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Best Dirt Bike Brands 2023

Here at Motocross Advice, we spend a lot of time looking at which gear to buy. The top dirt bike brands for 2023 are in, and we’re ready to name names. The first decision any rider needs to make is what dirt bike brand they will be riding. Motorcyclists are passionate people, whether they are riding on dirt bike track, on-road or off-road. Most of us will often remain faithful to a popular dirt bikes or MX brand for many years once we have decided which colours we will be wearing. You may be asking yourself, “what are the best dirt biking brands around today?” Without further delay, TeamMA is here to give you our best dirt bike brands for riders in 2023!

Martin Varrand riding with his Husqvarna FC350 2023 in Estonia.

Below you’ll find the top 6 best dirt bike brands that impress us most for the coming year. Easily learn a little about brand history, as well as an overview of each manufacturers range and how every brand compares in our popular dirt bike brands battle tables. While it’s hard to pick just one best dirtbike, a brand can offer many fun options to choose from. If you’re a seasoned rider, this article is an opportunity to see how your favourite brand stacks up. If you’re new to motocross, you may feel more confident on which colors you’ll wear by the end of the article. Either way,

Welcome to TeamMA’s Battle of the Best Dirt Bike Brands 2023!

1. Best Dirt Bike Brands 2023 – KTM

KTM 450 SX-F 2023 Best Dirt Bike Brand

KTM is one of the big players in off-road motorcycle manufacturing. Their popular dirt bike brand is at the forefront of motocross, enduro and adventure riding, and this versatility puts them as the top three dirt bike manufacturer company on our list. KTM was founded back in 1954 in Austria, and dirt bikes have been their bread and butter ever since.

Success is the benchmark of competitive sports. You are doing something right if you are regularly winning, and KTM has seen their top dirt bikes winning races consistently. There was a period 30+ years ago where reliability came under scrutiny, but in 1992 the company took steps to re-evaluate. With significant changes in the board room and on the factory floor, KTM reimagined their place on the world stage.

KTM has over 200 dirt bike titles to their name, as well as 18 consecutive wins at the Paris Dakar. This includes over 220 stage wins cumulatively. KTM dominates the industry with over twice the number of stage wins than their nearest rival, Yamaha. With Cooper Webb’s 2021 AMA Supercross 450 Championship win, and Jeffrey Herlings’ World Championship MX1 win with the KTM 450cc dirt bike, it’s no wonder KTM is considered one of the best motocross bikes. In 2023 we see new riders, like Aaron Plessinger and Tom Vialle riding KTM in AMA series. In Europe they have upped the ante with young stars lining up like Liam Everts, Sacha Coenen, Andrea Adamo. It’s safe to say that reliability is no longer an issue for these Austrian heavyweights.

Why we chose KTM

From their vibrant orange brand colour, to the “Ready to race” slogan it champions, KTM means business. For that reason, KTM remains one of our top dirt bike manufacturers for 2023. The dirt bikes look aggressive, ride superbly, and are ruggedly built from the ground up. Their whole range is designed with competitive trail riding in mind, and they produce some of the best dirt bikes around. You will likely be a convert for many years to come if you start riding on a KTM dirt bike.

Motocross Advice Battle of the brand’s table KTM:

Company slogan: Ready to Race

Primary Colour: Orange

Number of AMA wins (1999 to 2023): 9

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 18 | (Consecutive) 2001 to 2019 / 222 Stage Wins

Bikes available four stroke (by cc): 250cc / 350cc / 450cc / 500cc

Bikes available two stroke (by cc): 50cc / 65cc / 85cc /125cc / 150cc / 250cc / 300cc

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior and motocross bike motocross

Electric dirt bike models: Two – KTM Freeride E Electric Dirt Bike

2. TOP Dirt Bike Brands 2023 – Yamaha

Yamaha YZ450F 2023 Best Dirt Bike Brands

Yamaha Motorcycles is a subsidiary of the original Yamaha corporation, founded by Torakusu Yamaha. He was obsessed with tweaking motorcycle technology of the time, and subsequently took up watchmaking to understand it better. Torakusu ended up inventing the tuning fork as a way of adjusting the western instruments his company was building for the Japanese market. The tuning forks are still present in Yamaha’s logo to this day.

While Yamaha may have started out with musical instruments, they don’t skimp when it comes to tuning modern engines for road motorcycles. The very first bike off of the Yamaha production line was the 125cc YA-1, which was heavily influenced by the German DKW 125cc. The YA-1 proved competitive from the word go, and it ultimately won the 125cc class of the Japanese endurance road race in its debut year, taking first, second and third place.

