Off-road bikes such as dirt bikes are tailored mainly for conquering rough terrains and obstacles. They are more of control and precision than speed (although some riders desire those that ride fast). Some can clock impressive speeds.
Today’s dirt bikes are in an array of horsepower and sizes. 125cc dirt bike is among those available. Many manufacturers produce 125cc dirt bikes with the most reputable being the likes of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and KTM.
While some 125cc bikes can attain speeds of 45mph, some models can clock higher speeds of up to 75 mph. With some tweaks, some can even hit speeds of more than 75mph.
Nonetheless, such tweaks can make you lose your control over your dirt bike. Averagely, brands that impress in terms of speed are Husqvarna and KTM
Although most 125cc bikes tend to target teenagers mostly, others are suites best for adults. In this primer, we’ll look at the top 10 best 125cc dirt bikes together with their features, what sets them apart, and their drawbacks of each. We’ll also share different details of each bike such as performance, engine type, and seat height.
In the Post
- Best 125cc Dirt Bikes – Our Recommendations
- What Is The Best 125cc 4-Stroke Dirt Bike?
- What Is The Fastest 125cc Dirt Bike?
- Which One Is Faster – 125cc 2-Stroke Or 125cc 4-Stroke?
- How Fast Does A 125cc Dirt Bike Go?
- Is A 125cc Dirt Bike Big Enough?
- Electric vs. Gas Dirt Bikes
- Our Top 10 Picks of Best 125cc Dirt Bike (for Big Kids and Teenagers)
Best 125cc Dirt Bikes – Our Recommendations
Here are our recommendations of the best 125cc dirt bike:
- KTM 125 SX
- Suzuki DRZ 125
- Husqvarna TC 125
- Yamaha YZ125
- Honda CRF125F
- Yamaha TT-R125LE
- KTM 125 Duke
- Yamaha MT-125
- Honda CB125R
- Suzuki GSX-S125
What Is The Best 125cc 4-Stroke Dirt Bike?
Stepping out for a ride alone or with your friends on a rainy or sunny day through the trail or mud, via the woods, or over the hills is not only therapeutic but also fun.
This is especially true if you have the right dirt bike for such a gig. Settling for a 4-stroke dirt bike will make your experience interesting.
The thing with 4-stroke engines is that they perform four functions – exhaust, combustion, compression, and intake. That is what you get by buying and riding a 4-stroke engine dirt bike.
To answer the question above, what is the best 125cc 4-stroke dirt bike, in our humble opinion it has to be the Yamaha YZ125 (number 4 on our list). The bike’s features favor both advanced and intermediate riders.
What Is The Fastest 125cc Dirt Bike?
Before looking at which 125cc dirt bike is fast, it is important to mention that the bike must have a 2-stroke engine. As we shall later learn in the next section, these tend to be faster compared to the 4-stroke ones.
That being said, one of the fastest 125cc dirt bikes is the KTM 125 SX. It can clock speeds of up to 73 miles every hour. The Yamaha 125 is also up to the task though it’s slightly slower compared to the KTM 125. The former attain top speeds of 70 miles an hour.
Which One Is Faster – 125cc 2-Stroke Or 125cc 4-Stroke?
Just like with any other engine capacities of dirt bikes, 2-stroke and 4-strokes are also available with 125cc ones. The former is not only simpler and tougher but also more powerful. On the flip side, they tend to be somewhat more complicated to handle. Riders have to mix fuel with oil.
On the other hand, 4-strokes are kinda smoother to operate. They are the best for beginners due to their user-friendly nature. Their drawback is that they need more maintenance meaning they’ll cost more eventually.
In terms of speed, 2-stroke engines usually rev up higher speeds compared to their 4-stroke counterparts translating to higher power per pound.
It is also important to note that 2-stroke engines utilize exhaust and intake ports rather than valves which goes miles to save not only the cost but also the weight of the valve train.
Since 2-stroke is tailored in such a way that they ride at higher RPM, their wearing out is faster compared to 4-strokes. The latter is more durable, generally.
The best part about 2-strokes is that fixing them is easier in comparison to their 4-stroke counterparts.
How Fast Does A 125cc Dirt Bike Go?
Dirt bikes with an engine capacity of 125cc can hit top speeds of between 55 miles to 60 miles per hour.
If you are a heavy rider or riding on downhill road conditions, you always alter the operating speeds that are higher than the indicated ones. However, most producers of dirt bikes are against doing this deliberately for security reasons.
