Best Dirt Bikes For Short Riders
Short riders often have a hard time finding the right sized dirt bike, just like tall riders. After all, not everyone in this world measures exactly the way dirt bike manufacturers want them to. And unfortunately, a rider with normal stature will never understand the issues a short rider usually faces while riding. Besides, suggestions like “tip-toeing” or “aftermarket seats” are quite common from “experts”.
While we do not disagree, we do not completely agree either. And yes, we can change our seats or wear custom boots that add to our height, but such modifications often accompany a lot of discomfort.
But what if we told you that there are few dirt bikes that are not as huge and will help you, as a beginner, gain enough confidence to overcome this fear. And what if we told you that these dirt bikes perform just as well as any other mid-range dirt bikes?
Yes, you read that right. Today, we are going to share some of our top recommended dirt bikes that are ideal for any beginner or intermediate rider struggling due to his/her low inseam length. So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the point.
5 Best Dirt Bikes For Short Riders
The first bike in our list is great for both teenagers as well as short riders, owing to its 29.1-inch seat height, which, by the way, is the lowest in the 125cc dirt bike segment.
Honda’s CRF125F comes equipped with a 125cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke, 2-valve SOHC engine and a four-speed manual clutch, making it a great beginner’s bike as well as a transitional bike for riders switching from small displacement engines.
The most recent upgrades include Honda’s new programmed fuel injection system with 22-mm throttle body. In other words, this 125cc dirt bike offers smoother acceleration, which ultimately makes it easier to handle – particularly great for short beginners who have yet to learn the ropes of controlling their dirt bikes.
Furthermore, thanks to the fuel injectors, riders no longer need to pull the choke or adjust the idle, rendering the bike very practical for winter storage.
But that is just half the story: In fact, the CRF125F is built to be strong, sturdy and durable.
Speaking of the frame: Honda took inspiration from the legendary 450R and designed an almost identical twin-spar frame for the latest 125F, which boasts nearly the same styling and functionality.
In addition, Honda has also updated the exhaust pipe design for improved airflow. The suspension has also been upgraded, and now features telescopic fork and Pro-Link® single-shock with up to 5.2 inches of travel at the front and 5.5 inches at the rear.
When it comes to transmission, the CRF125F has a very low first gear, which is really good for any beginner rider. Moreover, the bike can store around 1 gallons of fuel along with another 0.2 gallons for reserve.
It also sports new 220mm hydraulic disc brakes up front that dissipates heat faster, making them more durable and long-lasting. Plus, the front disc rotor is drilled for lightness and better wet-weather performance.
Along with that, it has a new easy-close gas cap that gives a click sound upon closure to indicate it’s status. That way, you can be assured that it is secured properly and won’t vibrate while riding. Moreover, as soon as the engine starts, the rider can monitor the LED indicator lights for ignition and fuel. Plus, these lights indicate if the engine is up and running or if there is an issue.
Do note, this is the standard version in the 125cc segment. And Honda also offers a version with larger wheels if you prefer a slightly taller seat height. The standard version has a 17-inch front rim and a 14-inch rear rim, while the larger-wheeled version has a 19-inch front rim and a 16-inch rear rim. As for the saddle height, the big-wheel version has a seat height of 30.9 inches, which is 1.8 inches more than the standard version.
So, any rider who is about 5′ tall can easily ride the standard version and any rider more than 5′3″ can easily ride the big wheeled version.
All in all, the new CRF125F makes it easier to get going, regardless of rider’s skill level or inseam length.
Base price: $3,249
- Engine: 124.9cc air-cooled 1-cylinder 4-stroke
- Transmission: 4-speed
- Fuel system: Fuel-injection, 22mm throttle bore
- Front suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 5.2 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Pro-Link® single-shock; 5.5 inches of travel
- Curb weight: 194 lb.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.0 gal.
- Seat height: 29.1 inches
The second-best dirt bike for short riders is actually the last model in the “F” series of Honda’s line-up after the 50cc, 110cc and 125cc versions.
Now, you might be wondering what this last letter indicates and what is its significance. So, in case of CRF250F, the “F” stands for regular family models that do not offer a ton of performance but instead they offer an ease of riding as well as maintenance. Plus, they come with a much more economical price tag.
From a technical point of view, you do not have options to choose from with this bike, such as the version with Big Wheels or the Limited Edition. But in case you prefer something along these lines, you have a choice of other CRF250 models, though the “F” will be replaced with an “R” or an “RX”. And do keep in mind, that these R & RX versions, while undoubtedly are more race-oriented, have a high saddle height. And that was our primary reason for shortlisting the CRF250F over the 250R or 250RX.
Speaking of features, this year the 250F comes with updated graphics and plastics to complement Honda’s racing series.
As for the chassis, it features a sturdy tubular-steel twin-spar frame. The R series still goes with an aluminum frame, which is why the 250F weighs more (265 pounds) than the 250R (229 pounds) and 250RX (238 pounds).
As for the engine and drivetrain, the CRF250F features a 250cc single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled engine with a single overhead cam (SOHC) and four-valve setup. This engine, with a compression ratio of 9.6:1, boasts a power output of about 23 HP, which frankly is quite impressive!
