BEST TWO-STROKE DIRT BIKES FROM 1980-2000
1980 Yamaha YZ125. The Yamaha YZ125 was Bike of the Year six times from 1980 to 2000.
Suzuki’s RM250 won the Bike of the Year award three times in two decades. The 1981-82 Full Floaters were obvious choices, but it wasn’t until 14 years later that Suzuki was able to score again with the new-generation Roger DeCoster-inspired 1996 RM250.
Here is the 1984 Kawasaki KX125. The KX125 was tied with the YZ125 for the most 125 Bike of the Year awards from 1980 to 2000 (at six a piece). In the ten year span from ‘84 to ‘93, the KX125 won best bike 60 percent of the time.
It’s commonly believed that the Honda CR125 won every MXA shootout win the ’80s and ’90s, the fact is, Honda won the least 125cc Bike of the Year awards (4). And, Honda did not win the award at all in the ‘90s. Honda’s last win was in 1989. Suspension and handling woes held the CR back.
Honda’s last win was with the highly regarded 1993 CR250. This is the bike that Jeremy McGrath raced during his whole time at Team Honda. With every new model year, Jeremy would dust off his ‘93 frame and keep on winning. When Honda introduced the aluminum frame in 1997, Jeremy moved on.
Suzuki earned the 125 Bike of the Year award five times from 1980 to 2000. The first was the omnipotent 1981 RM125X Full Floater and the last was the high-revving 1995 RM125.
The KX250 won the 250 class five times–most notably during a three-year win streak from 1997 to 1999.
The YZ250 won the Bike of the Year crown six times from 1980 to 2000, but spread them out over those 21 years. The YZ250’s longest dry spell was from 1980 to 1988. Yamaha was the 2000 Bike of the Year recipient in both classes.
How many times has the same manufacture won both the 125 and 250 Bike of the Year awards in the same year from 1980 to 2000? Nine times. The CR125/CR250 combo did the deed four times (‘83, ‘86, ‘87 and ‘89). Yamaha and Kawasaki doubled up twice each, while Suzuki had to settle for the glory with the 1981 Full Floaters.