What Is The Best Dirt Bike For My Kid? [2020 Guide]

Are you looking to buy a dirt bike for your little kid but don’t know which one is the best choice to start out on? Choosing the right bike for your young rider is very important, especially if they’ve never ridden before.

Kids can start riding as young as 3 years old, so once they are able to ride a bicycle without training wheels they should be capable of learning how to ride a dirt bike. Please remember to always have your kids wear proper safety gear all the time. This includes a DOT/Snell certified helmet, dirt bike boots, riding pants, goggles, gloves, and elbow/knee guards are highly recommended as well.

Age & Size Plays a Role

There are a few factors that come in to play when finding the right dirt bike for a kid. Age, experience, size, and where you are going to ride all come in to play when looking for a bike. There are 50cc, 70cc, 80cc, 90cc, 100cc, 110cc, 125cc, and 150cc four-stroke dirt bikes that are mostly meant for off-road and trail riding. For the smaller two-stroke dirt bikes, there are a couple different 50s, 65s, and 85cc bikes. These are used for motocross racing.
For a more detailed guide on what size dirt bike to buy read this.

Best Dirt Bike For Kids 3 & 4 Year Olds

Starting your little kid on a dirt bike when they’re under 6 can be scary if you don’t know much about dirt bikes. You may hear stories about dirt bikers always getting hurt, but that is not the case if you are properly prepared.

Electric or Gas Dirt Bike?

I rarely consider electric dirt bikes when recommending them to people due to their lacking capabilities. However, electric bikes for little kids are worth considering for a first bike to learn how to ride.

Electric Dirt Bike: Is It Good?

An electric bike such as a Stacyc is small, lightweight, and easy to ride because it’s low to the ground. There are different models, but the power is docile and smooth, so the throttle is very forgiving. An electric dirt bike is also quiet, so neighbors can’t complain about noise.

There are a few downsides to most electric bikes, however.

Electric Dirt Bike Disadvantages

The ride time per battery charge is generally about 30 minutes. This may not be a problem, since most kids won’t need to ride longer than that before getting tired or bored at the age of 3 or 4. Long ride days are still not possible on electric bikes without recharging, which takes at least as long to charge, if not longer.

Parts availability are also another concern. Since most quality electric bikes are made in smaller quantities, they don’t stock as many parts as a large dirt bike manufacturer would. Electric dirt bike technology changes more rapidly as well, so a 3 year old model may not even be available anymore.

If you aren’t ready for a full gas dirt bike, then an electric dirt bike is a good option for learning and practice balance and throttle skills on two wheels. There are pros and cons to owning an electric bike, so you must weigh each option and decide for yourself which is best.

Best Gas Dirt Bikes For 3 & 4 Year Old:

  • Yamaha PW50
  • Suzuki JR50
  • Kawasaki KDX50

The Yamaha PW50 is the only one of the 50cc 2 stroke dirt bikes still made, but these are all good starter bikes for your little kid. The KDX 50 and JR 50 are 2 stroke oil injected dirt bikes as well. They all have very low seat heights (19 inches/48cm), which makes it easy to touch the ground and hold the bike up.

All of these 50cc dirt bikes have a single speed transmission and a throttle adjuster so you can limit how fast they go. Start them out slow to teach them balance, turning and throttle control, then adjust the throttle as you feel more comfortable.

The Best 50cc Dirt Bikes Are:

  • Yamaha TTR50
  • Yamaha PW50
  • Honda CRF50F
  • KTM 50 SX Mini
  • Suzuki JR50

Other 50cc dirt bikes that are not made anymore but are still good are the Honda XR50 and Kawasaki KDX50.

Electric Dirt Bike Is Better For:

  • Riding in noise-conscience areas
  • Smaller kids to learn balance and throttle
  • Not dealing with gas and oil
  • Tuning the speed (certain models)

Gas Dirt Bike Is Better For:

  • Learning how to ride an actual dirt bike
  • Kids that like an engine
  • Riding
  • Teaching your kid how to maintain a motorcycle
  • General durability (Most quality dirt bikes are more robust than electric)


There are a few different 50cc dirt bikes, but the most common is the Honda CRF50F/XR50R. This is where dirt biking starts for many little kids that has never ridden before. These things are almost bullet proof if you maintain it properly. If you are looking for a first bike for a kid that is under 7, then this is probably the best choice, unless they are bigger/taller than the norm.

