When it comes to buying dirt bikes for kids, there’s a lot you need to know. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with different powertrains, different capabilities, and huge differences in price. To make this list easier to digest, we’ve listed our top 5 favorites from 3 sections: gas-powered dirt bikes from big brand manufacturers, electric-powered dirt bikes from well-respected brands, and cheap but cheerful no-name brand bikes that will do the job for those on a budget. For more information on what you need to look out for and a full FAQ, check out below the list for more details! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best dirt bikes for kids out there to suit a wide range of applications and budgets!
The Top 5 Gas Engine Dirt Bikes For Kids
We’ll start with looking at the big established brands. These generally have the same kind of price point, and though that price tag looks intimidating, don’t forget that you’re buying from a reputable brand and can enjoy real dealership support and warranties. Plus, for the kind of technology that you’re investing in, the prices are more than fair. So here are our top 5 favorite internal-combustion engine powered dirt bikes for kids from reputable brands!
#01. KTM SX 50
Starting with the very best, we have the Austrian-made KTM SX 50. KTM is arguably the most celebrated (and decorated) off-road brand at the moment, and the SX 50 is arguably the best dirt bike for kids currently available on the market. Marketed towards young riders aged between 4 and 10 years old, the KTM SX 50 is armed with a powerful kick-start-only 49cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine, complete with a single speed transmission, and top of the range KTM WP Suspension. The seat height is a low 26.9 inches.
In truth, the KTM SX 50 is almost overkill for what it is. It really is a true performance dirt bike that features a competition spec setup, which might be a little overwhelming for some young riders. However, if you want to equip your child with a true, championship winning dirt bike, then you really can’t go wrong with the KTM. However, this kind of performance isn’t cheap. The MSRP of the KTM SX 50 is a bank-balance breaking $4,349. It’s totally worth the money, but it’s a lot of money to spend on something that might be forgotten about after half a dozen rides.
- Race proven technology.
- Easy single-speed “twist and go” transmission.
- Can be fine-tuned with official KTM performance parts.
- It’s priced appropriately for what it is, but that may be too much for most budgets.
- The KTM SX 50 is a 2-stroke 50ccdirt bike, which requires more maintenance.
- It doesn’t have an electric starter.
#02. Yamaha TT-R50E
The TT-R50E from Yamaha is an excellent little dirt bike for young riders to earn their spurs on. Unlike the KTM mentioned above, the Yamaha TT-R50E comes equipped with a clutchless 3-speed transmission which can teach your young riders to learn the ins and outs of gear shifting without having to deal with the hassle of a clutch. The power is generated by a compact air-cooled, 4-stroke, 49cc single cylinder engine, that offers a nice and controllable, smooth power delivery to the final drive chain. The frame has a seat height of 26.4 inches.
To keep things safe and under control, Yamaha has equipped the TT-R50E with a useful adjustable throttle controller that limits how much power your child can access. On top of that, there is a key ignition that ensures that riding can only be done under your observation. Other cool features include Yamaha’s trademark motocross inspired plastics and stylings, plus a USFC-approved spark arrestor exhaust which makes it forest-friendly. All for an MSRP of $1,699. It’s still a pricey pocket bike, however, this kind of price is what you should be expecting from Japanese-made mini bikes – so compared to the KTM, it’s a very reasonable price.
- Throttle control to limit power access.
- A semi-automatic, clutchless three speed transmission for a more authentic ride experience.
- Reliable and hassle-free 4-stroke engine – no fuel premixing required!
- 4-stroke engines are more reliable, but when they break it’s usually a more complicated repair.
- The transmission may seem confusing to younger riders, or could prove too difficult for them to understand.
- It’s electric start only, which can be annoying if you have a flat battery.
#03. Honda CRF50F
If you want something safe, reliable, and fun, then you can’t go wrong with a Honda product. It just so happens that Big Red offers a pocket sized dirt bike for young riders to break into the world of motorcycling on. The CRF50F is a compact little ride that offers a fun, reliable, child-friendly, and safe experience. Powered by a small 4-stroke 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine and combined with a stable saddle height of 21.6 inches for young riders, this dirt bike for kids is one to seriously consider.
