Best 250cc Dirt Bikes For Beginner & Pro Riders
In today’s world of motor sports, dirt bikes are particularly diverse with models and capacities for all enthusiasts. Such a rich variety is motivated by the ever-increasing number of dirt bike lovers who love to ride off-road. As a matter of fact, dirt bikes are extremely satisfying and offer a high level of contentment when it comes to the challenging and diverse routes they cover.
These bikes have numerous technical highlights; they feature extremely long suspension travel, are super-lightweight, and do not require any kind of legal registration while riding in the dirt park.
However, there are some dirt bikes that stand out from all the other bikes in the market because of their unique characteristics that make them almost collector’s items.
Yes, we are talking about the 250cc dirt bike segment!
They are superlight, agile, powerful, economical, easy to maintain, and are loved by both beginners as well as experienced riders.
So, let us take a look at some of the best dirt bikes we have in the market lately to cater the 250cc segment.
Best 250cc Dirt Bikes
Honda CRF 250R
With the new DOHC engine and a new chassis, Honda has once again made the CRF 250R truly capable of dominating the 250cc class. This upgraded model bears a real innovation in terms of weight and handling, courtesy of the HRC team! Owing to its thinner bars and a revised profile, Honda has managed to save more than a kilogram in weight.
Moving on to the suspension, nothing is omitted from the 49 mm USD fork from Showa, which incidentally are derived from the HRC GP riders’ factory model. Thanks to a redesigned triple clamp and an extra 5 mm of suspension travel, this 250R offers near-perfect handling!
Of course, Honda has been providing the riders of CRF250R with electronic assists for quite some time now. Even in the new version, you will find ECU with special engine mapping for each gear. This mapping allows you to deliver optimal power as per your choice for each gear. There is also an electric starter on board as standard, together with the tried-and-tested HRC Launch Control.
With a capacity of 250 cc, the engine has been completely overhauled all the way from the cylinder head to the transmission, thus yielding an increase in power output of 10% and likewise, an increase of around 15% in torque output. The thermal system is made more efficient by new radiators, while the clutch now has nine discs and the transmission, which is easier to shift, features optimized gear ratios.
A more compactly designed seat and new plastic parts increase freedom of movement. At the same time, a new single muffler replaces the twin mufflers on the new CRF 250R. One can definitely feel this increase in output and the difference in ergonomics from its predecessors. This difference, makes the CRF250R the most powerful 4-stroke dirt bike in the 250cc class, in our opinion.
Yamaha YZ 250F
An all-new engine with electric starter and lithium-ion battery, new cylinder head, new flat forged piston, improved camshaft design, bigger clutch and much more has been introduced on the latest YZ 250F model from Yamaha.
Although, the engine remains in its backward-inclined layout, however, the angle of inclination has been reduced. At the same time, some lighter components are added to the throttle body, while the fuel injector has also been modified (Mikuni® fuel injection, 44mm).
The bottom line is that the new Yamaha YZ 250 F will thus offer even more power in the mid and upper power ranges, along with an improved center of gravity.
As for the redesigned airbox, its intake funnel has been removed and its length has been shortened by 20 mm in order to create a more direct path for the incoming air. One other significant change is the use of a new air filter housing cover that is mounted on the front of the seat. Using redesigned intake ducts, this new cover increases air intake volume to deliver even stronger performance at high RPMs.
Added to all these upgraded features is the innovative Yamaha power tuner app. This easy-to-use digital app allows riders to adjust the dynamics of their bike’s engine to suit the course and prevailing weather conditions simply with the help of their smartphones. It is available as a free app for iOS or Android devices and can be downloaded from the app store. Post which, riders can connect to the YZ250F via the bike’s Wi-Fi interface.
Tweaks to fuel injection and ignition timing can also be made via the bike’s dedicated CCU (Communication Control Unit). Moreover, riders can also create and save their own settings using the app.
KTM 250 SX-F
With power and performance like no other, the KTM 250 SX-F is one of the best dirt bikes in its class. With its compact design, excellent mass centralization and extremely low weight of just 98 kilograms, the new KTM 250 SX-F is the absolute powerhouse in the 250 cm³ 4-stroke category.
And while the performance characteristics are extremely striking, it is still easy to ride for both beginners as well as professional riders.
Designed to deliver the highest and most robust quality, the KTM 250 SX-F’s chassis is fabricated from robot-welded hydroformed steel tubulars and additionally treated with a heavy-duty dust coat. This ensures that the frame responds well to the dynamic riding patterns that are customary in dirt bike riding.
At the same time, the seating concept is engineered to combine dynamism and comfort. Besides, the latest version is adorned in different colors based on the KTM factory production models.
Speaking about the engine; it is powered by a 249.9 cm³ single cylinder 4-stroke engine, which, by the way weighs just 25.9 kilograms, is capable of producing a maximum power output of 41.1 HP @ 13,700 RPM and a maximum torque of 25 NM @ 9,100 RPM.
