Tested: Stark Varg electric off-road motorcycle – we rode it
Enduro21 tests the most talked about new bike of the year, the Stark Varg, “the first electric off-road motorcycle comparable in performance with a gas-powered dirt bike”. We jumped on plane to Spain to get some answers about this hot topic and ask: is it any good for enduro?
Getting the invite from Stark Futures for the launch of the Varg felt like a bit of a golden ticket. It’s a bike a lot of people are talking about and, since they launched it to a huge range of international media all at the same time, there’s a definite buzz about it. We’ve also been answering questions about it wherever we go recently – including from ‘other’ manufacturers.
Enduro21 had a bag full of questions about the VARG, many of them from you guys n’ girls who posted on our page. So, we have answered them all here, one talking point after another to put all the cards on the table and we went to Spain very much with the mindset of finding out if this thing works as a dirt bike.
The first thing to lay down, as we explain in our YouTube video from the test, is this launch was basically a handful of short sessions on a motocross track. The undulating track – Golf MX circuit – sits in the hills north west of Barcelona and was a pretty cool location – literally an old gold course. We got the chance to ride between the trees for a session but the time was limited, always to around 20 minutes.
That means some of the biggest questions about how this bike could or would work for enduro remain unanswered. But as a thing that now exists in the world, as far as forming an opinion on how it works, feels, and rides, well, we got a pretty good impression…
As a rule of thumb, your first laps straight out the paddock are a good guide. If you feel happy on a bike and quickly start to enjoy it then, normally, you’re gonna get on well with the wheels under you.
With a precise throttle response, no vibrations and a sharp chassis the first impressions of the Varg are it’s an easy to ride bike. KYB suspension and Brembo brakes mean controls are precise and when standing on the pegs the bike felt accurate as we get to know the track.
Weight-wise it quickly feels like a middleweight bike, a 300 or 350. There’s a two-stroke feel from the motor with very little engine braking (that’s just one of the settings you can adjust though) but coming on the gas it felt like a fiery 450 in terms of power.
The throttle feel is progressive and builds in a linear way, so the more you open the throttle (which has a ‘normal’ resistance btw) the more you get. So fairly standard from that point of view. The test bikes were 60hp and were putting out more than enough power at full throttle.
The sound the bike gives off is obviously different but corresponds to the speed you’re moving at, so actually kinda works the same in your brain. Not having gear changes to worry about simply means you can just ride the track. It’s less noisy by a long way, one of the loudest things you can hear is the chain running on the guide and slapping about.
“When we go racing in MXGP and Supercross the aim is to prove our bike works and can race against gas powered bikes on a level playing field, we don’t want to race in electric-only events.”
Stark are pitching themselves against the gas-powered competition and to prove it, they lined up five standard 450 motocross bikes for us to run back-to-back with the Varg for comparison.
Jumping on a KTM 450 SX-F, the difference was clear: the KTM felt heavier and harder work physically to ride in exactly the same conditions. A heavy clutch, endless gear changes, around this track at least, and in generally being a more difficult bike to control, it made the Stark an easier option to get on with.
You also notice the lack of rotating mass and the mechanical effect of an engine, as well as the lack of the transmission too. All those things feel so normal until you ride a bike that doesn’t have that physical mass of a crank, piston, gearbox, flywheel all rotating in the same direction. Also, having zero vibrations through hands and feet is very much noticeable on the Stark.
Don’t be fooled by the spec sheet
The back-to-back test gave chance to hammer home the point that a spec sheet can be misleading. If a bike weighs a claimed 110kg like the Varg, compared to 102kg (claimed without fuel) of a KTM 450 SX-F, then you expect the KTM to feel lighter. It doesn’t.
Weight distribution is something the Stark team spoke at length about on the launch. They’ve worked hard to carefully place the weight and built the whole bike exploiting the fact they can move things around in a way you cannot with a chassis that houses a combustion engine and a fuel tank as part of the design equation.
Stark say they analysed the details of other bikes on the market to perfect the Varg’s geometry, squat, linkage ratios, chassis stiffness and physical weight. It is the reason for having a V-shaped battery around the motor they say and the aim was to make it feel the same as ‘normal’ bikes, only better.
And it does feel better when you change direction, drop into tighter corners to nail a rut and even in the air over jumps. MX whips and big air is definitely not our thing but the Stark brings confidence to the table like a 250F rather than making you wide-eyed like a 450F can do.
In short, don’t look at that 110kg figure on the spec sheet and compare it, this bike carries its weight way better than that and handles very well too.
“The difference between this and the Alta is big”
For all the press presentation and controlled environment of a major bike launch like this, there’s nothing like having a glass of wine or two with someone heavily involved and hearing what they really have to say.
Josh Hill shouldn’t need any introduction to those with an eye on the US SX/MX scene, and nor should Sebastien Tortelli. Together they’ve been the professional hands holding the development handlebars for Stark and know this bike well. Both will go race this bike at international level in the near future and governing bodies of the sport across the globe have agreed it can race alongside gas-powered bikes.