In terms of safety, Honda has equipped with CRF50F with a fully adjustable throttle limiter, allowing parents to choose the power levels available to their kids, and they’ve thrown in a keyed ignition for good measure too. Like the Yamaha above, this Honda also features a three speed gearbox that can be engaged without the use of a clutch, allowing riders to simply click through the gears without having to take their attention away from the trail in front of them. Other cool features include cool USD (Upside Down) suspension, an adjustable rear shock, and drum brakes for both wheels. The MSRP of the Honda CRF50F is $1,549.
- Practical USD suspension and an adjustable rear shock for excellent off-road comfort.
- Parental safety features such as the throttle limiter and keyed ignition.
- A reliable 4-stroke engine that doesn’t require pre-mixed fuel like most 2-strokes.
- The Honda CRF50F is a kick-start only machine, which can be trickier for young riders to master. However, a kick-start is very useful, so this is a pro and a con, I guess.
- The transmission might not be great for beginner riders who might benefit more from a “twist and go” style ride. Also, the lack of a clutch might make it a little boring for riders who want to master real gear shifting.
#04. Yamaha PW50
Next up, we have the legendary and instantly recognizable Yamaha PW50. This is one of the best dirt bikes for kids out there, but it’s more aimed at the younger end of the spectrum. Unlike Yamaha’s other kids dirt bikes, like the TT-R50E, the PW50 comes equipped with a 2-stroke engine instead! Don’t panic though, because despite being a 2-stroke, this one doesn’t require any premixing either! This air-cooled 49cc engine oils itself using Yamaha’s own in-house fuel injection system. The PW50 offers 2-stroke fun without you having to scratch your head working out the fuel to oil ratio on every refill.
If that wasn’t enough to separate it from the TT-R50, Yamaha has also equipped the PW50 with a fully-automatic single-speed transmission that allows young riders to simply twist the throttle and go. That power is transferred to a fully enclosed shaft drive, which helps protect your child and keeps maintenance to the bare minimum with no oiling or re-tensioning required. Yamaha has also given the PW50 the same throttle limiting technology, allowing parents to put a stopper on the excitement if it the kids are getting a bit too over-enthusiastic. It also has a super low seat height of 12 inches for younger riders. All in all, it’s a great choice – especially for an MSRP of $1,499.
- Yamaha’s fuel injection system allows for all the fun of a 2-stroke without the hassle of mixing fuel.
- Ideal for young riders thanks to the fully automatic transmission.
- The shaft-drive keeps things safe and keeps maintenance down.
- Being a 2-stroke, this will require more maintenance in the long run.
- This really is aimed more towards younger riders, but they will grow out of it much faster than some of the other models on this list.
#05. Suzuki DR-Z50
Lastly, we’ve got the Suzuki DR-Z50. The DR-Z50 is arguably one of the best kids dirt bikes out there, but it doesn’t score higher on account of the fact that there aren’t as many of them out there as other brand’s models, making cheaper replacement parts harder to source. Also, the DR-Z50 is relatively new, having recently replaced Suzuki’s DR-Z70. Still, it’s a class dirt bike that features many of the same features as its competitors. It boasts a punchy 4-stroke, 49cc air-cooled engine; a three speed clutchless gearbox; a throttle limiter; and of course, a keyed ignition. What’s more, it has a low seat height of 22 inches for better ground stability for younger riders.
While it also boasts a nice low weight of 119 lbs, strong and durable suspension and hardy brakes, it’s the combination of both an electric starter and kick starter that we really like. Young riders will benefit from the easy push button start that an electric start can give you, but they can also learn how to use a kick starter too. And let’s be honest, a kick start is very useful when batteries are flat or starter motors are gunked up. Add in a spark-arrestor equipped exhaust system for EPA Emissions compliancy and forest-friendly riding, and you’re on to a good thing. Not bad for an MSRP of $1,749.
- Electric AND kick start enabled. This is a very useful feature.
- Smooth, easy to operate three-speed gearbox young riders can build confidence with.
- Environmentally conscious spark-arrestor exhaust.
- Suzuki DR-Z50 models aren’t as plentiful as other brand’s models. This can make it hard to find cheaper replacement parts, or good second hand models.
- The price is higher than similar Japanese made kids dirt bikes, despite having the same or fewer features available. However, if you added the cost of an aftermarket kick start onto some of the above, then the Suzuki is quite reasonably priced. It depends on if the dual starter control is something you’d really like to have or not.
