Which Stock Dirt Bikes Are the Most Powerful? Horsepower and Top Speed


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Dirt bikes are used by many people, and many people use them to race against others. So if you’re aiming for the fastest ride, you’re probably wondering: what is the most powerful dirt bike out there?

The most powerful dirt bike is the ATK 700 Intimidator. It has 78 horsepower and a top speed of 110 mph. The Beta 450 RS is also a powerful dirt bike. It has 75 horsepower and a top speed of 111 mph. Most dirt bikes will have an average horsepower of 55, and have top speeds of around 90 mph.

Now, you may be wondering how the most powerful dirt bikes are ranked. A dirt bike’s power is determined by the horsepower and the amount of torque it has.

Torque

Torque is a measure of the amount of twisting or rotational force acting at a distance. It is measured in foot-pounds (lb-ft) or Newton-meters (N-m). Bikes with lots of low-end torque are great for doing wheelies and are better able to claw and scratch their way up steep trails at slow constant speeds. This means that they are better at safely getting over rocky terrains than dirt bikes with a higher amount of torque. source

When you ride a peaky bike in its midrange or low-end setting, snapping the throttle open gets you only moderate torque, resulting in weak acceleration. However, if you tap down two gears, putting the engine up at 9,000 to 10,000 rpm, the bike rockets forward because now it is operating in the setting where it gets its best torque.

Mathematically, torque is defined as the cross product of the lever-arm distance and force, which produces rotation. In the automotive world, torque is the force that gets your bike moving. The more torque you have, the quicker the bike can go. The amount of torque that a dirt bike has is especially important when you are considering a dirt bike that you plan to use while racing other riders. However, the amount of torque that a dirt bike has does not determine how powerful the dirt bike really is.

Horsepower

The amount of horsepower that a dirt bike has determines how powerful it is. Horsepower is a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second. It is how dirt bike manufacturers determine the amount of power a dirt bike engine produces, and how powerful a dirt bike is. The more horsepower your dirt bike has, the more powerful it is, and the faster your dirt bike will go.

Dirt bikes have an average horsepower of 50, but it is easy to find models with higher horsepower, even in models that are made for beginner dirt bikers.

What Does CC Stand For?

“CC” stands for cubic centimeters, and is used to measure the displacement of a dirt bike’s engine. The higher the cc, the more powerful the engine is, and the more experience a rider needs in order to safely ride it. The cc also measures how much horsepower the dirt bike engine can provide.

Most dirt bikes with a 250cc or a 450cc are great for beginning dirt bikers, but it is important to consider all of your options before choosing what dirt bike is best for you at your current skill level. If possible, take the dirt bike that you intend to purchase on a test ride, and see if you like it and if it works well for you.

Many expert dirt bikers use machines with a 600cc, and it is important to remember that machines with a high cc are meant to be ridden by experienced dirt bikers, not beginners. If you are a beginning dirt bike rider and you ride a dirt bike with a high cc or horsepower without assistance from another person, you may fall off and get very hurt. Remember to be cautious when you are riding a dirt bike and stay within your skill level.

Types of Dirt Bikes

4-stroke dirt bikes emit fewer exhaust emissions than 2-stroke dirt bikes. A 2-stroke burns the oil during combustion by design, which increases smoke and emissions, especially if you are using low-quality oil. A 2-stroke dirt bike might not be the best choice for you if you want to help protect the environment. However, many companies have stopped producing new 2-stroke dirt bikes, so they may be hard to find.

4-stroke dirt bikes are much faster than 2-stroke dirt bikes. However, they are slightly more unstable than the 2-stroke dirt bikes, so I would not recommend them for beginning dirt bikers.

You may be wondering what a “stroke” is. According to the Bytown Motorcycle Association, “A stroke is the up or down travel of the piston in the cylinder or the travel of the piston between the top and bottom of the cylinder. Gasoline-powered engines can burn the fuel in either two stokes of the piston, or in four strokes.” source

250cc 4-stroke bikes are especially popular with weekend warriors and beginners, so consider purchasing or renting one of them if you are a beginner, do not have the opportunity to go dirt biking often, or know someone who wants to learn how to ride a dirt bike. A 250 will be easier to ride for a beginner rider, but a 450 will last longer, especially if they ride it frequently. If you plan on riding dirt bikes frequently, but are still a beginner, I suggest getting a 250cc dirt bike so that the dirt bike does not become too powerful for you to handle.

250cc dirt bikes have a top speed of 55-70 miles per hour and cost an average of $9,295. However, the specific top speed and cost will vary depending on the model and the year of the dirt bike that you choose to purchase.

Dirt Bikes With The Highest Horsepower

2-Stroke

The most powerful 2-stroke dirt bike, and the one with the highest horsepower, is the KTM 300 EXC. It has 51 horsepower, and a top speed of 120 miles per hour. The amount of torque varies depending on what model you get and where you purchase it from, but the KTM 300 has an average of 27.4 pound-feet of torque. The 2021 KTM 300 EXC costs $15,270, but you may be able to find earlier models for a cheaper price. In fact, the KTM 2020 model costs $10,000. (source)

If the KTM 300 EXC is not for you, the Yamaha YZ250 is another great option for you to try. The 2021 version has 48.8 horsepower. It has 32 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 78 miles per hour. The price starts at $7,399, so it is one of the cheaper dirt bikes out there. This is a great dirt bike for beginners who are not comfortable with driving at high speeds yet.

