How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Ride a Dirt Bike?

Since young, we usually look up to our parents and want to do anything they do. So, it is natural if you have a dirt bike, your kids might want one too.

Kid on a Dirt Bike

However, kids can also find interest in them due to commercials, competitions, or just from a friend. And I think it should be encouraged, though many parents fear their children getting hurt.

Being open-minded towards their idea can support them and tell them that you will help them find the things they like and hobbies that they enjoy.

But before you go off and buy them a whole track or immediately tell them no, sit them down and ask what got them interested.

You should also ask them the reasons why they want to try and whether or not they are going to be serious about it or it is a trial period.

Think back to when you were a kid, and you hear a "NO" from your parents. The first thing that kids ask is "why".

So, take the time to tell your kid your concern for their safety and why you need to think it over. Remind them that their safety is crucial to you.

Depending on the child's age it will be harder to talk to them, but make sure you try.

The whole goal of the conversation itself is to come to an agreement and explain to them your concerns.

On to the question itself...

What age can you ride a dirt bike?

There is no right age for a kid to be interested in dirt bikes, however, parents should encourage them even though it might worry them due to safety.

Anyone, at any age, can ride a dirt bike. And parents do not need to worry, many bikes can be regulated so they do not overpass a certain speed or strength to keep your kids safe.

Like a regular bike, they can start with training wheels and little by little, as they grow, they can transition to a bigger dirt bike, higher speeds, and no training wheels. Keeping parents with peace in mind.

First you need to have an understanding of what can possibly make a dirt bike dangerous for a child. This includes speed, tire size, CCs, and how potent and powerful the engine is.

Dangers that you should regulate

Speed

Speed can be regulated differently according to the type of bike you have. The smaller the child, the less they weight and this could be a hazard.

Children need to be able to sustain themselves on top of the bike and hold it down with their weight, so speed should be regulated for lighter and smaller children.

Therefore, investing in bikes that cannot overpass a certain speed can be very beneficial and give all parents peace of mind.

Do note that if the child is older, but still weights too little you might consider a bike that is less powerful until they are ready for a bigger engine.

If you want to know the best bikes for beginners click here.

Tire size

The tires in a dirt bike are a certain way to allow it to accelerate at greater speeds faster, meanwhile, it is going over whatever terrain you are riding. Dirt bikes have bigger front wheels and smaller rear wheels which can range in size. As for the rear wheel, it helps in traction.

When riding a off road, trail bike you will notice that it will have smaller wheels, a bigger tire and more rubber as it is hard to predict what you will find when riding your bike off a track. Therefore, the wheels are more protected than with a motocross.

With a motocross bike they will have a larger wheel, giving the rider extra comfort and making the rocks seem smaller as your tire is bigger. But that is not all you have to pay attention to when it comes to choosing your dream bike.

The sizing of the tire can affect the child's ability to stop the bike, and if too big it can be heavy and harder to hold down.

It can also affect when they get on and off the bike, make sure your child can safely touch the ground. Their feet should not be hovering above the ground.

Like in any bike, their feet should be able to touch the ground, or at least their toes should for support.

It is understandable that some parents invest in bikes that are quickly outgrown by their kids, and this can become expensive as the kid grows and requires a bigger bike as they can also manage more power.

Buying a bigger bike can lead the kid to spin out of control. Invest in used bikes, and other alternatives, but never risk your child's safety by getting them a bigger bike that does not fit their needs.

CCs

Bikes that have regulatable CCs (the volume of the cylinders in the bike's engine) are easily available for purchase and can help in keeping a kid safer.

CCs do not necessarily measure the power of the bike, however, it affects the smoothness of the ride and the potential of the bike itself.

If you want more details on what CCs are, make sure to check out this article.

The engine itself ties in with CCs, if you invest in a bike that can be regulated on power, you will feel in control as to how much your child can take. Eventually removing the CC regulator as they grow.

Types of bikes for beginners

Kids sizing

Though all dirt bikes, big or small,  are for having fun. Safety is always number one!

Kids

When it comes to kids, parents can over worry as they are supposed to. However, bikes made for kids have come up with many ways to make them safer and allow parents to control some aspects of the bike themselves.

Teens

Teens can be at an age where they can regulate how much speed and energy they can take and control, therefore, most bikes will weigh more because teens have more control then kids.

For teens, wheels will be bigger. CCs higher. And speeds will reach higher and are usually not controlled.

There are various options to choose from, and various price points too. You and your teen can sit down and find a right fit for them and your wallet!

If you want to know the things you need to think about before buying a dirt bike for a teen, or want to know our top picks for teen bikes check out this post.

Adults

Adults do not need a regulator as they weight enough to sustain themselves, and can control the bike without needing to adjust CCs or even speed.

However, with so many options to choose from, it can become overwhelming to pick the right bike.

So, take a look at our top picks for adult bikes here and find which one works for you.

Before purchase

There are certain factors that you need to think about before purchasing a dirt bike for your kid, and they can help to know what is it that your kid needs, and what you do not have to waste money on.

Plenty of factors go into picking a bike for your kid, but a wrong choice can lead them to having a bad first impression of the bike and not giving it a second chance.

If they get hurt on the first try, they might become afraid of it or discouraged from riding, therefore, you need to be there to aid them and make their first ride a successful attempt.

Keep in mind that safety is always first and will always be first. So, keep your own emotions in check. Do not push your kid into the sport forcefully if it is not something they enjoy. And do not hold them back if dirt biking is their dream, simply find a compromise and a way they can enjoy themselves safely.

Factors to consider

Considering the amount of brands and companies out there, the options are endless and the list goes on and on and on. You need to choose the one that allows your kid to be safer, because every child is different.

Kids height, age, weight, and many other factors can affect the type of bike you should invest in. You need to choose the right bike for your kid, not the best bike in the market. It should be based on your kid.

To avoid problems, make sure to pick the bike for the kid. The bike should be perfect for the kid, it might not be the best bike on the market, or the most expensive, but the most important thing is that it is the best fitting bike for your kid.

There are some important factors you should go over with your kid before buying a bike, they include:

  • Price
  • Power
  • Bike size
  • Strength
  • Posture
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Steering

So, let's go over each of them...

Price

Kids can be expensive

Prices vary a lot when it comes to bikes, especially since there are so many brands and companies. But the good news is that beginner bikes tend to be the cheaper ones!

But a bike is an investment. You are investing in good materials, safety and a long life span. But kids grow so fast that most of the time they will quickly  outgrow their bike and need a new one.

Look into borrowing dirt bikes from friends whose kids have outgrown them, or even go on websites that sell used bikes that are still in good conditions. This is very helpful for parents who cannot afford to buy new bikes every other year because it can add up.

Find a balance between quality and price, so it is a win-win for you and your kid! Remember to buy when prices go down, for example around black friday time, so you get a good bike and a great deal.

Power

Keep in mind that bikes can be quite powerful, therefore, they do have quite the pull. So, make sure your kid can handle it. Younger kids might not be able to handle it and can get hurt.

Keeping the power a bike has in mind can help to pick one that is less potent, keeping kids from falling.

Bike size

The size of the bike can make it heavier, and come kids will have a harder time controlling the vehicle, which can quickly become very dangerous. 

The bigger the tires, the taller the kid should be so they can reach the ground. You have to make sure the bike is a good size and fit for your kid in particular. They need to be able to hold it down.

Strength

Your kid has to have a good grip and be able to hold on. Make sure the handles are not to big for their hands so they can grip on. 

It is even better if they already have experience with regular bikes as they will be less prone to crashing or falling.

Posture

Can the kid support themself on to the bike without your help? Could they keep riding when faced with bumps on the road?

This is a very crucial factor because they have to be able to hold themselves on the bike, so they need to have enough core strength.

Weight

The bike itself might be too heavy for the kid to manage and steer, or they can be too light to hold down the bike and can end up tipping over. Make sure they can comfortably hold themselves up and manage the bike's weight.

Height

The kid should be able to reach the ground for safety reasons. However, sometimes it could be that the kid is short for their age and therefore can end up having to have a slower bike due to their height.

Steering

Can the kid steer the bike and handle its weight? Can they handle bumps and rocks on the way? These questions are crucial to know if the kid is going to be able to ride succeswfully and not crash on things around them.

Age ranges

kid rider

Age groups range from toddlers to teens. Yes! You read that right! Toddlers ride too...you just need to have the right bike and equipment to make sure they will be safe and you are good to go.

You might not know where your kid should fit in when it comes to age groups and what bikes they should ride. Let's go over them right now.

Toddlers

Some people feel that toddlers are too young to ride, however, many parents have found it totally okay as long as the child is protected and precautions are made to ensure the child's safety.

The most recommended bike to children this young is a 6V bike because they have stable training wheels, so it is almost like you are introducing them to a regular bike.

