if you’re racing and jumping with it.

In 2010, Kawasaki added a 4th gear and electric start, as well as the 110L (now the 110R L) model with more suspension travel and a manual clutch transmission.

Pros:

  • Super reliable and durable
  • Smooth engine
  • 2010+ years have electric start added
  • The 110L model option has a manual clutch and more suspension travel
  • Many aftermarket parts available to upgrade performance
  • Can be found cheaper when buying used

Cons:

  • Expensive when buying new
  • No EFI compared to the Honda 110

Reasons you should choose the KLX 110:

  • Best performance and durability for a Japanese 110cc pit bike
  • Very reliable
  • 2010+ years have electric start
  • 110L (110R L) model has a manual clutch with better/taller suspension
  • You want to build the best pit bike for racing

YCF Bigy Factory 190 Daytona MX

YCF is a pit bike company that builds their bikes in China, but its quality is generally much higher than the cheaper brands from China. The quality control is better, so you can get a range of good performing pit bikes with good durability.

The YCF Bigy Factory 190 is their biggest and fastest pit bike. It’s made for adults or kids that are transitioning to a full-size dirt bike that want a fast pitbike with good suspension.

YCF Bigy Factory 190 Daytona MX The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]
Photo from YCF website

Pros:

  • Most powerful stock pit bike engine
  • Durable components compared to cheaper pit bike brands
  • Good performing suspension for adults and motocross
  • Good for tall riders (35-inch seat height)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Kick-start only (No electric start)
  • Too tall for most kids/short riders
  • Too much power for kids/beginners
  • Requires slightly more maintenance

Reasons you should choose the YCF Bigy Factory 190:

  • One of the top choices for racing motocross
  • You’d rather spend the money on a pit bike that’s already modified when new
  • You want a fast and reliable pit bike for racing

Bucci Moto F20MX

Bucci Moto is a lesser known Italian brand – especially if you’re in the U.S. because they’re only sold in Europe and just starting in Canada.

The F20MX is a high quality pit bike for adults that want to play ride or race if you want good power and suspension without worrying about the motorbike falling apart.

Bucci Moto F20MX The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]
Photo from Bucci Moto website

Pros:

  • Reliable compared to cheaper brands
  • High-performance engine/suspension for racing
  • Durable/stiffer suspension and frame for adults
  • Multiple engine size engines that are powerful

Cons:

  • Only sold in Europe/Canada currently
  • Expensive
  • Kick start only

Reasons you should choose the BucciMoto F20MX:

  • You live in Europe or Canada
  • One of the top choices for racing motocross
  • You’d rather spend the money on a pit bike that’s already modified when new

Pitster Pro/GPX FSE 190R Daytona (Big/Small Wheel)

Pitster Pro has been around for many years, and they, along with GPX make basically the same pit bikes in a wide range of sizes and types – including full-size enduro bikes.

Pitster Pro GPX 190 The Best Pit Bike Based On Your Size & Budget [2023]
Photo from TBoltUSA website

The FSE 190R Daytona is the top performer with the same 190cc engine that the YCF 190 uses – it’s lightweight and fast.

Pros:

  • Most powerful stock pit bike engine
  • 2 wheel size options (14/12 or 17/14)
  • Optional 5-speed E-start engine
  • 148 lbs (claimed curb weight – but I’m skeptical it’s that low)
  • Good performing suspension for adults and motocross
  • Good for tall riders (34.5-inch seat height)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Kickstart only (No electric start) unless you buy the upgraded engine option
  • Too tall for most kids/short riders
  • Too much power for kids/beginners
  • Requires slightly more maintenance

Reasons you should choose the Pitster Pro/GPX FSE 190R:

  • One of the top choices for racing motocross
  • You’d rather spend the money on a pit bike that’s already modified when new
  • You want a fast and reliable pit bike for racing

Best pit bike for beginners

If you’re looking for your first pit bike or dirt bike, whether you’re an adult or a child, it’s important to start on something that’s easy to ride. That generally means less power, a lower seat height, and possibly an automatic or semi-auto transmission (no clutch).

These are the best beginner pit bikes for learning on:

  • Honda CRF50F
  • Yamaha TTR50E
  • YCF 50
  • Pitster Pro/GPX FSE 60 Auto E-start (1 gear)
  • GPX MXR 90 Semi Auto E-start (1 gear)
  • Honda CRF110F
  • Yamaha TTR110E
  • Kawasaki KLX110R
  • Kawasaki KLX110R L – taller with manual clutch

Best pit bike for adults

Whether you’re looking for a taller seat height, better suspension, or more power, there are some good options if you’re an adult or a growing teenager. The cheaper brands are more likely to break if you’re riding hard or jumping, so you can expect to spend more – unless you find a cheap used pit bike that’s already modified and set up for your weight.