The Top 5 Electric Dirt Bikes For Kids
Next up, we’ve got the electric dirt bike section. There are hundreds of electric bikes for kids out there, but most of them are simply toys, or glorified toys – which is fair enough, because most parents just want to buy a little battery operated three wheeler for their kids to slowly go around their yard on. But what if you want more than an underpowered toy that struggles to gain traction on a slightly fluffy carpet? Well, there are two brands that we heartily recommend. One is more aimed at the budget end of the market, while the other is more expensive and more performance oriented. Those brands are Razor and Oset. Here are our favorite models from them:
#01. Oset 20.0 Eco
Our number one choice for serious electric dirt bikes for kids is the Oset 20.0 Eco. If you’re not familiar with Oset then prepare for a little schooling: this UK based brand is arguably one of the most successful brands in the electric mini bike category. It’s a niche market, for sure, but if you’re looking for a high spec machine, they’re the company to go to. These aren’t toys: they’re thoroughbred sports models and if you want your child to start with their best foot forward, consider getting in touch with Oset.
The Oset 20.0 Eco is a small electric dirt bike aimed at riders aged between 8 and 12 years old, that comes powered with a top of the range 1200W 48V OSET neodymium magnet DC motor, which can put out some serious performance. Since these bikes are electric, there’s no need for a conventional gearbox so it’s as simple as twisting the throttle and going. With that performance and simplicity, plus the addition of alloy rims and hubs, adjustable suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, a range of optional extras, and an overall weight of 90 lbs, this bike is perfect for children who take their dirt bike ride seriously. The price is pretty serious too, starting from $2,645.
- Being electric, service and maintenance are at a minimum.
- Adjustable speed controls and throttle limiter.
- No engine means no exhaust – no exhaust means no potential burns!
- Electric technology is still limited by battery life, so you lose the range of an internal combustion engine.
- The price is expensive when compared to gasoline models and there’s no denying it. It’s still exceptional value for money though.
#02. Oset 12.5
Younger riders will benefit more from the Oset 12.5. Claimed to be the world’s best-selling electric dirt bike for children between the ages of 3 and 5, this Oset machine is the ideal tool to set your kids on the path to two-wheeled greatness. This one is smaller than the above mentioned model, in stature and displacement. Powered by a fierce little 24v 600w motor, the Oset 12.5 has enough power to inspire confidence for your young rider, without totally overwhelming them at the same time. What we like about this one is the attention to safety.
The Oset 12.5 comes equipped with a cool magnetic lanyard that acts as a kill switch when things get a little too hot, and a smart throttle limiter that parents can use to adjust throttle response for over-enthusiastic grip wringers. There’s also selectable speed modes, disc brakes, soft-padded sections to take the worst out of any tumbles, and more. Again, there’s no hot exhaust for your kids to burn themselves on and no hazardous fuel or emissions either. It’s a great little ride, and it comes at a much more wallet friendly price tag than the 20.0 Eco, with prices starting from $1,147. This is a great bike for young riders and seriously worth the money.
- The price is more than fair for this bike.
- Fully controllable power modes and throttle adjustment.
- Excellent attention safety.
- Like all things aimed at young children, they will grow out of it quickly. But that’s the nature of the game here. If you want to get kids riding at a young age, you’ve got to take that financial hit somewhere along the line.
- Battery life is dependent on how it’s used, but a tough session should only see the battery lasting around half an hour per charge.
#03. Razor MX650 Dirt Rocket
Switching gears slightly, we’ve got the more budget conscious Razor models. Razor is a brand that has made a name for itself producing acclaimed electric outdoor products, from ride on cars to motorcycles, for kids and adults alike. Their electric dirt bikes for kids are some of the most popular in the industry. They may lean more towards the “toy” end of the spectrum but don’t be fooled by their toy-like nature – these things can really move, and even adults have been known to get a serious thrill riding their products. This one, the MX650 Dirt Rocket, is an absolute blast with an excellent bang for buck ratio.
Though aimed for riders aged 16 and up, we think that’s more for the sake of pleasing a legal disclaimer. In truth, it’s better for younger kids. It has a top speed of 17 miles per hour, can run for about 40 minutes per charge, and though it looks a little toy-like, the steel frame can take some serious punishment. Some riders have even pulled off some serious jumps and motocross stunts on one of these! It’s got suspension, it’s got disc brakes, and it does the job and does it well. For a price of around $729 (depending on what retailer you purchase it from) you really can’t go wrong.
- Strong electric motor and technology at a reasonable price.
- Knobbly tires, real suspension and disc brakes.
