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Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

Are you wanting to get a street legal dirt bike but not sure where to start because there are so many sizes and brands? Whether you’re looking for your first dirt bike or just want to pick the right bike based on your needs, you’re in the right place!

In this article, I’m going to cover the list of best street legal dirt bikes based on the type of riding, your size and experience level, your budget, and how to choose the right one for YOU.
Or if you just want to know what the top 3 cheap used street legal dirt bikes are, click here.

Prefer to watch? Click play!

What’s the best street legal dirt bike in 2024?

I’m going to cover different categories based on your type of riding, but these are the overall best dirt bikes that are street-legal in 2024 due to their popularity:

  • Honda CRF300L – beginner-friendly & lightweight dual sport bike for trail and adventure rides
  • Kawasaki KLX230 – beginner trail and street bike that’s reliable & durable
  • KTM 500 EXC-F – high-performance dual sport bike that can handle most anything with an experienced rider
Honda CRF300L with dual sport carrier rack and luggage bag
The new CRF300L has more power without excessive weight, making it more fun off-road!

Best street legal dirt bike for beginners

There are more beginner-friendly street dirt bikes now than just a decade ago, which is great news for you!

Best street legal dirt bike for beginners:

  • Honda XR150L – super easy to ride, low seat height
  • Yamaha TW200 – fat tire, low seat height
  • Kawasaki KLX230 – better for off-road/gravel roads
  • Yamaha XT250 – good all-around town bike
  • Honda CRF300L/S – best street and trail bike for beginners
2019 Yamaha TW200 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Low seat height and “loads of fun” for this weird looking street legal dirt bike from Yamaha

Best Cheap street legal dirt bike

Maybe you’re on a budget and just want something affordable to get started or to save money.
These are the best cheap street legal dirt bikes:

The Honda XR150L is an air-cooled dual sport bike that is excellent for beginners for a few reasons. The seat height is nice and low at 32.8 inches, it has smooth and controllable power, and it’s super reliable.

2023 Honda XR150L 2 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

It’s based on the discontinued CRF150F and can handle some light trail riding well, but the stock tires are better suited for riding on pavement. Cruising on the freeway isn’t good because it doesn’t have much horsepower.

The WR250R is a good combination of being affordable, good performance, and reliability. It’s getting harder to find used because they aren’t sold anymore, but it’s still a solid street legal dirt bike for beginners or if you’re commuting in the city and want to be able to ride off-road after work.

2014 Yamaha WR250R Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Yamaha’s WR250R on road dirt bike

The X-Pro Hawk DLX 250 EFI (Amazon) is not a typical dirt bike brand that I would recommend, but for the sake of being cheap, it’s here. It’s street legal, and for around 2000 dollars, you can be legally riding on the road and dirt after you get it registered with your state (Not available in California).
It’s fairly reliable for a Chinese bike (the engine is a Honda CRF230-clone), and the EFI is a nice upgrade so you don’t have to mess with jetting.

X Pro Hawk DLX 250 Street Legal Dirt Bike Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

I’ll also throw in an “honorable mention” for a cheap used road legal dirt bike, and that’s the Kawasaki KLR 250. It hasn’t been made since 2005, but it’s a solid dual-purpose bike that’s reliable and inexpensive to buy and maintain if you can find one for sale in the used market.

2005 Kawasaki KLR250 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
2005 KLR 250

Best dual sport bike for adventure riding

Looking for a more comfortable dirt bike to do some long-distance adventure riding? Whether you want more power or more comfort, you have a range of options:

These are the street legal dirt bikes for adventure riding:

  • KTM 500 EXC-F – Lightweight, high-performance for hardcore trail riders that want street legal
  • Husqvarna FE 501S – same as KTM 500
  • Suzuki DR650 – Reliable, can handle highway miles while still decent suspension for easy trails and gravel roads
  • Kawasaki KLR650 – Reliable, more stable for highway, can handle gravel/fire roads
  • Yamaha Tenere 700 – Can handle some easy off-road, but better suited for street riding – plenty of power!
2021 Suzuki DR650S Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
The DR650 is one of the greatest lightweight adventure bikes that can handle off-road riding

Best street legal dirt bike For city riding

For riding in the city, you don’t need a lot of power, especially if the speed limits are lower than the highway. In that case, smaller motorcycles are easier to ride and handle because they turn quicker and require less effort on your part. 

