Best Dirt Bikes for 12-year-old kids and under

Are you looking for the best dirt bikes for your active 12-year-old  free-spirited kid? 

Perhaps that bike that can help your child as they prepares to be the next motocross star? It's time to learn more about dirt bike for kids...

Best Dirt Bike for 12-year-old

Honestly, looking for the best dirt bike can be practically challenging.

Here is a dirt bike for kids recommendation depending on their age:

For small and young drivers age 3 years old; small automatic and electric bikes are recommended. Safety wise, for 4-year-olds, a gas powered ride can be a good training bike for practice. 

When they reach the age of 5-6, they might be even better than most dirt bike drivers and hopefully will continue riding for a long time. At this age they can earn more power and speed as they can safely control it.

Spread out in the market today, there are various dirt bikes, differentiated by category and of course, price. Aside from that, a practice dirt bike specifically for kids will add to the challenge.

No worries though! I have compiled factors and considerations you might want to check into in looking for the best dirt bike for your kid!

Support from parents

As parents, we only want what is best for our kids, right? Safety, health and success. However, as parents we want our kids to have happiness, and standing on the way of their dreams can later affect them.

This is why, no matter what sport they prefer it is important to support and guide them especially during their growing years. If it worries you, you may even want to set down ground rules to keep them safe and let them know what bothers you.

Dirt biking may be the sport you are not really too enthusiastic about (considering how dangerous it seems); however, preparing and checking out precautions will very well help you and your child as you journey through the starting out phase.

It would be great to turn on to parents for emotional support and encouragement. Throughout this learning experience, reinforcing our kids by continuous and all-out guidance will help hone them to be more focused and seek out ways for personal improvement through their growing up years.

There must also be a certain level of involvement we must give out to set boundaries and help them foster independence and responsibility. Communication and goal setting is the key to help your kid as they aspires to reach a certain level.

What is a good age to start dirt biking?

I believe this question always depends on the child’s level of development. No matter what age or phase they are in, it depends on their ability to focus and practice independence. Dirt biking is a support which requires courage aside from balance and driving ability.

Do you remember the first time you rode on a bike? How old were you then? Honestly it is basically a case to case scenario.

We might also want to stick to the general rule, which is: the less cc the bike has, the safer and better it is. So in choosing the right bike for your kid, you might want to consider how big the bike is as compared to him/her. Larger bikes basically are heavier, too. Balance is a key determinant in learning how to drive a bike and mastering it.

Here are some options and suggestions based on your kid’s age to break down those jumbled thoughts:

Toddlers (3 to 4 years old)

  • A motorized bike with an attached lanyard (cord or yarn)
  • Make sure the speed is just below 5 miles per hour.
  • This is a good training bike to help them get the feel of riding one.

Preschool Ages (3 to 6 years old)

  • A lighter bike
  • The speed preferably must be below 10 miles per hour.
  • Options
  • Honda CRF70 (for off-road)
Honda CR-70
  • KTM 65SX Mini (for racing)
KTM-65SX

School Ages (7 to 10 years)

  • A larger bike
  • This is the stage wherein they might have developed their riding skills.
  • A bigger and larger bike is a good choice, especially if jumping over steep obstacle roads and off-road areas are now being practiced.
  • Options
  • Honda CRF70 or 80 (for off-road)
Honda CR-70
  • Kawasaki KX65
Kawasaki kx-65

School Ages (10 to 12 years old )

  • A larger bike
  • Most kids start getting interested in dirt biking during this age so this also depends.
  • Some kids prefer bikes that make more noise, especially for most boys.
  • Options
  • Honda XR or CRF brands, Kawasaki KLX110 (for off-road)
Kawasaki kx-65
  • Honda CRF150R (for Motor Cross drivers)
honda-CR150R

The details of the dirt bike for kids

It is no wonder that kids look up to their parents, whether you drive a dirt bike yourself and your kid is your biggest fan or you are trying to make them go outside, a dirt bike is a great way to get them into the sport. So, let's talk about the details... keep reading!

Getting kids outside these days can seem totally impossible, from the constant technology they are exposed to. Whether it is their phones, tablet, TV or a computer they don't go outside like kids used to.

There are tons of sports out there, but dirt bikes are one of the more thrilling ones. Think of it as riding an automatic bike. Kids will enjoy it and finally take their noses off a screen. It can be a great way for parents to bond with kids if they have a dirt bike too!