There is also the Suzuki JR50, Kawasaki KDX50 and Yamaha PW50; all of which are oil-injected 2-strokes that are very light and perfect for the smallest of riders, and the Yamaha TTR 50 which is about the same as the CRF 50, so it just depends what color you like best.


70 & 80cc

Honda made the CRF/XR70 and 80cc bikes for kids that are just starting, but a little too big for a Honda 50cc dirt bike. The 70cc has a taller seat height with a little more power than the 50cc, but the 80cc has a clutch which is perfect for training the little ones without letting them ride on a fast bike.



Honda has been known for their XR/CRF100 which reaches to a variety of riders. It has a clutch and is just right for the older kids to learn on if they are too big for the CRF80F. The 100 is a great trail bike because it has just enough power, and it’s also big enough for an adult, so this bike should be easy to find used, and cheap I might add.


Kawasaki and Suzuki decided to make the ultimate pit bike for kids and adults. The KLX110/DRZ110 (Parts are interchangeable) has become popular because of how much power it has, or is able to put out, for its size. The 110 is an automatic, so it’s great for smaller riders that want more power than a 70 without going to a clutch yet.


Yamaha also has a bigger off-road bike for kids, the TTR-125. The TTR-125 is a popular model for bigger kids just starting out. It has a clutch with enough power to haul riders around, young or old. Honda also has the CRF150F for riders that want more power and a taller ride height than the 100. Although the set-back for the 150 is that it weighs about as much as a full-size motocross bike.

kids dirt bike

These mid-sized off-road bikes are popular for a reason, and this means that they have usually been ridden a lot and probably abused. So if you’re looking at buying a used one then make sure it is clean, it has somewhat low hours, and has been well maintained.

Best Motocross Bikes For Kids


There are a couple different name-brand 50cc motocross bikes for kids, and they are both KTM two-strokes. KTM has the 50 SX Mini, which is for the smallest beginning racers. There is also the 50 SX which is bigger and suits a little taller beginning racer. These bikes both have a one-speed automatic transmission and are liquid-cooled. KTM 50s are expensive, but they are perfect race bikes for your little kids that are ready to tear up the tracks. There are also Chinese companies with 50cc motocross bikes, which aren’t made with as much quality.


KTM and Kawasaki are the only name brand companies that still make a 65cc two-stroke motocross bike. KTM has the 65 SX which is more expensive and usually the racers that are serious buy them. Right from the factory KTM puts aftermarket parts on their bikes, such as VForce reeds on the two-strokes, handlebars, and Brembo brakes.

The Kawasaki KX65 is what riders that just want to race buy because they are so cheap. That does not mean that they aren’t fast, they just aren’t always as reliable and don’t have a very high re-sale value. Both are great race bikes for intermediate younger riders in around the age 7-10 that have been riding for some time. These bikes are usually not used for trail riding because they are not as easy to ride and lug around as a four-stroke is.


85cc motocross bikes are the start for a young teen aged racer. They have more power than most any kid could use, which makes these bikes a blast for adults or adrenaline-junkies as well. KTM, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all make an 85cc two-stroke mx bike. Honda put a stop to their two-stroke inventory after 2007, but people still buy their late model bikes.

Instead, Honda wanted to start a revolution for mini-bikes with their all new 150cc four-stroke motocross bike. It was well talked about, but once it came out it died slowly. They are powerful bikes and are easier to ride than an 85, but the weight and cost lost it for them. These CRF150R’s (Big and small wheel) were generally bought by racers with money because they also needed quite a bit of maintenance. If you have money and your kid loves the easy ride-ability of a four-stroke then this would be a good race bike to buy.


If you don’t have a deep pocket, then an 85 or 100/105cc two-stroke stroke is a great choice. Your kid will love you for getting them one of these bikes; before they flip it at least once, that is. If you find someone selling a used 85 that hasn’t been flipped, then you’re either lucky or they’re lying. 85s are pretty much race-only bikes. I’ve trail-ridden with one, and it was not very fun because of the lack of power down low.