The YA-1 went on to win in international competitions as well. Yamaha hit the mass-produced off-road dirt biking market in 1968 with its revolutionary two-stroke DT-1. Although Honda re-introduced two-stroke engines much later, the Yamaha DT-1 brought dirt bikes to a whole new audience.

Why we chose Yamaha

The early days of Yamaha are littered with copies of other top making dirt bikes, and a host of machines that didn’t make the cut. Despite this, Yamaha persevered until they became a top dirt bike brand. The company’s dedication to developing new and exciting products has never faltered. Who can possibly forget models like the Yamaha FS1E, DT125, RD250 and RD350 power valve? Although Yamaha dirt bikes has changed from their black & yellow roots since then, quality has clearly stayed consistent.

This persistence has paid off with the Yamaha Racing company dominating across many extreme sports. Featuring championship titles in MotoGP, powerboating and road racing, Yamaha has also made its mark in the world of dirt bikes. In fact, the numbers below may surprise you. Yamaha’s history of wins, in addition to Dylan Ferrandis winning both the Supercross & National championship in 2020, Eli Tomac dominating 2022 and 2023 Supercross are nothing less than spectacular! Among all dirt bike racing companies, Yamaha is a top contender.

TeamMA’s Battle of the Brands: Yamaha

Company slogan: Revs Your Heart

Colour: Blue for intelligence, Design and loyalty

(Although we prefer the Yellow and Black dirt bike design from past decades, this probably caused confusion with Suzuki Racing)

Number of AMA wins (1999 to 2023): 16 (Dylan Ferrandis wins both Supercross and National championship in 2020 and National championship in 2021, Justin Cooper won 250 Supercross Title, Eli Tomac wins both Supercross and Motocross in 2022 and Supercross in 2023)

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 9 Wins / 140 Stage Wins

New bikes available four-stroke (by cc): 250cc / 450cc

New bikes available two and four stroke engine, (by cc): 50cc / 65cc / 85cc / 125cc / 250cc /

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior motocross

Electric dirt bike models In Development

3. Battle of the Dirt Bike Brands 2023 – Kawasaki

Kawasaki KX450 2023 dirt bike

Kawasaki is yet another story of drive and determination. The Kawasaki Heavy Machinery company was formed in the late 1800s after company owner Shozo Kawasaki lost his only cargo ship. Having relied on western vessels for many decades, Shozo ultimately decided the best way forward was to build his own ships.

Kawasaki Motorcycles was formed in the early 1960s as a partnership with Meguro, and their first bike was a 250cc 4-stroke model. Kawasaki produced its first dirt bike in 1963, the 125cc B8M. By the 1970s, the KX racing brand was becoming a winning combination. The KX250F was actually a partnership between Suzuki and Kawasaki, and both versions featured identical running gear. The Kawasaki best brand dirt bike won the hearts of riders and fans alike.

Why we chose Kawasaki

Kawasaki has always been the bad boy of the big Japanese manufacturers. On the road, the world-famous Ninja is well known as the hooligan of the bunch. The KX is the Ninja’s twin when it comes to dirtbikes and features insane power bands, hyper-aggressive performance, and a host of wins to its name. As a result, the KX Racing brand got stuck in and held on tight. Ironically, that’s the perfect rider’s manual footnote for any Kawasaki dirt bike. Kawasaki has been especially strong among Amateurs in 85cc (Adam Cianciarulo being their all time star kid) and MX

Kawasaki dirt bikes are not the most reliable of the Japanese bikes, nor are they the best finish. They are badass though, and that’s why we’ve featured them as a best dirtbike. Besides, any good dirt bike that Ricky Carmichael can take to the finish line consistently deserves a place in our high quality dirt bike ranks. Although their slogan sounds too tame for the lunatic power Kawasaki provides, you’re guaranteed a wild ride on this green monster.

TeamMA’s Battle of the Brands: Kawasaki

Company slogan: Let the good times roll (not really fitting for such a lunatic machine)

Colour: Kawasaki green.

(Like it, or loathe it, Kawasaki Green = intimidation. The Green was explicitly chosen to divide! We love that).

Number of AMA wins (1999 to 2023): 26

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 1 Wins / 0 Stage Wins

New bikes available four stroke (by cc): 112cc/125cc L / 140cc / 230cc / 250cc / 300cc / 450cc

New bikes available two stroke (by cc): 65cc / 85cc / 100cc /

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior motocross

Electric dirt bike models In Development

4. Best Brands of Dirt Bike 2023 – Husqvarna

Husqvarna FC450 mx bike 2023

The fourth brand to earn a spot in our battle of the three dirt bike makers and bikes shoot-out used to make rifles. So how do they fare against the big guns of the dirt bike world?