What determines a 125cc dirt bike’s speed? Well, the primary factor that dictates how fast a dirt bike can go to is its engine capacity. Other factors include modifications, sprocket gearing, and engine size.
If you ride your 125cc bike complete with its stock sprocket gear, you can expect to attain speeds of up to 70 miles an hour when you ride on high gear.
Is A 125cc Dirt Bike Big Enough?
For those just starting with dirt bike riding, it’s prudent to start with a smaller displacement bike. The smaller displacement bikes tend to boast less power making them ideal for newbies.
125cc dirt bikes are great choices for taller kids as well as lighter weight and smaller adults. This is because dirt bikes of this size bring with them a decent seating position devoid of too much power.
The rule of thumb with any dirt bike is to choose one that when you sit on the bike, only a third of your foot remains on the ground. Avoid settling for a bike that when you sit, your foot is flat-footed or your tip-toes remain unbalanced.
If your foot is in the recommended position, in case of a big bump, you’ll manage to control the bike effortlessly.
Electric vs. Gas Dirt Bikes
Electric and gas-powered dirt bikes are two common categories in the industry. Granted, the former options are quieter, more effortless to maintain, and sometimes smoother. However, this is on the condition that that wires do not wear down and the battery holds up.
That being said, most people into dirt bike riding enjoy feeling the combustion engine. This is where the gas-powered dirt bikes have an upper hand over their electric-powered counterparts.
Electric dirt bikes are better if you desire to move from one point to another in a speedy manner. However, if you desire the authentic power of propulsion and feel the rewarding efforts of having a full tank, semi-auto clutch, and shifting gears, then settle for a gas-powered dirt bike.
Our Top 10 Picks of Best 125cc Dirt Bike (for Big Kids and Teenagers)
Here’s a review of the top 10 best 125cc dirt bikes:
1. KTM 125 SX
The KTM125 SX is a lightweight and compact 125cc dirt bike. It is among the bikes that we can authoritatively say delivers a confidence-inspiring ride that is unrivaled. It has a light chassis coupled with a 2-stroke engine to guarantee superior power and agility for that young adrenaline seeker.
This dirt bike is the decisive access to the pro ranks. Use this sure-fire way to add to your trophy collection. Its engine is not only powerful but also highly competitive in its class. The engine boasts overall simplicity, low cost, and a remarkable power-to-weight ratio.
The engineers are the company developed the engine utilizing KTM engineering prowess to create a powerful engine in the rev range. This bike’s outstanding performance and effortless rideability not only guarantee better results but also faster lap times.
Both the bikes subframe and frame comfortably accommodate the bike’s belligerent style of riding. Engineers crafted the frame from robot-welded, high-quality hydroformed chromium steel tubes to guarantee consistent levels of quality.
Its stiffness is customized for dynamic handling. It works in excellent harmony with the suspension to offer nimble agility without sacrificing high-speed stability. Without a doubt, this bike is among those with the sturdiest and tough frames in the market.
- Lightweight and compact
- Superior power and agility
- Impressive power to weight ratio
- Reasonably priced
- Room for improvement in design
2. Suzuki DRZ 125
The Suzuki DRZ 125 is an incredible machine with the ability to effortlessly tear up any kind of terrain or trail. A single-cylinder motor powers this 125cc dirt bike to guarantee power and access speed. This is exclusively true in the mid and low-range.
The bike is mated into an efficient 5-speed manual transmission. Although it might not be the fastest in its category, there’s no doubt that it is an incredible all-rounder. It has big diameter wheels (16-inch rear and 19-inch front), strong telescopic forks, and front disc brakes. While simple, the bike is commanding and efficient.
In terms of the engine, it features a compact 4-stroke and air-cooled engine that offers efficient power to tackle any kind of trail. To optimize and spruce the power attributes of the engine, the bike boasts a digital CDI ignition system.
It’s Mikuni VM20SS carburetor plays a big role in terms of throttle response. Other great highlights of the bike include superior heat transfer, proper weight distribution, and the utmost durability.
If you have a small stature and young rider that needs a bike to tackle the trails and dirt, then grab this bike for him or her.
- Accurate digital CDI ignition system
- Impressive throttle response
- Powerful operation
- Easy control takeoffs
- Not fast
3. Husqvarna TC 125
Husqvarna is top in the list of dirt bike brands today. They have a record of accomplishment in producing world-class dirt bikes. The perception that the firm only makes dirt bikes for professionals isn’t true. Although most of their bikes are for pros, they still produce dirt bikes for beginners.
The Husqvarna TC 125, a two-stroke engine bike, comes with a sturdy chrome-molybdenum frame that makes it effortless to handle and lightweight. An impressive feature of this dirt bike is the fact that it has a cool and stylish design.