With the safety wheels, your child is going to be safe and start biking early on, therefore, by the ages of 4-5 they will not only be interested in growing and getting into the sport but they will also be total pros!

It is understandable to be worried about your child as they are very young and need constant attention.

However, if you want to have more control you can also attach a lanyard to the rear of the bike so you can control their bike and be there to aid the process and introduction to the bike.

You want to keep their speed just below 5 miles per hour, so they will be safe and around you at all times.

3 to 6 years old

This is the range of age in which parents will feel more comfortable with their kids riding a mini dirt bike.

Kids that are between these ages should not be going any faster than about 10 miles per hour, so they will be going fairly slow for a bike.

By keeping the speed below the recommended 10 miles per hour, it drops the child's chances of being injured on a ride. It also makes sure they have the right grip to hold on and are able to hold the bike down.

Speed is usually what is most likely to cause injuries at this age, as the kid is learning how to grip and handle the speed.

Like you would normally do with an ordinary bike, take your time to guide your child through riding.

As their abilities show more and they can safely ride, begin letting go. Though it might take a bit of patience because their ability to process how to work the bike can take some time.

Like kids with regular bikes, they can be afraid. They will need you to be there for them. So, hold the rear of the bike as they ride and walk alongside them until you can let go of them.

Know that your kid won't be a pro biker in a week, and they can be very dependent on you until they get the hang of it. After all, if anything happens you need to be there to aid them.

Regulating them

If your kid is smaller make sure they cannot go as fast as the older kids, if you want, you can even invest in bikes that can be regulated by parents so as your kid grows you can allow them to ride a bit faster.

Keep in mind a 3-year-old will have a harder time controlling and riding a bike compared to a 6-year-old. So, the older kids can have more room for speed, but for smaller kids, keep them limited.

Dirt bikes for these ages are built with the kid in mind, therefore, they are light and easy to control which is very helpful when it comes to small, beginning children.

You must always be there for guidance and safety. Kids at these ages have a hard time being aware of what is around them and may not have enough strength to hold on and keep up with the bike.

By being there, they will feel more comfortable and safe. You can also consider attaching some safety bars to the bike to it always stays up, making the headache of steering easier for the child.

The best thing about being in this age bracket is the amount of options to choose from because, again, many kids get into it around this age.

Some of the most recommended bikes for this particular age group include:

7 to 9 years old

cool kid rider

Children at this age range will be more mature and no longer need safety bars or wheels. They will be interested in more powerful bikes as they probably outgrew their old bikes.

By now they probably have all the basic skill sets and can handle steering and the speed of a bigger bike. As they are older, they can also ride without your help.

Now they can earn some more miles per hour, as now they want that adrenaline and speed.

Though they are mature and older now, they still should be supervised as they do not have the ability to make crucial decisions under pressure.

Their bike should fit their age, meaning they now have more speed but it is still safe and not overly powerful.

At this age, the kid can already worry about their safety, therefore, giving you a little bit of peace of mind. This does not mean they should ride without supervision as it is very important for you to be there through every step.

The bike's size is not as important as the power the bike has and the size of its engine. The rule of thumb here is that for this particular age range, anything above 50ccs will work just fine.

The most common bikes for this age range include:

  • Razor MX350 dirt bike
  • MX400 Razor dirt rocket 24V electric bike
  • Kuberg 2016 cross electric MX dirt bike
  • Razor MX650 Rocket Electric Motocross Bike

10 to 12 year old

At the age of around 12 years old, kids are mature enough to manage bikes above 70cc easily, as they get older they should be allowed to have more power to their bikes.

If your kid has not been riding since a young age, you should be more careful as they are not as used to the power their bike has and should be controlled until they can handle it by themselves.

However, if your kid has been riding since a young age, then you have nothing to worry about when handing them a more powerful bike. Not only will they be used to the initial power kick they can have, but they will get used to it in no time.

Bikes that are more powerful are for kids who want and can handle more power, and at this age, they want all the speed they can get. 

They will want a heavier and bigger bike as they have probably outgrown their old ones and those are not as fast.

At their age many professional riders realize their potential, therefore, they need the best and latest equipment, gear, and bikes.

Let them roar

Kids roar

Kids might also like the power of having a loud engine and have that association with the thrilling sound and the fun they have while riding. So don't hold back on the engine! The engine roaring is a stimulating sound that can get their adrenaline pumping to get out there and ride or even to compete. 

As a parent, your job will be easier than ever. Your kid is aware of their surroundings and safety so that is a great weight off your shoulders. But always be there for support.

