Best Cheap Motorcycles For Kids
Good And Cheap: The Best Cheap Motorcycles You Can Buy For Your Kids
Updated August 21, 2018
If you’ve got a child and want to get them started in the motorcycle game, what do you do? There are plenty of options but here we’re going to answer the question: what are the best motorcycles for kids? Whenever we post a video on social media that features a cool kid riding a motorcycle, we see plenty of comments about where to buy small motorcycles, and what style to get. So, with that in mind, here’s out definitive list of the best motorcycles for kids out there.
But before we get started, there are a few things you should consider first. Motorcycling is an expensive hobby, so you’ve got ask yourself what the end goal is here. Are you looking for a toy to satisfy your child’s curiosity? Are you hoping to teach your kid some valuable information about mechanics and how things work? Or are you priming your child to be the next Valentino Rossi? Or none of the above? These questions need to be answered before you go and order a small motorcycle, because you don’t want to blow a wad of cash on something technologically brilliant that will be discarded within a few weeks, and you don’t want to waste your money on a little machine that falls apart within six months either.
Oh and of course, you’ll want to accommodate for your child’s tastes too. They might not be too happy when you bring home that minimoto sportsbike, when they really wanted a mini-cruiser, or a mud thrashing dirt bike. To make things easier for you, we’re going to separate this list into different styles, allowing you to make the best decision for your child, and buy the best motorcycle for kids that matches your budget and expectations.
The Best Kids Motorcycles: Sports Bikes
Without a doubt, this is the most popular segment for kids motorcycles, but probably the most difficult one to find decent information about. You’ve seen the cheapies, but what about the more expensive models? They must be out there, right? Because most MotoGP racers started in minimoto leagues and the like… Well, here’s our recommendations. We’ll start with the obvious no-name replica style…
The Cheap Chinese Replica (Price: $100 – $500)
You know the ones. They’re easy to find, cost next to nothing, and almost everyone has or had one. I got one free when I changed my cell phone contract over from one provider to another – I didn’t even want it. I did, however, have a lot of fun with it…for about two weeks before I inevitably got bored of it. These things retail for next to nothing. We’ve seen them go for as cheap as $100, and as high as $500.
Are they good? No.
Are they worth buying? Possibly.
They might have a Honda sticker on them but the closest these little bikes have ever been to an original Japanese part was when the Toyota forklift unloaded them from a rusty shipping container. The quality is dubious, but not altogether worthless. They’re a long way from being the best motorcycles for kids, but they have their merits: they’re cheap, for one thing. Kids and adults have a lot in common, particularly that their attention spans are short and their interest wanes.
Even if you want your child to have the best, it’s worth getting them on one of these first to see if they really like it. Worst case scenario: they don’t take to it and lose interest – but you’ve only lost a couple of hundred bucks. Best case scenario: they love it, and want more, and you can graduate them to the next level. And that’s where the real money machines begin… The couple of suggestions we have below are by no means the best motorcycles for kids, but they’re great starting points. Money-wise, you could spend thousands and still not have “the best.”
The Blata Minibike 2.5 (Price: $1,200)
The Blata Minibike 2.5 is not a toy. It’s a real race ready machine that can satisfy track requirements for professional races, and can be ridden by either a child or an enthusiastic adult. It’s powered by a 40cc single cylinder two stroke engine and mated to a one speed gearbox. No clutch required, the braking duties are handled by handlebar mounted levers, like a bicycle, that actuate front and rear disc brakes. Naturally, the engine comes with a decent air filter and an exhaust silencer, and fine tuning and adjustments are possible. Available in a wide range of colors, the Blata Minibike 2.5 is great value for money…and great for both kids and adults! Blata USA have plenty of other models worth considering too – this one was just our favorite.