On top of that, it can clock speeds of up to 70 mph. its smooth transmission guarantees an easy operation. With a seat height of 37.4 inches, it isn’t ideal for young teenagers.
The bike has 40 horsepower to guarantee unrivaled agility. Although it is small when it comes to capacity, it’s big on capability. Enjoy more torque and power than you have ever in any dirt bike. You can look forward to a bike with premium components and quality thus making it a genuine contender for beginners and seasoned racers.
- Excellent straight-line stability
- Better weight distribution
- Great suspension
- Exceptional control
- Not ideal for young teenagers
4. Yamaha YZ125
Modern styling is one of the attributes of the Yamaha YZ125. Just like with the many 4-strokes in the market today, this one brings with it a ton of features that make it a great purchase.
For starters, its components are all high quality. You can look forward to top-quality fork guards, radiator shrouds, airbox, side number plates, and rear fender.
Its lightweight frame is made of aluminum. The aluminum frame hosts a patented YPVS™ engine for an incredible power-to-weight ratio. The bike also brings with it race-ready features that are complete with a gripper seat, titanium footpegs, and aluminum handlebar that all combine to guarantee a great riding experience.
Riders can also look forward to enjoying an ideal balance with this dirt bike. In addition to being nimble and lightweight, brings with it an incredible balance making it an incredible choice for riders that are shifting from the 85cc dirt bikes.
The fact that it features rider-friendly chassis means that it is extremely lightweight which means that you don’t have to put up with excess fatigue that comes with riding a dirt bike. A great dirt bike this one is for sure.
- Super lightweight
- Modern styling
- Rider-friendly chassis
- Ideal balance
- Front shocks would have been stronger
5. Honda CRF125F
You cannot deny that Honda off-road bikes are effortless and fun to ride. The Honda CRF125F, tailored for smaller adults and young riders, is no exception. It comes loaded with premium features that go miles to reduce hassle and ensure riding is enjoyable.
Fuel injection provides the bike with reliable and broad power. This feature makes the bike effectual and better. Its twin-spar steel frame boasts the ability to handle dings of all off-roads. The bike has a long-travel suspension that provides the much-needed control of a full-size bike.
You can trust the reliable engine of this bike. It brings with it a dependable 4-stroke and single-cylinder engine that provides excellent performance with a broad powerband making it ideal for an array of riders, including newbies.
When it comes to handling, its heavy-duty clutch is both long-lasting and also enhances smooth shifting. Progressive linkage of the bike connects its heavy-duty shock to the bike’s swingarm thus delivering such an excellent combo of damping rates and spring over a host of riding conditions.
If you have to search for a world-class and durable 125cc bike, you should consider this one.
- Broad, reliable power
- Strong steel frame to handle rough terrain
- Plush ride guaranteed
- Electric starter
- Not stable enough
6. Yamaha TT-R125LE
The Yamaha TT-R125LE is another great 125cc dirt bike worth buying.
It sports a potent air-cooled, 4-stroke powerplant that puts out torquey and broadband power that is tuned for the utmost off-road performance within an array of trail conditions. With its 20mm carburetor, it guarantees a dependable and crisp throttle response.
In terms of wheels, this bike features 16-inch and 19-inch wheels that are handy for exceptional handling. Other notable highlights of the dirt bike include an adjustable suspension that is calibrated for aggressiveness especially with bigger or heavier riders.
Another impressive attribute about this dirt bike is the fact that it has an automatic electric start who’s starting is a breeze. A 220mm disc brake exists at the front.
The bike boasts a 5-speed transmission for smooth shifting. It is coupled with a heavy-duty clutch that is tailored for optimum usable power delivery and versatility. The bike’s CDI ignition not only needs minimal maintenance but is also ultra-reliable.
The fact that it has an auto cam chain tensioner simply means that that the engine is low maintenance. Moreover, it boasts a longer engine life. Easy serviceability provides additional convenience during maintenance.
- Accessible, fully-featured performance
- Low seat height
- Grippy foot legs
- Racing style
- Control issues especially for newbies
7. KTM 125 Duke
Duke 125 is among the latest generations from KTM. If you’re into edgy styling, this bike can make a good choice. What makes it distinct has to do with its artificial color TFT dash. Decent brakes and funky LED headlight also give it an edge over the rest.
One thing is for sure, this bike provides more fun compared to an average 125cc dirt bike. On top of boasting a powerful operation and looking great, this bike wears different brand names. Sporting the recommended 15bhp, this bike is entertaining enough. Its fuel-injected engine is beyond lively, sounds incredible, and pulls very well.