Despite Alta evaporating, Hill has his own one in his garage and he says it is about the easiest thing he owns to just jump on and go for a ride with mates, “You just have to make sure it is charged or everyone has to wait a while.”
He says “the difference is big” between his old bike and the Stark because the Varg handles better, has better components, and has more technology.
So what about the Varg as a bike to go for a trail ride then? “It’ll go a long way, hours easily.” Hill says. “I can’t really tell you how many, honestly I don’t know, but there’s a huge drop in [how much] battery drain when you stop going round a short track and use is for a regular trail ride.”
It’s a fact backed-up by Enduro21 blazing a trail through the trees. Instead of burning 25/30% of power like it was on the MX track, suddenly the Smart phone display showed 2% and 3% for the same amount of riding time (15 to 20 minutes). It’s the between the trees riding you’ll spot in our YouTube video from the test if you’re interested.
Do the maths
We can’t tell you if the Varg will handle a four-hour trail ride on a battery charge because we didn’t get the chance. But with a bit of maths, multiplying how much battery power we used in 20 minutes, and some guess work around de-tuning the motor with the smartphone App, you can see how it could do three and four hours riding. It’s just impossible to know until we try it for real.
80hp is too much
At the other end of the scale, you can pay /€1000 more and opt for the 80hp performance upgrade. People have pre-ordered this higher-spec model, Stark says, but unless you’re planning on fitting a long swingarm and going hillclimbing, you are nuts if you think you need 80 horses.
60hp was easily enough on the MX track and we turned it down by 30 percent to go riding in the trees and it behaved nicely, like a soft 300 two-stroke.
Smartphone brings tech control
The Varg comes with a smartphone which clips securely into the bar pad and is basically your way of controlling the bike. The one fitted to the production bikes will let you make calls and take a selfie just like a smartphone in fact.
than that it is your means to adjusting power, traction, and flywheel effect, plus record GPS data, g-force and giro measurements. It’s Smart stuff of course and the kind of tech you expect with a modern “vehicle” but it is another aspect of this bike which we’d love to test deep inside a Welsh or Romanian forest to see how it stands up.
It is totally waterproof they say, just like the whole bike is. So drowning any part ofthe Varg in a river is not going to happen. Rumour has it they tested the smartphone by throwing different phones into a swimming pool to see if they really were waterproof.
Fancy an X-Trainer?
All the above adjustability makes it an attractive proposition for virtually anyone big enough to swing a leg over it. How many times has a person you know jumped on a 450 or 300 two-stroke and been put off by the power? If that happens with the Varg you can stop and change it, right there on the smartphone.
You get whatever bike you want all-in-one so you can turn the Varg into a Beta X-Trainer in two minutes. Plus, the more you turn it down and ride like an average human the longer its battery lasts – much like a gas-powered dirt bike of course.
Did we miss a clutch?
Not really but missing the back brake with the right boot meant a savaged arm against a tree. You can specify either a conventional foot rear brake or a lever on the handlebars, and in hindsight, we’d say the hand brake is the better option.
It would help to moderate power but mainly it would be right there where you needed it for a hill turn, to stop the bike rolling back, and give more control when your feet are on the floor. On the MX track not having foot brake is easier in the right-handers too.
That battery charging question mark…
For short circuit riding and sprint enduro, where you can use the charge it has stored or have the facility at the track (you just plug it into the mains), this bike will work. Don’t forget there’s an XC version available with an 18-inch rear wheel and side stand too.
The Stark has a fixed battery so it’s not an option to swap a drained one for a recharged one like other electric motorcycles. But it comes with a fast charger unit in the neat paddock stand (comes with the bike) to give the option to charge at the track.
No, charger points are not spread out all over the place, but as more electric bikes start turning up at practice tracks and short circuits, with owners wanting to hand over money for a day’s riding, the more track owners and organisers will need to put charging points in – again like we see on the street for e-vehicles.
Whenever we mention electric bikes some people always throws in the line, “yeah but you’ll need a generator to charge it at a track”. To counter that, plenty of practice tracks near us have an electricity supply and it’s definitely in their interest to encourage bikes which make no noise.
We’ll wager they won’t take too much persuading to let you at a mains socket for 45 minutes (an average time between riding sessions at least) for the price of a cup of coffee.
It wasn’t all roses, sweetness, and light
Stark admitted early in this test that we were riding what were effectively partly still prototypes. With production deadlines getting closer, the international launch was part of the development process. Hell, they must have needed some ham-fisted and wobbly riders to get on the development train before customers are let loose after all!
“We’ve ridden these bikes for hundreds of hours without any problems” got flipped on its head when a couple of bikes in the five-bike line-up on Enduro21’s test day randomly cut out. Another had a water pump problem and a few lost their rear fenders – although they told us the plastics were not the OEM parts (they’re coming from Polisport we believe).