- Adjustable handlebars for a personalized ride experience.
- The battery takes a solid 12 hours to charge to 100%, and once fully charged it can only offer approximately 40 minutes of riding time.
- The battery also needs to be charged regularly to stop it from dying – which is something that can easily be forgotten about when the weather turns a bit wet or wintery.
#04. Razor SX350 Dirt Rocket McGrath
For the even more budget conscious parent, we have the Razor SX350 Dirt Rocket McGrath. Again, this one is a model that claims to be aimed at children aged 14 and older, but we think that’s nothing more than a bit of legal ass-covering. In fact, we think it’s more appropriate for an even younger audience than the one suggested. Kids over 14 will probably want something much faster! It’s not the most performance-oriented kids dirt bike on the market, and you’re going to have a hard time breaking the law on one but for young riders, it’s an excellent choice.
With a top speed of 14 miles per hour, this high-torque motor can give kids a real off-road experience in a relatively safe and totally fun way. It can climb hills, hack through some light trails, and do it without putting your child in any extra danger. Thanks to the all-enclosed powertrain, there aren’t any hot things or moving pieces to get hurt on. Each battery charge guarantees a minimum of 30 minutes riding and a maximum of over an hour depending on the conditions you’re riding in. Complete with a throttle limiter, disc brakes, and proper suspension as standard, for a price tag of around $339.99, it’s hard to fault this product.
- The low price point is a major plus point.
- Adjustable features, disc brakes, and real suspension.
- Fully enclosed electric drivetrain for maintenance free riding.
- Add training wheels for a safer ride for younger riders!
- The charging time is long, considering the actual ride time per charge.
- There have been complaints about Razor’s motorcycles not holding a charge well. They do have to be charged regularly to remain functional – which can be annoying.
#05. Oset MX-10
Last, but by no means least, we have the Oset MX-10. By rights, this shouldn’t be in last place at all, but it does have a price point that puts it out of reach for all but the most dedicated of parents. This isn’t a toy, you see. It’s a real racer that’s tuned for winning competitions. It’s easily one of the best electric dirt bikes for kids (and some adults) on the market but unless your child is already a competent rider and actively engaging in races and competitions on a regular basis, then this is probably overkill. The Oset MX-10 won the 2018 MiniBike Supercross Championship for the 88cc class – so it truly is the real deal.
Roughly equivalent to an 88cc internal combustion engine in power, the Oset 48v engine is more than enough power for older children and plenty of adults too. Powered by a 20ah lithium battery, and complimented with a range of top shelf parts, including USD (Upside Down) suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and of course, it’s electric so your maintenance is reduced right down to the absolute minimum. But a top of the line competition spec bike doesn’t come cheap. According to Oset, the MSRP of one of these machines is an impressive $3,528. It’s more than fair considering what you get in return, but you’d better hope your child appreciates the gesture and gets into dirt bike riding properly if you’re tempted to invest.
- Competition-spec racing machine.
- Modern, lithium-ion battery power.
- Top of the range parts and accessories.
- The price is prohibitively expensive for many parents, despite the value for money. There’s no escaping the fact that it’s an expensive thing.
- This is aimed more at older riders rather than young children. However, it won’t ever be grown out of, since adults can still have an absolute blast on one of these.
5 Cheapo Dirt Bikes That Will Do The Trick
When it comes to buying anything for kids, sometimes the cheapest option is the most sensible one. These models might not be the best quality in the world, they won’t have the best specification, and they may be produced in countries with questionable quality control, but what they lack in reputation they more than make up for in value. Imagine buying a $1,500 dirt bike that your kid gets bored of after a week! Though it still hurts, if they get bored of a $200 one after a week, it’s a far more acceptable loss. So, here are out favorite cheap dirt bikes for kids that will still do the job but on a much tighter budget!
#01. KTX Radical Mini Dirt Bike
The best of the rest list is topped by the KTX Radical, a mini dirt bike for kids that ticks all the right boxes. It’s taller than most other budget models on the market and that extra height allows for longer suspension and more suspension travel, making it actually better suited to off-road riding than many others. Powered by a standard Honda-copy engine, this air-cooled 4-stroke 40cc single produces 5.3 horsepower and can produce a top speed of 35 miles per hour. The power is distributed via an automatic gearbox, making it an easy twist and go experience – one gear, just twist that throttle and go.