The Polini 910 Carena “S” (Price $1,700)
For more money, however, you could invest in the Polini 910 Carena “S” – which comes in three different styles: two air cooled versions with 4.2 hp and 6.2 hp 40cc engine, or a liquid-cooled 6.2 hp version. They’re all powered by the same engine, a single cylindered two-stroke unit, and come with a lightweight die cast alloy frame, modern suspension, front and rear disc brakes, and MotoGP race replica styled bodywork. The riding controls are exactly the same as the Blata Minibike 2.5 listed above, but the overall performance is said to be superior by minimoto aficionados. The Polini 910 Carena “S” is available in Blue, Black and Red. Like Blata, Polini have plenty of other models to explore and choose from – though their top end machines are more focused on adult minimoto riders…
Other Minibike Brands To Consider…
Bianchi, Pasini, and GRC Moto are well worth investigating if you think your little one is on the path to greatness – however, prices go up and up and up for real top quality race machines. You can pay $5000 and up for premium race bikes, and even further still. You can see why the two brands and models we chose were our favorites…their price tags are still within the realms of “reasonable”…maybe…
The Best Kids Motorcycles: Dirt Bikes
Kids dirt bikes are much easier to find out about than track-style racers. The chances are that you’ve never heard of Blata or Polini before, but for dirt bikes, the manufacturers will be a lot more familiar to you. With dirt bikes though, you’ve got to consider a few more variables when you’re making your choice: the height of your kids is important, their weight is also a factor, and their age too. A lot of people are tempted to put their kids on bigger dirt bikes from a young age, but we’re going to keep things simple here and go for really small capacity engines. You name it though, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha have something in their catalog to suit your child, but these are our favorite dirt bikes for kids…
The Honda CRF50F (Price: $1,399)
Of course, you can rely on Big Red to have a huge presence in this department. The Honda CRF50F is a great motorcycle, and it’s our first four-stroke on the list…with gears too! This automatic 3 speed boasts a single cylinder 50cc engine, an overall weight of 110 lbs and a respectable saddle height of 22 inches. Unlike the last suggestions, the Honda CRF50F comes with a foot operated rear brake and a kick starter, allowing your kids to get grips with the fundamentals of real motorcycle riding. It also comes with a handy adjustable throttle stop to keep overenthusiastic young riders in check. And it’s a small Honda engine, which will last forever… That being said, we’ve got the price listed as $1,399, and that’s for a new one. Second hand versions of these are available all over the place for less than half that price. So that’s what makes it one of our favorite choices.
The Yamaha PW50 (Price: $1,440)
Of course, the old Pee Wee had to get a mention – it’s a classic, and this little single cylinder two-stroke has been the first ride of many a motorcyclist for years. Unlike the Honda, it’s a little bit more manageable for younger riders. The rear brake is operated by a handlebar mounted lever rather than a foot pedal, and it’s only a single speed too, so the challenges of changing gear won’t deter your kids. It does feature a useful throttle stop screw, and cool bodywork and an iconic look. It weighs in at 89 lbs and has a seat height of 19.1 inches – making it ideal for young riders. It’s also shaft driven, so no chain adjustments will be necessary. Like the Honda, you can pick these up second hand for pretty cheap too.
The Suzuki DR-Z70 (Price: $1,799)
If you want to go a bit bigger though, there’s the Suzuki DR-Z70. Yeah, it’s more expensive, a little more powerful, but it’s worth every penny. It’s a great starter motorcycle for kids. The 67cc single cylinder engine is mated to a three speed transmission with an automatic clutch for easy gear shifts, and it’s a great little machine for building confidence on. It has a low 22 inch saddle height, a wet weight of 121 lbs, and an electric start (and a kick starter) too – which makes it a very “easy access” motorcycle. Naturally, it comes with an adjustable powerband to keep young riders in check. What we like best about it, is that it’s followed by the rest of the Suzuki DR-Z range. Sure, Honda have bigger CRFs, but we prefer this little Suzuki’s bigger brothers…so for us, it’s the natural starting off point.
The Best Kids Motorcycles: Cruisers
The biggest inquiry that we get through social media for kids motorcycles is about cruiser style bikes – and finding out about them has been the most difficult. For many parents, cruiser style machines are probably the best type of motorcycle for kids because of their more relaxed looking nature. But don’t be fooled, they’re feisty little machines – even with a set of training wheels added on for good measure. After trawling through the internet and talking to our fellow gearhead friends, here is the only model of (reasonable) repute we’ve managed to find…
The Vulkan Mini Chopper (Price: $500 – $750)
From what we can tell, this isn’t necessarily a kids bike. From the reviews we’ve read and the testimonials, it looks like adults are just as much into these as younger riders. As you can see, they feature a chopper-style frame, complete with a 70cc, air-cooled, single cylinder engine that belts out a rather impressive (but otherwise unproven) 9.5 hp, with a claimed top speed of 45 mph. The four speed gearbox is a clutchless sequential affair, the brakes are hydraulic and the front is operated by lever and the rear by foot pedal, and it looks pretty cool. Especially for the price. As a kids motorcycle though, you might want to consider depowering that engine somewhat, if the figures are to be believed…
Build Your Own! (Price: ????)
It seems like most of the cool cruisers that you see in the videos are custom made contraptions. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites that specialize in selling small capacity engines, parts, suspension units and all the bits and pieces you’d need to put something together yourself. A bespoke frame might be the most expensive thing to find, but after that, you can jam in your Chinese engine, but all the bells and whistles you want, and truly have a family built custom in your garage. Since engine kits start from as low as $200, it’s not a bad route to take, and it’s a great way of getting your kids involved with real mechanics from an early age. And it never hurts to brush up your own skills while you’re at it!
So What Is The Best Motorcycle For Kids?
There is not definitive answer, but as long as you’re a responsible parent and make sure that your kids safety is your number one concern, then you can go down any route you like. Our recommendation is to start cheap, and graduate to more expensive brands – it’s a wiser financial move. There’s a downside of course… If your kid really takes to it, then you won’t be owning “one” motorcycle, or even “one” type of motorcycle. Once they get the bug, they’ll be asking for another, and another…and take it from me, they won’t grow out of this addiction…