Hearing the motor roar on a small dirt bike brings back a lot of memories. The smell of gas on my gloves as I spilled filling up the tank and the small jumps that I swear were bigger than a triple on a Supercross track. Learning to ride a dirt bike at a young age builds a passion that riders will never be able to rid themselves of. The top kids dirt bikes combine qualities such as tire size, throttle control, and ability to upgrade in the brand’s family, to produce the perfect dirt bike for a small dirt bike rider.
Here are some qualities to keep in mind when selecting the best motocross bike and also the top five dirt bikes for kids based on my recommendation.
Tire Size of Kids Dirt Bikes
Tire size is going to one of the best ways to determine what is appropriate for the little dirt bike rider. As many have heard “the bigger the tire, the smaller the hole”, this would make it seem as though having a bigger tire would help a younger rider around obstacles out in the dirt but it can actually compromise the ability to control the dirt bike.
Smaller tire size is a favourable quality in kid dirt bikes. A bigger tire and wheel packages are going to sit the seat of the dirt bike higher off the ground, placing the rider even higher. A big advantage to kid dirt bikes is the low centre of gravity so that a child can control the dirt bike with their own minimal weight while also being able to put their foot down on the ground, in case of a tip over or just coming to a stop safely.
The ability for a motor to create a certain amount of power to the wheels is determined by the engine displacement value in cubic centimeters, CCs. The higher the CC value, the more power created by the dirt bike motor and the more speed it can achieve it at certain rate.
What is great about a lower CC engine on a small dirt bike is that the bike usually comes with a safety device that can aid in restricting the amount of speed created by the rider. A throttle limiter screw can be twisted into the throttle cable assembly at the handlebars to restrict how much throttle can be grabbed. As a kid dirt bike rider becomes more capable in controlling the gas, the screw can be slowly backed out until it is completely removed.
Smaller motors on kids dirt bikes are also going to be limited in the powerband. The powerband is not a physical part inside the dirt bike motor but it is the ratio of the motor creates power as the RPMs rise. A two-stroke motor is going to have a snappier powerband creates power quickly and abruptly. The four-stroke is more consistent in power creation as it climbs in RPM making it a bit more efficient and easier to control.
Controlling the power of the dirt bike is also going to be determined by the child’s riding ability but most kid dirt bikes are going to have a lower powerband; easier to control!
Reliability of a Kids Dirt Bike Brand
This quality in children dirt bikes is going to be very subjective. Some enthusiasts may decide on a dirt bike based upon nothing less than the motor size but I find the ability to upgrade within the same factory brand, is a major plus.
As a young dirt bike rider moves up in motor and tire size, a factory brand that offers the next scope up is going to have a continuing customer. The familiarity of parts and how to work on the dirt bike is going to keep it in the family as new bikes are purchased. 50cc to 70cc, 110cc to 125cc, and trail riding to motocross racing; the more sizes available, the better chance the factory has to make sure the riders are able to find a dirt bike that fits their riding needs.
In the dirt bike sport, you can find families that uniformly “Ride Red” or “Team Green” because they have a dedication to the brand based on it fitting their growth as dirt bike riders.
Cost and Resale of Kids Dirt Bikes
We can all relate to playing a sport or being involved in an activity when we were children that we just didn’t enjoy. No matter the passion our parents had for the activity, our kid-aged selves would have rather stuck a fork in our eye than participate.
There is a small chance that a child is not going to enjoy the sport of motocross. Especially for beginner dirt bike riders, riding a motorized bike can be intimidating for some kids and that is ok. As parents or guardians, we need to swallow our pride and accept that the small rider would have fun in another sport.
This dynamic is going to influence how much you want to spend on a kid dirt bike and the resale value. The type of niche of the sport the dirt bike is tailored for, whether it be racing or trail riding, is going to determine the price point of a child’s dirt bike. A small dirt bike that is produced for racing is going to have better suspension, more powerful motor, and frame that is produced of lightweight yet more expensive material. Trail riding dirt bikes are no-less reliable but are not necessarily built with a competitive edge.
