Motorcycles: 2021 Trailbikes Under $5,000

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You want to take your family out riding on the trails, but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to do so. Reasonable enough. High-quality trailbikes of many displacement ranges can be had for under $5,000, making that weekend trip more agreeable with the bank account. While we await other model announcements, this series of currently announced models from Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki will get you started in your search for the best trailbike(s) for your family.

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a close up of a motorcycle: The Honda CRF50F is a pint-size option for the smaller members of the fambam. © Honda The Honda CRF50F is a pint-size option for the smaller members of the fambam.

2021 Honda CRF50F

a close up of a motorcycle: The Honda CRF50F is a pint-size option for the smaller members of the fambam. © Provided by Dirt Rider The Honda CRF50F is a pint-size option for the smaller members of the fambam.

Smaller riders have to start somewhere, and an option like Honda’s CRF50F is one to consider. The automatic clutch makes it easy for riders learning the ropes and the reliable 49cc four-stroke engine delivers approachable power for the youngster. With smaller riders, seat height and weight are also important to consider because you want to limit all intimidation factors. Seat height is an approachable 21.6 inches and a claimed 110-pound ready-to-ride weight makes it one of the lightest motorcycles on the market. Price won’t intimidate you either because the CRF50F has an MSRP of just $1,599.

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2021 Honda CRF50F Price: $1,599

2021 Honda CRF110F

a motorcycle parked on a dirt road: The CRF110F makes shifting less complicated with a clutchless, semi-automatic transmission. © Provided by Dirt Rider The CRF110F makes shifting less complicated with a clutchless, semi-automatic transmission.

The 2021 Honda CRF110F is powered by a 109cc four-stroke powerplant. The CRF110F is equipped with a clutchless, semi-automatic transmission making it a great learner’s bike for easing riders into the motions of shifting gears. Like the larger brother CRF250F, this model is green-sticker eligible so Junior can practice shifting and riding all year long. A 25.9-inch seat height is a nice median between the other CRF models though its claimed 170-pound wet weight does place it as one of the heavier models compared to the competition.

a motorcycle parked on a dirt road: The CRF110F makes shifting less complicated with a clutchless, semi-automatic transmission. © Honda The CRF110F makes shifting less complicated with a clutchless, semi-automatic transmission.

2021 Honda CRF110F Price: $2,499

2021 Honda CRF125F/Big Wheel

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a row of parked motorcycles sitting on top of a motorcycle: Two variations of the CRF125F exist to suit different rider heights. © Provided by Dirt Rider Two variations of the CRF125F exist to suit different rider heights.

As a bike with two wheel size options available, the CRF125F and its Big Wheel version are ripe for the picking for your growing beanpole. As transitional bikes, both CRF125Fs offer fun performance from a 125cc four-stroke engine. The difference between the two lies in the wheel size, suspension, and seat height. While the CRF125F wheels are 17 and 14 inches, the Big Wheel rolls on 19 and 16-inch diameter hoops. The CRF125F’s suspension provides 5.2 inches of travel (front) and 5.5 inches (rear) and the Big Wheel has 5.9 and 6.6, respectively. Seat height is listed at 29.1 inches on the CRF125F and 30.9 on the Big Wheel.

2021 Honda CRF125F Price: $3,199

2021 Honda CRF125F Big Wheel Price: $3,599

2021 Honda CRF250F

a motorcycle parked on the side: Riders climbing the ranks to a full-size trailbike may want to look at the CRF250F beforehand. © Provided by Dirt Rider Riders climbing the ranks to a full-size trailbike may want to look at the CRF250F beforehand.

Honda’s second-highest-displacement trailbike is the 2021 CRF250F and it’s available for year-round riding due to its green-sticker eligibility. This machine is confidence-inspiring to riders stepping up from a 110 or 125 with its smooth 249cc four-stroke engine, 41mm Showa fork, and Showa shock adjustable for preload. The full-size 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel offer versatility over trail terrain and powerful braking is had with single discs situated at both ends. In our 2019 review of the CRF250F, we touted the engine to have a short and torquey first gear capable of tackling tight single-track trails and an overall controllable, predictable power delivery.

