Looking for a Suzuki dirt bike but not sure which one is best for you? Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first dirt bike or just want to upgrade, you’re in the right place!
In this article, you’ll learn what dirt bike models Suzuki has available, why each type of bike may or may not work well for you, and how to choose the best dirt bike based on your specific needs – such as size and budget!
Does Suzuki still make dirt bikes?
Yes, they’re still one of the top dirt bike brands still available, but they’re slowly losing ground to the other hardcore companies. They have the least amount of off-road dirt bikes available as of now.
With that said, the dirt bikes that they still make are good quality and reliable. Most of them just aren’t the top performers in their class. I’ll cover the best used Suzuki dirt bikes that are discontinued later in this article.
How to pick the right dirt bike for you
A huge mistake that people make when buying their first dirt bike or if they’re just getting back into riding off-road is choosing the wrong type of dirt bike. They think that a 250cc MX bike is easy to handle because it’s only a 250, but they’re tall and have more power than you’d think.
Or even worse, starting on a 450 if you’re a beginner, which is why you might see quite a few 450’s for sale with only a few hours on them being sold by a 55 year old guy – they whiskey-throttled it once and found that it has way too much power for them!
The 3 main types of Suzuki dirt bikes
If you’re a beginner and you just want to ride off-road, then the best dirt bike for you is a trail bike. They’re the most popular because they’re more affordable, easier to ride, and cheaper to maintain because they’re not as complicated as a high-tech dirt bike.
To legally ride on the road and off-road on the same dirt bike, you’ll need a dual sport motorcycle. They’re also called street-legal dirt bikes, and they’re great if you need a bike that can do just about everything.
However, they are definitely a compromise when it comes to performance and handling – A dual sport is not great at trail riding due to the extra weight, but it’s not quite as stable as a full street bike. If you can live with that, then a dual sport will work great for you!
The 3rd type of Suzuki dirt bike is the motocross bike, and these are only good if you need a race bike. Suzuki MX bikes, like other brands, have much stiffer suspension and snappy power curves for racing on motocross tracks.
In other words, if you’re a beginner, it’s going to be much harder to control a motocross bike if you’re riding on trails because the bumps will feel harsh and you’re more likely to wheelie into a tree and get hurt – which I DON’T want you to do!
You may be wondering why I didn’t mention any Suzuki enduro bikes. Well, that’s because Suzuki doesn’t currently make any off-road enduro motorcycles, unfortunately.
A modern enduro bike is basically a high-performance trail bike, so it’s not the same as an enduro bike from the 70s.
What’s the right size dirt bike for your height?
If you’re short or just want to have the right size dirt bike for your height so that you have more confidence, then it’s important to know which Suzuki dirt bikes will fit you best, or else you’ll be falling every time you come to a stop because you can’t put your foot down.
This sizing chart below is a good starting point for what size dirt bike you need based on your height or age:
|3-6 years old||18-21 inch (45-53cm)|
|6-8 years old||21-24 inch (53-61cm)|
|9-10 years old||24-27 inch (61-68.5cm)|
|4’10”-5’0″ (147-152cm)||27-30 inch (68.5-76cm)|
|5’0″-5’2″ (152-157.5cm)||29-31 inch (73.5-79cm)|
|5’2″-5’4″ (157.5-162.5cm)||30-33 inch (76-84cm)|
|5’4″-5’6″ (162.5-168cm)||33-35 inch (84-89cm)|
|5’6″-5’8″ (168-173cm)||34-36 inch (86-91.5cm)|
|5’8″-5’11” (173-180cm)||35-38 inch (89-96.5cm)|
|6’0″+ (183+cm)||37+ inch (94+cm)|
When is it okay to choose a taller dirt bike?
The more off-road riding experience you have, the less it matters what size dirt bike you choose.
Because as a beginner, you want a smaller dirt bike so that you can touch the ground with one foot when you come to a stop. This builds confidence right away so you don’t have to worry about falling over all the time when learning to ride a dirt bike.