A brand-new kid’s dirt bike off the motorcycle shop floor is going to set you back a couple thousand dollars. This price will be lower than a full adult dirt bike and is going to be relative to the type sport once again; motocross racing or trail riding.
Resale of a child’s dirt bike is not always for a bad reason. Kids outgrow everything! The riding ability of a young dirt bike rider will determine when he or she can move up in motor size, creating more power to ride faster. Along with the fact that their knees may begin to drag on the ground as they grow in height.
Thankfully because of this factor, there are plenty of children-sized dirt bikes on the secondary market. A new-to-you dirt bike can be just as much fun as a brand new, off the showroom floor and it comes with a big price break.
TOP5 Kids Dirt Bikes:
Based on the qualifications discussed above, here are the top five kids dirt bikes for your little motocross riders:
1. Honda CRF50F
The Honda dirt bike family is one of the most trusted in the industry. A staple to almost every garage is the Honda CRF50F because of its ease to ride for even the smallest dirt bike riders and is a great introductory dirt bike. The 50cc kids dirt bikes will always be a staple for the young dirt bike rider generations as it a great platform in power, control, and ease of riding; a great combination to ignite a young rider’s passion for motocross!
A four stroke, 49cc motor generates a steady powerband that is easy to control with three gears and no clutch interaction. Itty bitty riders can pop this bike into just one gear and worry about all the other important factors like stopping and balance.
The twist throttle comes with a throttle limiter screw so an adult can control how much gas the kid rider can grab. Less stress and more control for the kid!
Plenty to Go Around
You can find this dirt bike just about anywhere; showroom floor or classified ad. The setup has gone practically unchanged so don’t worry about getting the newest year model. This dirt bike size is also popular with adults as they are easily modified to be the perfect pit bike.
This dirt bike is mini in size with ground clearance only at 5.8 inches. A small wheel size of 10-inches in the front and rear means there is plenty of maneuverability and control for the young rider to put their foot down.
Moving On Up
Honda is a great brand to invest your young dirt bike rider into. Starting with the CRF50F, the next size up includes a 110cc, 125cc, 125cc big wheel, 150cc, and beyond. There is a dirt bike model that will fit your next level of comfort and ability.
2. Yamaha TTR-50
When it comes to choosing a dirt bike tailored for you small motocross riders, the 50cc models are going to be a choice of pretty much what color he or she wants. The Yamaha TTR-50 is another outstanding option for kid dirt bike riders because of its low ground clearance and ability to be beat on, over and over without risking the dirt bike’s integrity.
Putting both feet down and sitting confidently on the TTR-50 is no problem. Limit the opportunity of crashes (or how many crashes) because this dirt bike sits only 5.3 inches from the ground. The ability to sit flat footed on the dirt bike gives little riders confidence and control over the bike.
As this size dirt bike is going to be an introduction into the sport, parents can limit how much gas is delivered to the motor by way of a throttle limiter screw. Gone away is whiskey throttle resulting in a crash, you can limit these little kids dirt bikes that you can run alongside the young rider. Comfortable going fast? Just pull the screw out a little more allowing more throttle twist.
This four-stroke engine with only three gears and no clutch is great to teach a beginner how to learn throttle control, braking, and balance. The motor can take the abuse of a beginner dirt bike rider with the ability to stay in just one gear and ride all day if they choose.
This Yamaha can be found everywhere, especially on the secondary market. It’s going to get spilled over, crashed, and bruised up so if you find one for sale in a garage, snag it!
Push and Play
The TTR-50 stands apart from the Honda CRF50F because of its electric start button instead of a kick start. A kickstart may set up a young rider to be used to race dirt bikes in the future but I feel the electric start button is best for young and smaller sized beginners.
3. Honda CRF125F
This is one of Honda’s newest models and I was thoroughly impressed with the platform it provides for kid dirt bike riders. In comparison to a motocross racing 125cc bike, this model is great to step up a child to gain more speed but still with lower ground clearance and a controllable powerband.
