So you’re in the market for a new dirt bike and have come across the Apollo brand. But before you drop your hard-earned cash, you probably want to know – are Apollo dirt bikes actually any good? That’s a great question.
Apollo is a Chinese motorcycle company that’s built up a reputation for affordable off-road bikes over the last couple decades. But how do their products really stack up against the big Japanese brands like Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki?
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Apollo’s dirt bike models, features, pros, cons – and most importantly, try to answer the question of whether an Apollo is worth your money. Stick with us, and you’ll have all the info you need to decide if an Apollo dirt bike is the right choice for you.
Apollo Dirt Bike Models and Features
First, let’s get familiar with the Apollo lineup. The company offers a wide range of off-road bike sizes and engine configurations to suit different riders. Here are some of their most popular models:
The DB-21 and DB-25 are Apollo’s smallest dirt bikes, with 70cc engines. They have automatic transmissions, making them easy for kids and beginners to ride. Seat height is only 22.5 inches. These are great starter bikes, but don’t expect blazing speed or power.
Step up to the 110cc RFZ DB X-4 for a bit more power and size. It has a 27.5 inch seat height so fits larger kids and some smaller adults. The DB-007 is Apollo’s 125cc offering with a 32 inch seat and manual transmission. Both are good intermediate bikes.
Once you’re ready for more speed and handling, Apollo has a ton of 125cc options like the RFZ DB X-14, X-15, X-16, X-18, and X-19. Seat height is around 33 inches on these. Some have auto or manual transmissions. The DB-36 RX is Apollo’s high-performance 250cc bike.
Some standout features on Apollo dirt bikes include hydraulic disc brakes for solid stopping power, knobby tires for traction, and adjustable suspension to smooth out bumps. The frames use steel construction, which is durable but adds weight. Styling and graphics are pretty sharp looking on the new models too.
So in summary, Apollo offers a dirt bike for every size rider and skill level, at a budget-friendly price. But how do they perform? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
The Pros of Apollo Dirt Bikes
There are a lot of good reasons Apollo dirt bikes have become popular, especially for beginners and kids. Here are some of the biggest advantages:
One of the main appeals of Apollo is the price. Their bikes cost significantly less than the major Japanese brands. You can get a starter Apollo for as little as $500-$800 brand new. By comparison, a Honda CRF150F starts at around $3000. That’s a huge difference!
The affordability makes Apollos accessible for riders on a budget. You can get a functional, quality bike for a fraction of the cost. While you shouldn’t expect the same performance as a premium racing bike, Apollos provide great value.
Reliable and Durable
Considering the lower prices, Apollo bikes are surprisingly solid and reliable. Owners report getting years of use without many major issues when proper maintenance is performed. The components like tires, brakes, and suspension hold up well to aggressive trail and track use.
The steel frames have proven to take abuse pretty well too. Apollos may not be as bulletproof as the aluminum and composite frames on pricier bikes, but they can certainly take a beating. Overall, durability is better than expected.
Apollo dirt bikes provide ample power for the average trail or track rider. The little 70cc bikes have enough pep for kids and beginners. And the 125cc-250cc engines deliver solid acceleration and top speeds for intermediate riders.
Obviously, a 125cc Apollo won’t have the muscle of a 450cc motocross race bike. But the engines offer competitive power-to-weight ratios in their classes. For recreational use, Apollos deliver satisfactory speed for fun trail and track days.
Another Apollo pro is the suspension quality. Forks and shocks absorb bumps and jumps impressively well. You can hit whoops at speed or launch off jumps without jarring impacts. The components are built well for the price.
Adjustable spring preload lets you dial in sag for your weight too. While the suspension might bottom out more than a $9000 KTM, it handles rough terrain better than expected for budget-level bikes. The smooth ride makes Apollos fun and comfortable to rack up the trail miles on.
Working on Apollo bikes is pretty straightforward for the average mechanically-inclined owner. The layout is uncomplicated, so tasks like checking the air filter, changing oil, and adjusting the chain are simple. Parts are standard sizes and easy to source too.