Depending on your needs, these are the best street legal dirt bikes for city riding:

  • Honda XR150L – Low seat and lightweight
  • Yamaha XT250 – Low seat height
  • *Yamaha WR250X – Better suspension and power
  • *Kawasaki KLX250S – Decent suspension and power
  • *Honda CRF250L – Decent suspension and power
  • Honda CRF300L – Better overall performance than the 250, great dual sport machine
  • Kawasaki KLX300 S – comparable to CRF300L
  • Honda CRF450RL (450L) – High-performance, good dual sport for experienced riders

*non-current models

2009 Yamaha XT250 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

Best dirt bike for commuting

In my mind, there’s a difference between just city riding and daily commuting. You might want a little bit more when it comes to commuting, depending on where you ride and your preferences.

For example, you might just want the lightest and smallest bike that handles well in the city or gets good gas mileage. Perhaps you want an adventure bike that can double as a commuter while being able to haul stuff in cases for your lunch, as well as go on riding trips. Or maybe you want a high-performance motorcycle that you can daily commute with, but then ride to and through the trails on after you clock out of work.

So, in that case, these are my picks for the best dirt bikes to daily commute on and why:

  • Honda XR150L – lightweight and great for low speed commuting
  • Kawasaki KLX230 S – lightweight and easy to ride for beginners
  • Honda CRF300L – lightweight adventure bike that’s easy to ride with a little more performance and luggage capacity
  • KTM 500 EXC-F – High-performance trail bike that can be ridden just about anywhere because it’s powerful and lightweight
  • Suzuki DR650 – Budget adventure bike that has pretty good off-road capability
  • Yamaha Tenere 700 – It’s more of a lightweight street bike that has the ability to do some lightweight off-road riding. Plenty of power and handles well.
2021 Kawasaki KLX230R 5 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

Best street and trail motorcycle

Perhaps you’re looking for a good “do it all” motorcycle that can tackle the asphalt legally while still being light enough to handle riding on the trail. You definitely want something lighter but can still handle riding on the road and keeping up with traffic.
These are good motorcycles for riding on the street and trails:

  • Kawasaki KLX230 – Good choice for beginners if you don’t need to cruise fast
  • Honda CRF300L – Great choice for a lightweight all-around road legal dirt bike
  • Kawasaki KLX300 – Comparable to the Honda 300
  • KTM 350 EXC-F – Good midsize street & trail bike with above average performance
  • Husqvarna FE 350S – Basically same as KTM 350
  • Honda CRF450RL – Good for experienced riders or if you’re doing easier trail riding
  • KTM 500 EXC-F – The ultimate choice for doing any kind of riding
  • Husqvarna FE 501S – A white version of the KTM 500 (very minor differences)
2017 350 EXC F Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

Best street legal pit bikes (125cc & under)

A pit bike is basically a miniature-sized dirt bike that adults ride for fun, such as the Kawasaki KLX110, but most pit bikes are not road legal. There is somewhat of a new breed for small street-legal dirt bikes, and Honda is currently leading the charge with several models.

These are the 110-125cc street legal pit bikes/mini bikes:

  • Honda Grom
  • Honda Monkey ABS
  • Honda Super Cub C125 ABS
  • Honda Trail125
  • Honda Navi
  • Kawasaki Z125 Pro
2022 Honda Grom Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Honda Grom 125cc

Best 250cc street legal dirt bikes

250cc is a common size for dirt bikes right? Well, that’s not always the case – it really depends on the type of dirt bike you’re considering, as well as the current era of off-road motorcycles.

These are the most popular 250 dirt bikes that are road legal:

  • *Honda CRF250L
  • *Honda CRF250L Rally
  • *Yamaha WR250R
  • Yamaha XT250
  • *Kawasaki KLX250
2010 Kawasaki KLX250SF Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Supermoto version of the street legal KLX250

*Discontinued – as you can see, 250cc road legal dirt bikes aren’t a popular size at the moment with just one being available for brand new motorcycles.

Should YOU get a street legal dirt bike?

