Kids love dirt biking. The child learns how to control the bike and enjoys the thrill of competing on the trails. The most important factor when you are shopping for these bikes is height. Your kid needs to touch the ground with their feet. Otherwise, it will break their self-esteem and make them not learn fast. The best kid’s dirt bikes should meet the highest quality and safety standards. They should also be easy to control.
Below is a complete guide on the best dirt bike for kids.
Picking the Right Dirt Bike Size for your Kid
Kids racing dirt bikes look like adult bikes. When shopping, you need to consider the overall structural height of the bike. Your kid should comfortably sit on the bike, and their legs should touch the ground without them straining.
To ensure that happens, check the seat height specifications and adjustments. These specifications go hand in hand with the engine size specs and the bike’s speed. Most bikes with very powerful engines have a higher seat height, making them only ideal for older and experienced kid riders.
For reference, a 20- to 25-inch seat height comfortably accommodates kids between 5 and 7 years and are perfect dirt bikes for 5-year-olds. Older kids, 8 or 9 years, will be comfortable on dirt bikes with a seat height between 26 and 31 inches.
Choosing the Right Engine Size and Ease of Control
Older kids can have powerful engines as they are more experienced and have better control. You can tell the engine size based on its CC. A bike with high CC means it is more powerful and rides at very high speeds. For reference, a six-year-old should ride a dirt bike about 50cc. 50cc engine is powerful enough to offer them a safe speed while learning.
As they continue perfecting their skill, you can upgrade to a 65cc, 80cc, and later 125cc. From the 125cc, they will be ready to pick a less powerful adult bike.
You can choose any CC you feel will be safe for your kid. However, if they are to race, the rules and regulations of the race will apply. So before spending your money on a bike, ask around to know the kind of bikes the race requires.
Safety Features: The Throttle Limiter Screw
The best kids dirt bikes come with a safety device, the throttle limiter screw. This device restricts the power and speed of a bike to keep your kid safe on the road. In addition, it is a device for parents where it allows them to limit how fast the kid rides.
As the kid hones their riding skills, you can adjust the throttle, allowing them to ride a bit faster. The motors of the kid’s dirt bikes also come with limited powerbands. This means that the engine’s power reduces as the speed of the bike increases. This way, the bike will not reach unsafe top speeds to keep your kid on the trail.
Check out this video on how to adjust the throttle limit screw
Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Engines for Kids
Two-stroke engines are snappy. They create power quickly and abruptly when the rider needs it. However, when learning how to ride, the kid may not need this kind of dirt bike. The four-stroke engine produces power more consistently as it increases in RPM. In addition, it is very smooth, and kids will find it easier to control.
The discussion on two-stroke and four-stroke dirt bikes is usually very hot among adults. However, as the kid progresses in their training, you can consider several other factors, including the riding style. But for training, consider a four-stroke engine.
If your kid rides MX, a two-stroke engine will come in handy. However, these bikes are noisy and may not be ideal for your kid to train around the farm. As a result, most people are moving towards the four-stroke engine for its convenience.
What Kind of a Rider is your Kid?
Some kids learn fast, and others take time. Some are adventurous, while others are risk-averse. If your kid is risk-averse, you need to pick a small four-stroke engine, which allows them to learn slowly while staying safe on the trail.
If your kid is adventurous, a bike that tames them may not serve them for long. Instead, pick a powerful engine with several safety features. The throttle limiter screw can work perfectly on bikes for these kids as you can adjust the speed and power as their skill progresses. You may allow the junior rider to make some decisions when buying the bike but still keep their safety a priority.
How Reliable are the Best Kids Dirt Bikes?
A reliable dirt bike for kids comes in handy during competitions. However, reliability is subjective, depending on the model of bike you choose. Recognized models are highly reliable, thanks to their commitment to dirt biking.
Even unrecognized brands want the kids to have as much fun as possible while being safe on the trail. Families and dirt bike lovers may have brand allegiance. For instance, you can ride red (Honda bikes), ride green (Kawasaki bikes), or ride orange (KTM). These brands are among the most recognized, but they are also very reliable.
It would help if you also considered a bike that is easy to upgrade. Kids learn very fast and can handle bigger motors and bigger tire sizes. The transition from a low-power 50cc bike to a 125cc motorcycle can occur very fast, and you need to have a plan for the upgrade. Whether your kid rides for fun or part of a competition, they are better off with a dirt bike that will fit your riding needs every time.