35 mph is quite a fast speed for a young rider, so you’ll be please to know that there’s a throttle limiter installed, which allows you to control the speed between 5 mph and 35 mph, which should help parents relax a little bit. In terms of maintenance, since it’s a 4-stroke there’s not too much you need to worry about, just keep an eye on the usual wear and tear and follow the operating instructions. Talking of which, it’s a pull starter rather than a kick or electric starter, which is a nice bonus safety feature (albeit accidental). Still, for a price of around $299, you can’t complain.
- The taller saddle height makes it better for taller kids!
- Suspension travel that’s actually meant for off-road riding.
- Simple automatic gearbox for twist and go riding.
- The pull starter is annoying when compared with kick starters or electric start technology.
- Apart from the throttle limiter, safety features are at a minimum.
#02. Nitro Motors Hobbit Sport 49cc Pocket Bike
The Nitro Motors Hobbit Sport is another excellent budget dirt bike for kids, offering exceptional bang for buck, all wrapped in an attractive and durable package. In essence, it’s a small statured dirt bike that comes powered by a potent little 49cc air-cooled 2-stroke single cylinder engine, which boasts a maximum power output of about 3.5 hp, delivered through a hassle-free single speed automatic transmission. If that wasn’t enough, Nitro Motors have also throw in disc brakes, proper suspension and a few cool safety features into the mix.
The most important safety feature is probably the bike’s overall weight. In total, it only weighs 53 lbs. That low weight is one of the most appealing features here. Combine that low weight with an emergency kill switch that will shut down the engine in the event of a small spill, and the addition of a very handy chain guard that promises to protect your youngster’s legs from the dangerous chain, and you’ve got yourself a very safe dirt bike. And how much does all of this cost? The Nitro Motors Hobbit Sport in 49cc trim retails for around $315.
- A light overall weight of 53 lbs makes it ideal for young riders.
- Safety features include a kill switch and a chain guard.
- Simple 2-stroke technology.
- Not fitted with off-road tires – this isn’t a massive negative point, but if you want to buy an off-road bike, you’d expect knobbly tires.
- Being a 2-stroke, it requires the fuel to be premixed.
#03. X-Pro 40cc Kids Dirt Bike
X-Pro’s 40cc dirt bike is another nice and cheap model that you should consider investing in. This one is readily available on sites like Amazon and can be delivered to your door. Now, it’s a budget ride, so don’t expect performance-spec parts and engineering! Still, it’s got some great things going for it. It’s powered by a very nice little 40cc air-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder engine that’s EPA approved and equipped with low noise technology. Being low noise, it’ll still make a rumble but it’s not going to annoy your neighbors as much as some other models could.
The engine can propel your youngster to a heady speed of up to 22 miles per hour, which is more than enough for young riders. What’s more, this little dirt bike also boasts telescopic suspension, front and rear disc brakes, and a pull starter. It’s not the most sophisticated on the market, but for a price tag of around $339, you could do a lot worse. We really liked this one, all things considered.
- Ships with free gloves, goggles and hand grips.
- EPA approved 4-stroke engine with noise-reduction.
- Excellent price point.
- This model requires a lot of home assembly: the handlebars, wheels, brakes, and fenders will have to be attached after delivery.
- Often cannot be shipped to California.
#04. Coolster Kids 70cc Mini Dirt Bike
If you’re looking for something for slightly older kids who might get a thrill out of more power and a higher top speed, then the Coolster Kids 70cc kids dirt bike could be a good option. As you can see, it’s a 70cc model which makes it a bit bigger than the rest of the stuff on the list. With the extra displacement, the Coolster Kids dirt bike produced a solid 5.4 horsepower from its air-cooled 70cc 4-stroke single-cylinder engine, and claims top speeds of up to and over 30 miles per hour. It’s not a twist and go, but has selectable gears instead, though they have shifting pattern more reminiscent of an old Honda moped rather than a modern dirt bike.
This motorcycle has more in common with Honda than an old shifting pattern though: this bike is essentially a carbon copy of Honda’s CRF50F, without any actual Honda parts in it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and while it may not be Honda branded, it doesn’t have a real Honda price tag either. The other differences it has to the Honda include the fact that it’s a kick-start only model – and that’s either a pro or a con, depending on how you personally feel about. All in all, it’s a decent ride – and at around $600 it’s cheaper than a real Honda, but still not really that cheap though.
- Larger engine capacity that makes it better for older kids.
- Essentially a cheaper copy of the Honda CRF50F.