It must have come as a wake-up call for these pre-production bikes to suddenly have five riders a day for 10 days putting them through various levels of abuse. On the one hand it doesn’t look too good in front of the press to have this happen but if this was part of the production curve then it’s a good thing in theory as we unearthed a few gremlins that can now be fixed ahead of bikes reaching customers.
One point of note is Stark’s new production facility is right near a tonne of off-road parts suppliers and industry specialists in Northern Spain. If they need things changing in design it takes weeks not months. It’s no accident they are based there.
You don’t need to be so much of a mechanic
Blow the dirt off, spray the chain, plug it in and go take a beer. Like us, you might like the garage time prepping and sorting a bike out but part of the aim for Stark is to attract a new customer into dirt biking and basically a maintenance-free motorcycle like this, which makes little or no noise or mess is going to be more attractive to some.
No air filter maintenance, the body kit all comes off in one go with seven bolts, no need for fuel, pre-mixing or oil and filters just a spray on the chain – regular servicing will be tyres, suspension, chain, bearings and not a lot else. The electric motor and battery is the grey area but Stark say all parts will be available as spares online and from dealers.
The only other fluid is in the radiator under your backside. Looking after this bike is the same as looking after an e-MTB and you also get a complete tool kit for every nut and bolt on the bike when you buy it.
And when you do buy it, there is a dealer network for parts and servicing but you can also get it delivered to your door.
An enduro bike is coming
A chat with Paul Soucy, Stark co-founder and CTO, and he tells us he is a big fan of the Spanish Hard Enduro Championship. “It’s coming for sure,” he says, “I want to have an electric enduro bike that I can ride in the weekends and go to events like the Spanish Hard Enduro series. I am in charge of developing these bikes and I love riding enduro so of course I want to make a bike for myself, not just for motocross.”
At the moment, the Varg (it means wolf in Swedish btw) is not ready for that but if 40 percent of the 9,000 customers Stark say have signed up have opted for the 18-inch rear wheel version, well, then it says a lot about what customers are interested in here.
Would we buy one? Our first test verdict
Owning a Varg would answer a lot of problems about how and where we can ride, for a start. But Enduro21 walks away from this test with some unanswered questions simply because we couldn’t ride the bike for long enough and certainly not in any real enduro conditions.
Many of us will know from owning e-vehicles or e-bikes, the range anxiety dies away with experience and you quickly learn how much (or little) your riding drains power, and adjust distance expectations accordingly. But at the moment, Enduro21 cannot answer completely all the questions we have.
Build quality and the test of time.
Overall the quality of the bikes is good and on par with the quality you’d expect from an 11 grand bike. The chassis and metal parts feel and look like Japanese quality if anything, with some very neat touches of engineering. 11 grand is a lot but there’s nothing extra to buy here, it is what it is, a ready-to-go bike. So long as they sort the plastics for the production models the only unknown will be the electric components.
We’ve no reason to doubt their quality either but, again, we’d love to see how it stands up to months of enduro or trail riding in a country like Wales where it rains a lot, the mud is deep and life is tough on a bike.
In current form it is not going to work in a three-hour XC race. But a day at an enduro training ground, a Sprint race, or a club/national level extreme race with the power set softer and where part throttle is the name of the game? Well, maybe. We’d sure give it a go and based on the evidence we found on the launch the battery should last. The most natural home would be SuperEnduro (sticks hand up to volunteer).
One thing was clear, you’re sticking your head in the sand if you’re not taking this bike seriously. It will be the answer to lot of people’s needs simply because of the plug and play factor. And if the 9,000 pre-orders turn out to be real, much like electric cars on the road, you’re going start seeing them around very soon.
The Stark Varg was fun to ride, and that suspension, brake, and chassis combination was sweet, genuinely better than a stocker 450 motocross bike. We’d love to prove some points about battery life and its ability to do enduro though. So, go on Stark, give us a bike to test properly. We reckon it might work really well for hard enduro with a soft rear tyre and an extreme mousse…
Enduro21 detailed some of the technical facts about the Stark already in this feature: Closer look: Stark VARG electric off-road motorcycle technical details
Stark Varg Specifications:
- 110kg claimed weight
- Two different power options (80hp 60hp) available, full power model is 1000 more
- 1-2 hour battery charge time
- Over 100 power modes with adjustable power curve, engine braking, flywheel effect and traction
- Multiple bikes ‘in one’ with customizable power settings to ape a 125 two-stroke up
- to a 650 four-stroke
- Waterproof smartphone dash and set-up App connects via bluetooth and acts as a lock
- KYB suspension, 310mm wheel travel front and rear
- Rider weight specified at purchase means suspension is tuned to you
- CNC-machined aluminium hubs and rims, steel spokes
- Industry standard Brembo brake components
- Small and light chassis using carbon fibre, magnesium, and aero grade aluminium
MCN guide: choosing an electric dirt bike in the UK
While the motorcycle world at large is taking its time to warm to electric alternatives to petrol, there’s one category that’s embracing the tech with open arms in the UK: electric dirt bikes.