Husqvarna has a fascinating back story. The Swedish company started out building rifles, and then switched to sewing machines as gun demand dwindled. Husqvarna diversified even further by 1903 when motorcycles made an appearance in their product lineup. Having strong links to the Swedish armed forces further drove development, and Husqvarna became involved in cross country races. It wasn’t long before they started winning.

Husqvarna FC350 dirt bike which belongs to Martin Varrand. The Motocross bike is in Estonia.

Husqvarna was eventually absorbed into the KTM group after a complex series of takeovers that included Italy’s Cagiva, and even BMW.

Why we chose Husqvarna

Although the new Husqvarna dirt bikes range is made in the same factory as KTM motorcycles, there are fundamental differences between these two best motocross bikes. The air-box and other components, like handlebars and brakes, are completely different. These subtle changes do cause some variation in ride and handling.

Husqvarna dirt bikes come with a powerful engine. This one here is 350cc, with a lot of horsepower.

“Husky” is back in the AMA championships, and their racing strategies and tactics are handled by a completely separate team. Said team is clearly efficient, since Zach Osborne won his first National 450 title as of 2020. In 2023 we see giants like Malcolm Stewart, R. J. Hampshire (in 250cc) and Christian Graig ripping the new dirt bike. These legends of off-road riding hold a special place in motocross racing and our collective history.

TeamMA’s Battle of the Brands: Husqvarna

Company slogan: Ready to race (which was actually adopted by KTM after the takeover).

Primary Colour: White

Number of AMA wins 1999 to 2023: 3 (Zach Osborne wins his first 450 National title in 2020)

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 0 Wins / 11 Stage Wins

New bikes available four stroke (by cc): 250cc / 300cc / 450cc / 501 cc

New bikes available two stroke (by cc): 50cc/ 65cc/ 85cc/ 125cc/ 150cc/ 250cc / 300 cc / 450 cc

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior motocross

Electric dirt bike models EE5 Fully adjustable for Junior and Adult use.

Martin Varrand in Lommel, Belgium - 2023 with his Husqvarna dirt bike

5. Battle of the Dirt Bike Brands 2023 – Honda

Honda CRF450 dirt bike brand 2023

Soichiro Honda learned all about two wheels in the workshop of his family’s bicycle repair business. He was a genuine petrol-head, fascinated by machinery and performance. In the early 1930s, Soichiro founded a company making piston rings for Toyota. Despite this achievement, the combination of a massive bombing during World War II and a severe earthquake in 1945 took a heavy toll. Selling what was left of his company to Toyota for $450,000, he founded the Honda Motor Company and rose from the ashes.

The first competitive Honda dirt bike was launched in the early 1970s. Always the master of innovation, Honda showed up at the four-stroke competition with a remarkable machine, a two-stroke dirt bike. Passion and complete focus have seen Honda’s best dirt bikes evolve and win races since their debut machine.

Why we chose Honda motocross bikes

Honda has always stood for excellence and innovation. What other manufacturers could have overturned Triumph and Harley Davidson in their home countries? With their best dirtbikes, Honda paved the way for many other Japanese manufacturers to follow. Their distinctive red bodywork, which represents excitement, passion and action, adorns all of their highly advanced dirt bikes. Honda set out to change the world and succeeded. In the process, Honda also came out with the heavyweight 4-stroke trail dirt bike – the CRF450RX. In 2023 Honda has absolutely dominated the AMA series while Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence and Jett Sexton have wiped the floor by winning everything there has to win.

TeamMA’s Battle of the Brands: Honda

Company slogan: The Power Of Dreams

Colour: Red

Number of AMA wins (1999 to 2023): 12 (Jett Lawrence 250 2021 Nationals, Chase Sexton 450 2023 Supercross, Jett Lawrence 450 2023 Nationals)

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 6 Wins / 87 Stage Wins

New bikes available four stroke (by cc): 50cc / 110cc / 125cc / 250cc / 450cc

New bikes available two-stroke (by cc): No Two-Stroke Bikes Available

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior motocross

Electric dirt bike models In Development (CR Electric)

6. Best Dirt Bike Brands 2023 – GasGas

GASGAS MC450F 2023 dirt bike brands

Spanish manufacturers GasGas were featured last year as one of our up-and-coming dirt bike companies to watch. Born from humble beginnings in the 1980s, GasGas has mainly been known for their trial dirt bikes. However, 2020 saw their reappearance in the competitive circuit with rally and enduro dirt bike teams, and moto greats AMA Rider Justin Barcia & Teddy Blazusiak are looking fresh in GasGas’ signature red gear.

