Can a $2,000 Dirt Bike From Amazon Be Any Good?
Amazon has changed every industry. They sell things so cheaply that they often won’t make money or even lose money just to dominate the market and crush competitors. This might work for blenders or printer paper or other such passionless products, but can Amazon step up to dirt-bike royalty like Honda with the Hawk 250 DLX?
The folks at RideApart compared a brand-new Hawk 250 DLX bought for $2,000 from amazon and a 20-year-old Honda 250R. The guys from Bikes and Beards ran a series of tests to determine which bike was better. They did a drag race, suspension test, max top speed, braking, hill climb, and overall off-road trail test.
The Hawk 250 DLX
The Hawk is a cheaply made Chinese bike that, its most expensive version, costs $2,049 on Amazon. RideApart states, from the top, that there are used bikes by major brands that, with a little digging, you can find for the kind of money. The used bikes that cost around $2,000 will be higher quality bikes.
While the Hawk 250 DLX is cheaper and less rugged, it does have digital gauges and electronic fuel injection, which is a strong plus. These few features might come cheap, but they don’t come without cost. If you order the Hawk from Amazon, some assembly is required. RideApart suggests that this might be a good time to check for loose nuts and bolts, as well as fitment and part alignment.
The Hawk 250 DLX does have some cool features, but in the places it added value, something had to be taken from elsewhere. RideApart mentions that the Hawk’s frame is tubular steel as opposed to aluminum. The down tube of the frame was pinched to make room for the exhaust instead of rerouting or laying out a frame that accounts for this need. For many riders, this will likely not be a problem, but for more aggressive riders, this down tube crease will weaken the frame.
How does the Amazon dirt bike stack up when the rubber hits (off) road?
The Bikes and Beards guys waste no time and go right for the drag race. The two dirt bikes rip off, and though the Hawk looks good off the line, the Honda pulls ahead about halfway down the track, leaving the Hawk at an all-you-can-eat dust buffet.
The suspension test
For the suspension test, both riders duct-taped a half-dozen carton of eggs to the luggage rack of each bike. They both had to run the same rutted out and rocky course as fast as possible. Each broken egg counts as a second added to their time. The Honda 250R ran the course in 9.5 seconds and the Hawk in 11.7 seconds. The Honda had no broken eggs, and the Hawk 250 DLX had two cracked eggs.
The top-speed and braking test
The next test required both bikes to shoot for top speed by the first set of cones and then come to a full stop by the second set of cones. Whoever hits the highest speed and brakes the soonest will win this test.
The Honda, being a purpose-built dirt bike, is geared differently for off-road, whereas the Hawk 250 DLX is a dual-sport meant for both on-road and off, so the gearing is better for top speed. Even with the gearing advantage, the Hawk only managed to hit 52 mph to the Honda’s 59 mph. However, that extra speed did not help the 20-year-old Honda’s brakes stop within the designated area, and the Hawk juuuust barely made it.
Technical hill-climb test
At this point, we are starting to see a consistent theme, but the show must go on. The Honda 250R walks away with this one. This is what it was made to do. The cheap dual-sport didn’t have the beans. Not only was the Honda was much faster in both sections, but the Hawk 250 DLX crashed and bent the brake pedal (whomp whomp). There was some further brake damage that the testers learn about later, but didn’t hang them up.
The overall trail test
RideApart reports that both bikes do well, and both riders have a great time on their bikes. Well, yeah, their dirt bikes. It’s hard not to have a great time. Even though both did well overall, Bikes and Beards clearly show that a 20-year-old Honda is a superior bike. They are both around the same price. In fact, the Honda 250R used for this test was bought for $1,400, making it a better and cheaper option.
There is really no competition here, the Hawk 250 DLX is cheap and unable to perform nearly as well as the much older Honda, but for $2,000, the Hawk is hard to beat on brand-new bike value.