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a row of parked motorcycles sitting on top of a motorcycle: Two variations of the CRF125F exist to suit different rider heights. © Honda Two variations of the CRF125F exist to suit different rider heights.

2021 Honda CRF250F Price: $4,699

2021 Yamaha PW50

a bicycle is parked next to a motorcycle: Fully automatic transmissions, like on the PW50, make it easy for young riders to learn. © Provided by Dirt Rider Fully automatic transmissions, like on the PW50, make it easy for young riders to learn.

One peewee trailbike from Yamaha is the PW50. It’s 49cc two-stroke motor is paired with the twist-and-go single-speed automatic transmission that makes it very approachable to young riders. Its adjustable throttle stop screw puts the power in the parents’ hands, allowing them to tailor the power output to match the rider’s skill level. The low 18.7-inch seat height places it lower than the Honda, so those with shorter inseams can approach it with confidence. With its wet weight coming in at a claimed 90 pounds, the PW50 is extremely light.

a motorcycle parked on the side: Riders climbing the ranks to a full-size trailbike may want to look at the CRF250F beforehand. © Honda Riders climbing the ranks to a full-size trailbike may want to look at the CRF250F beforehand.

2021 Yamaha PW50 Price: $1,649

2021 Yamaha TT-R50E

a man flying through the air while riding a motorcycle: The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E. © Provided by Dirt Rider The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E.

For $50 more than the PW50, Yamaha also has the 2021 TT-R50E. The TT-R does have some key differences from the PW which include a 49cc four-stroke engine with a three-speed transmission (though still with an automatic clutch), an electric starter, differing dimensions, and different suspension components. The TT-R50E’s seat height is a little taller at 21.9 inches and its claimed wet weight is 126 pounds. A 22mm conventional fork provides 3.8 inches of travel and the shock provides 2.8. Like the PW, drum brakes bring the machine to a stop.

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2021 Yamaha TT-R50E Price: $1,699

2021 Yamaha TT-R110E

a man riding on the back of a motorcycle: The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E. © Provided by Dirt Rider The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E.

Equipped with a 110cc four-stroke engine and a four-speed transmission with an automatic clutch, the 2021 Yamaha TT-R110E is the bLU cRU’s next option up in both displacement and the amount of transmission gears. An electric starter is a convenient component while the accessible 26.4-inch seat height, claimed 159-pound wet weight, and well-damped suspension bring this up to spec for riders who are steadily improving their riding résumé.

2021 Yamaha TT-R110E Price: $2,299

2021 Yamaha TT-R125LE

a close up of a motorcycle: The TT-R230 features a 223cc four-stroke engine equipped with a six-speed transmission. © Provided by Dirt Rider The TT-R230 features a 223cc four-stroke engine equipped with a six-speed transmission.

The highest-displacement model in Yamaha’s trailbike lineup is the TT-R230. This machine produces predictable power from its 223cc four-stroke powerplant appropriate for beginner and intermediate riders. An 11.6-inch ground clearance and 9.4/8.7-inch travel (front/rear) help it traverse over trail terrain. As mentioned before, it also has a single disc brake up front for plenty of stopping power along with a drum brake in the rear. Other top features include the convenient electric start and the compact steel frame paired with an aluminum swingarm.

2021 Yamaha TT-R230 Price: $4,449

2021 Kawasaki KLX110R

a person flying through the air while riding a motorcycle: Kawasaki’s KLX140R is geared more toward riders with a slightly more developed skill set. © Provided by Dirt Rider Kawasaki’s KLX140R is geared more toward riders with a slightly more developed skill set.

The KLX110R is Kawasaki’s 112cc four-stroke trailbike suitable for newer riders interested in exploring off-road. Its competition is the TT-R110E due to its engine displacement, four-speed transmission, automatic clutch, 26.8-inch seat height, and drum brakes. According to the claimed wet weights, it is almost 10 pounds heavier than Yamaha’s TT-R110E, though. A 30mm telescopic fork and the shock provide a usable 4.3 inches of travel.

