For many people all around the world, a motorbike is one of the ultimate symbols of freedom.
Riding down the road with just you and your bike is a feeling that few things can match, but who says you have to just stick to the concrete.
If you love riding off-road, then you should consider buying a good dirt bike, so you can experience the liberating freedom of traveling off the beaten track.
Dirt biking is a great way to explore the natural world and escape the hustle and bustle of the cities. However, if you haven’t done it before, then you may not be comfortable jumping on a super powerful bike.
Even if you have ridden a road bike before, dirt biking is a very different experience that requires different skills if you want to avoid an injury.
If you want a bike that will make learning these skills much easier, then you should consider a 125cc model with a 4-stroke engine.
125cc 4-stroke dirt bikes are affordable and easy to operate. These bikes are great for beginners and even very young riders because they are easier to handle and control.
They also offer better performance and fuel efficiency compared to other motorcycles.
They aren’t the fastest or the flashiest, but if you are just starting out with this sport, then you wouldn’t want a more powerful model anyway. If you want to find some of the best 125CC 4-stroke dirt bikes that you can buy, then read on.
Honda CRF 125
The Honda CRF 125 is a great choice for new riders looking for their first dirt bike.
It looks great and has all the features you could want from your first proper dirt bike without all the bells and whistles that could confuse a beginner.
It has an air cooled 125cc motor as well as a clutch, which is another thing that makes it a great bike for beginners to learn the basics.
This bike is capable of reaching speeds up to 40mph, so while it may not be the fastest, it has enough power to provide a thrilling experience.
There are big wheel and small wheel versions of this bike, so you can buy a model that is the right size for a younger rider from the age of 13 up.
As such, this is a great choice if you are already into dirt biking and what to get your children into it as well.
With a disc brake at the front and a drum brake on the back wheel, this bike offers great control and stopping power.
The suspension is another great feature, promising a smooth ride even over very rough terrain. Overall, the Honda CRF is a simple yet powerful little 125cc bike that will be suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.
- Great bike for young riders and complete dirt bike beginners.
- It has a clutch.
- Great suspension system and powerful brakes give you complete control over the bike.
- Not suitable for very tall riders
Apollo 125 DB-X18
If your child has been practicing on an electric dirt bike, and you think they are ready to take off the training wheels, then the Apollo DB-X18 is just what you need.
This 125cc bike is a great machine for teaching inexperienced riders basic clutch control. As such, it is the perfect step up from electric dirt bikes, which normally don’t feature a clutch.
This bike is slightly faster than the Honda CRF, capable of reaching speeds of up to 55 mph. While this is far from racing speed, it will be great for getting your son or daughter used to moving quickly while retaining control of their vehicle.
This means that it is faster than most other 125cc models, but not so fast that it becomes dangerous, or unmanageable for inexperienced riders.
With disk brakes on the front and back wheels, this bike has excellent stopping power, which is exactly what you want for a beginners bike.
Even if the rider is struggling to control the bike at max speed, they shouldn’t have any trouble slowing down.
This bike is suitable for all riders taller than 5’2″ which makes it great for both adolescents and adults learning how to dirt bike for the first time.
- High quality build, good value for money.
- Disk brakes (front and rear brakes) offer excellent stopping power.
- Offers great fuel economy.
- The carburetor on this bike struggles to keep up with the engine.
Also available at: KillerMotorSports
While the last bike we looked at was for riders taller than 5’2″, this model is designed for those of a shorter stature.
With a maximum speed of only around 45mph, this isn’t going to be the fastest option out there, however, it does come with a range of features that make it perfect for adolescent and young riders.
For one, it comes with a great suspension system that will soak up most impacts with no problems at all. This allows the rider to rip down dirt trails and other rough terrain without being easily thrown off the bike.
One thing that the suspension absolutely can’t handle is jumps, so bear that in mind before you go ramping off small hills.
This bike features a single camshaft engine, which is much more efficient than larger, more powerful models.
This means it won’t use up too much fuel and also won’t require as much maintenance as a more complex engine.
As such, the rider can focus on learning basic clutch control and other essential skills without having to constantly tune and maintain their vehicle.
Overall, Suzuki DRZ125 could be considered as best 125cc trail bike.
- SOHC engine is more efficient and easy to maintain.
- Great for short riders.
- Good suspension for soaking up most impacts.
- This bike cannot handle large jumps.
This is another great transitional dirt bike that will be great for anyone looking to upgrade from their old 110cc model.
It’s got everything you could possibly ask for in a beginner’s dirt bike, including a reliable transmission, high quality components, and excellent performance.
It isn’t the most powerful dirt bike, but it still has a surprising amount of kick that new riders will find very exhilarating.
One of the best things about this bike is its solid frame construction and fully adjustable suspension. Unlike many other cheap dirt bikes, this isn’t one that is likely to fall apart after just a few hours of riding.
Even if your child starts doing sweet jumps, you will be able to tune the suspension to absorb the larger impacts so that both the bike and rider will be safe.
Another great feature of this bike is the electric startup. Even on cold mornings, you won’t struggle to kick-start this vehicle, which is great for inexperienced riders who haven’t got the hang of starting large engines.
It also has very wide tires which are great for gripping on to all types of terrain, from dirt tracks to muddy fields.
- Fully adjustable suspension.
- Electric start up.
- Wide tires and sturdy frame for rough riding.
- The suspension is slightly soft in its default setting.
KTM 125 Duke
If you’re looking for a dirt bike that will give you some serious thrills, then look no further than the KTM 125 Duke.
This little beast packs plenty of punch for a decent price, making it ideal for beginners and experienced riders alike.
The power delivery is smooth and predictable, meaning you’ll have no trouble keeping up with your friends when you’re taking turns rocketing down the trails.