Knowing when you’re ready for a bigger & faster bike
As you increase your skill by practicing proper riding techniques, your balance will get better and you won’t have to worry about falling because.
Why would you want a taller dirt bike then? Because taller bikes generally have more suspension and higher performance, allowing you to ride faster and harder with comfort because the suspension can absorb the bigger impacts.
Suzuki trail bikes for trail riding & beginners
Suzuki doesn’t have as many off-road dirt bikes now as it used to. They’re slowly fading away from the motorcycle market, but the bikes they still make are good quality.
These Suzuki trail bikes are good starter bikes:
Suzuki 50cc for kids
The DRZ50 is the ‘first dirt bike’ for little kids because it has a low seat height, smooth power, and comes with an electric start, which is an advantage over the kickstart-only CRF50. It’s a 50cc air-cooled engine that is a simple and reliable 4 stroke trail bike that’s easy to ride.
It’s a 3-speed semi-automatic, so you can learn how to shift gears but there’s no clutch to learn. This Suzuki DRZ 50 also comes with a backup kick starter in case the battery goes dead.
125cc trail bike for teens, girls, and short adults
Moving up to the DRZ125L, this trail bike is a great starter bike for adults, teens, or any short rider that wants to learn how to ride with a clutch. With a 31.7-inch seat height, DRZ 125L big wheel is a good size if you’re 5’0″-5’4″ tall, but it also depends on your inseam length.
The low seat height builds your confidence because you can touch the ground more easily, and the smooth power is forgiving and helps you focus more on learning the fundamental riding techniques rather than worrying about controlling too much power.
With smooth power and a 5-speed manual clutch, it’s easy enough for beginners to ride, and is surprisingly capable in the tight woods if you’re an experienced rider. The suspension is pretty soft, so you’ll bottom it out often if you’re riding aggressively or weigh over 150 lbs.
Suzuki motocross bikes for racing
There used to be quite a few options for Suzuki motocross bikes, but now you only get 3 options. The RM lineup is nice and simple, but it really hasn’t changed much in the past 10 years.
They’re still solid race bikes and are plenty fast if you’re just an average racer. They’re also noticeably cheaper than other brands, which is great if you’re on a budget but still want a brand-new dirt bike that won’t have any problems right away.
These are the current Suzuki dirt bikes for motocross racing:
85cc 2-stroke mini bike
The RM85 Is an 85cc 2 stroke race bike for kids aged 11-15. it’s made for racing in the mini bike class with 17/14″ wheels, but it can also be turned into a supermini which allows you to run a 112cc engine with 19/16″ wheels & tires.
If you’re looking for your first dirt bike, the Suzuki RM 85 is not a good bike to start on because the powerband is snappy and not very forgiving. This makes it harder to learn how to use the clutch, so you’re more likely to stall it or lose control and whiskey-throttle, causing the bike to launch forward or loop out from under you.
The RM still has a carburetor and a kick-start, but so do all of the other 85cc motocross bike brands. It’s basically the same bike as its first year in 2002.
This means it’s easy to find parts and they will be more affordable, but it also means that it still has the same technology as a 2002 RM85. If you’re a competitive racer, you’ll find that the other brand 85cc bikes have gotten faster and better since then.
There’s no RM125 anymore to transition to a full-size MX bike, so the next step up is the RMZ250. It’s a 250F that’s good for racing and not much else.
The RMZ250 is Suzuki’s 250F race bike that has been around since 2004. Even though it’s the next size bigger from the RM85, it’s a big step up in physical bike size as well as power.
The snappy torque, almost twice the horsepower, and 70 lb weight difference is a lot to get used to, which is why I encourage you to transition to a 125 two-stroke first if you’re upgrading from an 85cc race bike.
However, if you just want an play bike for cruising around the field or trails, the RMZ 250 is not the best choice. It’s harder to ride due to the stiff suspension, snappy power, tall seat height, and a lack of an electric start and kickstand.