Picking Kids Dirt Bikes Based on Cost
When buying a youth dirt bike, you may not be sure if the kid will love the sport. Some beginners may find the dirt bike intimidating, and they may feel that is the end of their career. If you bought a bike and they will not gather enough courage to ride, you need to cut your losses and consider another sport for them.
The uncertainty of what your kid will love will influence the amount of money you are willing to spend on a dirt bike. A mini motorcycle engineered for racing offers a great suspension with a powerful motor and a strong frame. These bikes are also light in weight, making them easy to handle on the tracks.
Trail bikes are not engineered to compete on the tracks. However, they also offer excellent reliability. They are heavy and highly robust. Buying a new dirt bike will cost you a couple of thousand dollars. However, the price will be significantly lower than an adult dirt bike. You can pick the motorcycle based on the type of riding you want your kid to pursue.
How is the Resale Value of a Kids Dirt Bike?
Kids outgrow dirt bikes the same way they outgrow everything else. As such, you need a bike that you can sell after a few short years. The speed they learn to ride and how fast they grow will determine how often you change the bikes. Small dirt bikes will start feeling uncomfortable as the kid grows in height.
As such, you need the highest quality dirt bike to fetch the best prices when you need to dispose of it. Better still, you can go with a second-hand kids dirt bike. Major brands, such as Honda and Kawasaki, have the highest resale value. You will find lots of these on the second-hand market.
Should You Buy New or Used Kids Dirt Bike?
You can go for a used dirt bike or a new one. A new one offers you excellent reliability, but it will come at a higher price. Again, when you shop for a new bike, you will have several options to choose from.
The second-hand bike market has several reliable bikes also. You may not get the exact brand and model you want, but they are pretty good bikes there too. If you decide to save several hundred dollars for a used dirt bike, take your time to choose the best. Look at the reviews, and if possible, try out the bike before you get it off the market.
Should you go for Automatic or Manual Bikes?
Dirt bikes for little kids are either manual or automatic, and you can choose any of them based on what you want. When buying the first bike for your child, an automatic one should be the only choice. These bikes are easy to operate for the young rider. If you can, get an electric bike as it is lighter and easier to handle.
Once the kid learns how to control the automatic bike, you can let him know clutch control. They should start that at around 10 years. Children younger than that will find a one-speed machine better for their training.
Does the Weight of the Motorcycle Matter?
You do not want the super heavy dirt bike for your kid. A heavy bike will be challenging to control and can even pin your child down. The dirt bike will be heavier than the child, but it should not be so heavy that they cannot comfortably ride it.
If you find gas bikes too heavy, get an electric bike. Electric bikes are half the weight of gas bikes. Even better, the engine of these bikes is never hot, making them safer for your kid.
What is the Best Wheel/Tire Size for a Kids Dirt Bike?
You can buy dirt bikes in either big wheels or small wheels. The big wheels are typically 19 inches for the front wheels and 16 inches for the rear wheels. They can also be bigger. Small wheel bikes come with 17-inch front wheels and 14-inch rear wheels, sometimes smaller.
There are many more differences besides the size of the wheels. The gear, suspension, and swingarm will all be different. You can have the same bike models, but if the wheels are different in size, so many other things can be different.
Bigger wheels are ideal when you need stability. They are soft and allow you to ride over small bumps without feeling their impact. Small wheels may not soak up the small bumps, but they are lighter, allowing your child great control.
Small wheels are nimble, allowing the kid to do quick turns easily. However, when you choose small bikes, their rims can bend easily when riding over bumps and in rugged terrain. Further, there are only a tiny variety of tires to pick from.
The appropriate tire size should correspond to your child’s age and height. A small wheel is ideal for beginners, and then you can go for a bigger wheel as the child grows. Some big wheel bikes might be too high for the child. Even if the bikes offer stability, the child may not handle them as they should.
When is The Child Ready to Move up in Power?
There are many scenarios where your child might need a more powerful bike. However, in most cases, the child will need a bigger engine as their skill improves and they grow older. Some of the scenarios that might necessitate the need for a more powerful bike include:
• The need to do motocross racing
• Increase in height and the bike is starting to feel cramped
• The need to learn how to operate a clutch
• The need for bikes with improved suspension, better brakes, and larger wheels
• Improving in their riding skills and the need to explore a higher speed
A slight increase in power can make a huge difference when it comes to dirt bikes. So, you can consider adding minor features when the child is not ready for the most powerful engine yet. Adding more gears or even a clutch will give your child the challenge they need.
What is the Best Starter System for a Kids Dirt Bike?
For beginners, allow the kid to use an electric start system. They only need to push a button here, and the motorbike starts. However, kick-starters are ideal for more powerful bikes for older and more experienced kids. Therefore, your kid might need a little help starting the bike when you introduce them to kick-starters, but they will learn fast.