Lightweight, unlikely to break down, torquey and with barely any servicing to worry about, UK electric dirt bikes are fast becoming a genuine alternative to petrol models. This is especially the case at the intersection between electric bicycles, electric motorcycles and electric mopeds.
If you’re using your bike for competitions or on private land (with the owner’s permission) then you don’t need to worry about the legal side of things. But if you want to use your electric dirt bike on the road or public byways then there are a few things you need to know.
Electronically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) can be ridden everywhere a bicycle can by anyone aged 14 or over without a licence as long as they adhere to the following rules.
- An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.
- It must show either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor.
- It must also show either the battery’s voltage or the maximum speed of the bike.
- Its electric motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph.
- An EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).
Any electric bike that doesn’t meet the above rules counts as an electric motorcycle or electric moped and must be registered and taxed. You can only ride it on the road if you can the relevant licence and you must wear a helmet.
Road-legal electric dirt bikes for sale in the UK
A 50kg crossover between a bicycle and a motorcycle with 8bhp and 28lb.ft of torque on tap and a 60 mile range. Not to be confused with the cheaper and non-road-legal X model, the L1E costs £4995 and requires at least a CBT licence to ride.
The Kalk (Kalk And) is the first road-legal model from Swedish fans of awkward bike names, Cake. The bike weighs 69kg and has a power rating of 13.5bhp meaning a top speed of 56mph. It’s much costlier than the Sur-ron with a price tag of £12,500 and you’ll need at least a CBT to ride it.
Competition only electric dirt bikes
Stark VARG motocross racer
Meet the Stark VARG: An all-new electric motocross racer claiming to outperform its combustion-engined rivals in every way.
Developed over the last two years on the outskirts of Barcelona, the Stark VARG (‘strong wolf’ in Swedish) weighs a claimed 110kg ready to race, with a suggested power figure of circa 78.9bhp.
Said to be more powerful than its 450cc petrol-powered competition, the bike has been developed alongside Stark Future by former AMA Motocross Champion Sébastien Tortelli and AMA Supercross race winner Josh Hill.
This performance is then delivered in a range of customisable power settings, with maps to mimic a 125 two-stroke, up to a 650 four-stroke – controlled via a smartphone app, which also doubles up as a dashboard for the bike. There are over 100 riding modes in total.
Housing that motor is a lightweight chassis, which uses the unit as a stressed component and features a carbon fibre sub section to help keep the weight down.
Providing the energy is a compact sub-32kg 6kWh battery, which claims to offer both full Gran Prix intensity or up to six hours of gentle trail riding – a performance they claim is similar to a 450 four-stroke with a full tank of fuel. Expect between one and two hours to recharge it.
On top of that, other quality touches include Pirelli MX32 tyres and KYB suspension with 310mm of front and rear travel.
If you’re interested, the Stark VARG is available to order online now for €11,900 – around £10,170 to you and me. Visit www.starkfuture.com
Ducati MIG-RR eMTB
Ducati paired up with eMTB specialists Thok to create the MIG-RR. Costing £5412, the MIG can be ridden anywhere a bicycle can with no licence requirement.
That’s because it’s an electric mountain bike rather than a dirt bike, but it’s still available to buy in the UK.
The Best 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For Trail Riding [5 To Avoid]
There’s a lot of bad information on the internet when it comes to choosing which dirt bike to buy. This is especially true about the best 4 stroke dirt bikes for trail riding.
That’s why I put together this simple guide to help you with what I’ve learned over my 20 years of dirt bike riding and owning dozens of motocross and trail motorcycles.
There are different types of trails, so there’s no “perfect bike” for every kind of trail and rider. That’s why we’ll look at what 4-stroke trail bikes are best for each specific type of trail you might ride.
What’s The Difference Between A Dirt Bike And A Trail Bike?
A trail bike is a type of dirt bike that is built specifically for riding on trails. It generally has softer suspension and a smooth engine that’s easy to ride.
A trail bike also can differ in that it has an 18″ rear wheel (allows for bigger knobbies/sidewall), a larger gas tank, armor (hand guards/skid plate/etc.), a wider ratio transmission to make each gear more usable, a different exhaust that’s quieter with a spark arrestor, a kickstand, as well as a head and tail light on some models.
They’re a lot better than a motocross bike for trail riding because they’re more comfortable and easier to ride off-road. The extra accessories are worth the extra weight unless you’re a hardcore racer.
What Kind of Trail Riding Are You Doing?
There’s more than one kind of trail riding. I’ve ridden my dirt bikes on trails that are in the woods, up and down mountains, in desert-like terrain, or just in my backyard and state trails.
