Best Vintage Dirt Bikes To Buy with Prices and Specs

If you are looking for a dirt bike but cannot afford a brand new one, you can try buying vintage dirt bikes. Though a new one is ready to use and has no issues, it may cost you a lot of money – the reason why some motocross riders consider buying a used one. Whether it is a 2-stroke or 4-stroke, there are still good deals on the market. You just have to know which model to get and which one can still run with good performance.

The most reliable brands depend on the year and model. Some models were made in the late 90s but can still perform well and still be durable.

However, buying a vintage dirt bike is different from purchasing a second-hand car. You need to think about certain features and specifications to get the best model for your next motocross activity. Here are some of the models you can check out, including an estimate of how much you can get from the market.

Honda CR80/CR85

Price: $500-$1,500


Compression: 8:4:1

Oil Capacity: 0.58 US qt Transmission Oil or SAE 10W-40 4-stroke engine oil

Chain Size: #420

Front Tire: 70/100-19/17

Rear Tire: 90/100-16/14

Weight: around 145 pounds

It was between the years 1996-2002 when the Honda CR80 was introduced to the bike market. Usually, these are ridden by young teens that are getting on the tracks but are not ready yet to use a 2-stroke dirt bike. Honda changed its name to CR85 last 2003, but there were no major changes made to the engine.

Though most of the units do not look as good as other models, the CR80 and CR85 run fast and are the models which are made with good-performing inverted forks.

However, getting this model in good condition can be difficult since most of these units were already ridden hard on motocross. There is not much to maintain on the CR80/85, but you need to regularly change its oil and its filters and service on suspension, chains, and bearings.

Yamaha YZ125

Price: $800-$2,200


Engine: 124cc/2-stroke

Fuel Capacity: 2.1 US Gal

Power: 33.53 Hp

Front Tires: 80/100-21/51

Rear Tires: 100/90-19/57

Weight: 86 kg

The Yamaha YZ125 was released between 1999-2004. A decade after its release, it is still the standard model for 2-strokes and is still listed as the best 2-stroke model to buy. In 2002, it upgraded to a narrower body and became a 5-speed transmission dirt bike.

Maintenance for this model is easy since most of its parts are easily available at Yamaha service centers. However, you need to get the engines maintained regularly. Because of its good 125cc power, it is one of the most efficient motocross bikes for MX racing.

Though it can easily be bought on the market, most of the units are already abused. You need to check its air filter and box to know if it is clean and regularly maintained.

Honda XR200

Price: $400-$1,500


Engine: 4-stroke

Compression: 10.2:1

Fuel Capacity: 2.4 Gal

Power: 23 Hp

Front Tire: 3.00/21

Rear Tire: 110/90-17

Weight: 224.8 pounds

A classic MX ride from 1986-1991, Honda XR200 is simple and easy to use because of its lower seat height. It is also known as one of the best trail bikes with its power.

Changes to the engine were made in 1986. The 200cc motorbikes are lightweight since there are no added parts that weigh too much compared to the new models. Other changes were made during 1992, the suspensions were de-tuned, made the seat height was lower, and the rear shock cannot be rebuilt, unlike the previous models.

You may consider this dirt bike since it is easy to maintain, start, and modified for better power, and some parts are still available at Honda service centers. However, most vintage Honda XR200 sold in the market are improperly maintained. Fortunately, maintenance is easy since you only need to regularly change its oil. What you need to look out for are worn-out chains, bearings, sprockets, and other components. If its engine is making a loud noise and a lot of smoke, the dirt bike may need to be rebuilt.

Kawasaki KDX200/220

Price: $800-$2,000


Engine: 198cc/2-stroke

Compression: 7.7:1

Fuel Capacity: 3.2 Gal

Oil Capacity: 0.80 qt

Front Tire: 80/100-21

Rear Tire: 100/100-18

Weight: 240 pounds

You may have seen this bike in some movies during the 80s where riders are going on it fast in the woods. It is because these enduro bikes are made to get through tough trails without giving too much clutch work. The KDX200/220 runs smooth enough even for beginners. It can be modified with stiffer suspensions if you want to use it in racing.

This model is one of the quietest bikes ever built because the tailpipes are not pointed at the rider when riding on it. Having these in a noise-conscious area is a must to avoid people’s complaints. The original model was redesigned on 1995 – engines and suspensions were modified and brakes were improved to make a better model.

If you are looking for this vintage model, you need to check when was the last oil change the previous owner did. The air filter should also be clean and the engine should have no knocking sounds or other noise. Since the KDX200/220 are often used on trails, most of the units in the sale have dents or cracks which you also need to look out for. Kawasaki discontinued its release on the market from 2006 onwards.

Final Words

Vintage dirt bikes can still be bought from the markets. Some riders may save a lot on vintage compared to buying a new model. However, the majority of vintage dirt bikes are not well-maintained and need to be rebuilt. Remember to stay away from bikes that have a lot of issues with the engine since it may cost you more on repairs and replacement of parts. You can tell if the dirt bike is well-maintained by the owner or if it was kept dirty until for next ride.

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