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Best Two-Stroke Dirt Bike 2023 [Ultimate Guide + TOP Brands + Q&A]

Welcome to another Motocross Advice ultimate guide. This guide will provide the background and history of two-stroke dirt bikes and answer some burning questions. You’ll also find a full product list with specifications of every two-stroke dirt bike available in 2023.

Table of Contents

What is a two-stroke dirt bike? 

What is a two-stoke engine?

Before getting into the history and specifics of two-stroke dirt bikes, let’s go over some basics of what exactly is a two-stoke engine?

I think the best way to explain is using the Wikipedia reference below.

two-stoke engine diagram from wikipediatwo-stroke (or two-stroke cycleengine is a type of internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle with two strokes (up and down movements) of the piston during one power cycle, this power cycle being completed in one revolution of the crankshaft. A four-stroke engine requires four strokes of the piston to complete a power cycle during two crankshaft revolutions. In a two-stroke engine, the end of the combustion stroke and the beginning of the compression stroke happen simultaneously, with the intake and exhaust (or scavenging) functions occurring at the same time.

Two-stroke engines often have a high power-to-weight ratio, power being available in a narrow range of rotational speeds called the power band. Two-stroke engines have fewer moving parts than four-stroke engines.


From the explanation above, it’s obvious that two-stoke dirt bikes would become popular, low weight, high power, perfect match for the dirt!

Two-stroke dirt bike history/background

Traditionally, dirt bike engines were always two-stroke. The very first dirt bike brought to market by Yamaha in 1968 the DT-1 was a 250cc two-stroke.

Two-stroke dirt bikes were hugely popular during the 1980s and ’90s, but it was around ’96 when all that changed. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) introduced new regulations, which allowed new four-stroke 450cc dirt bike engines to compete directly against the dominating two-stroke 250cc. The bigger capacity of the four-stroke class was to even out the power advantage as two-strokes deliver far more power per CC.

It was then that a four-stroke movement began. Yamaha introduced a four-stroke dirt bike engine to market, the YZM400F prototype in ’97. As a leader in the field, many manufacturers followed Yamaha, all but abandoning two-strokes. The turning point was when the YZM400F prototype four-stroke bike ridden by Doug Henry won the Supercross final in Las Vegas in ’97. Two-stroke dirt bikes began to lose traction with development and riders alike. The new four-stroke movement was kick-started.

The two-stroke dirt bike engine was claimed to be less environmentally friendly. With stricter emissions standards in force, the four-stroke engine became the norm from the late 90s. It seems that the powers that be failed to realize that the larger four-stroke engine also produced emissions. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that two-strokes can be developed to run more efficiently.

The debate about whether two-stroke or four-stroke is best still rages on. No doubt you will have encountered some discussion as an enthusiast. Historically, two-strokes received unnecessarily lousy press from many quarters. Environmental issues were often cited, but not substantiated. Thankfully for two-stroke lovers, certain manufacturers have stuck with the format. Leading the way are Austrian stalwarts KTM, but they are far from alone as we will see later in the article. 

Two strokes are here to stay. Motocross die-hards never left. Regardless, two-stroke engines lived on, not least for use in offroad dirt bikes. 

There is something very emotive and evocative about the smell, sound, and characteristics of a two-stroke engine. The way they launch from the start line, the more lightweight feel to the body and that distinctive high-pitched bark are all something you may have come to love.

Well, sit tight and hold on to your helmet because two-stroke is back with a vengeance. Read on as we compare two-stroke and four-stroke engines and then get into the product guide.

Two-Stroke Dirt Bike Product Guide 2023

Best Kids Two-Stroke Dirt Bikes 2023

Best Kids Two-Stroke Dirt Bikes 2023

50cc two-stroke dirt bikes are entry-level, lowest machines ideally suited to younger riders from aged four and up. From aged four, you can introduce your child safely to a 50cc two-stroke dirt bike. If your child can balance on a standard bicycle, then they should be good to go on a 50cc.

This is a great way to introduce new riders to the world of two-stroke dirt biking and can set them on a path that will mean they are accustomed to the power and thrust of a two-stroke. As with all dirt bikes, you should ensure all the proper protective gear is provided, including helmets, boots, and chest protectors.

You can also apply limiters to the throttle to prohibit excessive speed in preliminary rides. By ages five and six, your child can be having lots of fun around the tracks and trails, and this can make for great family outings.

Best Two strokes – Cobra Moto

Best Two strokes - Cobra Moto, on the track with many kids racing

Proudly made in the USA, Cobra Moto has been specializing in the mini-cycle category for over two decades. Highly distinctive with the iconic yellow branding, the little bikes have kick-started the careers of many professional racers.

Cobra has many innovations and patents pending with the two-stroke dirt bike category such as computer-controlled power valves. Bikes are receiving press attention and rave reviews in the US. Being a customer-focused business seems to be a winner for the brand.

Cobra CX50 P3/JR Motocross 
Cobra Moto 2023 CX50JR kids dirt bike

This is Cobra’s entry-level 50cc with 10″ wheels and is a truly lightweight bike. The P3 is a slightly smaller option, making it perfect as a very first two-stroke dirt bike. Both models come with great front brakes, race suspension and the P3 qualifies for the Special Limited racing class.

Dry WeightP3 – 79lbs / 35.5kg; JR – 81lbs / 36kg
Saddle heightP3 – 558mm; JR – 607mm
WheelbaseP3 – 889mm; JR – 908mm
Approx PriceP3 – $4199 USD; JR – $4599 USD
Cobra CX50SRX KING / FWE Motocross 
Cobra Moto 2023 CX50SRX FWE two-stroke kids dirt bike

This is the iconic ‘King Cobra’ bike, a little snapper, and ready-to-race 50cc two-stroke dirt bike. Available in two options, the KING and the FWE. The FWE (Factory Works Edition) has enhanced performance due to additional tweaks and features. 2023 has significant updates, lighter, more powerful, better suspension and brakes. The list of improvements is long, this is a pocket rocket not for the feint of heart! The FWE version even gets some titanium parts.

