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What’s The Best Dirt Bike Motorcycle For UK Trails?

Vic Womersley December 7, 2023

If you’re preparing for the thrill of getting dirty on the Green Lanes crisscrossing the picturesque landscapes of the UK, you’ll need a great dirt bike motorcycle. Choosing the right dirt bike is the key to unlocking an unforgettable experience. Dirt bikes, motocross racers and silent electric motors all have their strengths—and weaknesses.

In this guide, we dive deeper into the best dirt bike makes to unveil what we consider to be the top of the dirt bike motorcycle heap. And we’ll include a few specialist models for Green Lanes that we really love. Ready? Jump on for a journey to find the perfect ride for your off-road escapades.

Navigating Green Lanes: top dirt bike motorcycles for UK trails in 2023

Whether it’s mud, sand or gravelly tracks, a dirt bike motorcycle is built for off-road fun unlike any other motorcycle. There are literally hundreds to choose from too. Smaller, lower-powered dirt bikes are ideal for kids. The larger and more powerful enduro-style dirt bike motorcycle is designed for longer rides on off-road trails, not unlike the UK’s many Green Lanes.

Keep in mind your UK motorcycle licence level – Green Lanes are regarded as public highways, even though they’re unpaved. If you do meet police, highway patrol or some MOD staff, you’ll need to show you’re licenced for the dirt bike you’re riding.

The best dirt bike for riding on UK Green Lanes depends on your ability, licence level, and the area you intend to ride in. Plus, how long you expect to be stirring up the dirt! Let’s dive into our first dirt bike motorcycle recommendations.

2023 Honda CRF450RL: Bridging the gap between enduro and dual-sport

In the realm of dirt bike motorcycles, the 2023 Honda CRF450RL is one of the most versatile. It’s one of the reasons we’ve chosen them for our Phoenix Trails riding experiences. This 400cc off-road machine seamlessly transitions between enduro and dual-sport adventures and is perfect for A2 and full A-licenced riders.

Engine and frame 

2023 Yamaha WR250F: Decades of trail dominance

If you’re one who believes “light is right,” the 2023 Yamaha WR250F is a great choice. It’s consistently earned its spot in the top 10 lists for over a decade with trail riding enthusiasts.

Engine and frame 

2023 KTM 350 EXC-F: Power and handling excellence

The 2023 KTM 350 EXC-F, is one of the most popular dirt bike motorcycles in KTM’s enduro lineup. It’s not hard to see why either, the changes and improvements make this model a better buy than the higher-powered 500 EXC-F.

Engine and frame

2023 Suzuki DR-Z125: A beginner trail rider’s dream machine

Easy on the pocket and great fun for entry-level riders with CBT or A1 motorcycle licences. Suzuki has given the DR-Z125 sleek designs similar to its big RM-Z brothers. They’ve not been stingy on the engine and frame adaptions either. Sharp handling and enough get-up-and-go to kick up the dirt for hours are hallmarks of this machine.

Engine and frame

Silent escapades: touring Green Lanes with an electric dirt bike

If you’ve ever been grumbled at by other outdoor adventurers for the noise your dirt bike makes, an electric dirt bike motorcycle keeps things sweet. They provide a quiet and eco-friendly alternative when it comes to getting dirty off-road.

Of course, the battery range, power and weight of the bike and convenience of charging matter too. After all, no one wants to be stuck outdoors in winter with a flat battery. The next dirt bike in our line-up is a great all-rounder for UK Green Lane riding, without the fumes.

2023 Zero FX: Electrifying the Off-Road Experience

The 2023 Zero FX heralds a new era, inviting riders to embrace electrified off-road adventures. As the world shifts towards electric vehicles, Zero positions itself at the forefront with motorcycles that redefine the norms of dirt biking.

Engine and frame

It’s worth noting a few differences with electric bikes, be they on-road or dirt bike motorcycles. The very quiet engine takes a little getting used to, as does the lack of a clutch and steady power feed from a twist of the throttle. While the electric charging network is growing, it’s not as extensive as the availability of traditional petrol stations. Fast charge options for electric bikes are something to consider if you plan to get out regularly on your eco-machine.

Trailblazing features: Dirt bike motorcycles designed for UK green lanes

Dirt bikes are a different breed from your regular road motorcycle. Their lightweight frames, long-travel suspension to dampen the impact of rough tracks, and extra bumpy tyres are all designed to eat up tough terrain with ease. With thicker treads but narrower tyres and lighter frames, tricky surfaces are their forte.

You’ll notice that there seems to be a lot less, well, bike, on a dirt bike motorcycle when compared to its street brothers. The higher positioning of the body and fewer components make them more nimble and far easier to handle on rough tracks. 

How do trail bike features differ for UK Green Lanes?

There are slight differences between off-road bikes that you should look out for when considering the perfect dirt bike motorcycle for UK Green Lanes. Consider the area where you’ll most often ride. Is it steep and hilly? Will you be taking long rides across slippery and chalky moors, or is a wooded trail more your style?

Honda’s CRF range is a great all-rounder, which is why it’s numero uno on our list. On the other hand, if you want to specialise, consider looking into one of these off-road machines:

Dirt bike motorcycle types

Making the leap to trail riding thrills

Whichever dirt bike motorcycle you choose, keep in mind your capabilities, licence level and the areas you’re likely to spend the most time in. That includes how you’ll get to and from the area you’ll be off-roading in. Safety is a major consideration, so it’s important to get the right kit. You’ll have more fun when you’re comfortably covered for trail riding. And if you’d like to try a few bikes before committing to one of your own, booking a Phoenix Trails riding experience is a great way to do that. Our fleet of Hondas and Fantics is ready and waiting for you to jump astride!

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