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Students have many options to choose from in the 450 class of dirt bikes

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Ella Wachtel
There’s a large debate over which brand is the best and most reliable.

With the increasing number of competitors and viewers in the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association), dirt bike brands are trying to get the most skilled riders to show the capability of their machines.

Overall, there are seven popular brands for dirt bikes: Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, GasGas and Husqvarna. There are a few other brands, such as Beta, Bultaco, Hyosung, Triumph and Maico, but they don’t compete in the AMA often.

Another dirt bike brand gaining popularity is Surron. Surron is one of the first electric dirt bikes brands designed to endure motocross and Supercross. Because it is a new brand, it is not used in racing competitions.

  This leaves us with one question: If you were a rider, which brand would you choose to give you the best performance in the 450 class?

Yamaha, one of the leading competitors in Supercross right now, brings high hopes with purchase. With its great maneuverability, high revving and durable engine, you can rely on it to start at all times. 

“It depends on what you’re looking for,” explained junior Cooper Willis. “If you’re looking for a race bike, Yamaha is the best.”

Another dirt bike brand to look out for is Honda. As the top competitor in the 2023 Supercross Championship, it brings immense power. The abundance of power is controlled by its smooth power delivery, paired with its wonderful ergonomics, which provides riders with an overall great riding experience.

Next up on the list of notable dirt bike brands is KTM. KTM pioneered the modern trends of smooth riding. Being one of the leading competitors, KTM brings different style riding with its WP suspension. KTM is also very convenient because of its airboxes that require no tools to access.

Another popular dirt bike brand is GasGas. GasGas is almost identical to the KTM with the same frame and chassis, but it still has minor differences that are tailored towards veteran riders, specifically its softer suspension and no map switch.

If you’re tight on money, the Suzuki 450 is a cost-effective 450 bike. Even though Suzuki’s have a kick starter and the least power out of the other dirtbikes, it is still a great bike to ride on the track. Although it is the heaviest bike, it is still a blast to ride.

The 2024 Kawasaki brings lots of hope as it has made tons of changes from previous years. Known to have a very balanced frame, its cornering abilities are remarkable. 

Husqvarna has the fastest bike in the 450 class. Husqvarna’s have lower suspensions and a mellow power band allowing it to have a smoother riding than other brands. But with its closed off airbox, Husqvarna isn’t reaching its full potential.

Right now, Yamaha and Honda are leading the game in dirt bikes, followed by KTM and Husqvarna.

At the end of the day it’s up to your own personal preference but any of these seven brands would be fantastic choices. 

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About the Contributors
Devan Langlois, Features Writer
Ella Wachtel, Photographer
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