Older bikes have a Kickstarter system. They will likely have a kick-start system if you go for second-hand bikes. Modern bikes have an electric start system that is more convenient for young riders.
What Other Factors Should You Consider When Shopping for a Kids Dirt Bike?
- EFI vs. Carbureted Engines – Carbureted engines are standard in older bike models. Besides, they have fewer electrical components, but you will need to adjust them often to keep them operating at top efficiency. Therefore, Electronic Fuel Injected engines are modern. Finally, these options have fewer electrical components, making them lighter, and they do not need as many adjustments as their carbureted counterparts.
- How do you move the bike? –You can transport a small bike at the back of your sedan. However, bigger bikes will need you to use truck transport or get a trailer.
- What sort of maintenance does the bike require? – If you have a two-stroke motocross engine, you will need to maintain it to maintain peak operation constantly. Besides, Four-stroke engines are more robust, so you never have to maintain them as often.
- Is bike registration necessary? – If the child will ride their bike on public land, say a national park, you need to register it. Check the state transportation website to see what you need.
The Best Kids Dirt Bikes on the Market
- Seat height – 548mm
- Four-stroke engine
- 49cc motor
- Three gears, no clutch
- Light in weight
- Throttle limiter screw available
- Simple controls
- Consistent performance
- Does not have 65cc and 80cc motors in its upgrade path
- Seat height – 556mm
- 50cc motor
- Four-stroke engine
- Three-speed automatic transmission
- Upgrade path complete
- Simple electric starter available
- Consistent four-stroke engine
- Throttle limiter screw available
- Limited color choices
- Relatively heavy
- Seat height – 686mm
- No gears
- 50cc engine
- Two-stroke engine
- No gears for easy control
- Electric option available
- Complete upgrade path
- Same features as adult dirt bikes
- Limited tank capacity
- Seat height – 750mm
- 65cc engine
- Six-speed transmission
- Two-stroke engine
- Lightweight frame
- High speeds for racing
- Upgrades available
- Easy to control
- Relatively smaller wheels
- Six-gears take time to master
- Seat height – 740mm
- Four gears
- 100cc engine
- Small and larger wheel editions
- Easy to control gears
- Two start options
- Great upgrade path
- Highly durable
- Seat height is relatively high
- Relatively expensive
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Seat height – 760mm
- 64cc engine
- Two-stroke engine
- Instant throttle response
- Reliable rear disc brakes
- Lightweight construction
- High-performance engine
- Lacks a speed limiter
- Manual transmission system takes longer to learn
FAQs On Best Dirt Bike for Kids
What age is a 50cc dirt bike for?
These are beginner bikes that come in handy for 6-year olds. Moreover, the bikes have a low seat for the young rider, and so are the wheel sizes. Some models may offer larger wheels and taller seat for 7- and 8-year-olds.
What dirt bike is good for a 9 year old?
The KTM 65 SX is a great choice for kids this age. Besides, dirt bike is fast enough to challenge their skills. The kid’s height and skill level will determine the best bike for them. Most kids this age can ride a 65cc dirt bike with a seat height of about 600mm or taller. Also, kids with improved skills can pick larger bikes offering 85cc engines.
What dirt bike is right for a 11 year old?
Kids this age will already know the kind of bike that best suits their riding style. They are looking for more challenges to hone their skills. They can go for a more powerful 85cc bike or even a 100cc dirt bike. Observe the kids riding style and abilities and pick the right bike.
What size dirt bike should a 8 year old ride?
With 8-year-olds, you need a bike to upgrade from a beginner bike. You can also take a beginner bike with bigger wheels or a 65cc engine bike.
What is the best dirt bike for 7-year-olds?
If they are beginners, pick a simple four-stroke engine bike with 50cc. Besides, for more experienced kids, choose a 65cc engine. Most seven-year-olds are beginners or upgrading from beginner bikes. In addition, the kids are starting to gain awareness at this age, and they have agility when they ride. Therefore, choose a bike depending on the child’s height and skill level.
After choosing the best kids dirt bikes, you need to buy the best accessories and gears for the child. You can go for a Honda CRF50F for beginner riders or pick a Honda CRF125F for experienced kids. These two bikes are light enough for the kids. The Honda CRF50F is simple to ride and light, while the Honda CRF125F offers an excellent challenge for the kids who have honed their skills. The taller bikes are the best dirt bike for boys.
Pick one of the bikes that meet your needs and run with it. Then, consider one that you can upgrade.