3. 2000-2016 Kawasaki KX65
Kawasaki’s KX65 is probably the one machine responsible for building more American motocross champions than any other motorcycle in history. The potent little green zinger was, at one time or another, the rig of choice for hot amateur motocross riders from Jeremy McGrath to Austin Forkner, and the KX65 continues to serve as a foundation on which tomorrow’s national champions are built. And that isn’t just the case in motocross. We personally know Grand National-level dirt track riders who raced to AMA Dirt Track [amateur] Grand Championship titles on KX65s that were manufactured before those riders were even born!
The beauty is that the KX65 has seen little in the way of updates since the turn of the millennium, which means there are tons of them out there at reasonable prices, and between Kawasaki and the aftermarket, there is zero worry about parts availability. We’ve seen good, clean KX65s in this year range offered up for as little as $800. As always, start with the cleanest example you can afford. Your kid will love you for it.