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4 Tips To Help You Choose A Motorcycle For Your Child

Chaparral Motorsports
February 6, 2015
Last Updated: June 12, 2020

If your child is begging you to take him or her on a ride on your motorcycle and constantly talks about owning a bike, it might be time to consider your options. There are plenty of starter motorcycles for riders of various ages. Some children can ride their bicycles without training wheels as young as three years old, but it's absolutely necessary to train them ride without training wheels before you move to a motorized engine.

To find the right dirt bike or motorcycle for your kid, follow these four steps before you make a purchase:

1) Know The Age Range And Appropriate Size Bike

The first thing you have to consider when purchasing a dirt bike for your little one is the child's age and size. Dirt bikes for youngsters come in a variety of sizes and have a large range of engine capacity, everywhere from a simple 50cc , 70-, 80-, 90-, 100-, 110-, 125- and 150-cc engines. The younger they are, the lower cc you want to start them on.

In addition to there being a breakdown by engine size, there is a difference between off-road motorcycles designed for trail use and those designed for competition situations like motocross. The majority of the larger bikes meant for off-road and trail riding will have a four-stroke engine, while almost all of the MX bikes will come with two-stroke engines.

Two measurements to consider are ground clearance and seat height. Obviously you will want to get a bike that will be comfortable for your child to sit in, so make sure you measure a child's leg height so you know what to expect for seat height. As for ground clearance, the more space between the bike and the ground gives room for more aggressive riding and more difficult terrain. Remember, most of these rides are an investment, and kids can grow out off extremely small bikes in a hurry. Finding the middle ground might be the best bet, even if your son or daughter has to wait another year to ride.

2) Consider The Weight Of Your Child And The Bike

If your children are approaching their teens, a higher cc dirt bike could be a great responsibility for them. However, it's still important to know your child's height and weight so he or she is able to successfully control the bike and swing his or her leg over the saddle without any problems.

The KTM 50 SX/50 Mini Adventure is perfect for shorter riders, with a seat height of only 21.9 inches from the ground. The two-stroke auto shifter will make it easy for younger kids to get used to shifting gears. Additionally, the dirt bike weighs only 83.3 pounds, which is ideal for smaller children in case they have to push it back upright or move it into a garage with the engine cut off.

3) Know The Difference Between 2-Stroke And 4-Stroke

The easy shifting of some of the smaller two-stroke engine bikes, such as the Yamaha PW50, is much more suitable for younger riders who are getting their first taste of a motorized bike. If your child just learned how to ride a bicycle, you want to start out with a bike with an automatic style clutch, so he or she doesn't have to put himself or herself in danger worrying about shifting and standing upright on two wheels.

As for four-stroke engines, this level of riding is perfect for your kid if he or she has experience riding a two-stroke. The Kawasaki KX 65 has a four-stroke, 65-cc engine with a six-speed transmission, which is perfect for the rider up for the challenge of shifting gears. This certainly isn't a beginner's bike, but once your child is ready, this will get him or her ready to handle adult bikes.

4) Make Sure They Are Comfortable

Far too often, parents try to introduce dirt bikes and motorcycles to children who aren't comfortable on the bike. You should make sure your kid feels in control of the bike and are not distracted by his or her dirt bike gear or helmet. Once he or she is comfortable riding, take your child to a dune, desert, wooded area, field or a closed-off track to get better adjusted. Many young riders love the thrill of off-road riding, but it is important to make sure they feel comfortable with their new bike before heading out for a more challenging ride.

General Specifications - Youth Trail Bikes

Bike Ground Clearance Seat Height Wet Weight Engine Type Clutch Type Transmission MSRP
2015 Yamaha PW50 4.1 in 19.1 in 86 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Automatic 1-speed $1,440.00
2015 Honda CRF50F 5.8 in 21.6 in 110 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Automatic 3-speed $1,399.00
Yamaha TT-R50E 5.3 in 21.9 in 126 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Automatic 3-speed $1,540.00
Suzuki DR-Z70 5.3 in 22 in 121 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 3-speed $1,799.00
Honda CRF110F 6.9 in 26.3 in 163 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Automatic 4-speed $2,099.00
Yamaha TT-R110E 7.1 in 26.4 in 159 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 4-speed $2,240.00
Kawasaki KLX110 8.5 in 26.8 in 168 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Automatic 4-speed $2,299.00
Kawasaki KLX110L 10.4 in 28.7 in 168 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 4-speed $2,499.00
Suzuki DR-Z125L 11.4 in 32 in 196 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $3,199.00
Yamaha TT-R125LE 11.6 in 31.7 in 198 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $3,290.00
2015 Honda CRF125F 8.5 in 28.9 in 192 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 4-speed $2,799.00
Honda CRF125F Big Wheel 10.4 in 30.9 in 194 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 4-speed $3,199.00
Kawasaki KLX140 9.3 in 30.7 in 205 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $3,099.00
Kawasaki KLX140L 10 in 31.5 in 209.4 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $3,399.00
Honda CRF150F 10.1 in 32.8 in 233.9 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $3,699.00

General Specifications - Youth MX Bikes

Bike Ground Clearance Seat Height Wet Weight Engine Type Clutch Type Transmission MSRP
2015 KTM 50 SX Mini 7.24 in 21.97 in 86 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Automatic $3,349.00
2015 KTM 50 SX 9.92 in 26.93 in 87.7 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Automatic $3,899.00
2015 Kawasaki KX65 12 in 29.9 in 132.2 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $3,699.00
KTM 65 SX 11.02 in 29.53 in 122.1 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $4,599.00
Suzuki RM85 12.8 in 33.5 in 161 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $4,099.00
2015 KTM 85 SX 17/14 13.86 in 33.66 in 148.8 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $5,499.00
2015 Kawasaki KX85 11.4 in 32.7 in 165.3 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $4,349.00
2015 Yamaha YZ85 13 in 33.1 in 157 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $4,090.00
2015 Kawasaki KX100 13 in 34.3 in 169.7 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $4,599.00
2015 Yamaha YZ125 14.4 in 38.4 in 209 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $6,390.00
2015 KTM 125 SX 15.55 in 39.06 in 203 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $6,599.00
2015 KTM 150 SX 15.55 in 39.06 in 203 lbs. (dry) 2-Stroke Manual 6-speed $6,699.00
2015 Honda CRF150R 11.9 in 32.8 in 185 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $4,990.00
2015 Honda CRF150R Expert 13.2 in 34.1 in 187 lbs. (dry) 4-Stroke Manual 5-speed $5,140.00
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