Introducing a clutch lever to the kids can be intimidating. With only four gears and an efficient powerband, the clutch lever won’t be so scary to control. This model’s power generation with a long gear set lets the rider choose the right gear not as frequently.
Push or Kick
The CRF125F comes with both an electric start button AND a kick start. I have always liked the ability to kick the bike over in case the battery dies and you can’t push it to start. This is another great introduction for a child rider who is either going to continue trail riding, where electric start will be prevalent or become familiar with the kickstart lever of a motocross racing dirt bike.
14-inches in the rear and 17 in the front, a great platform to still keep a growing dirt bike kid’s two feet on the ground. There is also the CRF125FB, the big wheel edition that offers the same exact motor package and set up but comes with a 16-inch wheel rear and 19-inch front. Perfect for the taller kids.
Keep it in the Family
Like I’ve said before, Honda provides a great platform to grow with the kids dirt bikes. There is a reason families choose to “ride red”!
4. KTM 50 SX
Don’t be fooled by its size, these small kids dirt bikes are fast, fast, FAST! The KTM brand and in particular this kid-sized model, has created a culture of small racers that introduces them to competitive motocross sport. If your child is showing a more aggressive riding technique, then this dirt bike is the stepping stone to a Supercross championship.
That’s right, no gears to mess around with! Turn this kid dirt bike on and let your young rider rip around. This is a completely different platform than its competition, there is only one gear and that is GO!
Young dirt bike riders are going to come in all different sizes. The KTM 50 SX seat height flirts at 27 inches, great for our long-legged kids. This 50cc dirt bike sits much higher than its competition and that is due to the aggressive nature of this competitive dirt bike. It allows for stiffer suspension and better weight distribution, sitting just under the young rider.
From its lightweight frame, limited gas tank capacity, and 12-inch front / 10-inch rear wheel size, this dirt bike is easily manipulated by young riders that weight less than their body weight. Two-stroke power and with only close to 100 pounds wet, this kind of power-to-weight ratio is something motocross racers dream about.
KTM is one of the only motocross factory brands that provides not only a great dirt bike but also a community of fans that continue their passion for KTM. From model specific classes at almost every motocross track, to providing the perfect platform as your kid rider moves up in motor size.
5. KTM 65 SX
Stepping up from the small-wheeled KTM 50 SX, the 65cc brings on the responsibility of six gears and a clutch but this is all for the greater good of becoming a dominant motocross racer. I say racer because KTM is associated with more competitive riders especially in the 65cc models. The KTM 65 SX is a great in-between model for youngsters who are ready for the challenge of riding faster and efficiently but not quite for the 125cc big dogs.
The limitation of these kid dirt bikes is not based on the power but the size of the wheel. A step up from the KTM 50 SX, 14 inches in the front and 12 inches in the rear, those holes are getting smaller which means your kid motocross rider can blaze right over them.
Ready to Race
Motor, transmission, suspension package that is ready to send your kid shredding around the track. 6-speed transmission with a clutch lets the smallest dirt bike rider learn to control the power of the two-stroke powerband.
A Place to Race
From the infamous KTM Junior Supercross challenge to an international motocross field at Loretta Lynn’s, this KTM 65 SX and 50 SX has created a demand for the KTM 65 SX-specific classes at every motocross track. Children dirt bike riders on this model will have plenty of competition.
Power to Weight Ratio
Roughly 122 pounds wet with 65cc of two-stroke power, the KTM 65 SX can be easily manipulated by the smallest dirt bike riders. This model has a super light and slender frame to help with developing the kid’s racing ability.
Remember that when looking for a TOP kids dirt bikes, you should also know about the essential dirt bike gear that your kid needs! This all starts from choosing the best dirt bike gear on the market and finding the safest motocross helmet possible! Motocross Advice makes your life easier by providing best guides in all these subjects!