- Has more power and a higher top speed than others.
- It has unusual gearing. This isn’t a problem, but it might be counterproductive if you’re trying to teach your kids how to shift properly in preparation for a real motorcycle.
- The price is quite steep for an unknown brand.
- Kickstart only.
#05. SYX Moto Holeshot
Last on the list, we’ve got another excellent budget choice. This one is called the SYX Moto Holeshot. These are easily available online and if you don’t trust our testimony, there are hundreds of reviews available for this little pocket rocket. The Holeshot is equipped with a compact air-cooled 49cc 2-stroke engine that’s chock full of power. With a claimed top speed of 30 mph, you might be wondering if it’s not too powerful for your kids, but don’t worry! SYX Moto have equipped this little beauty with a cool selectable power feature that limits what speeds are available to your children.
That (limited or unlimited) power is delivered through a single-speed automatic transmission which makes riding as simple as twisting the throttle and moving forward with no clutch required. It’s a great little bike for getting young riders up on two wheels in a fun and budget friendly way. Yes, it is a two-stroke which means that you’ll have to premix your fuel, and yes, it will require a little bit of assembly to get it running, but for a bargain average price of around $279-depending on what retailer you purchase from-you’ll have a hard time beating this deal.
- Controllable top speeds for safer riding.
- Easy to maintain 2-stroke engine.
- A very, very, reasonable price tag.
- It will require a little bit of assembly to get running.
- It requires you to premix your fuel with 2-stroke oil.
- Some components feel cheap…but then again, they are
Dirt Bikes For Kids: FAQ
Why Should You Buy Your Child A Dirt Bike?
Now you’ve seen some of the best dirt bikes for kids on the market, let’s take a look at why you should even consider buying one in the first place.
It’s no secret that the most successful professional motorcyclists started their careers on two wheels at a young age. Racing heroes like Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, and Marc Marquez were riding motorcycles as soon as they could walk, and even if you’re not trying to push your children on to the top steps of the podium, there are plenty of other good reasons to get them up on two wheels as soon as possible.
Learning how to control and ride a motorized vehicle helps children develop an affinity with machinery; as soon as they can ride something, they’ll want to learn how to tinker with it by pulling it apart and putting it back together, learning fundamental mechanical skills and developing a curiosity for machines and technology. At the same time, your children will also learn to appreciate and respect how engines work and how to use them – and most importantly, how not to use them.
Of course, learning how to ride is an educational experience but let’s not forget that it is also really fun too. As any rider will tell you, there’s nothing quite like riding a motorcycle and it’s not really fair for us grown-ups to keep all the thrill and excitement of riding to ourselves.
But why choose a dirt bike rather than a road bike?
Let’s be honest, your kids aren’t going to be riding on the nation’s highways are they? It’s unsafe and illegal, that’s obvious. Most people don’t have access to large open areas with sealed asphalt either. However, most houses have gardens, and open fields are easy to find. It makes more sense to equip your child with the right tool for the right environment instead: a dirt bike.
Dirt bikes are generally better for children to learn on too. They have grippy off-road tires, better suspension, engines that aren’t solely built for speed, all wrapped up in a package that’s designed and engineered to put up with lots of punishment and hard knocks.
Little road bikes and sportsbike replicas are enormous fun, but in reality a dirt bike is probably a more practical purchase in the long run. Besides, riders with a strong background in off-road riding generally make better street riders later on in life. Food for thought, that. So, now you’re convinced about buying one, what kind of dirt bikes for kids are available?
Pocket Dirt Bikes For Kids: What To Look For?
As you can guess from the lists above, there are hundreds of different small dirt bikes aimed at children for sale in shops and on the internet. For a start, there are two real kinds of dirt bikes available: toys or real professional level machines. They’re differentiated by their performance capabilities, levels of technology, and obviously, their price tags. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to take a look at more serious dirt bikes for kids, starting from cheaper models that could still be considered as toys, and ranging to top of the line performance models. Here are a few important things you need to know before pulling the trigger on a purpose.
Essentially, there are 3 kinds of powertrains available for these small dirt bikes: 2 stroke gas engines, 4 stroke gas engines, and battery powered electric models. There are pros and cons surrounding all of them, and you should spend some time learning the differences and figuring out which type is best for your child. Luckily, we’ve covered this before and you can find a brief overview of that here. If you’re not up for clicking away, here’s a very, very brief overview of the different types of engines and motors available.