It doesn’t matter how fast you ride, because this lightweight dirt bike is built to withstand anything you throw at it.
Its frame is made out of steel tubing, giving it an incredibly strong structure that will hold up even under the worst conditions.
You’ll also get an upside-down WP fork front suspension that can absorb most impacts from rough terrain and even some small jumps.
It’s not just a good dirt bike for beginners, though – there’s something special about the way this machine handles.
It feels like a true sport bike, thanks to its lightweight chassis and responsive throttle response. If what you are looking for is a powerful little 125cc bike that offers a hint of what it is like to ride a larger bike, then this is the product for you.
- Lightweight chassis.
- Responsive throttle response.
- Durable frame and excellent suspension.
- Some of the electronics on this bike may break if traveling over very rough terrain.
The KLX125, is almost identical to the Suzuki DRZ125 that we looked at earlier in this list. Both models share the same engine and many other components, so the only thing that has really changed is the body work. With an SOHC engine, this vehicle is fast, efficient and easy to maintain.
This is a great entry level dirt bike that will suit any rider regardless of experience or ability. It’s light enough to make short work of most surfaces, but it’s also packed with features that will appeal to more advanced riders as well.
With its low seat height and easy handling characteristics, it makes navigating around the track a breeze.
Just like the Suzuki, you can’t use it for any large jumps or particularly advanced stunts.
That said, the wide wheels make this a very stable vehicle and great for younger riders who are still learning the ropes. If you are taller than 5’6” then you may be a little too tall to balance on this bike safely.
- Easy to maintain and look after.
- Smooth handling.
- Wide wheels provide extra stability for younger riders.
- Not for riders taller than 5’6″
This model made by Yamaha is a suitable vehicle for compulsory basic training or CBT. Not only can you use it for fun by rocketing around dirt tracks, but you can also use it to learn how to ride a road bike as well.
Despite having a 125cc four-stroke engine, this bike has a 6-speed gearbox, which allows it to pack a hefty punch for its size.
The MT-125, is very durable with a great build quality that ensures you will get years of happy riding from it provided you maintain it well.
It is a little closer to a road bike in many respects, which means you may want to keep it to smoother tracks and trails when taking it off-road. If you do want to take it over rougher terrain, then you may need to fit it with new tires.
If you want one of the cheapest dirt bikes but is still capable of providing a decent amount of fun, then this could be the perfect choice for you.
It has everything you could want for a younger rider, including a manual clutch and a good suspension system for absorbing shocks and impacts.
- Good suspension.
- Affordable provided you can find the right dealer.
- Made from durable, high-quality components.
- May need new tires for traveling over very rough terrain.
Buying bikes can be very far from straightforward. You may struggle to find a brand-new version of a specific model at your local dealership, and some models may only be available second hand.
In this section, we will give you a few top tips for finding the right 125cc 4-stroke dirt bike.
A 125cc four-stroke engine is the next step up from a 110cc two-stroke. As such, it is a very popular choice for younger riders to take their skills to the next level.
These engines are far from the most powerful and often can only reach speeds of up to 50MPH.
As such, they are a perfect choice for less experienced riders who want something a little faster than their old bike, but still not as powerful as some of the 250cc models.
You may find a bike that has what is described as having an SOHC engine. This means that there is only one camshaft controlling the opening and closing of the valves on the engine.
If you see a bike with an SOHC engine, it is worth considering, since these engines are much more efficient and will give the rider more miles to the gallon.
They also require less regular maintenance than DOHC engines, which makes them better for beginners still learning how to clean and maintain their bike.
As well as making sure your bike can speed up, you also need to make sure it can stop, especially if you are buying it for a younger rider.
Disc brakes are generally the better choice when buying a bike for an adolescent, since they provide much better stopping power, and therefore more control over the speed of the bike.
They may wear down a bit faster than drum brakes, and therefore will require more maintenance, but this is worth it for keeping your bike safe.
You also want your bike to have a good suspension system. These are the forks on the front and back wheels, which are often fitted with springs to absorb shocks and impacts as you ride.
Naturally, you want a study suspension system so that you can enjoy a smooth, dirt biking experience over even the roughest types of terrain.
If the suspension system on your bike is stiff enough, then you will be able to perform sweet jumps without damaging your vehicle.
If you want to buy a bike for jumps, it will be a good idea to invest in a model with an adjustable suspension, so you can make it harder or softer as needed.
Since you’ll be riding over rough dirt tracks, you will want some heavy-duty wheels on your dirt bike.
You want a bike that has wide wheels with thick tires. Not only will this provide better traction on most types of terrain, but it will also offer better stability.
This is exactly what you want for a less experienced rider, who may be struggling to balance on their vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between A 4 Stroke And 2-Stroke Engine?
There are many differences between a 4-stroke and 2-stroke engine, however the main one is that a 4 stroke needs to go through four stages to complete one power stroke, while a 2 stroke only needs to go through two.
A power stroke is a complete cycle of the engine, which is translated along the drive chain to turn the wheels.
Two-stroke engines are easier to maintain and look after, since they have fewer components overall. However, they provide significantly less torque than their 4-stroke counterparts.
As such, a four-stroke engine is capable of generating a lot more power, which results in higher speeds and better control over the engine overall.
Who Are 125cc Dirt Bikes Suitable For?
A 125cc engine is far from the most powerful type of engine you will find on dirt bikes. Generally it is considered one of the lowest power grades, just above 110cc.
As such, 125cc bikes work best for amateur riders still learning how to control their vehicle.
While some experienced riders may want a low powered bike for casual riding, they may get a lot more enjoyment out of a larger engine for trail riding or off road riding.
For beginners, however, a 125cc engine will provide just enough kick to be exciting to ride, while not being so powerful that it is difficult to control.
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