A street-legal dirt bike has one huge advantage over a regular dirt bike or street bike – it can be ridden on a road legally AND you can ride it on trails. A standard motorcycle cannot be ridden (safely) off-road due to being hard to control because it weighs 400+ lbs, has street tires, and very little suspension that would make you feel every little bump.

A trail bike is the best option if you’re only riding off-road, but a typical dirt bike does NOT come plated for legal riding on the road, which is why it can be a lot of fun to commute to work and then ride to a trail and do some single track – ALL on the same dual-purpose motorcycle!

So, if you need a dirt bike that can be ridden on the road and dirt, then a street-legal (dual sport) bike is probably the best choice – I say probably because it’s possible to convert a trail bike to be street legal.

Colorado Trip 2018 Edit 13 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Seeing the country on a street legal dirt bike is an amazing perk!

Street Legal Dirt Bike vs Dual Sport Bike – is there a difference?

Maybe you just want to have your enduro or trail bike plated so that you can ride from trailhead to trailhead legally. Some states allow you to register and get a license plate for your dirt bike to ride on the road if it meets the requirements.

So which is better?

If you’re a trail rider who needs a plated bike to be legal when riding through a town or backroads, then you don’t need a dual sport bike, which is heavier and has much softer suspension.

A dual sport bike is a better choice if you want to put on a lot of miles, dirt or asphalt. Also, if the trails are easy, then a lightweight dual sport is plenty capable even for a beginner rider.

Honda XR200 Dual Sport Bike Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

Disadvantages To Dual Sport Bikes That You MUST Be Aware of

Dual sport bikes have the advantage of being pretty good at almost every kind of riding (dirt/street/adv/etc.), but the major downfall is that they’re not great at any specific type of riding.

Simply put, you have to compromise in almost every way if you choose this type of dirt bike. However, it still may be the right kind of bike for you – I just want you to know what you’re getting so that you’re not disappointed after buying one.

The biggest disadvantages to a dual sport dirt bike are:

  • Tires – not great in the dirt or on the street, but can be changed to suit one or the other better
  • Weight – heavy for tight or technical trail riding but not as stable as a street bike on the freeway
  • Gearing – 1st gear is too fast for tight trails and 5th or 6th gear may not be tall enough for cruising at 60+ mph
  • Power – Smooth but very tame, which is actually an advantage as well

These Dirt Bikes Are Street Legal

There are a lot of dirt bikes that are road legal, but there’s a wide range of sizes and what they’re good at. Dirt bike companies update, reveal, and remove models every few years based on popular demand.

This list covers the current 2024 dual sport list of street legal dirt bikes, as well as non-current models that are still good and relevant if you want to save some money buying used.

Honda Dual Sport Bikes

Honda has upped their game when it comes to street legal dirt bikes in the past 10 years. Before it used to just be an XR650, but now there’s an option for almost any of your needs.

  • XR650L – Bullet-proof, can handle freeway ride, but still able to do some off road riding
  • CRF450RL – The hardcore option of speed, performance, and off-road ability. Not the greatest for long highway runs, but still reliable and able to ride some single track
  • CRF300L – Just like the CRF250L but more power. A great entry level lightweight dual sport dirt bike for street riding and casual light-duty trail riding
  • CRF300L Rally – More options and a bigger gas tank for a better adventure bike experience than the standard CRF250L
  • CRF300LS – With 2 full inches lower in seat height, the 300LS is even better if you’re a short rider. It loses about 1 inch of suspension travel and ground clearance, but that’s a small compromise.
  • CRF250L* – The beginner’s choice (or if you’re short). It’s a little heavy for hardcore trail riding, but it’s a great 50/50 dual sport/off road bike
  • CRF230L* – A lightweight dual sport bike based on the CRF230F. It’s a great starter bike with a very low seat height, but the power is underwhelming.
  • Trail 125 ABS – Just want to ride around town or country roads with a little bit of off-road capability? The Trail 125 is a remake and is a good bike for beginners that gets great gas mileage
  • XR150L – Based on the discontinued CRF150F – great for beginners or riding around town and doing some mild trail riding. Stock tires aren’t the greatest for off-road, though.
2019 Honda CRF450L 1 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
The CRF450RL is their high-performance dual sport model

Yamaha Dual Sport Bikes

Yamaha only has two current dual sport dirt bikes to offer, and they’re both built for beginner riders.