Certain models of dirt bikes will work better or worse on different types of trails. If you want to be aggressive and race through the open woods at high speeds, then you’ll want a high-performance enduro bike that is built for racing.
Just want a comfortable trail bike for casually riding up the mountain hills? A simple, low-performance air-cooled 4 stroke will meet your needs at less than half the cost of the race-ready model.
With that said, I still ride a “slow trail bike” aggressively and have more fun than ever! It just needed some suspension tuning to be able to handle the higher speeds and bigger impacts.
What Is Your Skill Level?
Just because you want to ride fast on the trails does not mean you should start out on a 450 race bike. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend starting out on a dirt bike that is easy to ride with smooth and predictable power.
A slower bike is easier to ride fast than riding a fast bike at slow speeds. Skipping ahead to a bigger 4-stroke and trying to “grow into it” will only slow down your pace of learning.
I learned that the fastest way to become a better rider is to master the basic skills of clutch and throttle control, as well as balance. By learning the proper techniques, you’ll also have more control and be able to ride longer without getting exhausted.
Once you’ve completely outgrown your first dirt bike, then it’s time to look at a more serious enduro trail bike.
What Is Your Size?
Dirt bike size is more important for beginners than it is if you’re an expert level rider. Being able to touch the ground with one foot builds your confidence because it can prevent simple tip-overs.
Confidence is key to growing your riding skill and technique. This is true even if you’re a pro rider.
There are a number of mid-size and smaller full-size dirt bikes if you are shorter than average. Even if you buy a 4 stroke that’s a little too tall, there are several ways to lower the seat height.
Are 4 strokes good for trail riding?
Depending on what type of dirt bike you get and the type of trails you’re doing, 4 strokes can be really good for trail riding. For example, you don’t want to ride a 250F 4 stroke MX bike on tight and technical trails, especially if you’re a beginner.
My video/podcast below shows you what you need to know before buying a 4 stroke dirt bike:
The CRF250F is an all new air-cooled 4 stroke with a dual-camshaft design. It has electric start, but the biggest upgrade is the electronic fuel injection system.
No more pesky carburetor to deal with, as the EFI auto compensates whether you’re starting the bike hot or cold.
The low seat height of 34.8″ helps build confidence, being a few inches shorter than a standard full size 4 stroke.
Other reasons why the Honda CRF250F is a great trail bike:
- Smooth power-curve with good torque
- Low seat height; Low center of gravity
- Very reliable
- Plenty of mods will be available
- Shorter wheelbase; makes turning easier
Other 4 stroke beginner bikes that are good for trail riding
Honorable mentions in case you don’t want a Honda include: Kawasaki KLX230R, Yamaha TTR230.
If you’re a new rider, then you’re on the right track to becoming a skilled rider by researching this article for the best dirt bike to start out on!
A 4 stroke trail bike is a great option for learning how to ride, but it’s even more important to learn proper riding technique. To learn the fundamental techniques and build your confidence, tap here to get started for free.
Best cheap used 4 stroke trail bike for beginners
Maybe you’re on a budget and need a cheap dirt bike to get started. If that’s the case, then here are the most affordable trail bikes if you’re looking for your first dirt bike:
Starting out on these older bikes is a great and inexpensive way to get started into riding off-road. If you can find one in good shape, you’ll not only save money when you buy it, but it will also be cheaper to maintain.
What’s The Most Reliable 4 Stroke Trail Bike?
The most reliable dirt bikes for trail riding are going to be the ones that are maintained the best.
All kidding aside, the air cooled 4 strokes are generally the most reliable because they’re the lowest performance engines.
The CRF250F, KLX230R and TTR230 are super durable and among the most reliable dirt bikes if you just keep the oil clean and full, and have a clean air filter.
What’s The Best 250cc 4 Stroke Trail Bike?
There’s many different 250 models that are designed for trail riding.
Honda has the CRF250F for beginner trail riders, the CRF250X for intermediate and experienced trail riders, and the CRF250RX for enduro riders that want a race bike that can still handle technical terrain in the woods.
The best 250 4 stroke dirt bikes for trail riding are:
0 or 450 Dirt Bike For Trails?
A 250 four-stroke is better for riding slower, tighter trails because it’s lighter and easier to handle. A 450 is better for faster, more open trails because it has plenty of power.
While a 450cc dirt bike might only weigh a few pounds more than a 250, the mass of the engine makes it feel a lot heavier. For example, when I went from a 200cc enduro bike to a 450cc, I got exhausted MUCH quicker because I’m not very strong.If you don’t need the extra power, it’s not worth the extra effort, in my opinion.
Best 4 Stroke For Fast Trails/Racing
The CRF250RX, YZ250FX, 250 XC-F, and KX250X are among the best enduro 4 strokes for high-speed and aggressive trail riding. They are lightweight and based on the 250 motocross bikes but are set up for off-road riding.