As a tribute to KTM’s distinguished legacy in the moto cross world, the KTM SX range has been given a nostalgic makeover, combining the distinctive Red Bull KTM Factory Racing colors with an old-school inspired design. A brand-new blue seat and orange frame completes this aesthetically impressive package.
Husqvarna FC 250
There are a lot of riders who will give Husqvarna a pass as they feel that it is just a white KTM. While there are elements of truth to this, but there are significant differences as well.
First of all, there are components that Husqvarna uses for example: high-quality rims from Japanese D.I.D, ProTaper handlebars, and an integrated subframe that makes it easy to use. The upgraded model comes with a slightly lower suspension as well, making it quite simple for less experienced riders, who have just entered the world of dirt biking.
In fact, seasoned riders also love this lowered seat height, since it gets much easier to corner and perform variety of stunts.
Apparently, the engineers at Husqvarna chose their own path while designing the chassis. With its high front and low rear, this setup, which is particularly popular in the U.S., has also been adopted in the regular series of Huskies. This setup’s key advantages include; excellent traction and smooth directional stability, something that the blue and white crossers also benefit on the very rough dirt track.
The FC 250 thrusts effortlessly and precisely through the corners and remains steady on its course even on sharp ridges. However, there is one downside to this American styled dirt bike; these Huskies are not as agile on hard and slippery trails as their orange siblings.
But that is by no means as bad as it sounds. By increasing the rear spring preload and pushing the fork legs further into the triple clamps, you can restore the original cross bike feel!
While the history of the Suzuki RM-Z 250 began in 2004, a revised model featuring Suzuki’s first electronic fuel injection on a four-stroke 250cc motocross machine was first introduced in 2010, and the Suzuki Holeshot Assist Control (SHAC) was subsequently introduced in 2016. The engine and its frame also received overhauls between this period. However, the latest RM-Z 250 that features a 249cc 4-stroke single cylinder DOHC engine, has been completely redesigned this year.
Running in at low-to-medium power range, the Suzuki RM-Z250 is one of the easiest dirt bikes to ride. It maxes out well under 8,000 RPM, so there’s no point in getting it past its peak of 11,600 RPM. In fact, its power is readily available at low RPM’s while still being reasonably smooth till 8,000 RPM. This relaxed disposition makes it perfect for younger riders who are simply not ready for the fiery 14,000 RPM’s of KTM’s SX-F 250 or the Husqvarna’s FC 250.
Featuring a lightweight chassis, improved frame, upgraded forks and shocks, as well as a redesigned handlebar, the new RM-Z 250 is now even more responsive than its previous model. As for the frame, a change has been made to a polygonal tubular profile. The new swing arm is no longer made using drop forging process, but a hydroforming process, eliminating any welded seams.
In addition, the positioning of the engine has been adjusted to be closer to the center of the chassis. Naturally, all these small details are not immediately apparent to a rider, but all together they make the RM-Z250 more agile and easy-to-ride dirt bike.
Honda CRF 250L
When you think of an economical and easy to ride 250cc dirt bike, then at first glance, the CRF 250L may look like an average underpowered enduro offering an air-cooled engine and features that don’t match the characteristics of today’s bikes. You couldn’t be more mistaken!
This little single-cylinder four stroke dirt bike from Honda will amaze you from the very first ride. In fact, its modern and dynamic design is inspired by the new line of its racing sisters, which have immensely fascinated off-road enthusiasts all over the world.
The robust and solid body panel is integrated into a single unit that starts from the front fender and ends on the rear brake light. On the right, there are small flanks that cover the long exhaust tailpipe, while on the left, there is a small airtight glove compartment that is secured by a key lock which houses small tool kit.
The seat is designed to complement the shape of the body panels and ends just before the 8-litre fuel tank cap, which is chrome-plated and equipped with a lock. A digital instrument cluster is located at the center of the handlebars, that indicates the speed, fuel level, time, and consumption.
The core of the Honda CRF 250L is a compact 249.6cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine, identical to the one used on the Honda CBR 250, except that it has been downsized by about 3 HP to facilitate off-road use. Its maximum output is 25 HP @ 8,500 RPM.
Using this engine, which is equipped with a Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT), the company has adopted for the first time in off road segment, a new-generation of crankshaft that incorporates a metal bearing (half-split, press-fit) for the crank journal.
To sum up; the Honda CRF 250L is a versatile and easy to use dirt bike, which allows you to embark on an adventure without bleeding your wallet dry.
KTM 250 XC-F
With seamlessly smooth performance from low to high end, the KTM 250 XC-F’s engine offers a solid, consistent power delivery. This engine has quite good lows, a powerful middle, and excellent highs. No doubt, it could use a little more down-hill power, especially for challenging off-roading, however, the Brembo hydraulic clutch allows you to keep the engine constantly cranked by adjusting the traction with the clutch.
On the fast sections and the cross-country track, the KTM 250 XC-F’s traction is superb, delivering a smooth, linear, and controlled acceleration all the way to the end.
It has a six-speed box from Pankl Racing Systems with closely spaced gears. The gear shifts smoothly and works well on both off-road and cross-country trails. While first gear works on difficult off-road terrain, second and third gears work wonders on flat trails.
There are many changes in the recent version similar to the SXF. It has a much larger gas tank with a capacity of approx. 8.5 liters, hand guards are standard, off-road tires, 260mm and 220mm front and rear brake disc diameter, double-cradle-type frame design, 950mm seat height, 6-speed transmission, and finally 310mm and 300mm front and rear suspension travel.
Speaking of the engine, it has a 249.9cc single cylinder 4-stroke engine that uses a multi-disc DS clutch and Brembo hydraulics along with an electric starter.
All in all, KTM 250 XC-F is the ultimate off-road bike. It is great on high speed enduro trails and on moderately challenging cross-country trails. So, if you need a dirt bike for both cross and enduro, the KTM 250 XC-F is a great choice, particularly considering the versatility of the six-speed gearbox.
In recent years, whilst the competition was getting stronger in every respect, things seemed relatively quiet around the KX, which was once the most powerful bike in its class. With the introduction of the recent model, things are again shifting towards the Kawasaki, thanks to its revamped engine.
The KX250 has been thoroughly redesigned for this year. With new brakes, a revised suspension, reengineered chassis and, needless to say, a new engine with a 3.3 HP increase in peak power, the KX250 is the ultimate in Kawasaki’s MX generation.
Completely redesigned are the cylinder head, pistons, and the entire intake system. They now use variable valve actuation (VVA) technology, where a high lift lever engages with the high lift cam but simply oscillates freely. This enables higher speeds and more aggressive timing. The further increase in engine power by 3 HP may not sound overwhelming, however, it should be borne in mind that these are rather sophisticated racing machines, with performance gains of approx. 7%.
This updated Kawasaki engine made the KX250 more powerful across the rev spectrum. So, it revs more farther, offers more peak power, and also improves its low-end performance.
Now this engine has the potential to be characterized as a pure racing engine, since it rides just like a two-stroke 125cc engine. In fact, in order to get the most out of your KX250, you have to rev the engine all the way to peak. But not to worry, as it won’t take long to get there. Thanks, to its light weight (102 kilograms), it speeds through the midrange to get to its sweet spot of high RPMs. All you have to do is be prepared for it!
The all-new WR250F makes Yamaha the first manufacturer to offer a true competitive enduro in the four-stroke class with a 250cc displacement. In doing so, Yamaha has not simply reduced the displacement of any existing 450cc engine, rather a new state-of-the-art powerpack was engineered.
The liquid-cooled single cylinder engine has been configured to have a very short stroke: Bore & Stroke are just 77.0mm & 53.6mm respectively.
It is supported by a countershaft, which keeps the momentum in check, allowing engine revs of up to 12,500 RPM, post which the limiter kicks in. Moreover, the throttle is controlled by five ultra-lightweight titanium valves.
A 44mm Mikuni® throttle body fed by a high-pressure electric pump ensures optimal fuel atomization and power for a wide range of riding styles and conditions.
It is common know-how in the world of dirt biking that sometimes less power is actually better than an overwhelmingly strong engine. This 36 Horse powered bike will thus be abundant for any type of racing.
One can easily steer past through any kind of damp track or slippery mud, which is typical in dirt bike sports, making it ideal for almost all the riders out there looking for a 250cc displacement dirt bike.
Husqvarna introduced the latest TE250i range and added yet another milestone to its history of two-stroke engines. This new generation dirt bike is equipped with an advanced fuel injection system that delivers exceptional performance, controllability, efficiency, and comfort.
The brand-new TE 250i represents a bold new step by Husqvarna Motorcycles towards the future of off-road motorcycling.
Utilizing the experience gained through competing in top-tier racing competitions, as well as through its continuous research and development, the engineers at Husqvarna have created the new TE 250i that live up to the brand’s promise to deliver premium motorcycles across the entire range.
Husqvarna’s innovative fuel injection system is based on an innovative engine technology which revolutionizes the two-stroke enduro motorcycle sector. Using a pair of petrol injectors, this sophisticated new system delivers a precise amount of fuel at all times and in all riding conditions. This allows, in addition to a significant reduction in terms of consumption and emissions, a smooth and regular power distribution.
Another new feature is the Magura front and rear braking system, which guarantees optimal responsiveness and a smooth feel along with the highest levels of performance.
To top it all, the new handlebars from ProTaper, are unmatched in terms of functionality and style, and have exceptional strength with the minimum possible weight.
So, these were the current 250cc displacement dirt bikes that are currently trending in the market. We try to update this list every now and then to keep up with the current and upcoming trend.
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