Dry WeightKING 89lbs / 41kg / FWE – 88lbs / 41kg
Saddle heightKING / FWE – 680mm
WheelbaseKING / FWE – 1038mm
Approx PriceKING – $4815 USD; FWE – $5719 USD

Best Two strokes – Husqvarna

One of the oldest recognizable brands in motorcycling, Husqvarna began successfully producing two-stroke dirt bikes in the 1960s. These two-stroke bikes were part of a movement that meant the dominant four-stroke market became less prevalent.

Two-stroke Husqvarna bikes went on to win many motocross and enduro championships. Many readers will know that the Husqvarna brand was born in Sweden. Still, the company switched hands several times, even being owned by BMW. Now owned and manufactured at KTM AG in Austria, the two brands share a good deal of technologies, especially when it comes to a two-stroke.

Wherever you see a T in the model lettering on a Husqvarna bike, it will be a two-stroke. If you’re interested, C denotes a motocross dirt bike, and E is for an enduro dirt bike. You won’t see an ‘F’ in the products within this guide, as that means the bike is four-stroke.

Husqvarna TC50 Motocross 
Husqvarna TC50 2023 Motocross 2-stroke kids dirt bike

The little TC50 has all the benefits and technology of a full-sized motocross Husky but packed into this tiny frame. The superb quality of parts used including air-forks and premium manufacturing and craftsmanship means this will be a great addition to any race-oriented family.

Dry Weight91.5lbs / 41.5kg
Saddle height684mm
Approx Price$4799 USD

Best Two strokes – KTM

Europe’s leading motorcycle manufacturer, KTM has been in the motorcycle game since 1934. KTM motocross bikes won at competition level for the first time in 1974 with a 250cc bike at the Motocross World Championship.

That trademark orange color could be seen in motocross from around 1996. A very wide range of two-stroke models is available from KTM. As we mentioned earlier, the manufacturer kept on producing and improving great two-stroke bikes and technology when other manufacturers halted production.

KTM is responsible for the TPI (Transfer Port Fuel Injection) system in their enduro range, which electronically injects fuel into the cylinder. This technology has eliminated the need for premix oil and gas. It has made two-stroke engines much cleaner as well as more fuel-efficient than carburettor two-stroke engines.

Manufactured in Austria, they continue to be a quality, world leader as well as competition winner when it comes to best motocross dirt bikes.

KTM 50SX Mini Motocross 
KTM 50SX Mini Motocross 2023 two stroke kid bike

Similar to the Cobra CX50 P3 / JR, the KTM 50SX Mini is an entry-level two-stroke dirt bike aimed at first-time riders. It comes with 10″ wheels, is lightweight, has low ground clearance, and is suitable for riders aged four to ten years old. It is a true MX bike with quality KTM engineering.

Dry Weight88.2lbs / 40kg
Saddle height558mm
Approx Price$3199USD
KTM 50SX Motocross 
KTM 50SX 2023 best 50cc dirt bike for kids

Identical to the Husqvarna TC50 apart from branding and styling, the KTM 50SX is an entry-level 2 stroke dirt bike and a big brother to the KTM 50SX Mini. With slightly higher saddle and larger wheels, it has adjustable suspension on the back, WP XACT AER forks on the front, and the auto-clutch can be tailored to the rider as they grow with experience.

Dry Weight91.5lbs / 41.5kg
Saddle height684mm
Approx Price$4699 USD

Best Two strokes – Yamaha 

Although founded in 1887, Yamaha Corporation only started producing motorized vehicles in the 1950s. In 1954 the YA-1 Yamaha was born – a 125cc two-stroke road bike to rival German and British designs. Following the success of that bike, the Yamaha Motor Co. was born.

Yamaha won its first competition in 1964 with a 250cc two-stroke at the Belgium GP and sales were a huge success. They went global and in 1965 released an early version of KTM’s TPI, where oil was injected directly into the fuel chamber. Nowadays the Yamaha motorbike is a tour de force in the motocross world and repeatedly excels at competition level.

Although instrumental in helping the industry towards four-stroke with the YZ400F circa 1997, the company has strong roots with two-stroke and is now producing viable options.

Yamaha PW50 Offroad 
Yamaha PW50 Offroad 2-stroke

The PW50 two-stroke dirt bike or Peewee will many readers’ first experience of motorcycling. It has been available since the 1980s and is still a reliable starter bike. The technology and competitive pricing remain much the same, with an adjustable throttle, aftermarket training wheels, automatic transmission, and a solid, reliable Japanese build.

Wet Weight90lbs / 41kg
Saddle height475mm
Approx Price$1699 USD

Best 65cc to 100cc Two Strokes 2023 Mini and Junior Motocross

Best 65cc to 100cc Two Strokes 2022 Mini and Junior Motocross

The next category for consideration is the mini and junior 65cc to 100cc, generally two-stroke dirt bikes for 10 year old riders and over. But, you should remember that when making a cc selection, it comes down to height and weight, as well as riding experience.

If you are a new rider under 5 feet tall, or under 10 years old but have some experience, any dirt bike under 110cc could be for you. The differences between 65cc to 100cc and the peewee or 50cc class are that some bikes offer proper gears, clutch systems, and race-ready suspension.

The bikes in this category can be a mini version of 125cc plus professional bikes. If you need a super light dirt bike or a bike with low ground clearance, then you could comfortably ride one of the following at any age. These bikes are ideal at competition level, or just for fun.