  • TW200 – Beginner dual sport dirt bike with very low seat height and low power makes it very forgiving and easy to ride.
  • XT250 – Slightly bigger and more power for slightly taller riders
  • Yamaha WR250R* – Higher performance dual sport bike that makes decent power and is off-road capable, although considerably heavier than a lightweight trail bike
  • WR250X* – Supermoto model with full street wheels makes it a great town and hooligan bike. Doesn’t handle off-road as well with the street tires.
2009 Yamaha XT250 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Yamaha’s XT250 dual sport for beginners

Kawasaki Dual Sport Bikes

  • KLR650 – It’s back with fuel-injection. If you want to ride around the world on a reliable dual sport bike, the KLR 650 is the standard choice for value and durability. It’s big and not great at trail riding, but it can handle fire roads and double-track well.
  • KLX230 S – The lightweight street dirt bike based off of the KLX230R trail bike.
  • KLX300 S – Bigger and more powerful than the KLX230 – a good beginner bike if you’re a larger/taller rider
  • KLX300SM – Supermoto version of the KLX300 with full street wheels and tires.
2011 KLR650 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Wow, it looks like a tank compared to a trail bike, but it works well…

Suzuki Dual Sport Bikes

  • DR650S – Road legal dirt bike that’s similar to the KLR650 but slightly toned down and a little more off-road capable. A great adventure bike for touring on any type of road.
  • DRZ400S – A mid-size dual sport bike that’s been around for a couple decades. Decent performance, very reliable, and a good all-around dirt bike.
  • DRZ400SM* – Supermoto version with 100% road tires
  • DR200S – Cheap street legal dirt bike that’s good for beginners
Blue Suzuki DRZ400S street legal dirt bike with side and top case racks
DRZ400S midsize dual sport from Suzuki

KTM Dual Sport Bikes

These are the current KTM street legal dirt bikes:

  • 350 EXC-F
  • 500 EXC-F

The 350 is a great lightiweight dual sport bike that can handle trail riding – it’s a good upgrade from the DRZ400S if you want something lighter, more powerful and has better suspension.

2022 KTM 350 EXC F 1 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]

The 500 is one of the best all-around dirt bikes because it’s street legal, surprisingly light for a 500cc dirt bike, and is very reliable. It’s a good choice for lightweight dual sport riding if you want the most performance.

2020 KTM 500 EXC F Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
The ultimate “do it all” dual sport from KTM – 500 EXC-F

Husqvarna Dual Sport Bikes

  • FE 350S
  • FE 501S

Beta Dual Sport Bikes

  • 350 RR-S
  • 390 RR-S
  • 430 RR-S
  • 500 RR-S
2020 Beta 500 RRS Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Beta’s street legal 500 RR-S 4-stroke

Choosing the best street legal dirt bike for your needs

Now that you’ve seen the street legal off road motorcycle models from the top brands, it’s time to decide which is best for you based on your specific needs. Here are the simple factors you need to consider and why they’re important so you pick the right bike.

What size/weight dual sport bike should you choose?

The weight of a dual sport bike isn’t a big deal if you’re sticking to the road. In fact, the extra weight will help keep you stable at highway cruising speeds.

A 400-650cc dual sport bike will generally be in the 300-400 lb range, which is best if you’re doing more road riding or easy gravel/fire roads.

2009 Suzuki DR650 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
The DR650 is best if you’re experienced or won’t be riding technical trails

The problem is when you slow down and jump into the woods. Single track riding requires a lot of maneuvering back and forth, as well as balancing. A heavier dual sport is going to feel exhausting compared to a regular trail dirt bike if you’re doing any kind of technical single track.

A 150-350cc dual sport will typically be lighter – in the 250-300 lb range, which is best if you’re a beginner or want to do more technical off-road riding on trails.

2023 Honda XR150L 2 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
The XR150L is about as light as it gets for a street legal dirt bike for adults

Power: How Much Is Enough?

Dual Sport Bikes are built for durability. Performance is often sacrificed for this reason. A Honda CRF250L has considerably less power than the CRF250R, but they produce power in different ways.

The CRF250L or Yamaha’s WR250R are great dual sport bikes for beginners because the power is smooth and predictable.
So, how much power do you need?