Compare that to some performance-focused models that require specialized tools and expertise. While Apollos aren’t as user-friendly as Japanese brands engineered for accessibility, you can easily handle your own maintenance to save money.
Ideal for New Riders
With their mellow powerbands, lightweight frames, and budget price tags, Apollo dirt bikes are great for beginners. New riders can hone skills without getting overwhelmed. Apollos are very forgiving, with smooth throttle response to build confidence.
The low seat heights accommodate short legs too. Considering many kids outgrow their Apollos in a year or two, the affordable pricing is less of a sting. For new riders, Apollos provide the perfect platform to learn on.
As you can see, Apollo dirt bikes offer a lot of performance and value at their price point. For new and recreational riders, they tick a lot of boxes. But what about the downsides?
The Cons of Apollo Dirt Bikes
While Apollos provide surprising quality for the money, they aren’t without some disadvantages compared to pricier models. Here are the most common drawbacks:
Quality Control Issues
One downside that comes up is questionable quality control. Fit and finish on some Apollos leaves room for improvement. Owners report things like fasteners loosening prematurely, plastic pieces cracking, and small oil leaks.
These issues don’t appear to be widespread, but do happen more often than Japanese brands. The lower component tolerances result in quirks that require tightening, adjusting, or replacing items.
Less Refined Overall
In general, Apollos have a less refined and precise feel than premium bikes. throttle response, shifting, braking, and handling just don’t feel as dialed-in. Vibration is more pronounced too. This likely comes down to cheaper build materials and construction methods.
While rideable and fun, Apollos involve some compromise in overall refinement. Expect a little more clunkiness and vibration compared to a Honda or KTM. It’s the price you pay for the discount.
Shorter Service Life
The cheaper components and materials also tend to shorten the lifespan of Apollos. While you can get years of use from them with proper maintenance, heavy abuse takes a toll quicker than on performance-oriented bikes. Expect to replace wear items like tires, brake pads, and bearings faster.
Additionally, the resale value of Apollos drops rapidly. You can pick up good used ones cheap because they depreciate significantly. If you plan to sell later and upgrade, an Apollo will net you much less money than a Japanese model. The lower durability reduces longevity.
Less Capable on Track
While great for trails, Apollo dirt bikes do have performance limitations that become apparent at higher speeds on an MX track. The less advanced suspension gets overwhelmed hitting big jumps at speed. The chassis and powerplants also limit how quickly you can rail corners and clear tabletops.
Serious competitors will quickly outpace an Apollo’s capabilities. Expect to replace more parts and have a less rewarding experience on track vs the purpose-built performance bikes. For casual fun, Apollos work well, but racing is outside their sweet spot.
So in summary, the biggest Apollo disadvantages come down to build quality, refinement, longevity concerns, and lack of high-performance focus. For the low prices though, they provide great value for recreational riders.
Who Are Apollo Bikes Good For?
Considering the pros and cons, Apollo dirt bikes are best matched for:
With their mild power delivery and low seat heights, Apollos are awesome beginner bikes. New riders can build skills without getting intimidated or hurt. Apollos are very forgiving as you learn proper control and technique. Less power reduces the likelihood of scary whiskey-throttle incidents too. And if you drop your starter Apollo, repair costs stay affordable.
Kids and Youth
Since most kids outgrow their first dirt bikes within a couple years, an Apollo makes sense over paying triple for a CRF. The light weight and power range keeps them manageable for smaller statures too. If your child stays passionate about the sport, you can upgrade later to a bigger high-performance bike once they’ve honed their abilities. Think of an Apollo as a “learner bike” for groms.
For trail riding and casual track days, Apollos deliver plenty of performance. They strike a nice balance of power, suspension, and handling capability for typical recreational use. You’ll have a blast hitting trails, desert washes, or scrubbing berms at the local track. And you save substantially over higher-strung race bikes.