2 Stroke Gas Engines: These engines have the ability to produce power quickly and deliver it faster than their 4-stroke brothers. They’re simple engines which are easy to service and maintain. They generally require more frequent servicing, but they’re simple enough that anyone can have a go at doing it. Because they’re simple, they’re usually quite cheap and you get a good bang for buck ratio. Unfortunately, most require the fuel to be premixed with 2-stroke oil, which doesn’t take long at all, but could be seen as a negative point.
4 Stroke Gas Engines: These engines are far more durable than 2-strokes, and they generally last longer too. They don’t require fuel to be premixed either. And if that wasn’t enough, they produce more manageable and usable power too, with an exhaust note that’s probably more neighbor-friendly! There are downsides though. The engines are more complicated and require more complex maintenance, and because they’re more complicated by nature, they’re also more expensive. Still, maintenance intervals are far longer than you’d get on a 2-stroke, so a good 4-stroke is a sound investment.
Battery Powered Electric Models: Electric power is a great way to go for dirt bikes for kids. These powertrains are 100% hassle free, require zero maintenance, offer exceptional power delivery, and they’re super safe and easy to ride too. There’s nothing hot for you kids to burn themselves on, and there aren’t any gears to worry about either – just twist and go. There are downsides though! Battery life isn’t going to top a gasoline engine, and if your electric bike breaks down, it’s not going to be a quick (or cheap) fix. But, they’re neighbourhood friendly, offer excellent value for money, and are a dream for young riders to master. Definitely worth considering.
Engines are one thing, but none of those powerplants are going to be useful to your child if they’re the wrong size for the frame it’s fixed to. When shopping around for a kid’s dirt bike, make sure that it fits them before you hand over your hard earned cash. If your child can’t comfortably touch the ground with their feet, then you probably want to invest in something smaller. If they’re too big for the model in question, that’s not such a huge problem. It’s not ideal, but there are things you can do to make it more comfortable for young rider, such as raising the handlebars or adjusting or replacing the suspension. There are plenty of small sized motorcycles that full sized adults ride, so it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure the model is designed to carry your child’s weight!
When it comes to buying a little dirt bike for your young rider, there is one more crucial thing to consider: the safety features of each model. At the end of the day, a motorcycle is a potentially dangerous machine, so safety is paramount. Most manufacturers have added a few key safety measures to ensure that your child will be as safe as possible. These safety features include throttle limiters, which allow parents to decided how much power their children can access; key ignitions, which prevent children from riding without being supervised; heat shielding, to protect your kid’s legs from hot exhausts and other how parts of the bike; and other small comforts like a padded handlebar, and more. As a parent, you’re going to value your child’s safety – so be sure to pay attention to what safety features and options are included with your purchase.
Ask Yourself What You Really Want Out Of Your Purchase
There are three important P’s that you want to really think about before buying any dirt bikes for kids. Purpose. Power. Price. You need to ask yourself what the actual point and purpose of buying this dirt bike is, think about how powerful this dirt bike needs to be, and then see how much money you’re truly willing to invest.
- Purpose: Or rather, point and So you think your kid wants a dirt bike. That’s cool and all, but is it a passing interest or one that you think will stand the test of time. If the purpose of the purchase is to see if your child actually likes riding a dirt bike, then there’s no reason to invest big bucks on a powerful competition spec machine, is there? However, if your child has all the hallmarks of a future champion, you might be more willing to splash out on a better model to give them a helping hand early on. Give it some thought. Children are notoriously fickle.
- Power: This one should actually be aimed at all motorcyclists rather than just children – because most adults riders are always buying more powerful than they could effectively use. How much power do you need? Young riders probably won’t be needing much more power than enough to go forwards with a bit of enthusiasm. Something too slow might get really boring really quickly, but something too fast could be frightening and intimidating for a young child too. You have to be careful, and it depends on your child’s age. Under 10s should probably be content with 50cc motorcycles and under. Over 10s will probably benefit from and understand the fundamentals of slightly larger machines. But each child is different.
- Price: This is one is probably the most important from the buyer’s perspective. Naturally, every parent will have a rough budget in mind, but after thinking about the purpose of the bike and how much power you want from it, you’re going to be left with three pricing categories that are roughly like this: something cheap and made in China, something moderately expensive but made in Japan that will last forever, or something more expensive aimed at competition level riding. There are other options, but those are the three main categories, really.