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10 Best Dirt Bike Brands (Most Reliable, But Affordable Options)

Off-road and trail riding adventures, even competitions, have become popular through the years. For this reason, you’ll find several dirt bike brands in the market. You surely will never run out of options, from the most affordable to the most popular brands.

So, what are the most reliable dirt bike brands? Based on reviews from experts and enthusiasts, the best choices for new and used dirt bikes are GASGAS, Maico, KTM, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda. For those looking for used USA-made dirt bikes, ATK and Alta are excellent options.

While your choices have been narrowed down, let’s have a detailed look at each brand so you can have an idea of why their dirt bikes are reliable. This way, it would be easier for you to narrow down your options further and pick a dirt bike from the brand of your choice.

Riding Dirt Bike Through Fog

8 Reliable and Affordable Dirt Bike Brands

These seven brands, arranged from good to best, have carefully designed and produced dirt bikes from the inside out for years. Hence, it isn’t surprising for them to be among the most trusted in the industry.


Established in 1985, GASGAS has been under the PIERER Mobility AG for several years. It surely won’t disappoint you when it comes to dirt bike options.

It has various offerings, from motocross to dual-sport units and enduro to cross-country dirt bikes. GASGAS even offers electric motorcycles!

Plus, each of the Spanish brand’s dirt bikes is built to be durable and high-performing, no matter what kind of trail you plan on driving on. You can even choose between two-stroke and four-stroke engine models.

Aesthetics-wise, the GASGAS brand is known for combining red, white, and black colors.

The EC Series is perfect for enduro riders, while the EX is ideal for cross-country adventures and competitions. Lastly, choose between the GASGAS ES and RX motorcycles if you need a dual-purpose dirt bike.

2. Maico

Maico Motorcycles is a lesser-known brand for dirt bikes. That is especially true since it focuses on the Northern American and European markets.

But does that mean we shouldn’t include it on our list? Of course not! After all, its long history proves the excellent qualities of Maico products.

While established in the 1920s, Maico Motorcycles only started designing and producing dual-purpose bikes in the 1950s. These motorcycles shifted from on-road to off-road modes and vice versa, which allowed Maico to penetrate the market for both types of bikes.

In the same year, the Germany-based brand introduced its first race-focused motorcycle: Maico Blizzard.

Maico’s popularity grew in Europe, so it caught the attention of motocross riders in the USA in the 1960s. It improved and refined its bikes, giving it the reputation of being the only brand designing and producing off-road units from the ground up.

Maico was a top choice for those looking to ride a fast, easy-to-handle but simple, uniquely designed bike. As such, it became one of the finest off-road motorcycles money could buy.

Unfortunately, its sales plummeted as the competition grew, forcing the brand to sell it. Today, Axel Kostler owns and operates it. As of writing, the brand’s 2023 Maico 700 Enduro maintains its reputation as among the most powerful off-roading two-stroke bikes.

3. KTM

With the brand’s Ready To Race philosophy, it isn’t surprising for KTM to become one of the best dirt bike brands up to this day. Its main goal is to ensure it releases pure, high-performing models, especially for bikes designed for adventures and extreme sports.

Thus, KTM’s enduro and motocross bikes have been known for their durability, cutting-edge technology, exceptional performance, and precision handling for years.

These dirt bikes are not just top choices for enthusiasts and recreational riders. Many professional racers or riders like Jeffrey Herlings used KTM bikes for several of their races.

If you’re looking for used KTM dirt bikes, opt for KTM 250 SX, KTM 250 SX-F, KTM 125 SX, KTM 300, KTM 450 SX-F, KTM EXC series, and KTM EXC-F series. And for those who want and need brand-new units, you won’t run out of options thanks to the Austrian brand’s 2023 and 2024 lineups.

4. Husqvarna

While the company started producing motorcycles in 1903, it was only around the 1920s that Husqvarna began manufacturing motocross bikes.