Cobra CX65 Motocross

Cobra CX65 Dirt Bike 2023 kids two-stroke

Made in Michigan, the new Cobra CX65 two-stroke dirt bike gets titanium rear axle and swingarm pivot, with weight-saving features like aluminum fastenings and parts throughout. The Cobra CX65 made its debut just four years ago, the bike is constantly improving. It is set to rival larger manufacturers of the world.

Dry Weight117lbs / 53kg
Saddle height762mm
Approx Price$5719 USD

Husqvarna TC65 Motocross 

Husqvarna two stroke dirt bike TC65 Motocross 

With a manual 6-speed transmission and hydraulic clutch system, this bike is a step towards full control for the young rider and feels like a pro-level bike. A lightweight aluminum cylinder, a pressure controlled exhaust valve (PCEV), and premium components all-round, mean this bike can give young riders a distinct head start.

Dry Weight117lbs / 53kg
Saddle height750mm
Approx Price$5599 USD

Husqvarna TC85 Motocross 

Husqvarna TC85 Motocross 2023

The TC85 is a next step towards becoming a full-sized MX rider, with hardware and technology found on larger Husky bikes. The TC85 has a solid steel frame and an aluminum subframe. WP XACT front suspension, and WP XPLOR PDS (progressive damping system) on the rear all mean this bike is lightweight, maneuverable, and can absorb bumps large and small. There is also a larger wheeled version available.

Dry Weight147.7lbs / 67kg
Saddle height850mm
Approx Price$6749 USD

Best two Strokes – Kawasaki 

Initially producing motorbikes in Japan with the Meguro Corp. in the 1950s, Kawasaki eventually merged with the company. Kawasaki Motors Corp. then began making bikes in the states in the 1960s, working from an old meat factory in Chicago.

The very first bikes were two-stroke, sold under the brand name Omega. Seeing that US riders wanted more fun from their bikes, Samurai and Avenger models were born and sold under brand name Kawasaki. 1969 saw the launch of Kawasaki’s 500cc Mach III two-stroke bike, and the brand became noticed around the world for adrenaline-fuelled action.

Modern two-stroke dirt bikes remain fast, fun, are competitively priced, and contain two-stroke technology that hasn’t changed much over the years. The brand still has manufacturing plants based in the USA.

Kawasaki KX65 Motocross
Kawasaki KX65 Motocross 2023 Two-Stroke

With a manual clutch, the KX65 is an ideal starter bike for younger riders transitioning to clutch control. With a six-speed gearbox, fully adjustable front and rear suspension, plus hydraulic disc brakes, this is a worthy consideration. It ships with a high tensile tubular steel frame and low seat height.

Wet Weight132.7lbs / 60.2kg
Saddle height582mm
Approx Price$3999 USD
Kawasaki KX85 Motocross
Kawasaki KX85 Motocross 2023 Two-Stroke Dirt Bike

Unchanged since 2014, very competitive on the track and a price tag that means it is desirable compared to other brands. Many of the KX85’s have done well at competitions such as the Loretta Lynn Amateurs. With a close-ratio six-speed box, it is a great choice for new riders to further develop clutch skills.

Wet Weight165.3lbs / 75kg
Saddle height831mm
Approx Price$4699 USD
Kawasaki KX112 Motocross
Kawasaki KX112 Motocross 2023 Two-Stroke Dirt Bike

Similar to the KX85, the KX1112 model has been around, however the capacity has been increased to 112cc (previous model was the KX100) and some other minor modifications to keep up with the competition. Able to enter Supermini competitions, this dirt bike ships with a large bore, fully adjustable suspension, and a big 19″ front wheel with smaller 16″ rear wheel. Ergofit® six-position adjustable handlebars mean it can grow with the rider.

Wet Weight170lbs / 77kg
Saddle height871mm
Approx Price$5399 USD
KTM SX65 Motocross
KTM SX 65 Motocross two stroke mx bike

Aimed at young riders between 8-12 years old, the KTM 65SX has WP XACT front suspension with the latest AER air technology. Cool graphics, aluminum rims, this bike is race-ready with world-class KTM craftsmanship and build quality. Young racers will be safe and happy on this orange ripper.

Dry Weight117lbs / 53kg
Saddle height750mm
Approx Price$5499 USD
KTM 85SX Motocross
KTM 85 SX Motocross 2023 two-stroke dirt bike

The KTM 85SX continues to be a dominant force in youth riding competitions. At the Loretta Lynn MX national amateur races, roughly two-thirds of competitors were riding KTM dirt bikes in the Mini and Supermini classes. A lightweight frame, compact engine, and world-class KTM design and build. Also available with bigger 19/16″ wheels.

Dry Weight149lbs / 67.5kg
Saddle height855mm
Approx Price$6549 USD

Best Two-Strokes – Suzuki 

Celebrating its 102nd birthday in 2022, Suzuki was founded in Japan in March 1920 by Michio Suzuki. The company has prided itself on customer focus from the outset and continues to provide competitively priced great value products.

The first two-stroke engine produced in 1952 by Suzuki was a ‘clip-on’ that could be attached to a bicycle, a 36cc one horsepower unit called the ‘Power Free’. In 1954 the Suzuki Motor Co. was born and in 1955 the first two-stroke 125cc motorcycle, the Colleda ST was rolling off production lines.

From ’55 to ’75 Suzuki only manufactured and sold two-stroke motorcycles. Today, the company is more geared towards four-stroke dirt bikes, but who knows what the future holds as two-stroke makes a comeback.

Suzuki RM85 Motocross 
Suzuki RM85 Motocross 2023

Competitively priced and super easy to modify the yellow rocket is a worthy consideration for any new rider. With a low seat height, six-speed transmission and long clutch lever make it a great starter bike. Reliable Japanese engineering, along with quality components, the RM85 could be a worthy investment for your newbies.