The motocross bikes listed above in the “worst 4 strokes for trail riding” can be used for riding in the woods, but they do not have the key traits that make it much more enjoyable.
For example, compared to the YZ250F MX bike, the YZ250FX has a wide-ratio 6-speed transmission, a larger gas tank, an 18” rear wheel (better for off-road), a kickstand, suspension that’s tuned for off-road racing, and an engine tuned for broader power.
All of these differences add up to a much better riding 250 4 stroke on the trails.
Can you race 4 stroke dirt bikes?
Absolutely! There are many 4 stroke enduro and motocross bikes for racing, but you can even race a “slower” 4 stroke trail bike.
I’ve raced a CRF230F “girls bike” at some hare scramble and enduro races and was still competitive in my class. As long as the suspension is set up for you, it’s more about YOU the rider, and your riding ability than what bike you’re riding.
Best 4 Stroke For Desert Trail Riding
Desert riding usually requires a bigger and more powerful bike. Sand and high-speed riding need more torque and horsepower or else you’re going to be doing a lot of shifting to keep moving at a fast pace.
Yamaha’s WR450F has always been a solid bike, but it’s improved yet again. The engine has plenty of horsepower, based on the YZ450F engine. You can also tune the ECU from your phone to get the exact feel that you want.
The Honda CRF450X is another great option for high-speed desert or Baja-like riding.
KTM’s 500 XCF-W is another step in the direction of high performance. If you’re looking for more than 450cc of power, the KTM 500 is the ultimate do-all bike.
Tuning the ECU may be required to get the most out of it if you get a “smogged” bike with all the EPA-restrictive parts.
Best 4 Stroke For Tight Single Track
Are you looking to get the ultimate woods weapon? Your best bet is the lightest bike with a shorter wheelbase.
Unfortunately, there’s no high performance option available unless you modify your own bike, such as a modded CRF230F.
The Honda CRF250F and Kawasaki KLX230R are great for tight single track riding, but they fall short in suspension and overall performance in stock form if you want to ride aggressively.
Yamaha’s WR250F has come a long way in the past 10 years, using the YZ250F powerplant but tuned for smoother power.
However, it’s still a tall bike with a full size seat height and wheelbase, so it doesn’t have much of an advantage over another 250 4 stroke trail bike.
Best lightweight street legal trail bike
Maybe you are limited to just one dirt bike due to space or your wife’s rules. Whatever it is, having a street legal dirt bike can be really beneficial so that you can ride to the trails, but there’s just one problem…
Dual sport dirt bikes are heavy, which makes for a poor trail bike, in most cases.
So, that’s why I want to show you the lightest available street legal dirt bikes that are still good for trail riding. With that said, you need to know which motorcycle is good based on your experience level. For example, just picking the lightest bike isn’t necessarily good for a beginner because it’s a high-performance model.
- KTM 350 EXC-F (experienced riders) – (est.) 243 lbs/229 lbs dry
- KTM 500 EXC-F (experienced riders) – (est.) 254 lbs/240 lbs dry
- Suzuki DR200S – 278 lbs
- Honda CRF450RL (experienced riders) – 291 lbs
- Kawasaki KLX230 S – 297 lbs
- Kawasaki KLX300 – 302 lbs
- Honda CRF300L – 306 lbs
Looking to buy a used 4 stroke dirt bike?
Maybe you’re on a budget and can’t afford to buy a brand-new bike. That’s okay, but buying a secondhand dirt bike can leave you with some major problems if you don’t know what to look for.Check out my video (or podcast episode) below so that you know what to look for when buying a used 4 stroke:
Simple steps to get start dirt biking on a budget
Whether you’re brand new to dirt biking, just getting back into it, or coming from a street or mountain bike, finances are often an issue when getting into this hobby. You can easily spend 10-15k just buying a bike and gear to get started, but I want to show you how to do it for a fraction of that while still having just as much fun while being safe. Click or tap here to learn more.
Posted on Last updated: April 17, 2023
Sunday 30th of April 2023
I’m 54 and road 2 strokes back in the day. Powerband city. Hadn’t ridden since my 20’s. Been riding sleds (850cc) alone in winter ever since. Decided to get back into it (trail riding in Maine) and was worried I didn’t still have and bought CRF 250F. In about a week or two I was looking for more power and much better suspension. I’m all set to go KTM XCF-250 but reading they’re race bikes and getting the same feeling I did before the 250F. I know XCF-W is the way to go but they’re ridiculously hard to find. Thoughts on the straight XCF? Will they lug? Am I going to flip on the first whiskey throttle if I tug on the throttle a little to much? Transmission wide ratio enough? Any input would be appreciated.
Sunday 16th of April 2023
where can we paypal you a donation for all of this awesome info? also, why no mention of the KX-250X trail bike?