While GasGas previously saw notoriety for their trials bikes and trail bikes, 2023 is looking even brighter. The entire GasGas top dirt bike range is fully updated and ready to roll for however you ride. For starters, three new dirt bikes have been added to the current lineup, along with an MC 85 for mini racers. These new additions include the 2-stroke MC 250, 4-stroke MC 350F and an EX 250 exclusively for US cross country fanatics.

Why we chose GasGas dirt bikes

It’s a serious feat to switch gears and put your all into something new, but that’s exactly what GasGas is up to. After being acquired by the KTM group in 2019, they began expanding their moto range to include more motocross, more enduro bikes and mini dirt bikes. In addition to new toys, the GasGas team entered their first season of motocross competition in 2020, and saw their first AMA Supercross win in 2021, further cementing them as a top dirt bike brand. GasGas looks to a reliable dirt bike brand to truly be diversifying into new and thrilling endeavors, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for them. In 2022 and 2023 GasGas has seriously improved both their bike and their line-up. Jorge Prado winning 2023 MXGP World Championship title on GasGas and Justin Barcia doing well over the seas.

TeamMA’s Battle of the Brands: GasGas

Company slogan: Gas Gas = Fast Fast

Colour: Red

Number of AMA wins (1999 to 2021): 0

Paris Dakar Wins (total): 0 wins / 0 stage wins

New bikes available four stroke (by cc): 250cc / 300cc / 350cc / 450cc

New bikes available two-stroke (by cc): 50cc / 65cc / 85cc / 125cc / 250cc / 300cc

Junior size dirt bikes available: 4 to 10-year-olds / 8 to 12-year-olds / Junior motocross

Electric dirt bike models In Development MC-E 5, balance bikes

What dirt biking brands are up and coming?

TeamMA always keeps an eye out for what’s on the horizon. For 2023, we’ve got our eyes on Fantic Motor. This Italian legend started out in 1968 with enduro motorcycles, go-karts and mini bikes. Today, they’ve expanded even further into electric bikes for all walks of life. We’re most excited for their steady line of both 2 and 4-stroke Fantic dirt bikes. New competitors are always exciting, and we think Fantic could be the next big thing.

So much of what drives motocross and dirt bike scene is speed and innovation. If you’re looking for the most powerful dirt bikes on the planet, check out our review of the fastest dirt bikes.

If you find yourself wanting the specifics on what is the best dirt bike, you won’t have to wait very long. Over the coming months we will be drilling down deeper into the top quality dirt bikes, from these standout brands with more detailed reviews. Until next time, have fun out there!


This Article Has 12 Comments
  1. J0802 Reply

    Seems like basing the championship section on Dakar only is a bit misleading. I’m not sure Dakar is a moto focused event with true factory support for all brands. Seems like having stats from Enduro, Harescrambles, Motocross and Supercross would be more telling. Just Dakar feels a bit specialized.

    • Martin

      Thank you for your comment!
      Main thing we are basing the championship section is still AMA wins in the past 21 years (1999 – 2020).

  2. Crue Reply

    What about beta?

    • Martin Varrand

      Beta is gaining its position fast every year, they are included in our off-road bike reviews.

  3. Riley Loftin Reply

    What’s the best for a 12 year old kid 5 foot 3 or 4 and around 100 pounds

    • Martin Varrand

      It really depends where your kid feels more comfortable. I have another article about the best dirt bikes for kids, it has an ultimate list in there. I’d choose few and god to local reseller and try to find the best fit.

    • Quinn Collins

      Kx100, like the 85’s but with more power and larger wheels making it large enough for most. Unless you want to jump to full size…

  4. Chase Morris Reply

    I disagree honda #1 ktm #2 yamaha #3 husqavarna #4 gasgas #5 kawasaki #6. dang i might even put beta in front of kawasaki.

  5. James Frnklin Becensburng Reply

    I disagree hond, kawasaki, ktm, then gas gas and every thing else isn’t that good. dose anyone know about Kayo dirt bikes?

  6. Anantajit Reply

    what size KTM is good for a 5,8 12 year old boy?

    • Martin Varrand

      5,8 foot – am I correct?
      You have a big 12-year old.
      I would go with KTM 85cc, big wheels.

  7. Nigel Gomez Reply

    I am a big and tall rider and just watched a shootout on these bikes for riders 220lbs and YZ450 & KX450 took #1 and #2. I don’t want to spend a grand getting suspension done so I will probably go with KX since I can buy a new one for $6400+ destination and tax, right now in loally.

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