Get # Navigating the Trail: Choosing Between Honda CRF110F and Yamaha TT-R110E

When you’re just starting a dirt bike, finding the right bike for beginners might seem more difficult than navigating a boulder field. Riding isn’t just about the wind in your face, it’s about finding the motorcycle that promises safety, comfort, and learning on the right bike. For beginners and kids, and those who wish to learn and ride on trails, the Honda CRF110F and the Yamaha TT-R110E are a great place to start. Let’s take a closer look at these bikes and see which one has the advantage for riding.

Embracing the Dirt: A Primer for Beginners

But first, for those who are scratching their heads about the classic recommendation of a dirt bike (typically the CRF110F or TT-R110E), let’s get to the ‘why’. Pure dirt bikes are specially tailored to the terrain, which dual-sport models are able to tackle only because they are designed to be equally capable on both the more congenial surfaces of a paved road and the rough, bouncy ones of the trail (think of a bike that tries to walk a tightrope while juggling a rock and a potato). Pure dirt-bike models such as the CRF110F and TT-R110E focus and specialise in the task at hand, which translates into safety and skill-building from the outset for a beginner.

THE TRAIL BLAZERS: Honda CRF110F and Yamaha TT-R110E at a Glance

Honda CRF110F Specs: Steering Novices with Ease

Retailing for $2,699, Honda bills the 2024 CRF110F as ‘the next step’ for young riders moving up from smaller 50 cc models. The bike’s balanced design can accommodate rough terrain with the added benefit of not scaring away novices. It also features an automatic clutch and a semi-automatic four-speed transmission, a set-up that reduces the learning curve by eliminating the need to use a clutch lever to change gears. An electric starter (with a back-up kick starter) makes it possible to get the bike going again even if you happen to get stranded in the boonies.

Yamaha TT-R110E: Versatility for the Entire Family

Yamaha’s competition is the TT-R110E, which costs $2,449, and positions itself against the CRF as a ‘sports and trail bike for the family’. Beyond electric start and a semi-automatic transmission, the TT-R110E combines a higher seat and more ground clearance to offer better trail ability at the expense of off-road riding capability. It’s also lighter than the CRF110F, which means it might be easier to ride through obstacles on tight single-track trails.


And yet, when you ride them, particularly over diverse terrain, the differences between them become apparent. In addition to its high clearance – which means that even with wheels compressed, the chassis won’t undershoot the ground – and its light weight, the TT-R110E’s extra space at the bottom of the frame appears to allow more room for the bike to clear obstacles, and to reduce the effect of these obstacles on the rider’s body. The CRF110F’s integrated features for new riders, such as a lower saddle height and a throttle limit screw, might make the motorcycle easier to control and safer to ride, which could encourage the novice rider to keep at it.

Tailoring the Choice to the Rider

It is imperative that that bike suits the rider’s body shape and confidence level on techy terrain, which means that while specifications on paper are an important starting point, the ride is really defined by what a rider can feel under them on a trail. For prospective riders, the best advice we can offer is to schedule test-rides when possible – ride a bike and decide for yourself which one rides more naturally.

Evaluating the Contenders: An Informed Decision

Based on extensive personal experience on dirt bikes and numerous hours studying specs, our assessment finds the Honda CRF110F and Yamaha TT-R110E as two solid choices for a first motorcycle. Each with its own strengths, there’s no doubt that either of these dirt bikes will deliver children and young dirt bike enthusiasts one fun and trusty introduction to riding on the trails and tracks.

Understanding Terrain: The Foundation of Choice

The terrain itself – whether it’s soft dirt or rocky – plays a big part in the type of bike you’ll want to ride and the type of skills to develop. Learning to ride involves riding, and you should start with a bike that will help you explore, but can be stable, controllable and forgiving to your skill level out on the trail. Both the Honda CRF110F and Yamaha TT-R110E are designed to do that.

In conclusion, the choice between the Honda CRF110F and Yamaha TT-R110E rests in part with personal preference, in part with specific features (such as seat height and experience level) that can be tailored to fit the rider, and in part with the terrain on which the rider will be piloting the bike. Whether it’s the beginner-friendly setup of the CRF110F or the versatility and lighter frame of the TT-R110E, the acquisition of either bike will pave the way to a lifetime of skill-building adventures on a dirt bike and, one hopes, a lifelong passion for the sport.

Jun 16, 2024
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