Monday 17th of April 2023
Hey Bill, I really appreciate your support and encouragement. No need to donate, though. If you wish to further support me, I have online courses that you can get access to so that we can both help each other out 🙂 You’re right, I did forget that model. I’ll have to add it to this list. thanks for letting me know, Bill!
Friday 17th of March 2023
gosh am i glad u came up #1 in google what dirt bike is most comfortable? LOL. i was just about to purchase the 2023 Honda CRF250R (8K) for casual slow trail exploring. i saw a utube saying the CRF250F (5K) was for beginners, the R was better for experienced. the F was lower to the ground. i joined races like Virginia City but only to have fun. our club trail rode and i was always last. at 62 now i just want the most comfort in a trail bike which i only learned is diff from dirt bike from your article! most shops i contact the sales people don’t ride much or at all so it’s like asking Home Depot employees for help!
decades ago i started on Honda XL125, XL250, XL600 on/off then figured out full offroad is better and loved my KTM125 2-stroke but it was loud and don’t want anything like that now! i want a 125 now but the shops tell me moving to 4-stroke i need at least a 250 (which sounds right). i’m only going slow trail ride, looking for less vibrations, more comfort, and need power in rare instances! but in oregon we do have hills and often wet. i will never be going fast which i’d guess on trails that means never over 30mph?
i plan on purchasing the Echo motorcycle trailer EMC-7-12, do u have an opinion on this model? (i have a 1 1/4 hitch and small toyota with 1500lb limit.
thank u (really, for the great information)
here is a pic of my old KTM if u allow images. https://imgur.com/d4KRtlY
Monday 20th of March 2023
I’m glad to hear that too, Ed! Sounds like you got it figured out 🙂 I don’t have personal experience with that Echo trailer, but I’m somewhat familiar with it and it should be a good choice for what you need as long as you can put a 2 ball insert on that hitch. That’s a sweet shot on the old KTM. thanks for sharing, Ed!
Thursday 1st of December 2022
Hello I’m looking to get into Dirtbikes I want to trail ride I don’t really have an interest in riding track. I’m torn between the klx300 or the klx230r or in the Honda side I was wondering about the crf250f. I am 235lbs and 6’5 was wondering what u recommended. Thx for the help!!
Thursday 1st of December 2022
Hey Skylar, thanks for reaching out! Based on your weight, the KLX300R would be a better fit. They’re all going to feel soft and small, so you’ll probably want to make the suspension stiffer on any of them after you build up some confidence. A taller seat will help make it more comfortable. When you’re ready to ride, I highly recommend grabbing my free basic techniques guide. What do you think, Skylar?
Saturday 19th of November 2022
I’ve ridden heavy pigs for 50 years on mountain trails. but recently came back to trials bike. 165 pounds instead of 400 pounds. similar to the 70’s Spanish trials bikes, now mono suspension Montessa 300rr with high seat mod and larger gas tank, 4 stroke Honda engine, mega torque and use any rpm. pleasure to ride, hard to find.
Top 5 Fastest Electric Dirt Bikes for Adults in 2022
Only when you step out into the unknown do adventures begin. For some riders who enjoy the thrill of off-roading, this entails riding their bikes on surfaces other than paved ones. The dirt bike is their preferred mode of transportation for going on adventures.
Here is a list of the top 5 Electric Dirt bikes that we believe are worth your attention if you’re looking for the best dirt bikes to buy. Be aware that some of these bikes have been pre-released but have also been announced for sale in India. Some of them might not even be permitted on public roadways. With the advent of the electric dirt bike, our off-road environment of dirt, mud, and rocks has undergone a significant transformation.
A motorbike built for use on difficult terrain that is powered by batteries is known as an electric dirt bike. An electric dirt bike is noise- and maintenance-free equipment that is more environmentally friendly than a typical dirt bike.
But, Does the electric dirt bike provide the same level of strength, speed, and driving enjoyment as the classic off-road motorcycle?
They were previously known as “e-dirt bikes” and were intended as toys for children and teenagers. However, with the most recent innovations and advancements in electric motors and battery technology, we are set to test the boundaries of battery-powered bikes on the harshest terrains and dirt tracks.
following is the list of the top 5 fastest electric dirt bikes in 2022
|Electric Scooters||Top Speed|
|Alta Redshift MX||180km|
|CAKE Kalk OR||180km/h|
|KTM Freeride E-XC||180 km/h|
|Sur-Ron X||169 km/h|
|ZERO FX ZF7.2 ZF3.6||137 km/h|
Redshift MX Electric Motocross Bike from Alta Motors
A professional, full-featured race motocross dirt bike is the Alta Redshift MX.
Although Alta Motors no longer produces electric dirt bikes, we had to include this model on the list. It continues to be the ONLY fully functional electric motocross dirt bike made.
A Redshift is still available on the used dirt bike market. The Redshift MX has a top speed of about 50 mph, and its battery life is about an hour. But the Redshift MX’s superior construction is what sets it apart. The dirt bike has top-notch components all over.