The safety for the Kids Dirt Bike

With the right equipment you got nothing to worry about. Just like a regular bike, kids need to correspond with the dirt bike's height. The younger and smaller the child the smaller the bike and tires should be.

Gear for Kids Dirt Bike

While fun is the original thought, safety is the race's winner. Before all the fun begins you better make sure you have some safety equipment in hand.

The main equipment your child should wear for protection is:

  • A helmet
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Body gear

It is always critical that your child fits and feels comfortable with every piece of equipment, after all it is the things that will keep them safe in case of any falls. Now that protection has been established, on to the fun part!

Pricing for Kids Dirt Bike

I know the the price for a kid dirt bike is a concern. Let's talk about this topic...

But don't worry, you can find a price tag that fits your pocket since the prices for kids dirt bike vary from hundreds to thousand of dollars. I'm sure you will find the best one you.

Unless your kid is the type that is fit to ride, he might not take on the sport for very long. 

Remember as kids we are trying to figure out what we like and don't like. 

Sometimes we might really want something and get bored of it the day after we got it, it isn't only a kid thing but a adult thing too.

Think about how much you are willing to pay, and what the resale value will be.

If you have multiple kids it might interest you to buy one and pass it down as the oldest grows out of it and buy a bigger one, that might work for you.

Kid in a dirt bike

Photo by Markus Spiske

However, some people don't have multiple kids to pass it down to. So maybe consider buying a resale dirt bike for your kid. It is cheaper and if they really get into it, then you can move on to something a bit more pricey.

Don't forget that kids grow, some quicker than others.

So you could invest in a dirt bike that can grow with them, but never underestimate the power of kids to get disinterested in something at lightening speeds.

Things to consider

Before buy a dirt bike for your kid, you must consider some important things that are crucial to choose the ideal bike. So, let dive into the details...

Throttle Control

When you drove your first car you didn't hit the gas and drove at 100 miles an hour. You slowly got used to the pedals and got a sensation for how fast you were going. Throttle control is just a limit to your kid's speed.

The engine displacement value is measured in what we call CC's, or cubic centimeters. It allows the motor to give the wheels power, but most kid dirt bikes come with adjustable throttle control, which can give you piece of mind.

Apart from giving you piece of mind it also gives you total control over the speed your child can go, keeping them safe until they are ready to go a little faster. Ultimately, you can remove the control and give your kid the power of speed.

It is almost like someone placed a limit to how fast you can possibly speed up. As the kid continues to get better, you can make the CC higher allowing them to have more speed when you feel like they are capable of controlling the bike.

Tire size

Your first car was probably not a monster truck or a bus. Maybe it wasn't even an SUV. Most people start driving a low car, just like toddlers start with a tricycle and move up to a bike with safety wheels.

Well, depending on your kid, you can't give them a monster truck. Especially as they might not weight enough to control it, turn it or even stop it. Kids dirt bikes have a low center of gravity, giving them more control. But if they cant reach the ground, then it will be harder to stop the bike in an emergency.

Remember to make sure their feet can touch the floor at anytime. Bigger tires aren't always the best ones. Pick a height that will suit your child. Keeping them comfortable and safe, while giving you peace of mind.

Power bands

Kids dirt bikes are meant for kids, therefore, companies are going to try their best to make sure they are safe at all times. Apart from CC's, the power bands also give your child more safety as they ride.

Power bands are another safety feature that you should look into before you buy your kid the bike. They pretty much control whether the motor can go from 0 to 100 or the kid gradually increases their speed over time.

Of course going from 0 to 100 is not the safest way for a kid to learn, that is called a snappier power band. Meaning they gain speed quickly and would be recommended for older kids, who might already been into dirt bikes and can control themselves well.

A motor with a snappier power band is going to be called a two-stroke motor. If your kid is older and experienced you might want to go for it, but always use caution and explain to them the danger in going too fast.

As for the kids with low or no experience at all a four-stroke motor would work better as the power band allows them to gradually increase their speed. Giving them more control over the bike and allowing them to build up speed slowly.

The best bikes for kids

Let's begin with a company that is all about motorcycles. Whether its for adults of the mini ones, they have it all! Though they can be on the pricier side they bring out nothing but the best and that is why KTM made it in our list twice.

