Dirt biking is the perfect sport for an adrenaline junky, and there's nothing that gets the adrenaline going quite like speed. Some may say that 125cc dirt bikes can't get going fast, but their top speed begs to differ.
125cc dirt bikes have an average top speed of 45mph. The highest speed recorded was more than 100mph. Manufacturers advertise around 45 miles per hour, but some consumers find they can push the limits to over 60mph.
Suppliers of dirt bikes are legally obliged to list a max speed that is safe for anyone to reach. Consumers have completely different ideas of the average max speed for a 125cc dirt bike.
Manufacturer Advertised Max Speed
The max speed for a 125cc dirt bike can vary widely. Much of the capacity of your bike depends on how much you are willing to spend. The more expensive the bike, the faster you can expect it to go. PowersportsMax sells multiple makes and models of 125cc dirt bikes. Their $729.95 bike maxes out at 37+mph*. Another one of their bikes at $919 has a max speed of 55+mph* (depending on the weight of the rider and the conditions of the road).
That being said, it isn't impossible to find a 125cc dirt bike that has a company recommended speed of 60 mph. FXBikes Mountain Moto latest 125cc dirt bike's recommended top speed is 60mph. Shayne King, the 1996 500cc Motocross Champion had this to say about the FXBike,
This bike is a weapon! It feels just like a motocross bike, but with all the fun of it being lightweight and easy to ride like a mountain bike.Shayne King
1996 World 500cc Motocross Champion
Consumer Max Speed
While companies recommend speeds ranging from the 30-50 mph range, consumers opinions tend to disagree. From the world of YouTube, Yahoo, and customer reviews, many report max speeds ranging from 60-80mph! Even though a bike might be able to go that fast, it's vital to remember mom's old saying. "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Wear and tear on your bike will be greater if you run it faster than recommended.
Of course a bike can go faster than the advertised speed if you find the right conditions. Going downhill with a small rider can lead to a much higher speed.
Four-Stroke vs Two-Stroke
Four-stroke dirt bikes vary vastly in their max speed. You can end up with a bike that can go as low as 35mph to as high as 55mph. The price of the bike can be an indicator of the speed, but buyer beware, just because you pay top dollar doesn't mean you'll get to the top speed. If you want speed, just be sure to check the max speed listed on the site before you buy the bike.
If you're looking for speed, you want a two-stroke dirt bike. On average, a two-stroke dirt bike will be faster when to put next to a 4 stroke of comparable cc. Consumers have reported that their two-stroke dirt bikes can reach 100mph! Even though a two-stroke can go faster, they aren't built for long stretches of speed. Much like how a cheetah tires out after only a few minutes, a two-stroke dirt bike can only go at its top speed for a few moments before the engine blows up!
Here is a video of a guy topping out his 125cc 2 stroke dirt bike.
Reaching Max Speed
Part of the fun in going top speed is acceleration. On average, 250cc dirt bikes can reach their top speed in as little as 4 seconds! That's a lot of power! Consumers report that reaching the max speed fast is better on a manual bike. Dirt bikes with automatic transitions are more likely to stall and give you less control with your speed. On the other hand, you're more likely to burn out your engine with an inexperienced rider on a manual transition bike.
Acceleration is generally preferable to a top speed in terms of dirt bikes. If you are riding around any sort of track or road that has bends in it, you will have a need to slow down. Acceleration is needed to get to that top speed. If you are looking to go fast, look into a street bike.
Top speed vs Control
You want to know how fast a dirt bike can go, and I don't blame you! The truth of the matter is that dirt bikes are not built for speed. While going fast is fun, dirt bikes are made to go over any obstacle in your way. This opens a world of possibilities to you! While you might not have the fastest dirt bike, you can get from point A to point B faster than anybody because of the agility of your bike. In this case, you might not want the fastest bike on the market, but the one that can switch from fast to slow quicker than any other.
Dirt biking is all about control. The faster your bike, the more skilled you need to be to control it. If you're a beginning biker, looking for the max speed might not be for you. Starting with a bike with a lower max speed is perfect for learning how to bike and get through rough terrain. As you increase in ability, you can also look at faster bikes that still give you the control you need to use the bike effectively.
Top Speed for Kids
Most of the time, dirt bikes with 125cc are for kids and teens. Even though this article focused on the pros of top speed and how to find the fastest bike, as a parent you won't want to give your kids the fastest bike on the market. Let's recap some of the facts and talk about why.
- Most 125cc dirt bikes can reach their top speed in as little as 4 seconds
- 125cc dirt bikes can go anywhere from 37-60mph and more
- Even if the company you buy your bike from says its max speed is 50mph, consumers report that it can go faster
- Faster bikes aren't always better for obstacle riding
- The faster your bike can go, the more control you need to have of it
The Dangers of Speed
As a kid, my grandpa had a dirt bike on his ranch that I LOVED. Riding that thing was my favourite activity at his house. I can still close my eyes and remember the feeling of the wind in my face and hearing the sound of the engine roaring as I watched the fields and horses fly by me. We had a rule that I wasn't allowed to get any higher than the 3rd gear while the bike had 5.
Over time, I would go faster and faster. I became comfortable going fast, to the point that I didn't want to take the time to get my helmet. When I got a little older, my friends talked me into going into the 4th and then 5th gears. I took a corner too fast and ended up losing control. I spent a month limping from that incident.
If you're getting a bike for your kid (or yourself), be careful. Kids will be kids, and if they get the chance to test the limits they will. Giving your kid a bike that can go from 0-60mph in 4 seconds is a risk. A safe rule is to ask yourself how you would've acted if there was no one around and you had that bike.