How Much Does It Cost To Start Dirt Biking?

New to dirt biking and want to know if you can afford to get started? Those $10k+ price tags on new bikes are scary, especially if you’re young or have a family to feed. 

Fortunately, there’s many ways to buy your first dirt bike and everything you need to be safe for a reasonable price. This article will show you how, as it covers the simple steps I’ve learned over the years to get into dirt bike riding. 

How much does a beginner dirt bike cost?

Starting out on a beginner friendly dirt bike is a wise choice because you’ll gain confidence quicker and be less likely to crash. Beginner bikes tend to be cheaper because they’re lower performance than a motocross bike, but what exactly is a beginner dirt bike?

When I start new riders on a bike to teach them how to ride, it’s a smaller dirt bike that has smooth, predictable power and is easy to ride. This is usually an air-cooled 4 stroke trail bike. 

2003 KLX300R is a good beginner bike for bigger riders.
My old 2003 KLX300R was easy to ride and great in the trails with its smooth power.

The cheapest beginner dirt bike costs around $4000 new (KLX140L), while a bigger model (KLX300R) costs $5500.

How much does a motocross bike cost?

A motocross bike is designed for one thing: racing on an mx or supercross track. They are not good for beginners, so stay away from them if you’re new to riding. They’re harder to ride because the power is abrupt and the suspension is stiff. 

A new YZ125 mx bike is $6600 MSRP, while a KTM 450 SXF is $11,100 MSRP.

There’s a large difference in price due to the technology, but motocross bikes are almost always more expensive than trail bikes. 

How much does a dirt bike for kids cost?

It really depends on what size and model kids dirt bike you buy. For a 4-6 year old, A Honda CRF50F is $1600 MSRP, but for a 10-12 year old a CRF125FB is $3600 retail cost.

The CRF110F for kids costs $2,399 retail
Honda’s CRF110F dirt bike for kids or pit bike for adults

There’s cheap gas dirt bikes available for $500 or less that are made in China that may be appealing. My suggestion? Those Chinese-made dirt bikes or pit bikes can work, but the quality of the parts and build are generally very low. If you expect your kid to put a lot of hours on a bike, I recommend going with one of the name brand bikes from Japan or Europe. They’ll break down less and they hold their value much longer.

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How much does dirt bike riding gear cost?

Dirt bike gear is another category that can make dirt biking expensive. That is, unless you know what you need, how to find deals, or how to find good used riding gear. 

Let’s compare buying new to buying used (these are estimated average prices that you can expect to pay):

Gear ItemNewUsed
Helmet$300$50
Riding Boots$250$50
Gloves$25$5
Goggles$40$10
Pants$80Free (Solid pair of jeans)
Jersey$40Free (Any long-sleeve)
Elbow/Knee Guards$80$20
Total$815$135
New vs Used dirt bike gear estimated cost

So, as you can see, just getting started with bare essentials for riding gear, you can start safely riding a dirt bike for just over $100.

New vs Used dirt bike for starting out

Looking to buy your first dirt bike? I highly recommend buying a used bike first. Not only is it going to be hundreds (more like thousands) cheaper than a new bike, but you’re going to get it all scratched up anyway.

The second you take a new dirt bike off the showroom floor, the value goes down hundreds, if not thousands simply because it has been owned by someone. 

Choosing a used bike has other great advantages, such as:

  • It may come with desirable mods already on it
  • It’s already broken in
  • You don’t have to worry about getting it dirty or scratched
  • You can usually get your money back if you decide to sell and upgrade within a year

Considering taking out a loan for a new dirt bike? If you’re on a budget or money is tight, please don’t go any further. 

Not only will you have to pay the full amount for the new bikes but you’ll probably be making payments on it for months or years to come, even if you sell it after a couple seasons!

How to make dirt biking more affordable for new riders

As you can see, there’s many ways how I’ve learned to make dirt biking cheaper and more affordable. 

To recap:

  • Buy a used dirt bike
  • Maintain it for reliability
  • Only buy tools/gear that you need
  • The most expensive gear isn’t always the best/necessary
  • Use whatever vehicle you have to haul your bike (truck/van/trailer/hitch hauler)

What you need to know to start dirt biking

To break it all down, here’s what you need to know if you’re doing this all yourself

You need to:

  1. Figure out what type of dirt bike/riding you want to do
  2. Choose a beginner friendly bike to start on
  3. Buy proper fitting riding gear
  4. Make a simple tool kit so you can basic repair & maintenance
  5. Learn how to safely ride to build your confidence

Not only is the right bike and proper riding gear important to be safe, but learning proper riding technique and having the right mindset will give you the confidence needed to become a skilled rider. 

Want to learn how to do that, step by step? Click here to learn more about The Virtual Dirt Biker School. 

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Kelley Fager

I help newer riders learn to safely ride with confidence by teaching basic techniques in a way that's easy to understand. Learn To Ride With Control Here

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