Dirt bike riding is an excellent family hobby, and it provides a sense of togetherness. You will be rightly nervous about letting your kids on dirt bikes, given what you may have heard about accidents on the dirt road.
Dirt biking is not the safest pursuit out there, but it will help to study the risks involved and take precautions. One common question is the age at which it is appropriate to buy dirt bikes for your kids.
Small electric dirt bikes can be used for kids as young as three years. 4-year olds can be introduced to 50cc dirt bikes fitted with training wheels. You can eliminate the training wheels after they reach 5 or 6.
Is Your Child Ready to Ride a Dirt Bike?
There is no particular age limit when it comes to introducing your kid to dirt biking. It depends on how well you think your kid will handle the rigors of off-road driving and their level of maturity as well. Start the little ones with light and child-friendly electric models.
By the time they are six, they will be taking supervised short rides on more advanced machines. You can even find an 8-year old who is so experienced that you cannot keep up with them on the trail.
Types of Dirt Bikes
Dirt bikes can be great for juniors of all ages. Some bikes are, however, more child-friendly. It is
vital to know the differences in dirt bikes to get an appropriate one. A bike that is ideal for
a kid of four to six years may not suit a kid of nine years.
Age is an essential factor when purchasing a model for your little one. The primary
distinction between dirt bikes is power. A machine suited for a 3-year old is less powerful than the one a kid of nine years would use. Child-friendly models range between 50 to 250cc. As kids progress, they will be able to handle bikes with over 250ccs in power engine.
The less powerful the machine is, the safer it is for a beginner. Do not introduce powerful bikes to your kids if they do not have the necessary skills.
Once your juniors reach seven to ten years, they will desire more speed and power for the increased adrenaline. A bike of 70 to 100 cc model will be fit at this stage, although you should first assess their ability to handle a more powerful motorcycle. The goal is to ensure they are protected, so only give them the power they can handle. Opt for reliable brands like Honda, Suzuki, Razor, KTM, Yamaha, Hyosung, Beta, Maico, and Kawasaki.
Choosing the Right Bike for Your Child
The type of bike you get your kid will either make them excited about learning the sport or frustrated and weary of off-road riding. Do not push your little one into something they do not like. Safety is also critical, so keep this mind when browsing through bikes.
One of the factors to observe is the hand strength of the beginner. Ensure that they can handle the bars of the bike you choose with a tight and comfortable grip. The kid should additionally be able to hold back the bike’s throttle effectively and maintain a steady course. Posture is another critical factor. Can they maintain a supportive upright position through bumps?
Remember that some torque may prove too powerful for a kid. Considering this fact will help you prevent crashing when it comes to off-riding for kids. Select a bike that fits your child’s height, weight, and body strength. When it comes to price, you can get a used dirt bike as they will quickly grow out of the machines. You should, however, be sensitive to quality.
Dirt bikes differ as either two-stroke or four-stroke. A two-stroke model is good for beginners.
When it comes to age groups, you can use the guide below:
Some experts are against the practice of introducing toddlers to the sport. On the other hand, some parents are okay with toddlers riding dirt bikes as long as safety precautions are taken. A 6V bike equipped with training wheels can be a good starter bike for your little one.
Training a kid this early has its own advantages since they will learn the basic skills. Procure a lanyard and fit in on the bike’s rear end to control the speed. Maintain the speed below 5mph.
Three to Six Years
Kids in this age group should be riding below 10 mph. There is a variety of models in this age bracket. The low speed cushions them from crashes and accidents.
Guide your kid through the sport slowly since their capability to process and understand information is still developing. The smallest model for three-years olds has a maximum speed of 3mph, so it is very safe. The dirt bikes in this category are incredibly light and easy to handle.
Be present to offer guidance and to make them comfortable. Remember that kids this young lack spatial awareness and adequate strength to bike by themselves. You can fix safety bars so that the motorcycle remains upright at all times. You can get both electric and battery-powered models for kids this age.
Seven to Nine Years
If your kids have been riding since they were toddlers, they will desire more powerful machines by the time they reach seven to nine years. They will have accumulated all the fundamentals to handle a larger model.
The urge for the high speeds and stunts they see in videos will now kick in. Anything above 50cc will give them enough adrenaline to be excited. The power of the engine becomes more important than the size. Keep them concerned about their safety so that they take their gear every time they want to ride.
Ten to Eleven Years
At this age, your juniors will be capable of handling powerful bikes that are over 70cc. If you are confident in their skills, do not hesitate to get them a machine with more torque. They will, at this stage, yearn for more engine power and more speed.
Professional bikers begin to identify their talents at around this time, so get a higher-priced bike with top-notch safety gear. Some kids will ask for loud models. They will discover dirt biking as a sport at this stage, so just lay back and watch them appreciate it.
Dirt bikes get more robust and stable at this stage. Bikes between 50 to 125 cc are ideal for teenagers. Some even go as far as 250cc. They will be well-equipped to handle powerful bikes at this stage and will even sign up for competitions.
Dirt Bike Riding Gear for Kids
Dirt biking is a contact sport, and your kids will continuously fall, especially when they are learning the basics. It is unavoidable, and the only thing to do is to minimize the impact of such crashes.
In addition to getting the right bike, you will also need to fit them with appropriate safety gear. Your junior should be safe at all time, even when riding in the backyard. The gear should further fit and will include:
- Helmet- Your kid’s developing brain needs the most protection. Source for a quality product, especially one that is DOT-approved. They should always sport a full-face helmet on the road. The helmet should also be a good fit, that is not loose or too tight.
- Goggles- A quality pair of goggles will keep debris and dirt out of their eyes so that they focus on the road.
- Gloves- To start, you can fit them with mountain bike gloves to protect their hands. Invest in a dirt bike pair as they progress since their hands will often be used to cushion falls. Gloves also keep blisters at bay.
- Boots- A quality pair of boots will protect your kid’s feet on the road. They need to fit well and not to be too short.
- Elbow and Knee Guard- Your little one’s elbows and knees are also susceptible to bruising from falling. Functional padding in the form of guards is a necessity.
- Body Armor- Your junior’s back and chest need protection. Invest in good body armor to not only protect them but to give you peace of mind as well.
Is Dirt Bike Dangerous for Kids?
Dirt biking injuries can be fatal when they happen, and you can be hesitant to expose to your kids to the sport. The statistics on these fatalities are interesting to evaluate and may offer important insight.
To start, over half of the dirt bike injuries received in hospitals are from official tracks. Trail riding is, therefore, safer than riding in motocross races. Over 60% of the deaths happen among riders not using a helmet. Dirt bikes are also safer than ATVs. A substantial percentage of the fatalities happen where alcohol is involved.
As long as you observe such precautions as fitting your kids with safety gear and supervising them, the risk of accidents will be minimal.
It is natural to be apprehensive about exposing kids to a sport as dangerous as dirt biking. As long as you allocate them a bike they can handle, however, they will be fine on the road. Upgrade their models if you feel that their abilities have progressed. Keep them in safety gear and let them have fun!