The Honda CR85R and Yamaha YZ85 hit harder and are more snappy than the others because they don’t have a power valve. KTM’s 85 SX comes with aftermarket goodies from the factory like all of their other bikes, so it’s probably the fastest out of the lot. Kawasaki’s KX85 and Suzuki’s RM85 are very similar and are used by many riders that are on a budget because of how cheap they can be. Honda and Suzuki both have a larger wheel 85, which helps those taller kids that quite aren’t ready for a 125 or 250F.

Kawasaki and KTM have a big-bore 85 to compete in the supermini class (86-112cc). Kawasaki’s KX100 is a big wheel and has plenty of power for any young racer. KTM has a 105 SX which is one of the best power-to-weight ratio bikes you can buy, and also has larger wheels. When it comes down to choosing an 85,100/105, or a 150cc four-stroke motocross bike for your kid, it depends how big your pocketbook is, what fits your kid, and what color you like best.

If you know what bike you want to get, check out my article “How To Buy A Dirt Bike“.

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54 Responses

  1. Kelley says:

    Thanks for the great article. It gives a lot of description and will help in the future.

  2. Daniel Kruger says:

    Goog day,
    I need some good advice on selected a mx bike for myself and my wife! My wife is 1.6m tall and weighs about 68kg and have never riden. I am 1.9m and weigh about 145kg have riden about 15 years back. We have a son 3 years old, and would like to start riding togther. We would like to buy some kind of bikes that would be able to do some outrides but also be able to spend some time on the mx track. E are buying our son a tt50?. Hope you can help with the decision.
    Cape town SA

    • Tom Stark says:

      A 50 would be good to start your kid out on. If you’re looking for a good mx/trail bike, I think a crf450x or wr450f would suite you well if you can handle the power (a little more mellow than an mx bike). As for your wife, I’ve seen a lot of women riders liking the kx100 or ktm 105sx because the seat height is pretty low, and you can de-tune them if you don’t want her going full throttle on it right away. Good luck!

  3. dimitris says:

    hi everyone im 1.8 m and im 70 kg will a 80cc kawsaki sut to me ?

  4. Chase says:

    Hi, im 15 years old i weigh 101 lbs and im 5ft 2″ tall (46kg 158cm) I am a totally new beginner. Which of these bikes would suit me? Thank you 🙂

  5. mike peters says:

    im only about 4’9 and thirteen years old i am somewhat expiernced. I am looking to race and dont know if i should get a kx 85 or 100

  6. MOTO~KID~888 says:

    I have ben riding my kawasaki 85 for a while i like it alot before that i was on a honda 150 a good bike to race before 85’s are 150’s but it’s ur choice

  7. SugerandSpice66 says:

    Hi, our little boy nr 7 years christmas desarately wants to upgrade from a Quad Bike to a motorbike, he is approx 1.25 meters High and 4 stone, we would take him over a local field and then perhaps later to a proper track. Have you any suggestions as to what style and size of bike we would need to get for him. He had put it on his Santa List and nothing else. We know little of bikes and do not ride ourselves. Any help would be much appreciated. Many Thanks.

    • Tom Stark says:

      Depending on if he wants to use a clutch, crf70/xr70 or crf80 would be good. The 70 is a 3-speed auto, and the 80 has a clutch. Otherwise you could go with a klx110, drz110, ttr110, or crf110. They have a little more power, but are still pretty easy for kids to use and are also a 3-speed automatic (meaning you shift, but there’s no clutch). Hope that helps.

  8. SugerandSpice66 says:

    Thanks so much for the info Tom, will look at the models you suggested and let you know which one we decide on, you never know it may be something mom and dad might get into !!

  9. scared says:

    Hey, so i’m startiNG racing again this year (2013) and my dad bought me a WR250F , we’re racing MX. i’m 15 and weigh about 78KG.
    how do you think i’ll go on this bike? i’m really scared that i’ll just be coming last. I’m not too good of a rider, i can’t really jump high and my friend who rides a RM250 can lap me!
    do you think i should be racing MX on this bike.. could i possiably win? or would i have to put in so much more effort then the other riders?? i’ve never ridden the tracks we’re racing and i can’t race start that well and i have to in first gear. Has anyone raaced MX on a WR?