Wet Weight161lbs / 73kg
Saddle height850mm
Approx Price$4499 USD

TM Racing 

Founded in 1976 in Pesaro, Italy, the TM Racing Company has consistently produced high-quality two-stroke dirt bikes. The company was built from scratch by two brothers Claudio Flenghi (Mr. Engine) and Francesco Battistelli (Mr. Frame) and named after the initials of their two sons, Thomas and Mirko.

TM bikes are always handcrafted in Italy and offer limited manufacturing runs. Built with the highest quality materials and attention to detail that is often considered obsessive, the premium price tag of TM’s 2 stroke dirt bike range reflects the quality of design and build. Reliability, a top-end more race-oriented speed, the TM company, and its bikes have won many awards and accolades.

TM MX112 / MX85 Motocross
TM MX112 : MX85 Motocross two stroke dirt bike

The little TM MX85 is fast becoming a selection of prestige among youth competitors. With an all-aluminum frame, a 6-speed transmission, and an electronic power valve, it attracts a premium price. There are two MX85 models available with 17/14″ wheels and the larger 21/19″ version, plus a Super-Mini 1112cc version with 19/17″ wheels.

Approx Prices

  • $6495 USD (Standard MX85 with 17/14″ Wheels)
  • $8195 USD (MX85 with 21/19″ Wheels)
  • $7195 USD (MX112 with 19/17″ Wheels)
Yamaha YZ65 Motocross 
Yamaha YZ65 Motocross two-stroke dirt bike 2023

Yamaha halted production of the YZ65 for a full thirty years before bringing it back in 2018. Yamaha has shown long dedication to MX, especially for younger riders. With the Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS), a more linear speed can be achieved across the RPM.

Wet Weight134lbs / 60.8kg
Saddle height749.3mm
Approx Price$4799 USD
Yamaha YZ85 Motocross 
Yamaha YZ85 Motocross two-stroke dirt bike 2023

With all-new technology since 2019 including Yamahas Power Valve System (YPVS) as found on the YZ65, lightweight fully adjustable suspension and high-specification wheels and brakes, make this a potential competition winner. Price is kept competitive by keeping with older bodywork.

Wet Weight161lbs / 73kg
Saddle height841mm
Approx Price$4899 USD

Best Adult 2 Stroke Dirt Bikes: 125cc – 200cc Two-Stroke Dirt Bikes 2023 

To buy a bike in this class, you will either be making a transition from mini and junior class or will be a first-time teenage or adult rider. The bikes in this class will have clutches, manual gear transmission and can provide the first steps into adult racing.

If it’s your first dirt bike as an adult, you get to learn the basics of handling while still getting the power (and fun) elements of a two-stroke dirt bike engine. Pair all of this with the relatively low cost, ease of ownership in terms of maintenance, and it could be the right category for you.

Best Two-Strokes – Beta Motorcycles 

Founded in Florence, Italy in 1906, the Beta Company (originally known as Societa Giuseppe Bianchi) began by manufacturing bicycles. In the 1940s the company began making motorcycles, seeing a demand for a new mode of transport.

Their first foray into two-stroke engine development was in 1950 with the MT 175 which was capable of speeds up to 85mph. The company went on to produce many off-road bikes and win several awards over the years. The modern Beta two-stroke is formidable, everything is handmade in-house, and they have formed strong working bonds with KTM and Suzuki. A premier brand, but it could be a price worth paying.

Beta 200RR / 125RR Offroad
Beta 200RR : 125RR Offroad 2023 two-stroke dirt bike

The Beta 200RR went away, and now it has returned, modernized with an electric starter. This two-stroke beast also features the Nissin brake system and suspension provided by Sachs. The standard 125cc comes with kick-start instead of electric. At the same time, a truly insane Race Edition 125cc is available with enhanced KYB suspension and bright, red, and blue graphics.

Dry Weight200 RR – 213.8lbs / 97kg; 125 RR / 125 RR Race Edition – 207lbs / 94kg
Saddle height200 RR / 125 RR / 125 RR Race Edition – 930mm
Wheelbase200 RR / 125 RR / 125 RR Race Edition – 1476mm
Approx Prices200 RR – $9299 USD; 125 RR – $8599 USD; 125 RR Race Edition – $8999

Husqvarna TC125 Motocross 

Husqvarna TC 125 2023 dirtbike

With 40 horsepower packed into a lightweight frame, this Husky 125cc two-stroke is perfect for beginners and experienced racers alike. It has a quality build and exceptional components, including WP XACT air suspension in the front and adjustable power valve, plus an old school kick-start.

Dry Weight204lbs / 92.5kg
Saddle height950mm
Approx Price$8049 USD

Husqvarna TE150 Offroad

Husqvarna TE150i Offroad two-stroke 2023

The new TE150 two-stroke is a great way to head for the trails. With electric start, TPI (Transfer Port Fuel Injection) and linear power and torque delivery, plus high spec, premium components, and parts, the Husky TE150 is a worthy consideration for offroad riding.

Dry Weight219.6lbs / 99.6kg
Saddle height950mm
Approx Price$9899 USD

KTM 125SX Motocross

KTM 125 SX 2023 2 stroke dirt bike

KTM has been working hard to stay competitive in the 125cc market and 2023 brings it up to scratch. Gone is the slightly larger 150SX (actually 144cc) as it was no longer accepted to race against 125cc, it gave an unfair advantage. The latest 125SX now has electric starter and has all the modifications of the larger model line-up. It has unfortunately become a little heavier, but we think worth the extra pork!