The bikes you might want to look into for this age are:

  • The Honda CRF110F
  • The Yamaha TT-R110E
  • The Razor MX350
  • The Kawasaki KLX110

Teens

This is where the real competition begins! Teens want to get out there and compete, they want to shred the tracks and feel free.

That is why bikes targeted at this age are more powerful, sturdy and stable. For teens, they can ride anywhere from 70cc, which is a bit low for their age, to 125cc which can be a good choice.

Though it is rare for younger teens, older teens can attempt a 250cc which is sure to bring on the power they so desperately crave, however, with great power comes great responsibility and safety has to be first at all times.

Overall, the typical teen should ride anywhere from 70cc to 125cc and be just fine, but if your teen has got what it takes, give the kid a shot at a 250cc bike.

Some of the common dirt bikes for teenagers include:

  • HONDA CRF230F
  • Kawasaki KLX110
  • MMB80 gas youth mini dirt bike
  • Razor miniature electric dirt bike
  • Yamaha YZ125
  • Razor MX500 electric bike.

Protective gear

Safety is very crucial especially when it is your child's safety, but eventually, you are going to have to face the fact that your kid will fall and possibly get hurt on the process of learning how to ride a bike.

As a parent, the best thing you could do to protect your child is to get them the safest riding gear. You cannot keep them from falling, however, you can protect them from being severely hurt and minimize the impact of the fall.

Aside from picking the right bike for your kid, you also have to pick the right gear to keep them safer once they do crash, which will inevitably happen.

No matter if they are competing, racing friends, practicing or just riding around, make sure that you advise them on how important it is to be safe and put on their gear before heading out.

Just like the bike, kids can grow out of their protective gear and it can also have an effect on how much damage they take when they fall. As parents invested in their kid's safety, you should make sure all of their gear fits well and that they are equipped with everything they need.

Let's go over the list of protective items your kid should be equipped with at ALL times when riding.

  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Body armor
  • Gloves
  • Elbow and knee guards
  • Boots

Helmet

Helmets are crucial to protection because they will shield the child's head from big impacts, but this type of helmet is not like the ones kids use when riding a regular bike around.

Dirt bike helmets should be full-faced and shield the head as much as possible, it should also fit well in their head and allow them to move comfortably.

Buying helmets online might be a trial and error situation, so head down to a store, have someone help you choose the right helmet, do some research and make sure your kid is comfortable as helmets will protect their chin and their heads in case of a fall.

Goggles

Googles and helmets go hand in hand and must fit perfectly together to protect your child's eye from any mud, or dust that might fly their way when they are on the track. This not only protects them from getting hit by gravel, or rocks but it also helps them on controlling the bike and keeping it steady.

Body armor

When riding the most exposed part of the body is the skin, such as arms and legs. To protect them we use what is called a body armor. This is yet another very important part of protection when it comes to riding.

When looking for a body armor that fits make sure it protects the chest and back as it protects the child's vital organs and spinal cord.

Gloves

gloves

Gloves not only give the child a better grip on the bike, but it also protects the hands which are, usually, the first to hit the ground because when falling we tend to protect our faces from hitting the ground. 

The gloves should be in good condition and worker or mountain bike gloves work just as fine when it comes to protecting the hands of the child.

Elbow and knee guards

Elbows and knees must be protected as they are a hold crucial bones that allows us to bend our legs and arms. Most guards found in the market are made of plastic but other options can be found too.

Boots

Boots protect the many bones we have on our feet, so they should fit correctly and be snug. They can also be used if the child needs to stop the bike by placing their foot on the ground, or even if the child is too short and cannot reach the ground.

Boots are also good to protect the feet when they crash onto the floor, keeping the foot safe from the hard impact it might have.

Other gear

Other items you might want to purchase for safety include pants, a kidney belt, and a neck brace to better protect your child.

Conclusion

There is no right age to start biking, whether they are a toddler or now a teen, there is nothing stopping you. Anyone at any age can start biking, it is never too late to start your dream.

Though before the age of one, kids should not be riding for clear safety reasons, there is a lot that goes into teaching a kid how to ride and finding the perfect equipment and bike. But the results pay off later as many professionals now have started at an early age.

Once your kid gets into biking, it gives you something to bond over and even learn it together if you haven't already. And you can watch them grow and succeed more and more as they get older and you will be there every step of the way. 

Nothing feels better than exploring the world, growing and riding through various places, making tons of memories whit the people you love!

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