Stock Honda CRF250L Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Honda’s first gen CRF250L dual sport for beginners

A smooth power-curve is easier to ride and better for all-around dual sport riding because it’s less tiring. A 250 has more than enough power for beginners, but still enough to enjoy riding if you’re a more experienced rider.

What are the best dual sport tires for pavement and off-road?

Factory tires on a dual sport are usually a 50/50 combo. This means that the knobs are halfway in between what a full dirt knobby and a full street knobby look like. The knobs are still aggressive enough to make you feel some confidence in easy off-road terrain. However, they’re conservative enough so that you can drive on the road smoothly with grip and control.

The problem? They’re not great at either dirt or the road.

How much dirt vs pavement will you be riding?

You’ll want to pick the combo of dual sport tires (Motosport) based on the type of riding that you’ll primarily be doing. For example, you can get 80/20 tires that are 80% dirt biased, or 20/80 that are 80% asphalt biased. There are many tires in between for the best compromise.

Jimmy Lewis from DirtBikeTest always recommends the Kenda Big Block (Motosport) for a true dual sport tire. Using them in the “hard direction” generally works best.

Kenda Big Block K784 Dual Sport Rear Tire Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Kenda Big Block 50/50 dual sport tire – Jimmy Lewis approved!

Are dirt bikes safer than street bikes?

It really depends on you and what kind of riding you’re doing.
In one sense, a dirt bike is safer if you’re trail riding at low speeds and are riding smart with safety in mind.

On the other hand, you may be racing motocross or other high speed riding that you might be more likely to go hurt doing than riding a street bike.

Colorado Trip 2016 1 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
At the summit on our street legal trail bikes with full protection/gear

While accidents happen and are sometimes out of our control, it’s up to YOU to ride smart and wear proper protective gear when riding any kind of dirt bike or street bike.

Transitioning from a street bike to a dirt bike is harder than you think, even if you’ve been riding for years.

Should you get a dirt bike or street bike?

I’ll answer that with another question:
What kind of riding do you want to do?

Dirt Bike vs Street Bike 2 1 Best Street Legal Dirt Bike To Ride On or Off Road [2024]
Dirt Bike vs Street Bike: Pick your poison

If it’s just trail riding or recreational off-road riding, then get a dirt bike.

Want to ride on the street in town or out on twisty country roads? Get a street bike.

Can’t decide and want to do a little of both? Then consider a dual sport motorcycle that can do both safely. Just know dual sport bikes have certain limitations that are mentioned above.

Are 50cc dirt bikes street legal?

A 50cc dirt bike is not street legal from the factory. 50cc mopeds can be ridden on the road because they meet the requirements for being street legal.

You must check with your local state laws and regulations because not all states are the same regarding mopeds and dirt bikes.

Lights and a mirror are components that every state will require for a street legal motorcycle.

Is a supermoto street legal?

A supermoto can be made street legal in many states, but just the fact that a bike is a supermoto does not make it street legal.

Any motorcycle must meet the necessary requirements and/or registration to be ridden on the road without risk of getting a ticket.

Supermoto dirt bike
A sleek and simple YZ450F makes an amazing hooligan town bike.

How to make a dirt bike street legal

Some states allow you to convert or “dual register” your dirt bike to get a license plate for legally riding on the street. There is a strict list of required parts that your dirtbike must have before being eligible for converting.

To make your dirt bike street legal, you need to get it licensed for the road (apply for title/dual-register), then convert to road tires and add a mirror, horn, headlight, tail and brake light, and turn signals if needed.
This can be done for as little as a few hundred bucks by piecing parts together and using dual sport tires. But it can also cost $3000+ if you buy supermoto wheels and tires, as well as a quality dual sport light kit.

How to become a faster & safe rider in less time

The quickest way to become a better rider is by learning proper riding technique, and I can show you how to do that quickly. If you want to ride with more control and confidence off-road, then click here for my free off-road basic technique guide.


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

with the dirtbike looks still of course


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

ya, all i want is a street legal bike that is reliable, good for some trailing and cheap. say msrp $4000 brand new or a really good used one for cheaper

Kelley Fager

Friday 3rd of March 2023

What's your height? Is there a specific model you're already considering? For trail riding, you'll want to consider the lightest and smallest bikes because street legal bikes are noticeably heavier.