Dry Weight125SX – 204lbs / 92.4kg
Saddle height125SX – 958mm
Wheelbase125SX – 1485mm
Approx Prices$7949 USD

KTM 150XC-W TPI Offroad 

KTM 150XC-W TPI Offroad two-stroke dirt bike 2023

With an electric starter and lightweight body, this cross-country master comes with TPI (Transfer Port Fuel Injection), eliminating the need for premix. Updated for 2023, this two-stroke dirt bike also has a newer, more flexible frame, elevated riding position, and superb KTM components and build.

Dry Weight213lbs / 96.8kg
Saddle height960mm
Approx Price$9799 USD

Best Two-Strokes – Sherco 

Founded in 1998 and based in Spain and France, the company was initially famed for its trials bikes. In 2003 the company began producing other off-road dirt bikes and currently focuses on enduro, more so than trials bikes.

Their range offers more than 20 various models and all trials bikes have two-stroke engines. The Enduro range features seven two-stroke dirt bikes with displacements between 50 and 300cc. Many reports state that Sherco enduro bikes are the best available when it comes to handling, with a great balance on the chassis and a perfect center of gravity.

Sherco 125 SE Factory Offroad 
Sherco 125 SE FACTORY 2023

With a brand new optimized profile piston, the all-new two-stroke 125 SE Factory is more reliable and has increased performance. The front suspension is a KYB double fork, and the rear features a KYB shock absorber with a three-way adjustment. Electric start, aluminum exhaust silencer, and cool graphics are also nice features. 2023 saw the end of the 125 SC version in favour of only the Factory.

Saddle height950mm
Approx Price$9999 USD

TM EN144 Fi / EN125 Fi Offroad 

TM EN144 Fi : EN125 Fi Offroad 2023

The TM EN144 has a larger bore and stroke than the EN125. The two options mean that if a competition allows it, the EN144 can compete against 125cc bikes. If not, the EN125 comes out to play. They are otherwise essentially the same great two-stroke dirt bikes. Euro 5 approved fuel injection and an aluminium perimeter frame, and, like the entire 2-stroke range, has a separate mixer.

Approx Prices

  • TM EN144 Fi – $9195 USD
  • TM EN125 Fi – $8995 USD

TM 144MX / 125MX Motocross 

TM 144MX : 125MX Motocross 2023

In the racing category, TM’s two-stroke dirt bikes arrive in high tune and generally race fuel is a good idea. As with the TM EN144 Fi and 125, the TM 144MX features a bigger bore and stroke than the 125MX, otherwise, they are fairly similar. Fuel injection models were released this year.

Approx Prices

  • TM 144MX – $8595 USD
  • TM 125MX – $8295 USD

Yamaha YZ125 Motocross 

Yamaha YZ 125 2023 dirt bike

The Yamaha YZ125 may be considered a classic two-stroke dirt bike. Almost as old as the hills, it has been around since 1974. Extremely lightweight for its displacement class, but great fun, Yamaha claim it is the most fun to be had on two wheels. Reliable, solid, affordable Japanese technology.

Wet Weight207lbs / 94kg
Saddle height975mm
Approx Price$6999 USD

250cc-300cc Two-Stroke Dirt Bikes 2023 

In the big-daddy category of two-stroke dirt bikes, you’ll find the 250cc-300cc models. These bikes are really for those who have plenty of experience with riding two-stroke or have experience with four-stroke 250cc dirt bikes and above and wish to make the transition across to two-stroke dirt bikes.

The main differences between bikes of this displacement and the 125-150cc two-stroke dirt bikes are speed, power, and overall weight. 250-300cc two-stroke dirt bikes are great for more extreme enduro and motocross, whether racing or for fun. Not for the faint-hearted, these two-stroke dirt bikes are well known to be crazy fast off the mark, at the top end, bottom end, and everything in between. You have been warned.

Beta 300RR / 250RR Offroad 

Beta 300RR : 250RR Offroad two-stroke dirt bike 2023

Beta two-stroke dirt bikes have been upgraded completely this year, featuring a brand new counterbalanced electric starter motor. With Sachs suspension and an oil injection system eliminates the need for premix remaining, there are a new styling and bodywork. The 300R shares these features with the 250RR but has the larger bore.

Dry Weight300 RR / 250 RR – 228lbs / 103kg
Saddle height300 RR / 250 RR – 930mm
Wheelbase300 RR / 250 RR – 1481mm
Approx Prices300 RR – $9899 USD; 250 RR – $9699 USD

Beta 300RR / 250RR Race Edition Offroad 

Beta 300RR : 250RR Race Edition Offroad 2023 two stroke

The race edition two-stroke Beta 300RR and 250RR come with lots of extras including upgraded graphics and aesthetics, KYB suspension, quick release axle pins, and Michelin Enduro Competition tires. It makes for an all-round stunner of a bike with performance to boot. There is no oil injection on the Beta Race Edition.

Dry Weight300 RR Race Edition / 250 RR Race Edition – 228lbs / 103kg
Saddle height300 RR Race Edition / 250 RR Race Edition – 930mm
Wheelbase300 RR Race Edition / 250 RR Race Edition – 1481mm
Approx Prices300 RR Race Edition – $10399 USD 250 RR Race Edition – $10199 USD

Beta XTrainer Offroad 

Beta XTrainer Offroad 2-stroke dirt bike 2023

For the more conservative cross-country rider, the Beta XTrainer is a tamed, more competitively priced version of the Beta 300RR. It ships with much of the technology found in other Beta two-stroke dirt bikes including the counterbalanced electric starter motor and oil injection. A lower seat height means the center of gravity can be more forgiving.