1. KTM 50 SX

Dirt Bikes for Kids KTM SX 50

If you are looking for a matching set for the family, this is the place to go. You can get one for each member and all ride in style and top quality!

First off, it's orange color design pops out, guarantying you will see your kid in any race. The company recommends this bike to kids between the ages of 4-10. But that is usually determined by the size of the child in the bike.

However, if your kid is petite, or simply not big enough to reach the ground you can look into the KTM 50 SX Mini, which has the same engine as its bigger brother the KTM 50 SX. However, the mini comes with automatic transmission, that allows parents to control acceleration in the bike.

The bike can reach up to 50ccs and seats at 27 inches tall, or 2 feet and 3 inches. This might not fit every kid due to its size, but it is sure to give kids tall enough to ride some fun. It also has a limited gas tank capacity that is said to reach around half a gallon. Equipped with a 12- inch front tire and a 10-inch back tire, it is sure to give any kid a good ride.

It is said to weight around 80-100 pounds, and has a lightweight frame. Absolutely no gears that you have to worry about, and a liquid cooling system, that will make sure your kid is staying cool even in the hottest weather.

Apart from the KTM 50 SX, you might want to take at look at the more upgraded KTM 65 SX, which is fit for older riders.

2. KTM 65 SX

Dirt Bike for Kids KTM-65

Though KTM has a lot of bikes to offer, this one is perfect for the 8-12 years- olds. It is taller and will give them a bit more control when driving ans they are heavier, therefore, weighing the bike down. The 65ccs aren't top notch as the 125cc big dogs but they do provide a lot more freedom then a 50cc.

The engine difference between the 50 and 60 is clearly noticeable. With 14 inches in the front tire and 12 in the back it is a difference of 2 inches from the KTM 50 SX model, which is sure to bring the fun to the bigger kids.

However, age isn't always the determining factor on whether you should, or shouldn't get the KTM 65 SX. The determining factor is whether the child weighs enough to hold the bike down and can safely touch the ground.

Its fuel capacity is at about a gallon, and its weight ranges from 115-125 pounds. Making it light and easy to carry it in the trunk wherever you go. The height of the seat is about 29 inches, great for kids at that age.

It is equipped with a 65cc and two-stroke power. Giving your little racer everything they are looking for. Meanwhile, keeping them safe and a bit higher off then the KTM 50 SX.

3. Yamaha TTR-50

Kids dirt bike Yamaha TTR50

This bike is definitively on the cheaper side compared to KTM. But don't think because the price went down so did the quality. It is about 22 inches tall or 1 feet and 10 inches. Making it a comparable height to both the KTM 50 SX and 65 SX.

It is a four-stroke, therefore, it gives kid the gradual increase in speed. Parents can limit the amount of fuel the motor uses, meaning you can control the speed. When comfortable with your kid doing some speeding, the control can be pulled off giving them the freedom to roam around.

The Yamaha stands off because of it's start button, instead of pedal kick offs with is what most dirt bikes for kids are equipped with. An electric button is better off for a little kid compared to a kick off petal that can come later on.

These bikes can be found everywhere, though if you find a resale one, do not hesitate to click buy as their retail price is not an everyday gift for every kid. But with its speed, agility and height, it sure will give a kid one heck of a ride!

4. Honda CRF50F

Kids Dirt Bkie Honda CRF50F

Not only does Honda make cars, the dirt bikes for kids are so impressive that the brand made it into the list twice! They have a range of dirt bikes from the smallest CRF50F to the big dog CRF450X.

On the cheaper, smaller size, the CRF50F is a great option for the younger ones. With their 50cc they will go fast but not too fast. With a four-stroke they will build up their speed gradually instead of going from 0 to 100.

Its throttle limit allows parents to control how much gas their little ones can burn, giving the kid more control over time as they learn how to ride and do not have to worry about the rest of it. As they progress, parents can adjust the limits.

The bike set up has stayed the same, so you don't have to worry if you do not get the newest model. With only one color option, Honda choose well by going with red. Which is an easy to spot color and can make any kid happy, whether its a boy or a girl!

With equipped 10- inch tires both in the front and back of the dirt bike, kids are sure enough to be safe by being able to reach the ground. Giving them the power to put their foot down in any emergency.

This model can fit many kids, along with another model, the CFR110F, which you might want to take a look at if you are between the CRF50F and the CRF125F. Which can be a great in between for on growing kids!