    • Tom Stark says:

      The WR250F is more for off-road racing and trail riding. That’s not to say you can’t be competitive with it in Motocross in a beginner class, but you’ll probably want to re-valve the suspension for your weight. Don’t worry about coming in last when starting out; you have to start somewhere. If you’re only doing motocross racing with the bike, you may want to switch over to a YZ or YZF in the future. As long as you’re having fun and progressing, who cares? Good luck!

  10. scared says:

    Okay, thank you (:
    yeah we’re doing enduro aswell as MX..
    is there anything i can do to make it go faster?

    • Tom Stark says:

      If you’re just starting out, these bikes have plenty of power for most any kind of riding. Suspension should be number one on the list. An exhaust and cams will probably make the biggest difference. Check out my friend’s review on the FMF Q4 exhaust on Motocross Hideout. Proper gearing is critical as well.

  11. SugerandSpice66 says:

    Christmas is nearly here and we cant wait for santa to bring the CRF70 as recommended by you Tom. Thanks again. Will let you know what our little chap thinks on the day!!!

  12. shane says:

    hi tom i am 13 and 5ft 8inch and i want to start bikeing but i am not allow a bike of 65cc so i am wondereing wat 1 to get

  13. shane says:

    thanks and yah haha

  14. OffroadBeast says:

    Im 13 at 145Pounds and i want a 4stroke offroad bike, what would suit me better, the 110 or the 125?

    • Tom Stark says:

      At your weight, I wouldn’t get anything smaller than a 125cc four-stroke. I would also consider a CRF150F, as well as a 230 if you have enough experience and can handle the weight. Otherwise the 150F or KLX140L would be good bikes to start out on.

  15. Teri says:

    I am looking for a mx bike for my son, who is a small 12 year old (4′ 10″ & 73 lbs.), who wants to get back into racing after taking a couple of years off, but has still been riding in the desert, etc.
    He is coming off/outgrown a KTM 65 and has been riding since he was 4 (started on a PW50). I am obviously looking at 85’s, but don’t want to invest a bunch of money to find out it isn’t a winning bike, or will eat me alive in repair costs.
    Is there some kind of “rating” on these bikes (best to worst or ???)
    I would appreciate any and all information you can help me with!

    Thanks SO much!

  16. Cam says:

    ive been riding for about 7 years now, but with a pw50, klx110, and crf80. i have spent time on bigger machines and even can drive an old sports car with manual clutch. i use to be into racing so i do have some experience but i want somthing that will calm down after some hardcore riding, ya know? like a perfect balence between good handling and smoothness. im 13 years of age at 5’8″ and weigh 120lbs. any suggestions?

    • Tom Stark says:

      You’re in a gray area, unfortunately. If you want good handling, you’d have to get a motocross bike. However, for something more docile, it’d have to be a trail bike that is fairly heavy. You are still rather young, too. It depends on your budget, but I would look into an XR250, KLX300, KDX200, DRZ250, or possibly a CRF150RB (Expert model). I would also consider a CRF150F since it is smooth, reliable, and has decent power for play riding.

  17. Erin says:

    We are looking at getting my son a dirt bike. He is used to riding 4 wheelers but this would be his first bike. He is 4’9″ and about 75lbs. Do you think the Honda CRF 70F would be too small for him?

  18. Kevin says:

    My 7 Yr. old son is out growing his crf50 and I need to get him something bigger. He is 4′ 5″ and 74 lbs.

  19. Kevin says:

    My 6 1/2 year old son has outgrown his crf50 and I need to get him a bigger trail bike. He is 74 lbs. and 4′ 5″ tall. He can ride excellent and has a 110 4-wheeler as well. What so recommend I look for?

    I am also looking for a trail bike for myself to join him! I have lots of 4-wheeling experience but no dirt biking experience. I am 5′ 11″ and 200 lbs. What do you recommend for me?

    I thank you in advance. The advice you have given here is truly a gift to so many people!

    • Tom Stark says:

      I would recommend looking for an XR/CRF100 if he can reach the ground, otherwise a ttr125 may work as well. A KLX/DRZ110 may also fit him well, but it doesn’t have a clutch to learn on. Any of those bikes you can find relatively cheap used. Just try to find the cleanest one possible. Stock is best so you know it hasn’t been messed with.

      As for you, there’s a lot of bikes that may suit you. I’m guessing you’d more than likely want a 4-stroke? Honda has a few bikes; XR200R, CRF230F, and an XR250R are great bikes that require little maintenance. There’s also a KLX300, DRZ250, and TTR230. Let me know if you need any more help. Good luck!

  20. Kevin says:

    Thanks Tom, His buddies drz110 is in our garage and he can barely touch the ground. Before I had talked to you, that alone had me leaning toward taking the very small step of going to an 80 size. Do you think that’s too small a jump?

    I had been looking at drz400 before talking to you. So the on/off capability of the 250R is interesting, but I will certainly investigate the others.
    Thanks again!

    • Tom Stark says:

      No prob, if he’s not tall enough then something like an xr80/crf80 would be good since it’s short and has a clutch to learn on. If you don’t mind a little heavier bike, the DRZ/KLX400 is a good and reliable bike. The XR400 is great as well.

  21. Kevin says:

    Oh and Tom, I should also mention that I rode a Harley for 10 years.. so I am not a beginner on mopeds! Just on Dirtbikes…

  22. tybo says:

    ok im 12 and weigh 100 pounds what bike would fit me best

    • Tom Stark says:

      An XR100 and TTR125 are very popular bikes for someone your age and size. They’re easy to learn on and ride with a clutch, reliable, and smooth on power.

  23. tybo says:

    and im 5 feet tall

  24. Mariano Vertiz says:

    Hi Tom. I’m 12 and i’m pretty tall (5ft 2in) I was wondering if I should get a Yamaha TTR-125LE or should I get the TTR-230. I think i’m gonna hit a growth spurt soon. This would be my first dirt bike, I have a ton of experience on a quad bike, but only about 30min riding time on a small dirt bike about 2 months ago. Thanks for the advice.

    • Tom Stark says:

      Hmm, it’s hard to tell, especially since you might grow again soon. Both of them will work fine right now, but they 230 will be noticeably heavier. I would also consider a CRF150F or KLX140L. I recommend test riding one or multiple bikes before you decide if possible.

  25. Mariano Vertiz says:

    Hey Tom, so I went for a test on the honda earlier today and I really liked it… But, it did feel a little bit overpowered for me as a beginner. I mean of course I love the oomph it has but I am afraid someday i’ll mess up and crash at high speed. I didn’t ask the dealer but would it be possible to set a throttle control so I couldn’t use it 100% ?

    • Tom Stark says:

      Yes, you should be able to put some sort of governor/stop on any bike, whether it’s on the exhaust or the carburetor itself. If the dealer can’t help you, ask a friend that is knowledgeable about dirt bikes to help show you how.

  26. Mattias says:

    so im 12years im going to be 13 this year and my dad is buying me a 150cc honda i been driving sense i was 2 years so i know how to drive (race) just wana make sure im getting the right bike i think its totaly right but what do you guys think?

    • Tom Stark says:

      If the bike fits you and you already have some riding experience then it should be a great bike. Just remember to regularly change the engine oil, air filter, and clean/lube the chain.

  27. Racer6665444322345 says:

    Do you know of any 85 mx bikes that are also good on trails? I’m looking to do trail riding but going on the track a few times,any maybe do racing. So could anyone help? Thanks, I appreciate it.

    • Tom Stark says:

      Unfortunately for you, and many other people, 85’s just aren’t very good for trail riding. However, the KX85, 85SX, and especially the KX100/105SX have the best engines for trail riding. A lot of people take the KX100 and turn them into woods machines with some mods and engine porting for bottom-end power.

  28. Racer#11 says:

    My son is 12 years old and is turning 13 this year. He is about 5 feet 3. He is a beginner but has done 8 classes on a electric bike, so he has some ( a bit ) of expirience, im new to the sport, what bike should he get? Thanks

  29. Racer#11 says:

    Im speAking of motocross!

  30. connor says:

    hey i way 10 stone and im 5 foot 4 i have a very low budget whats the cheapest bike for off road but like gravel not fast just about 50 to 80 cc thx

  31. Squire Boone Smith says:

    Hey I’m 10 I weigh around 75 and I’ve never ridden before I’m thinking about getting 125cc I have a really low budget what would be good for a on a road/gravel also really cheap like $600 at most and what website or what would I type in on safari/Amazon

  32. Squire Boone Smith says:

    Also I’m about around 4’8 through 4’10

  33. Shelley says:

    Yz85 or Honda CRF80

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