Dry Weight218lbs / 99kg
Saddle height909mm
Approx Price$8299 USD

Best Two-Strokes – GasGas 

GasGas is now a subsidiary of KTM, having been acquired by the Austrian giant in 2019. In 1985 the GasGas Company was founded in Spain by Narcis Casas and Josep Pibernat and began by manufacturing trials bikes. The GasGas name just means to ‘floor it’, to ‘gas’ the bike, and the bikes stand up to that name.

The brand is a big name in two-stroke dirt biking. They have won many competitions over the years including the Red Bull Last Man Standing in 2006 where a GasGas bike was one of only two to finish the 80-mile enduro challenge.

GasGas EC300 Offroad 2023

Although owned by premier brand KTM, GasGas values have always set out to offer reasonably priced dirt bikes. The EC 300 is no different, with an electric starter, affordable components (great news if you need to repair or rebuild) and a bottom end torque rather than crazy top-end this could be the ideal step-up for some. Watch a video of the EC Range here.

GasGas EC300 / EC250 Offroad 
GASGAS EC 300 2023 offroad two stroke

With a new cylinder head on the engine and new technology to improve the thermodynamics since 2019, the EC300 and EC250 have increased power. These models achieve a more linear torque throughout the RPM range, shipping with an all-new handlebar to improve rigidity on the trails and brand new Neken grips.

Dry Weight233lbs / 105.8kg
Saddle height960mm
Approx PricesGasGas EC300 – $10399 USD GasGas EC250 – $10099 USD

Husqvarna TC250 Motocross 

Husqvarna TC250 Motocross two-stroke dirt bike 2023

With a new frame, engine and bodywork in 2023, the Husqvarna TC250 maintains some of that classic two-stroke technology including Mikuni carburettor and a kick-starter. Featuring E-Start and Electronic Fuel Injection, there is smooth linear power throughout the RPM range. See a video of the Husky two-strokes in action here.

Dry Weight219.6lbs / 99.6kg
Saddle height950mm
Approx Price$9049 USD

Husqvarna TE300 / TE250 Enduro

Husqvarna TE300 : TE250 Enduro 2 stroke 2023

With smooth and linear power delivery, electronic fuel injection, and enhancements to the body and frame, the TE300 and TE250 offer superb levels of handling and refinement. With loads of extra features such as Magura brakes and a premium build from Husqvarna you can expect exceptional quality with a price tag to match.

Dry WeightTE300 – 234.6lbs / 106.4kg; TE250 – 231.9lbs / 105.2kg
Saddle heightTE300 / TE250 – 950mm
WheelbaseTE300 / TE250 – 1487mm
Approx PricesTE300 – $11,199 USD; TE250i – $10,899 USD

Husqvarna TX300 Cross-Country 

Husqvarna TX300 cross-county 2-stroke 2023

For 2023, numerous technological improvements have been made, including a completely new frame with improved handling and a new, compact engine with an electronic exhaust control for better power delivery in every gear. The engine remains to be essential to the exceptional agility for which the TX 300 is renowned, with internal components positioned to further centralise rotating mass. The brand-new bodywork, which is finished with a color scheme inspired by Sweden for a truly distinctive look.

Dry Weight232.4lbs / 105.4kg
Saddle height950mm
Approx Price $11,199 USD

KTM 250SX Motocross 

KTM 250SX Motocross 2023 2-stroke

Probably the fastest 250cc two-stroke dirt bike you’ll find on a track, thanks to an incredible chassis, high-performance engine, and a proven track record. The KTM 250SX has a DDS clutch, twin-valve power valve system, and a five-speed transmission.

Dry Weight219.1lbs / 99.4kg
Saddle height958mm
Approx Price$9299 USD

KTM 300XC-W / 250XC-W TPI Enduro

KTM 300XC-W : 250XC-W enduro 2023 two stroke

Lightweight, powerful, with TPI, ensure no terrain is off-limits for the KTM 300XC-W or the smaller bore 250XC-W. For 2023 the body and frame have been upgraded, making it more maneuverable than ever. With improved cooling and other features such as no-linkage rear suspension, this is the boss in extreme enduro.

Dry WeightKTM 300XC-W / 250XC-W – 227.9lbs / 103.4kg
Saddle heightKTM 300XC-W / 250XC-W – 960mm
WheelbaseKTM 300XC-W / 250XC-W – 1482mm
Approx PriceKTM 300XC-W – $11,099 USD; KTM 250XC-W – $9799 USD (plus $450 USD freight)

KTM 300XC / 250XC Enduro

KTM 300XC : 250XC TPI Enduro two-stroke dirt bike 2023

As ferocious as a KTM SX bike, but with a few more added horsepower, the KTM 300XC and 250XC feature bags of extras. Features like larger fuel tanks, WP XACT air forks, and the benefits of TPI mean enhanced performance and all-round quality. Stripped of lights and linked rear suspension, this is a race-ready two-stroke beast. For 2023, The KTM 250 XC enters the pits with increased performance and an overall engine weight of only 52.6 lb – with a number of ground-up engine ehancements. Along with other weight saving improvements, means that for 2023 the bikes are almost 15lb overall lighter.

Dry WeightKTM 300XC / 250XC – 220.7lbs / 100.1kg
Saddle height KTM 300XC / 250XC – 954mm
WheelbaseKTM 300XC / 250XC – 1486mm
Approx Price KTM 300XC – $11,099 USD; KTM 250XC – $10,799 USD

Sherco SE300 / SE250 Factory Enduro

Sherco SE300 : SE250 Factory Offroad 2023 two-stroke

The Sherco SE300 and SE250 Factory are premier off-road editions with lots of extra features that may be worth the extra investment. With KYB double fork, FMF exhaust systems Trail Tech radiator systems, and much more. The new graphics for 2021 are also very nice. See a video of the SE Factory range in action here.