Like Maico, its popularity in Europe paved the way for the brand to enter the USA market. It was also acquired by another company, the BMW Group, in 2007. At this point, the brand consistently designed and produced carefully designed, well-equipped on- and off-road bikes 

A few years after, PIERER Mobility AG, the mother company of KTM and GASGAS, acquired the brand, bringing back Husqvarna’s famous color scheme: white, yellow, and blue.

If this is the brand of your choice for you or your loved ones’ motocross dirt bike, opt for FC 250 and FC 450. But if you’re into trail riding, choose among Husqvarna’s FE, TE, and WR series of dirt bikes.

All these Husqvarna bikes boast excellent performance, handling, and quality construction.

5. Kawasaki

Who would be surprised to find Kawasaki on this list of the top dirt bike brands? After all, Kawasaki has become a household name thanks to its over a decade in the industry. It also produced several motorcycles, such as the KZ 900, the 500SS Mach III, and the Ninja series, which remains popular with riders today.

What I love most about this Japanese brand is its wide offering of dirt bikes. The KX Series includes models you can use for both cross-country and motocross rides. Meanwhile, the KLX and KLR bikes are designed for super motocross and off-road riding.

All these units are known for their ruggedness and excellent power.

6. Suzuki

Suzuki is another famous Japanese brand known for producing almost all (if not all) motorcycle models and makes. Its recognition in the dirt bike industry peaked in the 1970s with the introduction of Suzuki’s RM series. These motocross bikes boast excellent handling, outstanding performance, and robust construction.

The brand’s popularity grew even more when it introduced the DR series, which includes ergonomically designed, powerful off-road bikes. These bikes also work well on-road, making them among the top choices for beginners and young riders.

7. Yamaha

Founded in the 1950s, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is yet another Japanese brand dirt bike enthusiasts and competitive riders love. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that many competitors won races with its bikes.

Its YZ Pedigree (series) has been famous for years in motocross racing and off-road riding, while the WRs are excellent enduro motorcycles. All the models in both series are reliable, versatile, and high-performing.

8. Honda

Like most dirt bike brands on this list, Honda has a lineup of units ideal for young riders, beginners, and experienced motorcyclists. Not only are these dirt bikes reliable, but they are also stable, comfortable, powerful, durable, and easy to handle.

Among the Japanese brand’s motorcycles, the CRF Series has been the number one choice for off-road adventures and races. Meanwhile, its Montesa lineup of bikes is perfect for casual riders and those into competitive riding.

What makes it even better is you can pair your dirt bike with the moisture-wicking, lightweight Honda Quattro Jersey (view on Amazon).

2 Other Reliable Dirt Bike Brands for Used Units

As you have browsed through the above list, the brands included are based either in Europe or Japan. While most have factories and dealerships in the USA, their home base isn’t in the said country. As such, here are two options, in no particular order, for those looking for USA-made dirt bikes:


ATK Motorcycles is a brand that has made a name in several races. It halted manufacturing dirt bikes, but you will still find quality second-hand units. From 1985 to 2007 models and 250cc to 700cc engine displacements, there is an ATK dirt bike for you.

And don’t worry about your second-hand ATK motorcycle being stocked up in the garage after a few uses. That’s because you’ll still find accessories and parts to replace worn and torn parts, or even upgrade it.


With only over a decade in the industry, Alta Motorcycles’ popularity is all thanks to its electric motorcycles. You can choose from the brand’s lineup of Motocross (MX), Enduro (EX), and Supermoto (SM) series of units if you’re looking for a dirt bike.

The Brands of Choice for Dirt Bikes

Now that you have a good list of some of the best brands that produce reliable dirt bikes sold at a reasonable price, it’s time to check out their lineups. Choose a dirt bike model that suits your or your loved one’s age, skill level, and the primary purpose of owning one. After all, you’ll find dual-purpose or dual-sports models and off-road-specific units.

Of course, while these bikes are designed with safety and durability in mind, don’t fall short when choosing your gear. Ensure you have a DOT-approved full-face helmet that lasts long (view on Amazon).