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What's the Difference Between a 250cc and 450cc Dirt Bike?

gennaio 21, 2022 5 min read

What's the Difference Between a 250cc and 450cc Dirt Bike?

Usually, the question is whether you should get a 2-stroke bike or a 4-stroke bike. That’s a battle that’s been in the war zone for many years and probably won’t ever be solved. However, the difference between a 250cc and a 450cc is probably the same type of argument. 

250cc dirt bikes compared to 450cc dirt bikes, differ in their power. 250cc bikes are not as effective as 450cc bikes in speed and power. 450cc bikes are generally best for intermediate to advanced riders and not as ideal for a beginner as a 250cc would be.

If you’re new to riding and choosing the right bike for you has been more challenging than you’d thought it would be, you’re not alone. Let Risk Racing help to ease some of the stress you might be feeling. Read on below to find out more about 250cc engines vs 450cc engines to help you make an educated decision on your next dirt bike. 

250 vs. 450

Should I Get a 250cc or 450cc Dirt Bike?

If you’re just starting out in the dirt bike world, you’ve probably seen that there are numerous manufacturers, multiple engine sizes, and hundreds of available dirt bikes. 

Knowing which dirt bike to get isn’t an easy feat, it’s confusing and people are going to tell you different things based on what they ride and what their riding abilities are. The thing is, your riding abilities are going to be different. Especially if you’re a beginner or if you’ve had a long break from the track. 

If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend a 250cc dirt bike to start out with. This doesn’t mean you’re weaker or not strong enough to handle a 450cc dirt bike. It’s a precautionary measure we ourselves would take if we were beginners. 

450cc bikes are a lot more powerful and much heavier than 250cc bikes. If you’re not used to riding or holding that much weight in your hands, for your own safety, start off with a 250cc dirt bike. 

That being said, if you’ve had a long break from the dirt bike track and are thinking of coming back, you might be able to pick up where you left off with a 450cc. That doesn’t mean you won’t be sore tomorrow!

Here is what you need to keep in mind when choosing a dirt bike:

  • Your weight
  • Your height
  • Your fitness and strength levels
  • The type of terrain you plan to ride on
  • Whether dirt bike riding is a hobby or something a little more serious
  • Your riding and handling ability

Here are the differences and similarities between 250cc bikes and 450cc bikes:



Average Weight of the bike

220lbs (99kg)

240lbs (108kgs)

Average Height

33 – 38 inches

33-38 inches

Average Speed




Less powerful

More powerful


Both 4-stroke

Both 4-stroke


$8000 average for brand new

$10,000 average for brand new

Another thing to keep in mind is your weight. If you’re tall and weigh more than the average human, a 250cc might not be powerful enough for you. You could consider a 450cc if you’re taller and weigh around 200lbs or more, a 450cc bike will probably be more suited to you. 

Is a 250cc Dirt Bike Good for a Beginner?

A 250cc dirt bike is good for an adult beginner. They weigh less than the 450cc models so can be easier to control on the track. Among a few other reasons why a 250cc dirt bike might be better for you as a beginner into dirt biking. 

Here’s why a 250cc dirt bike is better for beginners:

  • Weigh less so are easier to control
  • Generally cheaper to buy and maintain
  • Seat height matches the 450cc so tall riders can ride 250cc
  • Power output is easier to handle

A 4-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that doesn’t emit high amounts of fumes into the air as the 2-strokes did. Some dirt bike brands have continued to manufacture 2-stroke dirt bikes with altered engines to ensure they are up to standard with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. 

Here are some 250cc models that are great for beginners:

Yamaha YZ250F

Yamaha never lets anyone down. They are a renowned dirt bike brand and have been producing high-quality dirt bikes since 1968. 


Suzuki RM-Z250

Suzuki is a well-known and trusted brand in the dirt bike industry and has been producing dirt bikes since 1965. They design and manufacture high-quality bikes and this model is no exception.


Kawasaki KX250

Since 1953 Kawasaki has been producing some of the top dirt bikes around. In fact, Kawasaki has produced more championship bikes than any other manufacturer. 


Is a 250cc or 450cc Dirt Bike Easier to Ride?

This depends completely on the style of riding you intend to be using on the track and what your fitness levels are like. 

Riding a dirt bike isn’t something that comes easy and needs a lot of work and attention. It can be tiring, heavy, and exhausting to ride dirt bikes. The more you train and practice, the better you will become and the fitter you will become. 

More casual riders might well be more suited to 450cc engines because of their ability to handle the terrain better. Some riders say you can get lazy on a 450cc engine, even with its immense power. 

Though because of the power output a 450cc bike gives out, we usually recommend 450cc bikes are ridden by more experienced riders. 


150 – 250cc dirt bikes, depending on your height. The higher the cubic centimeters, the taller the bike. This also means the more powerful the bike too.


Intermediate level riding skills

250cc dirt bikes are a great option for intermediate-level riders. The power output is great and as you better your skills and your confidence, you can progress into the 450cc range. 

Advanced riders

Depending on your style of riding and which terrain you prefer to ride on, we’d recommend advanced riders can ride 450cc dirt bikes. Obviously, as an advanced rider, you probably know which bike is best for you and whether you prefer a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. 

Are 250cc and 450cc Frames the Same?

Most 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes have the same frame. 

The main differences are that the 450cc bikes can be made larger and wider, to fit the bigger engine. Though this difference is not always detectable. 450cc bikes weigh more than 250cc bikes, again because of the bigger engine size. 

Unless you know a bit about engines, you probably won’t notice the difference between these two bike frames. 

Both 250cc and 450cc bikes suit taller riders and are typically designed for adults or older teenagers. 



450cc bikes are much faster than 250cc bikes, but you don’t want to choose bikes based on how fast they go. Take into consideration your weight, height, and riding ability, to make the right decision on which bike would suit you best on the track. If you’re a novice, you might consider starting off with a 250cc bike until you have the confidence and riding ability to take on the 450cc.

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