Dry WeightSE300 Factory / SE250 Factory 231.5lbs / 105kg
Saddle height SE300 Factory / SE250 Factory – 950mm
WheelbaseSE300 Factory / SE250 Factory – 1480mm
Approx PriceSE300 Factory – $9899 USD; SE250 Factory – $9799 USD

TM MX300ES / TM MX250ES Motocross 

TM MX300ES : TM MX250ES Motocross 2023 2-stroke

The MX300ES features the most power on a production two-stroke bike available today. The MX250ES uses the same frame, build and engine, apart from the fact it has a smaller bore. Hand-crafted engineering at its finest, and TPI is reportedly coming to TM in the future.

Approx Prices

  • TM MX300ES $9295 USD
  • TM MX250ES – $9095 USD

TM EN300 ES Fi / EN250 ES Fi Offroad 

TM EN300 ES Fi : EN250 ES Fi enduro 2T 2023

Both the EN300 and EN250 include TPI technology. TM reportedly had the transfer port technology for years before now introducing it – look out KTM. For the EN300 and EN250 models TM say TPI increases overall BHP. With an alloy frame, KYB forks and a TM shock to the rear, expect quality, fast, great looking two-stroke dirt bikes.

Approx Prices

  • TM EN300 EN Fi $9495 USD
  • TM EN250 EN Fi – $9345 USD

Yamaha YZ250 Motocross 

Yamaha YZ250 Motocross two stroke dirt bike 2023

Yamaha sells lots of their YZ250 two-stroke dirt bikes and as a result, simply keeps on making them. With phenomenal handling and suspension, the bike continues to be a market leader. The Yamaha two-strokes are all about the top-end, so if you prefer something tamer, another manufacturer may be for you.

Wet Weight227lbs / 103kg
Saddle height993mm
Approx Price$7899 USD

Yamaha YZ250X Enduro

Yamaha YZ250X Enduro 2-stroke 2023

Just like the YZ250, this is a classic two-stroke dirt bike that true enthusiasts will know. The only difference between the YZ250X and the YZ250 is more cross-country friendly technology. The YZ250X offers an improved center of gravity thanks to a lower seat, wider gear ratios for more linear power delivery, a kickstand, and a larger 18″ rear wheel.

Wet Weight229lbs / 104kg
Saddle height970mm
Approx Price$7999 USD

Two-Stroke Dirt Bikes Vs Four-Stroke Dirt Bikes Q&A

How does technology differ between two-stroke and four-stroke?

At a basic level, the secret is in the name of these engines. A two-stroke engine completes three stages of the combustion cycle (intake, compression, and exhaust) in two strokes of the piston to create propulsion. A four-stroke takes four strokes to complete the same job.

Inside a two-stroke engine, the first stroke will intake, compress and combust a mix of fuel and lubricating oil. This mix of gas and oil can be mixed manually, known as a premix, or mixed automatically internally using TPI or transfer port fuel injector technology.

The next stroke then occurs in the chamber – expand, refill, and exhaust. The system in a two-stroke engine eliminates the need for valves, whereas a four-stroke relies on valves. Due to two strokes instead of four, it means two-stroke engines can be more efficient.

There are 30-50% less moving parts in a two-stroke engine compared to a four-stroke, which can save you money. Fewer parts mean fewer repairs and less overall waste. A four-stroke engine can weigh up to 50% more in the engine alone than a comparable cubic centimetre two-stroke engine. Things are changing in this regard as four-stroke engines are developed to become lighter.

While a two-stroke engine produces less overall waste, the faster moving parts can mean more fuel consumption. This process can result in increased emissions, depending on how hard you ride. But, direct injection and catalytic converters can mean reduced unburned hydrocarbons in emissions, and two-stroke engines are being improved each year.

How do two-strokes ride vs Four Strokes?

A two-stroke engine is lighter. This can make it faster than it’s four-stroke equivalent, giving you a substantial kick off the mark. Two-stroke dirt bikes are not just quicker at accelerating, but being lighter overall means two-stroke dirt bikes are far easier to slow down.

One thing to note is that there can be less engine-braking with a two-stroke bike. Be wary if you are jumping from a four-stroke onto a two-stroke as you barrel into turn one! Transversely, a four-stroke dirt bike is heavier so it can be slower when accelerating away and harder to stop all that extra weight when braking.

On a four-stroke, you do get more engine-braking simply because there are more moving parts and the bikes are heavier. When riding a four-stroke bike, you experience a more gradual acceleration and therefore a far less snatchy experience as there is a more linear distribution of power. This can be great for firmer courses or where more control is required, as you experience less wheelspin on a four-stroke dirt bike.

Two-stroke engines excel on the sand and loose courses or where out-and-out speed and agility are required. Riders moving from four-stroke to two-stroke for the first time are often invited to the ‘dark side’, and many never look back.

When considering bikes, it can be a case of finding a model that suits you. One example is a KTM two-stroke dirt bike, as some report, they are easier to control at lower speeds. Transversely, Yamaha bikes, for example, are well known for being more challenging to use at lower speeds and beg to be ridden fast. Users report Yamaha can feel ‘on or off’ with a lag between the top and low end, making it harder to control on more technical trails. But it has excellent torque even at the top end of first gear and can be more fun.

More gear shifting is required with a 2 stroke dirt bike compared to four-stroke with closer ratios, meaning you can’t linger in each gear for the durations like you may be able to with a four-stroke.

I want to buy a 2 stroke dirt bike. What do I need to know?

Firstly you should consider your own riding experience and the kinds of riding you intend to do with your new two-stroke dirt bike. Your choice will depend on your riding style and ability.

There pros and cons when choosing from a two-stroke dirt bike manufacturer. Similarly, you need to think about which cc class you should purchase.