On top of its fuel-injected engine being lively, it sounds incredible and pulls pretty well. This is even with a standard silencer. On top of offering arm-wrenching torque coupled with hair-raising acceleration, you can also trust the engine to perform excellently every day. The compact and lightweight engine also packs wonderfully as well.
We also loved the fact that the dirt bike features open-cartridge tech that guarantees nothing short of high performance from the bike. Everything about this bike from hammering around to relaxed cruising is impressive.
Finally, regarding the bike’s design, the bike also has a good-looking one. Noticeable design features include an aggressive front and LED headlight. With a closer look, you’ll notice several top-notch cast parts and a steel fuel tank.
- The TFT display and LED headlight
- Class-leading performance
- Low fuel consumption
- The compact and lightweight engine
- Small sitting area
8. Yamaha MT-125
If there is one CBT-friendly dirt bike this year, it has to be the Yamaha MT-125. It got its enjoyed a major update this year since its launch in 2014. It brought it at par with other MT range. The update saw the bike boast revised geometry, improved performance, and radical styling.
Teens will enjoy a miniature super naked that they always desire in their dirt bikes. An incredible spec sheet, remarkable build quality and the awesome bike looks all characterize the dirt bike. The current Yamaha MT-125, not only has a more rigid and shorter swingarm but also brings with it a reduced wheelbase. This does incredibly well to enhance its agility.
A shorter subframe at the rear specially customized for this model also exists. The fact that all these features combine incredibly well with the brand new 140-section back tire means that the bike guarantees a sweet-handling and engaging ride that can make smooth transitions and super-fast direction changes.
The feature the bike has to make it unintimidating to newbies. Riding it is comfortable as It soaks most of the bumps on the road. The only drawback the bike seems to have has to do with its hard seat coupled with persistent vibe via its bars from a buzzy small motor.
- Learner friendly
- Gear position indicator
- ABS system
- Single piston caliper
- Hard seat
9. Honda CB125R
Neo-retro looks and builds quality come out as a major asset of this dirt bike. The Honda CB125R benefits immensely from its quality touches, LCD dash, and 4-piston radial caliper. Combined, all these provided an extra layer of sophistication that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
In addition to feeling somewhat comfortable, you’ll also find the bike to feel remarkably nimble. This is all courtesy of the bike’s grippy GPR-300 rubber and a weight of only 125.8kg thus allowing you to scythe via congestion with the most ease.
We also loved the bike’s competence when you want to get twisty. It boasts an impressive ground clearance that encourages healthy lean angles as well as a slightly belligerent riding position. What about its engine?
Regarding the bike’s engine, it comes with a 125cc SOHC engine that produces 13.1bhp. While the bike can perform 1.7bhp down, it manages to not only get but also remain ahead of the city’s sprawl. This enables the bike to deliver nothing short of predictable and liner performance featuring strong low-mid range pulls.
A noticeable drawback about this bike is the fact that its front brake is short on its bite. On top of that, its seat height measuring 816mm might feel a little intimidating to shorter newbies.
- Aggressive look
- Concentrated performance
- LED for additional brightness
- Crisp throttle response
- Intimidating to shorter newbies
10. Suzuki GSX-S125
The GSX-R line of dirt bikes at Suzuki have characterized impressive performance in the world of sport bikes for more than 30 years now.
From the talented and skilled engineers at Suzuki comes this model. It brings with it countless features that make riding this 125cc bike fun and memorable.
Looking for a 125cc dirt bike with an impressive power-to-weight ratio coupled with an exceptional torque-to-weight ratio? If yes, consider this Suzuki one. Its fuel economy is remarkable. You can also look forward to a dirt bike that boasts advanced rider tech comprising of a key-less ignition system and digital start system.
To ensure the bike utilizes every power ounce, its world-class engine is aerodynamically efficient to not only maximize efficient speed but also reduce drag. The manufacturers came up with this design after the extensive development of a wind tunnel.
The bike’s sleek bodywork improves its handling characteristics. Furthermore, it has a small projected frontal area that is handy in helping it boast impressive acceleration as well as support high fuel efficiency levels.
In terms of speed, it can click speeds of up to 72.75mph. You have to give this bike a thumbs up when it comes to its engine performance. It is powerful, and efficient. There is no doubt about that.
- Impressive fuel economy
- Great nimble handling
- Superb acceleration
- Excellent torque-to-weight ratio
- Vague radial caliper