125cc vs 450cc Dirt Bike – Which Is the Right Bike for Me?

When choosing a dirt bike, I see many riders who are confused and do not understand the differences between a 450cc and 125cc dirt bike. These two versions are very different and far apart, and not knowing the differences between the two dirt bikes could be a mistake that will cost you thousands of dollars and your safety.

The most significant difference between the 125cc and 450cc dirt bikes is the amount of power they have. Dirt bikes with 450cc engines are very powerful and capable of going a lot faster but are designed for advanced riders. Dirt bikes with 125cc engines will not be as fast, but they are safer and a great choice for beginners.

In general, it is very easy to know the differences between these two dirt bikes, and I can tell you to find out if 450cc dirt bikes are truly very powerful and insane for beginners. Even some professional riders with years’ experience in riding cannot ride dirt bikes with 450cc engines because they are just too powerful.

If this topic interests you, continue reading because, in this guide, I will explain:

What is a 125cc dirt bike, and who is it for?
What is a 450cc dirt bike, and who is it for?
The differences between 125cc and 450cc dirt bikes

Need dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

Motocross racer

What is a 125cc Dirt Bike and Who Is It For?

125cc dirt bikes are the perfect dirt bikes for beginners who have no riding experience. On 125cc dirt bikes, you will be able to build and learn the basics of riding on a dirt bike in the best and safest way, and in short, if you are a beginner, a 125cc dirt bike is the best choice for you.

The truth is, even though 125cc dirt bikes are the best choice for beginners, I still see a lot of beginners opting for 250cc dirt bikes. But the problem with 250cc dirt bikes is that they are very powerful and will not give you a sense of security and basic learning that a beginner rider needs.

In addition, it should be noted that the average speed a 125cc dirt bike reaches is 45mph. The highest speed recorded was more than 100mph, while the most popular 125cc dirt bikes are the Honda CRF125, Yamaha TT-R125LE, and the KTM 125 SX.

It should also be noted that 125cc bikes will require more effort from you when riding than 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes, but this is it what a beginner rider should have because once you as a beginner rider ride a powerful dirt bike that reaches insane speeds, it is just a crazy danger for you.

So, in conclusion, 125cc dirt bikes are the perfect type of bike for beginners because they will give you the feeling of safety you need as a beginner rider. In addition, they have very cheap deals you can get when you buy used ones, and the good part is that you can improve your fitness with them.

Advantages of 125cc dirt bikes

  • Safe
  • Cheap
  • Easy to control
  • Improve your fitness
  • Perfect for beginners

Disadvantages of 125cc dirt bikes

  • Requires effort
  • Not as fast
  • Less fun

What is a 450cc dirt bike and who is it for?

450cc SUVs are completely a different level of dirt bikes and are the most powerful you can find. In a word, they are monsters that will give you the ability to ride at insane speeds with very strong power and acceleration. You need to be a professional and a very good rider to ride a 450cc dirt bike.

It should be noted that 450cc dirt bikes were only designed for advanced riders who have some years’ experience in riding; else, you will not be able to ride a 450cc dirt bike because of the power it has.

Although 450cc dirt bikes are heavy, they are very fast. The maximum speed they manage to reach is 123 mph, while the good 450cc dirt bikes in the market are KAWASAKI KX450, HUSQVARNA FC450, and HONDA CRF450R.

In addition, 450cc dirt bikes are not only expensive in price, but also in maintenance. The annual expenses you will have to spend on them is insane, and in my opinion, buying used 450cc dirt bikes is not a recommended option because in most cases, they are sold in very bad condition. Most people who use 450cc bikes just tore them because they are designed for hard riding and abuse, so this is another thing you have to take into account.

So, in conclusion, 450cc dirt bikes are one of the most powerful dirt bikes you can find in the market. They are very comparative and will only be suitable for professional riders with lots of experience in riding. I would only recommend them for advanced riders who compete in races.

Advantages of 450cc dirt bikes 

  • Fun to ride
  • Easier to ride
  • Very fast and powerful

Disadvantages of 450cc dirt bikes 

  • Unsafe and dangerous to ride
  • Very expensive
  • Hard to control

Differences between 125cc and 450cc dirt bikes

125cc dirt bikes are much cheaper than 450cc dirt bikes

125cc dirt bikes are significantly much cheaper than 450cc dirt bikes. And the truth is that the differences can reach thousands of dollars even on the maintenance of the bike. But this difference is pretty justified because a 450cc dirt bike will unequivocally give you much better performance.

For example, for Honda CRF125F, you will have to pay $2,999, while for Honda CRF450R, it costs $9,399, so the difference in price between the 2 types of bikes is just insane.

Enduro bike rider on action. Turn on sand terrain

450cc dirt bikes are much more dangerous than 125cc dirt bikes

Although this is pretty obvious, it should be noted.

125cc dirt bikes are 10 times safer than 450cc dirt bikes and this is because 450cc dirt bikes are just crazy with their speeds and acceleration. The truth is you will even have a hard time when you try to ride slowly or at medium speed.

That’s why 450cc dirt bikes are only recommended for advanced riders and not for beginners. If a beginner rider without experience tries to ride a 450cc dirt bike, it could be life-threatening for him, so it’s important to get a 125cc dirt bike when you start riding.

A 450cc dirt bike is better for racing than a 125cc dirt bike

125cc dirt bikes are highly not recommended for racing. 450cc dirt bikes win racing easily and effortlessly than a 125cc dirt bike. Truthfully, a 450cc dirt bike is the best type of dirt bike you can find for racing because they have no competition at all.

However, it should be noted that if a beginner rider starts riding with a 450cc dirt bike, he will not be able to learn the basics of riding, which means he will not be able to control the motorcycle and will even not be able to win any competition. So, skipping should start with 125cc dirt bikes 125cc, then 250cc, and finally a 450cc dirt bike.

Riding a 125cc dirt bike is better for fitness than a 450cc dirt bike

Riding a 125cc dirt bike is just perfect for any fitness you really want because you will have to work very hard. The engine is more powerful, which will require a lot of power and effort from you.

This compared to a 450cc dirt bike that barely requires effort from you while riding. Even when riding at slow speed, you will hardly have to put in the effort because it is just too easy.

It is more difficult to control 450cc engines than 125cc engines

450cc dirt bikes are much harder to control due to the speeds and acceleration, which means that only very advanced riders will be able to control them, unlike a 125cc dirt bike that is much easier to control.

Again, it should be noted that this refers to the notorious control of riding a more difficult 125cc dirt bike.


So far, I have shown you everything about 125cc and 450cc dirt bikes. 

Need dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

If you have any additional information or any questions, please state in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading, until next time.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

Recent Posts