As for the suspension, up front you get a non-adjustable 41mm telescopic Showa fork that offers 8.5 inches of travel. At the rear, however, a Pro-Link® Showa shock with adjustable spring preload is provided that offers about 9.0 inches of travel.
And while the seat is positioned at 34.8 inches from the ground, it offers 11.3 inches of ground clearance, which helps in its overall maneuverability.
But that’s not all: unlike the other “F” series dirt bikes, CRF250F features a 240mm brake disc with a two-piston caliper up front and a 220mm brake disc with a single-piston caliper at the rear. So, you have enough braking power to handle any situation, come what may.
And to ensure maximum traction as well as control, the bike incorporates a 21-inch wheel at the front wrapped by a 80/100 tire. Likewise, at the rear, you get a 18-inch wheel that is wrapped around by a 100/100 tire. Moreover, this rim size gives the rider a wide range of tire choices in case they wish to upgrade from the standard ones.
Finally, coming to the most important part, which is comfort – the seating position of CRF250F allows rider to move in all the directions with absolute ease. This is all due to the long motocross-styled seat, which helps in navigating through the terrain in utmost comfort.
All in all, a great bike for short, intermediate riders who are looking for a moderately powered dirt bike.
Base price: $4,749
- Engine: 249cc air-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Fuel system: Fuel-injection, 34mm throttle bore
- Front suspension: 41mm telescopic fork
- Rear suspension: Pro-Link® Showa single shock with spring-preload adjustability
- Curb weight: 265 lb.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.6 gal.
- Seat height: 34.8 inches
Yamaha TTR 110E
We all know that Yamaha is known for making some of the most versatile dirt bikes to suit every riding style and segment. So, be it an entry level rider or a professional motocross racer, Yamaha has got something for everyone. In fact, if you were to ask a professional motocross racer about his first dirt bike, he would probably answer with a Yamaha!
Speaking of the Yamaha TTR 110E, it was first introduced in 2008 and to everyone’s amazement is still in huge production. So, a good thing about going with this option is the abundance of spare parts in the market. Besides, the chance of finding a used one is very high, as it is very popular. So, it is a win-win in all situations.
As for the engine, this bike is equipped with an air-cooled 110cc SOHC 4-stroke engine with dual valves that deliver a really smooth torque throughout the rev range. It is also complemented with a 4-speed transmission, with the first gear being quite low, thus allowing for more technical riding.
Yet another feature of this bike that you may find very handy as a beginner is the automatic clutch! So, if you are transitioning from a pit bike or a gearless bike, this TTR-110E will provide you with a real dirt bike feel.
Now let’s talk about as to who this bike is for in terms of size, which probably is the biggest factor you need to consider as a shorter rider. The TTR-110E sports an extremely low saddle height, which is 26.4 inches off the ground! This means that a rider who measures around 4′7″ or more can easily place his or her feet on the ground.
In addition, the steel frame is connected to the steering head and swingarm in a straight line, while the engine is mounted at three points, which provides additional rigidity as well as optimal handling.
As for the suspension, up front you get a 31mm fork that incorporates high-tech internals and damper valves to ensure excellent damping characteristics. While at the rear, you get a Monocross® rear suspension that allows 4.3 inches of travel.
Some other notable features include a push-button electric start for effortless engine starting, a side kick-starter, keyed ignition, cleated footpegs, and lastly team Yamaha inspired colors and graphics that give the bike a pro look.
That being said, there are a few things you might want to know about these small displacement dirt bikes. The carburetor jets on these small displacement dirt bikes are really small. So, if you store your bike for a very long time, such as during the winters, it could be very difficult to get them back in working order. In other words, if you choose this model, you should know how to winterize your motorcycle.
Base price: $2,299
- Engine: 110cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves
- Transmission: 4-speed
- Fuel system: Mikuni® VM16 carburetor
- Front suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 4.5-in travel
- Rear suspension: Monocross® shock; 4.3-in travel
- Wet weight: 159 lb.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.0 gal.
- Seat height: 26.4 inches
Yamaha TTR 125LE
Moving on to another dirt bike from Yamaha, we have the TTR 125LE. Now, this bike features a saddle height of 31.7 inches from the ground, so, it’s accessible to almost any short rider who usually struggles on a full-sized motocross bike.
And in case you are wondering what “LE” stands for; the “L” signifies Large or Big Wheels, with a 19-inch front and 16-inch rear tire, while the “E” signifies electric start button. So, with the TTR 125LE, you get big wheels, knobby tires, 11.6 inches of ground clearance, electric push start button and long travel suspension on both ends that makes it unbeatable on the trails.
Apart from the Big Wheel version, Yamaha actually had standard version of this bike as well which first came into production in the year 2000. This standard model had 17-inch front and 14-inch rear tire. Unfortunately, the standard version (TTR 125) was discontinued in 2009 and Yamaha decided to continue with only one model: TTR 125LE.
A good thing about TTR 125LE is that these are economically priced. So, for around $3,300 you can get this moderately powered bike as brand new. And in case you are low on budget, you can find a pretty sweet deal on any used bike store near you owing to the popularity of these bikes.
Coming to the specifications: the TTR-125LE is powered by a 124cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke powerplant that offers a broad range of power required in off-road trails.
This engine is further complemented by a 20mm Mikuni® carburetor that allows you to enjoy a crisp and dependable throttle response come what may.
Added to this is its ultra-smooth five-speed transmission that features heavy-duty clutch to offer maximum versatility to the riders. Plus, the first gear has 13 teeth at the front and 54 at the rear, making it pretty easy for beginners to learn dirt biking due to its low gearing.
Moreover, this low gearing also assists in technical riding to those who are looking to improve their riding abilities rather than participating in cross-country races.
Another advantage in case you are a learner is that this 125LE does not stall very easily. And even if you still managed to stall one, there is an electric start button to make it jump right away. And as a part of security feature, the TTR-125LE offers keyed ignition, that prevents any mishandling in case you happen to have any kids.
Coming to the suspension, at the front you get a 31mm telescopic fork with preload adjustability that offers around 7.1 inches of travel to ensure a comfortable ride through the trails. Whereas, at the back, you get a single rear shock with compression and rebound damping adjustability which in turn offers around 6.6 inches of travel for precise handling and control.
Additionally, you get a 1.6-gallon fuel tank, lightweight aluminum box-section swingarm, 220mm front disc brake, durable fork boots, large folding foot pegs, and team Yamaha-inspired colors and graphics all over the body.
And if you are wondering what height would be ideal to ride this bike; a rider measuring more than 5′3″ can easily place his feet on the ground post wearing motocross boots.
All-in-all, a great and versatile dirt bike for off-road riding that is both economical as well as beginner friendly.
Base price: $3,349
- Engine: 124cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Fuel system: Mikuni® VM20 carburetor
- Front suspension: 31mm telescopic fork
- Rear suspension: Single shock
- Wet weight: 198 lb.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.6 gal.
- Seat height: 31.7 inches
Our last recommendation would be the Kawasaki KLX 140R, sporting a seat height of 30.7 inches. So, just like Yamaha, Kawasaki is known for making great entry-level dirt bikes. As a matter of fact, KLX140R is a very popular recreational dirt bike for both grown-ups as well as youth riders, and has been for many, many years.
It was in 2008 when Kawasaki first decided to launch this motorcycle after discontinuing the popular KLX125. Following the launch, Kawasaki also introduced a big wheel variant (KLX140R-L), which featured a 19-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear wheel. Recently, Kawasaki also introduced a full-sized version (KLX140R-F) equipped with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel along with a seat height of 33.9 inches.
Getting back to the KLX140R, the brand recently decided to revamp its already class-leading dirt bike with some major upgrades. Thus, the new 140R features improved plastic parts, an electric start and a plush suspension to offer an amazing dirt experience.
Starting with the engine, it’s an air-cooled 144cc 4-stroke SOHC engine complemented by a 20mm Keihin carburetor to deliver smooth uniform torque throughout the rev range. In addition, this engine is accompanied by a 5-speed transmission that allows for effortless riding, thus making it ideal for trail blazing.
And since these dirt bikes are in production for almost a decade now, you will surely be able to find replacement parts pretty easily. Besides, just like the TTR 125LE, you can find a fairly good deal online in case you wish to buy a used one.
Coming to the suspension, the front end features a 33mm telescopic fork that provides about 7.1 inches of travel, while the rear end features a Uni-Trak® linkage system and a single shock with 5-way preload adjustment, again providing approximately 7.1 inches of travel.
One of the things we really liked about this bike is the use of disc brakes both at the front as well as rear. In fact, no other brand offers disc brakes at the rear in this category. As such, up front there is a single 220mm disc with a dual-piston caliper, while at the rear, there is a 186mm petal disc with a single-piston caliper.
Not to forget the wide footpegs that provide a secure platform for your boots. Added to this is a soft, comfortable seat that lets you enjoy the ride all day long.
Lastly, a word about sizing: The KLX140R features a saddle height of 30.7 inches. So, a rider measuring around 5′2″ or more can easily hop on this bike.
Altogether, the KLX140R is a great mid-sized dirt bike that offers a low seat height and yet behaves like a full-sized motocross.
Base price: $3,449
- Engine: 144cc 4-stroke single, SOHC, air-cooled
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Fuel system: 20mm Keihin carburetor
- Front suspension: 33mm telescopic fork
- Rear suspension: Uni-Trak® linkage system and single shock
- Curb weight: 205 lb.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.5 gal.
- Seat height: 30.7 inches
We hope that you have found the answer you were looking for. But before we conclude, we would like to remind you about the three most important things that should be kept in mind. First, decide what type of activity you want to pursue (trail biking or motocross). Second, analyze your riding ability and be honest with yourself. Finally, measure your inseam length against the seat height of the bike under consideration. These three factors will help you choose the ideal dirt bike, and if you are reading this, you are most likely either a beginner or an intermediate rider. If so, it’s best to stick with our recommendations. Have fun riding!