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2021 Kawasaki KLX110R Price: $2,349

2021 Kawasaki KLX110R L

a person flying through the air while riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Bigger options are not only limited to Big Red; the KLX110R comes in the L version. © Provided by Dirt Rider Bigger options are not only limited to Big Red; the KLX110R comes in the L version.

Team Green also produces a larger machine to accommodate taller riders. Unlike the Honda CRF125F Big Wheel model, the L does not replace the smaller wheels with larger ones. Instead, the L has an increased seat height (28.7 inches), longer suspension travel, and an extra 1.9 inches of ground clearance. Another significant difference is the L is equipped with a manual clutch.

2021 Kawasaki KLX110R L Price: $2,549

2021 Kawasaki KLX140R

a person riding on the back of a motorcycle: Kawasaki’s KLX140R is geared more toward riders with a slightly more developed skill set. © Provided by Dirt Rider Kawasaki’s KLX140R is geared more toward riders with a slightly more developed skill set.

The 144cc four-stroke model from Kawasaki is the KLX140R. The increase in power makes it suitable for riders who have developed some riding skills already. While dimensions differ between the 140R and its larger sibling, the 140R L, it also features a mechanical difference with only one adjustment on the shock—preload. The 140R has keyless ignition and electric start for a couple of convenient modern amenities and stopping the machine are disc brakes at the front and rear.

a bicycle is parked next to a motorcycle: Fully automatic transmissions, like on the PW50, make it easy for young riders to learn. © Yamaha Fully automatic transmissions, like on the PW50, make it easy for young riders to learn.

2021 Kawasaki KLX140R Price: $3,149

2021 Kawasaki KLX140R L

a person flying through the air while riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: The 2021 Kawasaki KLX140R L features more performance-oriented suspension than the 140R model. © Provided by Dirt Rider The 2021 Kawasaki KLX140R L features more performance-oriented suspension than the 140R model.

Next is the KLX140R L, which is powered by the same 144cc four-stroke as the previously mentioned model. Kawasaki says that since the L is likely to be ridden harder than the base model, it is equipped with a more performance-oriented shock that is both preload and rebound adjustable. Other differences between this and the 140R include the larger wheels, taller seat height, and higher ground clearance. With these suspension and dimension differences, the L weighs in at a claimed 209 pounds compared to the 205-pound weight of the 140R.

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a man flying through the air while riding a motorcycle: The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E. © Yamaha The four-stroke beginner trailbike from Yamaha is the TT-R50E.

2021 Kawasaki KLX140R L Price: $3,449

2021 Suzuki DR-Z50

a motorcycle parked on a dirt road: Suzuki’s kid-appropriate model is the DR-Z50. © Provided by Dirt Rider Suzuki’s kid-appropriate model is the DR-Z50.

A three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch are components that make a 49cc four-stroke approachable for beginners and such is the case with the 2021 Suzuki DR-Z50. The mechanics and techniques used with the transmission and clutch system are simple enough to allow the child to learn the ropes of riding, and the 22-inch seat height is also less intimidating and easier to swing a leg over for small riders. A keyed ignition and adjustable throttle limiter gives the adult more control of when and how the child rides. New graphics are seen on this 2021 mini moto.

a man riding on the back of a motorcycle: Stepping it up in Yamaha’s lineup is the TT-R110E. © Yamaha Stepping it up in Yamaha’s lineup is the TT-R110E.

2021 Suzuki DR-Z50 Price: $1,799

2021 Suzuki DR-Z125L

a man riding on the back of a motorcycle: The next step up in Suzuki’s lineup is the 2021 DR-Z125L. © Provided by Dirt Rider The next step up in Suzuki’s lineup is the 2021 DR-Z125L.

The next progression in Suzuki’s youth off-road line is the DR-Z125L. Large wheels and its price place this in the ring with the CRF125F Big Wheel and TT-R125LE, but its 32-inch seat height makes it a tad higher than the competition. Kickstarting this bike to life also differentiates the DR-Z from the Honda and Yamaha models which both showcase electric starters. Like the DR-Z50, this has also been updated with new graphics for the 2021 model year.

2021 Suzuki DR-Z125L Price: $3,349

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