If you're looking for an off-road motorcycle, you won't find yourself short on choice. The market is awash with options, some of them designed for both on and off road, others designed strictly for the dirt. Regardless of your riding experience and preferences, you're guaranteed to find something to suit in our lineup of the 10 best off-road motorcycles money can buy.
10. Honda Trail 125
Lean, fun, and incredibly versatile, the Honda Trail 125 pays homage to the original Honda Trail 90 and Trail 110 models but still manages to introduce some new character of its own. Thanks to the addition of a robust chassis, a capable suspension, and durable IRC GP-5 tires, the bike can tackle any trail or surface with ease. The electric starting and electronic fuel injection are a big advancement on previous iterations, while the efficient 1.4-gallon fuel tank lets you clear around 100 miles before topping up. Small but mighty, the Trail 125 is a great addition to Honda's lineup.
9. Fantic Caballero 500 Rally
If you're in the market for a scambler with some seriously impressive off-road capabilities, don't overlook the Fantic Caballero 500 Rally. Blessed with a style that's one part modern and one part retro, no one can deny it's a good-looking bike. Thanks to its lightweight CrMo Steel central-tube frame, its adjustable FRS 41mm inverted forks, and its Arrow dual-silencer setup, no one could claim it's lacking in top-rated components either. All in all, it's an efficient, fun machine with excellent off-roading performance.
8. GasGas MC 250F
Easy to ride and big on performance, the GasGas MC 250F promises about as much fun as it's possible to have in the dirt. The fuel-injected, five-speed motor is clean and responsive, with a linear power curve that delivers plenty of revs. The inclusion of Brembo brakes, Brembo hydraulic clutch, and Maxxis tires was a wise choice, while the lean, stripped-back frame offers easy maneuverability and handling. Better still, it's all wrapped up in a price tag that won't break the bank.
7. Electric Motion Escape
If you're as committed to sustainability as you are to riding, an electric bike could be the answer. Over the past couple of years, the market has been flooded with a ton of new electric off-roaders and dirt bikes, all designed to feed the addictions of adrenaline junkies without taking a toll on the environment. Among the best of the bunch is Electric Motion Escape, an adventure off-roader with some superb qualities. The range is more than adequate, with a single charge taking you around 37 miles. Its lightweight frame is just 78kg wet, ensuring easy handling.
6. Yamaha TW 200
If you're looking for a fun, bouncy ride with a load of personality, look no further than the Yamaha TW 200. Ranked by motorcycle.com as one of the best off-roaders on the market, the Yamaha TW 200 is one of the slimmest bikes around. In an effort to ensure enhanced maneuverability, Yamaha has stripped away any unnecessary bodywork and accessories, resulting in a lightweight bike that's not only designed to absorb falls but is a breeze to pick up if it topples.
5. KTM 790 Adventure R
Ranked by popularmechanics.com as one of the best motorcycles with off-road capabilities around, the KTM 790 Adventure R is a lightweight gem of a bike that delivers the goods with style. To keep things as agile as possible, KTM has stripped away anything not completely necessary to the bike's function. With no extraneous accessories or additions to weigh it down, the bike is a dream to maneuver across even the most punishing terrain. According to the marketing blurb, the 790 was “developed with the intent of adventure riding but to also be accessible for riders of all sizes, experience, and ability,” making it a great starter biker for novices as well as more experienced riders.
4. KTM Adventure 890 R
If you thought it couldn't get any better than the KTM 790 Adventure R, wait till you try the KTM Adventure 890 R. Equipped with a new engine with new balancers, springs, valves, intakes, piston heads, and pretty much anything else that could be ripped out and replaced, the Adventure 890 R may be based on the 790, but it's a completely different animal when you come to ride it. As motorcycle.com writes, the positioning of the engine on the lightweight but strong steel frame ensures responsive, snappy power delivery and a linear but urgent torque. The addition of off-road, fully adjustable WP shocks and an extremely maneuverable long enduro-style stepped seat round things off.
3. BMW G310GS
When it comes to motorcycles capable of delivering the goods long after the tarmac ends, BMW has it covered. Case in point, the BMW G310GS, a bike that handles just about any terrain you throw at it with ease. Aesthetically, it's a beauty, with a lean, futuristic design that's just as compelling as the powerful liquid-cooled, single-cylinder 4-stroke engine pushing it along. Its lightweight tubular steel frame won't give you any problems in keeping up with the competition. As you'd expect of BMW, this isn't a cheap ride. But if money's no object, there's no doubt it's worth the splurge.
2. Bullit Hero Gulf Edition
According to HiConsumption, the Bullit Hero Gulf Edition is a very attractive bike that's available at an equally attractive price point. A fuel-injected, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine packs a big punch without comprising on rideability. Although it's street legal, its spoked wheels, knobby tires, and headlight grille combine to deliver the goods when the terrain gets rocky. With production of the Hero Gulf Edition limited to just 250 units, you'll need to be snappy if you want to get your hands on one. If you miss the boat, the standard edition is an equally fine proposition.
1. KTM 500XCF
As Dirt Bike Magazine notes, the KTM 500XCF meets all federal and state regulations governing vehicles, so it's relatively clean and quiet. But it's still a ton of fun, regardless. Priced at a whisper under $11,000, it's by no means the cheapest off-roader around. If you can stretch to the price, you're guaranteed a big return on your investment. Compact, lightweight, and with a snappy power delivery, it's got all the qualities you'd expect from a first-rate off-roader.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith