When it comes to dirt bike riding, Motocross often takes top billing but the majority of riders hit the trails to get their fix.

Trail riding offers a less expensive outing than racing, doesn't require the skills needed to get around a track and provides a more relaxed atmosphere to go your own way. In fact, many racers started on the trails before they ever took their first jump. If you have an interest in riding dirt bikes don't let the high adrenaline sport of Motocross intimidate you. Just grab a trail bike then get out and ride!

So what kind of trail bike should I buy?

Generally speaking, you can ride just about any type of dirt bike on trials. But you don't need those 450s, or even the 250s, like the pros ride in Motocross. Though Motocross bikes and trail bikes look similar they each have their place and beginners should take up the appropriate trail riding dirt bike which goes a long way towards confidence and continuing any desire to remain in the hobby.

Trail bikes offer a softer suspension and more engine torque with less top end power. You don't need the quick pick-up for the gate drop like a Motocross bikes offers that often tumbles beginners over backwards on their backs. Trail bikes also have different gearing and require extra protection which adds to the overall weight of the bike. To learn more about the differences read The Difference Between A Motocross Bike & Trail Bike.

So let's get to the best trail riding dirt bikes for beginners.

Yamaha TTR

Pretty much the go-to for beginners the Yamaha TTR offers reliability, a small learning curve and something that lasts for years. New models cost roughly half the price of a Motocross bike and Yamaha creates versions of the TTR that have big and small wheel options to fit adults or children and allows for continued use for a child once he or she requires a larger bike.

The Yamaha TTR has engine sizes ranging from a 50cc to 230cc. The PW50 works best for the little ones just starting out who can then move up to the R50E with an electric starter. Beginner adults will find the R110E has enough power to keep it fun but not so much to feel out of control. Once you have your bearings, you can graduate to the popular R125 and finally the stronger and faster R230.

Think of the Yamaha TTR like one of those boxy Volvos from the 1980s. They just run and run and run.

Honda CRF

Honda's CRF line includes trail bikes for young ones with a 50cc engine all the way to the more advanced 450cc engine. Beginners should not consider the 450X or the 250X as those have more power and used by off-road professionals or advanced riders.

Like the TTR, Honda makes the CRF110F and CRF125F for older children just starting out or graduating from the CR50F, and the CRF125F (Big Wheel) that accommodates the beginning adult rider or the teenager too big for the smaller bikes.

Courtesy - Honda Powersports

Picking the Right Trail Bike

When researching you will find all the major manufacturers like KTM, Kawasaki, Suzuki produce trail bikes for beginners. Just look at the engine size. Beginners should stay away from anything 250cc and above as the bike produces far more power than needed at this stage. We feature the Yamaha and Honda models because those are most popular for the beginning trail rider. However, each manufacture puts their touch into their trail bikes along with a fit and finish that appeals more to some and not others. But, if you have an affinity towards one brand over another we see no harm in that!

Ideally, your research, whether for you or a child, should include sitting on the bike (you probably won't convince any dealer to let you ride around the parking lot), determining any available extras that help with ease of use and complexity of maintenance. You will need to learn how to keep up on maintenance which gets inconvenient and tedious at times.

If you want further help or guidance, give one of our gearheads a call at 1-888-676-8853. We can set you up with a fellow rider who also got his or her start on a trail bike.

Check out related content to riding trails on your dirt bike: