CRF50 Vs PW50 – Best Kids Dirt Bike?

The CRF50 vs PW50 is the most common debate when trying to buy the first dirt bike for your little kid.

Buying a dirt bike for your kid can be one of the best feelings for both your child, as well as yourself. Choosing the right one can be a hard decision, but either bike can fit the bill. There’s a few major differences between the Honda CRF50F/XR50R (Same bike, just different body style), and the Yamaha PW50, so lets see what each of them have to offer.

What age is the CRF50 for?

It really depends on the size of your kid, but it can range from age 3-7 years old. Any older than that and your son or daughter will probably be too big and cramped on it.

What age is the PW50 for?

It’s best for 3-6 year old’s due to it being slightly shorter than the CRF50. However, it’s best if your kid sits on it to see if he or she actually fits. A good size will allow them to touch the ground with one foot without their legs cramped against the handlebars.

Engine Comparison

For both being 50cc, the engine’s are quite a bit different. The Honda has an air-cooled four-stroke with a three speed semi-automatic transmission, while the Yamaha has a two-stroke, oil-injected engine with a centrifugal-clutch. They are both pretty much bullet-proof as long as you regularly change the oil and keep the air filter clean.

Neither have electric-start, but the Honda engine is a more versatile. In stock form it’s already more powerful and has three gears, making it easier for your kid to get past certain obstacles. The aftermarket has a lot more to offer as well for the CRF/XR 50. It is one of the most popular pit bikes for adults, so there’s plenty of engine, suspension, handelbars, and other hop-up parts available to fit the riders needs.

CRF50 Vs. PW50 Best Kids Dirt Bike CRF50 Vs PW50 - Best Kids Dirt Bike?
CRF50F

However, if you want a light and mellow power-band without having to change gears, the Yamaha is a great starting point. It also has a throttle-lock feature that you can set to lock the throttle at a certain position so that your kid doesn’t hold it wide open and get into trouble as easily.

Suspension

Neither have that good of suspension from the factory. The CRF50 is going to be a little better, but still isn’t good enough for racing on. Of course, these are just kids dirt bikes for beginning riders, so they are plenty good for trail and play riding. The Honda once again has plenty of aftermarket options for forks, shocks, and swing-arms if you are willing to shell out the dough though.

CRF50 Vs. PW50 Best Kids Dirt Bike 2 CRF50 Vs PW50 - Best Kids Dirt Bike?
PW50

Size – One is smaller than the other

Size may be the most important factor, depending on how small your little boy or girl is. If you’re looking for the lowest seat height and lightest bike, the PW50 has the CRF beat. Its seat height is only 19 inches, and weighs a shocking 86 pounds when wet with fluids. This is substantially lower than the 110 lbs of the Honda.

Which one is cheaper?

Going to buy a new 50cc bike? They’re about the same – the PW50 is $50 more MSRP, but “out the door” price depends on your dealer.

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Looking for a used bike? The Honda CRF50 or XR50 is usually a little cheaper to find used because there’s more of them out there. However, it really depends on your current local market.

Maintenance & running cost

There’s some distinct differences between these two bikes, but overall they’re both very reliable. If I had to pick, I’d give the slight edge in longterm reliability to the Honda CRF50 because it’s a 4 stroke.

What do I mean by that? The PW50 isn’t unreliable just because it’s a 2 stroke engine, but it has an oil injection system that requires refilling of 2 stroke oil. If you forget to fill it up every so often, the engine will seize due to lack of lubrication.

On another note, the PW50 is shaft-drive, which means that there’s no chain to keep tight or replace. So as long as there’s oil in the shaft system, it’s virtually maintenance-free.

Bottom Line – CRF50 vs PW50

It depends on the nature of your kid. If your boy or girl is small and barely knows how to ride a bike, the PW50 is probably the better choice, due to it being smaller, lighter, and smooth on power. However, almost all kids grow out of the PW’s within the first year, so there’s a good chance you’ll be needing another bike soon after.

Whereas the Honda will last a little longer since it’s a little more powerful, has a 3-speed transmission, and plenty of aftermarket parts for upgrading. You can usually get a couple years out of the ol’ Honda 50 before needing a bigger dirt bike, depending on how fast your kid grows and learns.

What’s Hot?

Honda:

  • Bullet-proof 4-stroke engine
  • 3-speed semi-auto trans.
  • More versatile
  • Plethora of aftermarket parts
  • It’s red

Yamaha:

  • Mellow 2-stroke engine w/ simple oil-injection
  • Low seat height and light-weight
  • Low maintenance engine and shaft drive
  • It’s blue…?

Hopefully this will give you a better idea on which little dirt bike to buy for your kid to get into this awesome sport.

For a complete guide on the best mods for a CRF50 pit bike click here!

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Kelley Fager

I help newer riders learn to safely ride with confidence by teaching basic techniques in a way that's easy to understand. Learn To Ride With Control Here

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