If you are looking for a dirt bike with a lot of speed, but not a lot of horsepower, then the KTM 250 SX would be a great option for you. With 49.23 horsepower, 19.3 pound-feet of torque, and a top speed of 85 miles per hour, this is a great machine for all speed demons. It may even be a great dirt bike for a moderately experienced dirt bike rider who is still learning how to control a dirt bike that has a lot of horsepower.

It costs around $8,299, so it is more expensive than some dirt bikes in the market but is much cheaper than most of the newer dirt bike models with similar specificiations.

4-Stroke

The most powerful 4-stroke dirt bike is the 2019 Honda CRF450R. It has 57.5 horsepower, 33.24 pound-feet of torque, and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. It costs $9,299 but can become more expensive if you add any customizations. This is a great dirt bike for someone who wants to feel a lot of power in their dirt bike.

The fastest 4-stroke dirt bike is the KTM 450 SX-F. It has a top speed of 123 miles per hour and 54.8 horsepower. It also has 34.6 pound-feet of torque and costs $11,299 for the 2021 version. This is a great dirt bike for someone who wants to go really fast but does not want or need a lot of power.

Highest Horsepower Dirt Bikes in Other Classes

50cc

If you are looking for a 50cc dirt bike, then the brand new 50cc Dirt Bike 2-Stroke Pit Bike is a great option for you. It has 2.4 horsepower, a top speed of 40 miles per hour, although that may vary based on the model that you purchase. It’s especially great for children ages 5-7 years old. It costs around $990 and is great for beginning dirt bikers, backyard fun, and small dirt bike tracks.

If you are thinking of buying a 50cc dirt bike, you can see my full list of the best 50cc dirt bikes for kids here.

65cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for your 10 or 11-year-old child or niece/nephew, then the 2019 KTM 65 SX is a great option for you to consider. It costs around $5,000, has 19.5 horsepower, although you can purchase different 65cc dirt bikes with less horsepower, and has a top speed of 62 miles per hour. The KTM 65 SX is a 4-stroke dirt bike, but you can find 65cc dirt bikes that are 2-stroke if that is what you prefer.

70cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for a 7-11-year-old child that wants to begin learning how to ride a dirt bike, then a 70cc dirt bike is a great option for you. 70cc dirt bike models have a top speed of 36 miles per hour, 4.5 pound-feet of torque, and 5 horsepower. They cost an average of $300, so they are a very low-cost option for a beginner.

80cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for a 7-11-year-old child that has some experience with riding a dirt bike, then an 80cc dirt bike is a great option. 80cc models have a top speed of 45-50 miles per hour, depending on whether you get a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke, around 6 horsepower, and costs around $2,500. However, the cost and amount of horsepower will vary depending on what dirt bike you choose to purchase.

You can learn more about the average top speeds of 80cc dirt bikes, 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke, and some simple was to make an 80cc bike a lot faster in my article on the average top speeds of 80cc dirt bikes.

HELPFUL HINT FOR BUYERS

For a list of the best dirt bikes for 11-year-old (ish) kids, see my guide on the best dirt bikes for 11-year-olds here. It includes details on each bike and pricing that you should expect to pay. Even if you have a slightly younger child (in the 7 to 10-year-old range) you still might want to consider the bikes on this list since kids grow so incredibly fast!

150cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for a 13-14-year-old, then a 150cc dirt bike is a great option for you. Depending on the model you choose, they have a top speed of 50 to 65 miles per hour, cost an average of $2,359, and have 15-25 horsepower. The 150cc dirt bike is great for somewhat experienced dirt bikers who are still young and are still learning how to control more powerful machines.

200cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for a teenager or young adult who has experience riding a dirt bike, but is still learning how to control more powerful dirt bikes, then a 200cc dirt bike is a great option for you. Depending on the model, they have a top speed of 65-70 miles per hour, has 5-10 horsepower, and 12.4 pound-feet of torque. They cost an average of $5,000, so they are quite expensive.

250cc

The 2019 Husqvarna FC 250 is the 250cc dirt bike with the highest amount of horsepower. It has 46 horsepower, 19.3 pound-feet of torque, and an average top speed of 80 miles per hour. It costs around $9,099. However, it is made in Australia, so it may take a while to be delivered to you if you choose to purchase it.

If you’re curious of what the top speed is for 250cc dirt bikes and some cool simple ways you can make your 250cc bike’s top speed a bit higher, see my article all about the top speeds of 250cc dirt bikes here.

500cc

If you are looking for a dirt bike for an experienced dirt bike rider, then a 500cc dirt bike is a great option for you. The Honda 500cc V4 2-stroke is one of the most powerful 500cc dirt bikes in the market with 200 horsepower, a top speed of 90 miles per hour, and 90 pound-feet of torque.

Caution

Dirt bikes should only be ridden while unsupervised if the rider has a lot of experience. Dirt bikes are also not street legal, although some larger dirt bikes can become so. Always ride a dirt bike with others around you so if an accident occurs, you are not alone, and you can get help quickly. Do not go the top speed until you have gotten used to the power and speed of the bike. Don’t ride your dirt bike when you are tired or intoxicated.

If you are a beginner, always have an instructor with you. Go dirt biking on smooth tracks. Always wear protective gear, and always wear a helmet, even if you do not think that you will crash. Safety while dirt biking must always be considered, even if you are an experienced dirt biker.

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John Hayes

A street biker turned dirt bike rider, I've been riding motorcycles since I was 12-years-old and have a passion for the technical aspects of dirt bike riding.

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