Moving up to the premier motocross bike, the RMZ450 is the highest performance off-road dirt bike you can buy from Suzuki. It doesn’t have all of the best features compared to other 450 MX bikes, but 99.9% of riders can’t take advantage of the full performance of a stock 450cc dirt bike anyway.
Another advantage is that you can buy a brand new Suzuki RMZ 450 for competitive racing and save thousands over other brands. It’s a good choice if you want a stock bike that’s reliable – as long as you don’t mind having to kickstart it every time.
Suzuki dual sport bikes
A dual sport bike is the bike to choose if you want to do all kinds of riding. You can legally ride on the road and then hop on a trail.
These are Suzuki’s street legal dirt bikes for dual sport riding:
Moving up to the DRZ400, it’s been one of the top all-around dirt bikes for around 20 years. It’s heavy for a dirt bike and it’s not super high-performance, so why is it so popular?
Because it can do just about everything. Gravel roads, committing, casual single-track trail riding, dual sport riding adventures – you name it!
Are you more into adventure riding and putting on a lot of miles that include road riding? Then the DR650S is your best pick from Suzuki, as it has the power and stability for highway crushing, but is still capable of handling the dirt with the right dual sport tires.
Suzuki enduro bikes for trail riding that are discontinued
Suzuki isn’t well known for their modern enduro bikes because… well, they haven’t made many. In fact, there has only been one high-performance enduro bike made in the last 20 years, and only 2 in the past 30 years.
These are the Suzuki enduro bikes that have been made but discontinued:
- RMX250 (1989-1998)
- RMZ450 Z (2010 & 2018)
The RMX250 was an off-road version of the RM250 motocross bike, but there were quite a few major changes that made it more comfortable to trail ride or race off-road with.
It was severely detuned with the power valve, exhaust and engine tuning to meet off-road EPA regulations, which is why it came “corked up” and surprisingly quiet from the factory.
The only modern enduro bike (high performance trail bike) from Suzuki is the RMX450Z, which is based off of their 450 MX bike.
It’s definitely not a good bike if you’re a beginner or for just casual trail riding. When you need power and want to ride more aggressively, then the RMX450 is a dirt bike to consider.
Top used and cheap Suzuki dirt bikes
Maybe you just want to start out on your first dirt bike with something inexpensive but still reliable from Suzuki. These dirt bikes are your best options for cheap:
Essentially the same dirt bike as the Kawasaki KLX110, the DRZ110 is a kids trail bike, but is also used as an adult pit bike for play riding. It was only made for a few years before being discontinued, but is still a great and reliable Suzuki dirt bike.
The DRZ125 has been around for almost 20 years, and now Suzuki only sells the large wheel model with 19/16” wheels. The small wheel with 17/14” wheels is virtual the same bike (KLX125 too), just with a lower seat height from the smaller wheels, making it a great beginner dirt bike if you’re short.
The DRZ 125 is reliable, easy to maintain, and can be bought relatively cheap on the used dirtbike market.
The DRZ250, as I mentioned earlier, may or may not be cheap, depending on your local market. With that said, it’s a good beginner dirt bike for adults, so if you find a good deal on one, it probably won’t last long.
Need a beginner friendly road legal dirt bike with a low seat height? The DR200S is the way to go for learning to ride on the road and yet still be able to do some dirt biking off-road.
It’s a good bike for your lady or if you are just a short rider like me. The power is smooth and very forgiving, and the DR200 engine is very reliable.
While it hasn’t been made since 2001, the DR350 is still a solid and reliable dirt bike. There was a trail bike and dual sport bike options – they both had the same 350cc air-cooled 4 stroke platform.
It makes good, smooth power that is noticeably better than a 250, but still has the 35″ seat height that doesn’t make it ridiculously tall if you’re under 5’10” tall. The 350, 350S, and 350SE are affordable options if you’re looking to get started on a budget with a midsize motorcycle.
How to safely ride off-road
Choosing the right first dirt bike is your first step to becoming a safer rider because you’ll be able to more easily control it.
The next step is learning the proper techniques to quickly build your confidence, and I want to help you get started. Click here to learn these basic techniques.