Tight Budget Buyers
If your dirt biking budget is constrained, an Apollo gets you out riding when you otherwise might not be able to afford it. They stretch your dollars to open up the sport. While you do sacrifice some refinement, longevity, and performance versus costlier models, Apollos deliver good bang for the buck. For many, that tradeoff is worthwhile to start enjoying dirt biking.
How Do Apollo Bikes Compare?
To give more perspective, let’s briefly compare Apollo models to the most popular competing bikes from major manufacturers:
The well-regarded Honda CRF150F sells for around $3000-$4000 new – over 3X the cost of a comparable size Apollo. For that big price premium, you get Honda’s bulletproof reliability, refinement, and fit/finish. But if budget is limited, the Apollo gets you surprisingly close to the Honda’s performance for a fraction of the price.
In the 125cc range, the KDX125 goes for $2500+ more than Apollo’s 125cc offerings. Again, that nets you better reliability and refinement from the Kawasaki. But the Apollo engine makes competitive power, and costs far less. Unless you need a bike to last decades, the Apollo gives you most of the performance.
Yamaha’s YZ125X two-stroke is an awesome bike – for $6400. That’s 4X+ the price of Apollo’s 125cc four-stroke models. While not directly comparable, the prices illustrate the huge savings Apollo provides. Yes, the Yamaha is lighter and faster. But if you’re not racing, the Apollo gets you close for way less.
Austrian manufacturer KTM is known for performance. Their 150 SX two-stroke motocrosser costs around $8000. Again, that’s triple the price of an Apollo 150cc bike. The KTM is an incredible racing machine, which the Apollo can’t match. But for causal track days, the Apollo produces plenty of fun at a fraction of the KTM’s cost.
The bottom line is Apollo dirt bikes cost far less than comparable models from the major brands. You trade away some reliability, refinement, and longevity. But the savings are massive, while still getting capable recreational bikes. For many riders on a budget, that’s an appealing compromise.
Where To Buy Your Apollo
Once you decide an Apollo is the right dirt bike for your needs and budget, where should you buy from? Here are the best options:
Shopping online opens up full access to Apollo’s lineup of dirt bike models and prices. Large powersports ecommerce sites like Motospot offer free shipping and no sales tax in most states. You can sometimes find discounts and sales online too.
The downside is you may have to assemble the bike yourself. If you’re not mechanically inclined, have the retailer assemble it for you (usually for an added fee of around $100). Consider ordering spare parts like oil filters, air filters, brake pads, and spark plugs for future maintenance too.
Visiting local motorsports dealers lets you see Apollo bikes in person before buying. Sit on models of interest and get a feel for fit and finish quality up close. Dealers also fully assemble the bikes and can perform warranty repairs if issues pop up. However, inventory may be limited compared to online. And brick-and-mortar pricing is sometimes higher.
If you’re comfortable buying used, Apollo dirt bikes can be found on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and motorcycle forums at big discounts. Just beware of abuse or neglect from previous owners. Carefully inspect any used bike, and negotiate a fair price based on condition. Going used does allow access to higher spec Apollos for less money if you get a good example.
For kids, beginners, or folks on a tight budget looking to get into dirt biking, Apollos are great. The super affordable pricing lets almost anyone start riding. And the bikes provide enough performance for casual trail and track use. Refinement lags the major brands, but so does the cost.
More experienced riders would likely feel limited by the Apollo’s capabilities quickly. The cheaper components don’t hold up to heavy racing use either. In terms of instant resale value, Apollo bikes depreciate rapidly as well.
But for someone who just wants a dirt bike to learn on or ride for fun occasionally, the price discount is well worth it. Apollo offers good entry point products. Just set proper expectations going in, and inspect your particular bike thoroughly on arrival.
We hope this detailed look at Apollo dirt bikes has provided the info you need to decide if purchasing one makes sense for your needs and budget. Apollo isn’t for everyone. But for a big part of the riding population focused on affordability and value, Apollo delivers a lot of bang for the buck.
Ready to start shopping for your new Apollo now? Use this guide’s tips to find the right bike at the best price. And most importantly, get out and enjoy the thrill of hitting trails and tracks soon! Ride on.
Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.