5. Honda CRF125F

Kids dirt bike Honda CRF125F

Last but not least we have the Honda CRF125FB, which is a median price wise.

It is the fastest bike listed in this post with its whopping 125cc. Giving the bigger kids a chance to have a bit more freedom compared to the smaller ones.

It is equipped with four gears and will not be scary to control. The model comes with both an electric start button and a kick pedal start which can be very helpful in transitioning kids that have yet to learn how to use a kick pedal.

The rear tires are 14 inches tall and the front ones are a whopping 17 inches, making this ride for the bigger kids. For a bit more you can get the CRF125FB (Big wheel), which would be recommended for the taller kids that want the same speed.

The big wheels boots the rear from 14 to 16 inches, and the front tires reach 19 inches, definitively for the kids with a bit more legs then the rest. Making the big wheels just as safe but a good option for taller kids who's parents want the same control over the bike.

With Honda you can allow your kid to transition back and forth from kick starting and a press of a button. But what is guaranteed is that they will have a ton of fun at awesome (yet safe) speeds!

This was the list of the best dirt bikes for kids, but there are so many more in the markets. But no matter which one you settle for always remember that the key is safety. Kids can have their fun while being safe too!

Additional Factors and Features to Consider Before Buying a Dirt Bike

  • Power and acceleration: The speed depends on the age and driving experience of the driver. For kids who want to take biking seriously then running at 15 mph is a good deal.
  • Safety: There are bikes with speed controllers for parents to carry out safety precautions especially for young uncontrollable drivers. As they grow up and get better with driving you can then adjust the control and increase the acceleration manually.
  • Construction wise: Riding will be made more fun especially when it is designed to be aesthetically appealing. If the bike dirt bike is well-equipped with a heavy-duty frame, you can be more comfortable with it going through rough terrains and obstacles.
  • Maintenance: Aside from a team you can rely on especially with technical details, it is also best to be more familiar with the tools in maintaining a dirt bike. If you and your child design to train by yourselves, it might come in handy in the future.

Make sure to purchase your kid’s protective gear. This is a must, especially for child drivers. Do not just buy a gear that is perused and cheaper but is too large for them. Choose a gear which fits them snugly for ease of use, comfort and enhances safety precautions.

Features

  • Some dirt bikes are battery or electrically operated and can be charged.
  • Some are also easily assembled. 
  • Check out bikes that can be paired with your iOs or Android phone. Setting and managing top speeds while monitoring your kid’s statistics will help you both decide whether that distance is safe or not.

Is Dirt Bike Riding a Safe Family Sport?

It can be practically challenging if you are not a rider yourself and your 6-year-old kid is obsessed with dirt biking.

Some dirt bike riders start their babies out as young as 6 months of course strapped around themselves.

In every activity, it becomes inherently dangerous if you do not prepare for it.

We have to be aware of the risks in doing everything. Crossing the street can become dangerous if we don’t follow safety traffic rules and regulations.

It is increasingly becoming more dangerous if you drink while driving! This goes the same as when practicing dirt biking as a sport.

Statistics point out that riding ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicle) or four wheelers are even riskier and causes more injuries than dirt biking.

Aside from that one plus factor, doing it as family makes it easier to communicate and promotes family bonding. Riding through sunsets and going through harsh terrains together can be a challenging yet memorable experience.

The Bottom Line

Discouraging your kid from doing this sport is a big NO!

That is why we sincerely admire parents who go all out in supporting their kids by helping them choose the best dirt bike for them.

Whether they have just started to learn about it, and no matter how age they are; it is never too late. Choosing the wrong bike will also be very discouraging in the long run so it is best to make sure to find a dirt bike that is just the right fit for your kid.

Dirt bike riding is a fun and risky sport but it is also a healthy workout and stress reliever. For your child, reducing the risk of injury, thorough training, and adult supervision is essential to make it a more fun experience as well as a long-term one.

Sometimes riding with your child will also be a great bonding experience for you and your child. For dirt biker parents, it will be easier to find the best bike for them right?

All in all, based on our suggestions I personally recommend Honda and/or Kawasaki brands based on how durable they are, especially for kids.

Do you have additional thoughts on choosing the best dirt bike for your kid? Let us know what your favorite brand is and what you like about it. We love hearing from you!

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