The front fork and rear shock of the Alta Motors Redshift are also equipped with WP suspension. The brakes on a well-built, high-quality dirt bike are what you would come to expect.
The BEST electric dirt bike available was this one. Since Alta Motors regrettably closed its doors in 2019, you cannot purchase a new one for 2020, hence I did not include it above.
Get one if you can on the used dirt bike market!
Alta Redshift MX Specifications and Features
- Pro WP suspension
- Pro brakes
- Pro chassis
- The best electric dirt bikes
- the highest speed of 50 mph
- 60-minute running time
CAKE Kalk OR
Sweden’s top electric dirt bike, the Kalk OR, is built for off-road performance. The Swedish business Cake is dedicated to creating cutting-edge, lightweight electric dirt bikes. They currently have a limited number of models from the Kalk lineup, grouped into two groups. both for backcountry exploration and racing.
Models made by Kalk or Freeride are appropriate for backcountry trail riding.
While dirt motorcycles like the Kalk Or and Ink Race Models are made for racing, keep in mind that they have the same power as the opposing freeride line-up and are just a little heavier.
Kalk OR electric dirt bike Specifications
- run time of three hours
- eleven kW (15hp)
- the maximum speed of 50 mph
- max torque of 42 Nm, with 280 Nm on the back wheel
- Three ride settings
- 2.5-hour charging period
- brakes on a motorcycle
- Fork and shock of Ohlins
KTM Freeride E-XC Electric Dirt Bike
The new 2022 KTM Freeride E-XC is a hybrid between a full-size enduro/motocross dirt bike and a trial dirt bike, just like the previous 2020 and 2021 models.
The removable Lithium-Ion KTM PowerPack powers the 2021 KTM Freeride E-XC Electric Dirt Bike. This enables you to purchase an extra lithium-Ion KTM battery that you can quickly switch out when you go riding for the day.
The KTM Freeride E-XC is a single-speed automatic with a maximum horsepower output of 24.5.
However, do not be deceived by the modest horsepower…
- Outstanding torque can be obtained with an electric dirt bike.
- The KTM PowerPack battery can be fully charged in 1.3 hours.
- The electric Freeride is made of a steel composite frame, so it can withstand any punishment you may give it.
- The stock shocks on the 2021 Freeride E-XC are WP Xplor PDS.
- The 2022 KTM Freeride’s seat height is 910 mm. or 35.82 inches.
KTM Freeride E-XC features and specifications for 2022
- 24.5 maximum HP with 5000 RPM Xplor 48 PDS Changeable Shock Absorber PowerPack Lithium-Ion
- Single-speed liquid-cooled automatic
- Ground Coverage 13,38 in. (340 mm)
Sur-Ron X- Electric Dirt Motorbike
In the world of electric dirt bikes, the Sur Ron X electric dirt bike is a relative newbie.
A few distinctive aspects of the Sur-Ron dirt bike are noteworthy. When you take off the throttle while in sports mode, the Sur Ron X enables Regenerative coasting and recharges the battery.
The battery in the Sur-Ron electric dirt bike is made by Panasonic. The Sur-Ron X’s top speed is 20 MPH, which is not very fast for a motorcycle that is allowed on public roads. To increase the power/top speed, you can make a simple tweak, though.
The Sur Ron dirt bike has a 62-mile range when configured in the street-legal mode, although I have my doubts about this. The battery has a full suspension, front, and rear brakes, and is swappable.
Specs and Features for Sur Ron X
- 47 mph top speed, 6 kW maximum power
- range of 20 to 60 miles (Sport or Eco Mode)
- 3 hours for charging
- in two suspensions
- Removable Ion battery pack from Panasonic
- Both wheels have regenerative coasting piston hydraulic brakes.
ZERO FX ZF7.2 ZF3.6 in 2022
The Zero FX Electric Dirt Bike has a powerful electric drivetrain and a sleek design. It is an honorable mention in the field of electric dirt bikes thanks to its incredible torque and conceivably greatest speed. A firm called Zero Motorcycles only produces electric motorcycles. The team at Zero Motorcycles appears to have poured their heart and soul into creating electric dirt bikes. The Eco and Sport modes are yours to pick from in the Zero Motorcycle App.
The 2022 ZERO FX ZF7.2 ZF3.6 is without a doubt the greatest hybrid Electric Dirt Bike. The 2022 FX models from Zero were created for both on- and off-road use, making them more comfortable than other electric bikes.
Power and battery:
The only difference between the 2022 ZERO FX ZF7.2 and the Zero FX ZF3.6 is the power and range provided by the various battery options. You can switch between Eco and Sport settings by downloading the Zero Motorcycle App. Zero Motorcycles is proud to offer a decent range of electric dirt bikes.
2022 ZERO FX ZF7.2
- Range 91 miles in the city and 39 miles on the highway
- 46 horsepower
- 78 pound-feet of torque