If you are an experienced rider, for example, having ridden a 250cc four-stroke, a 250cc two-stroke may be a shock to the system although manageable within a few rides.

If you’ve decided two-stroke is for you, next, consider the terrain you ride most. Most 2 stroke dirt bike manufacturers offer motocross and offroad versions of the same dirt bike. With a whole host of models and manufacturers available, you should aim to try before you buy. Many showrooms and second-hand sellers should offer you this option before making a purchase.

Are 2 stroke dirt bikes good for beginners?

Yes and no. The benefits are that if you start with a two-stroke dirt bike, you’ll be immediately accustomed to the acceleration and handling style and able to control the throttle from the outset.

But, with the more snatchy nature and potential whiskey throttle of a two-stroke dirt bike, this could cause looping or tip-overs for less confident riders. This could mean two-stroke dirt bikes are harder for newer or youth riders. The solution here is to buy a lower cc bike than your ego is telling you you need. If you are looking at a 250cc, maybe try a 125cc/150cc instead. Trust us when we say, you will have more fun riding harder on a smaller engine, then you will battling to stay on a bigger two-stroke.

Similarly, there is a limited range of dirt bikes available in the beginner two-stroke category, but this is changing all the time. Newer models are available each year with the resurgence of two-stroke dirt biking. You’ll find the best beginner two-stroke bikes available in our buying guide, later in this article.

With four-stroke dirt bikes, for more linear throttle response, there are more market options for beginner four-stroke dirt bikes than a two-stroke, but that’s not why you’re here.

It’s also worth considering that two-stroke dirt bikes for beginners are lighter and can be more suited to people of a smaller build. A lighter bike is more comfortable to transport, to lift and to wheel and therefore to control. Plus a higher power to weight ratio means it will be quicker and, let’s face it that means more fun.

Are two-stroke dirt bikes more powerful than four-stroke dirt bikes?

To answer the question, yes, the two-stroke dirt bike engine effectively produces twice the power of an equivalent displacement four-stroke dirt bike. Plus a lighter engine means a higher power to weight ratio. You also feel that power more quickly and responsively. A four-stroke dirt bike has more torque at lower RPM, which is excellent for trundling along through trails and the technical terrain. A two-stroke dirt bike has more torque at higher RPM, which is suited for speedier terrain, woods, jumps, and boulders where instant power is required.

There is added power from that iconic fat, bulging pipe on the two-stroke dirt bike. This pipe is designed to reverberate sound waves, sending them back to the engine.

For a brief moment, this pipe forces exhaust back inside the cylinder, creating a supercharger effect. It is here that the ‘on pipe’ power band can be felt. For inexperienced riders, being ‘on the pipe’ delivers an insane amount of raw power instantaneously, which can be off-putting (or great fun).

Which is best for me – a two-stroke dirt bike or four-stroke dirt bike?

This depends on several things. You may wish to consider your overall budget to purchase and maintain your dirt bike. Next consider your riding style, your intentions, and your attitude.

If you like the idea of less initial outlay and less money on parts, a two-stroke is for you. If you want to ride fast, loose, rough terrain, or motocross style, a two-stroke dirt bike will be for you.

If you prefer something more modest with more control and are happy with the potential for expensive parts and more service costs in the long run, then a four-stroke could be for you.

You should consider your preference for noise levels too. Some two-stroke dirt bikes can be twice as loud as a similar four-stroke dirt bike, but some may prefer that trademark ying-ying. And let’s be honest. The smell of two-stroke is heaven.

Meanwhile, motocross four-stroke engines have a louder and deeper grunt than a motocross two-stroke engine. Still, cross-country four-stroke dirt bike engines can be much quieter than two-stroke equivalents. This may be handy if you are dealing with local authorities, residents committees and anti-dirt bike campaigners!

When it comes to attitude, if you know your riding style will match a two-stroke and prefer something more fun and zesty, the two-stroke bike could be the one. Two-stroke dirt bikes are also great for those of you who like to tinker and take things apart, which leads us nicely to our next point.

Are two-stroke dirt bikes easy to maintain?

Yes. That would be the shorter answer. The longer answer is that cleaning a two-stroke engine is far more manageable. However, the heat and faster-moving parts in a two-stroke dirt bike engine can cause more frequent repairs than a four-stroke engine.

The trade-off here is that parts are cheaper for two-stroke dirt bikes.

The mix of fuel and oil and fewer parts doing all the work also contribute to more maintenance and repairs in a two-stroke engine. In contrast, a four-stroke engine has more moving parts and a dedicated lubricant, meaning far less everyday wear and tear.

Four-stroke engines can, therefore, last much longer than two-stroke, depending on riding style. When a four-stroke does need a big service, things can add up though. There are far more complex parts and more of them.

If you have a garage or shop and are into stripping bikes back, cleaning and reassembly, two-stroke bikes are considered child’s play compared to a four-stroke dirt bike engine.

You also need to think about extra oil and spark plug expenses with two-stroke dirt bikes. Overall, the less initial outlay in first place for the purchase of a two-stroke dirt bike is a consideration here when crunching the numbers.

So if you’ve decided that a two-stroke dirt bike is the one, you may be wondering what market options are out there. Read on for our handy guide that lists the best two-stroke dirt bike market options available in 2023. You’ll find a range of reputed brands with an engine displacement to suit every riding style and experience level.

2 Stroke Dirt Bike Summary 

Two Strokes may still be considered to be the choice of purists. With MotoGP looking to re-introduce two-strokes and the 2023 motocross season looking to have a higher number of two-strokes than in recent years, it could be a seminal year. Motocross Advice love two-strokes. If you have chosen to ride one, we wish you every success with it. Share the love, and spread the word. Two strokes are back-in fact, they never really went away. 

Have fun out there!


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