These are the best pit bikes for big guys and tall riders:

  • Kawasaki KLX110R L (KLX110L) – 28.7” seat height
  • YCF BigY 150 MX-E – 34.6” seat height
  • YCF Bigy Factory 190 Daytona – 35.0” seat height
  • Pitster Pro/GPX FSE 190R Daytona – 34.5” seat height
  • BucciMoto F20MX – 32.7” seat height

Best 125cc pit bike

A 125cc 4-stroke is a common dirt bike size – there are many options, from different wheel sizes, with or without a clutch, and electric or kick-start.
These are the top 125cc pit bikes to choose from:

  • YCF Start F125SE
  • Pitster Pro MXR 125 Semi-Auto E-Start
  • SSR SR125TR
  • Thumpstar TSX-C 125
  • Piranha P125-E

Most of these 125 cc pit bikes can be bought from TBoltusa for under 2000 dollars.

Best cheap pit bikes on Amazon [Under 1000]

Are your finances tight but you still want to buy a brand new pit bike so that you know its maintenance history of it? While I don’t recommend these brands for their quality, they’re a decent choice for starting on if you’re unsure how long you want to ride for.

These are the best cheap pit bikes on Amazon for kids & adults:

How to choose the right pit bike on Amazon

As you can see in my list above, some have a semi-auto transmission with no clutch, while some have a manual clutch. 

Also, notice the wheel sizes – the 12/10-inch wheels will have the shortest seat height, while the 17/14” wheels & tires will have the tallest seat height and generally a higher weight limit for adults.

Best pit bike for wheelies

Maybe you just want to do stunts with your pit bike, such as wheelies, donuts, or just have fun play riding. In that case, you’ll most likely want a pit bike with a manual clutch with a decent amount of power.

These are good pit bikes for doing wheelies and stunts:

Factors that affect how easy it is to wheelie

Why do you want a manual clutch transmission and more power for wheelies? By slipping the clutch, you can pop the front wheel up much easier than just using the throttle. Having more power also makes it easier.

Wheelbase and seat height also play a role. A shorter wheelbase (front and wheel length closer together) makes it easier to pop the front wheel up, but it also rotates more quickly due to the geometry/leverage of its overall length – a longer wheelbase is slower to rotate.

Another factor is weight when it comes to wheelies. The less weight you have, especially on the front end, the easier it is to pop the front wheel up and hold a wheelie with less effort.

Warning & safety tip for wheelies: Always practice wheelies with your right front covering the rear brake pedal – this allows you to easily tap the rear brake to bring the front wheel back down if you go too far backward.

Pit bike for supermoto/Mini motard

These are the best supermoto pit bikes:

  • YCF SM F125
  • YCF SM F150
  • YCF SM F190
  • BucciMoto F20SM Motard

Are pit bikes street legal?

Pit bikes are not street legal unless they come from the factory registered and plated for road use with all of the legal equipment. Maybe you’ve seen a street legal pit bike for sale in the used market – there’s a good chance that the owner converted and made it to be street legal.

For flat track

Want the perfect training tool for becoming a better rider – more specifically, a better “flat track rider”? They’re a great way to practice your techniques so that you have more control on any size dirt bike, but they’re not very common.

So far, these are the only pit bikes for track track from the factory:

  • YCF S-124E Flat Track – for kids
  • YCF S-147 Flat Track – for bigger kids
  • YCF S-187 Flat Track – for beginners/adults

If you want a different brand or size, you can buy another pit bike and convert it using special flat track wheels and tires.

Pit bike maintenance – what to expect?

Maintaining a dirt bike is not always fun, but it’s a just part of the hobby if you don’t want to have a catastrophic failure that could ruin your day (or worse). Most name brand pit bikes are pretty reliable if you’re not abusing them.

You can expect to do oil changes every 10-20 hours, as well as the air filter. You’ll want to check the chain tension before every ride so that it doesn’t fall off and break the engine cause or lock up the rear wheel while riding.

On a cheaper pit bike, you might have parts break more easily if you fall over often. This could be broken levers or bent handlebars or exhaust. Durability is something you have to keep in mind when choosing which brand pit bike to buy.

Weight – does it make a difference?

There are a wide range of weights when it comes to pit bikes, from just over 100 lbs and up to almost 200 lbs. If you’re a beginner rider, then a lighter dirt bike is easier to handle, especially if you fall over and have to pick it up.

With that said, just because a pit bike is heavier doesn’t mean it’s not as good. In fact, some of the best pit bikes are the heaviest because they’re built stronger to handle a heavier adult rider. You have to figure out if the weight of the dirt bike is because it is cheap or because it’s made of quality parts – the price will usually tell you that.

How to buy a used pit bike with confidence

Maybe you’re ready to buy a pit bike but you’re going to a cheaper used model – I want to help show you the most common mistakes people make when buying a used dirt bike of any size. Click or tap here to get the FREE guide.