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The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]

Are you looking for the best dirt bikes for kids but not sure where to start. Whether you want a beginner bike or motocross bike for a toddler, teenager, or somewhere in between, you’re in the right place!

Choosing the right bike for is very important if you care about safety because dirt biking can be dangerous, especially if you’ve never ridden before. That’s why I want to guide you through this step-by-step to make it easy for you!

In this article, I’ll show you:

  • What the best kids dirt bikes are from the top motorcycle brands
  • Why it’s important to choose the right bike – especially if you’re a beginner
  • How to choose the best dirt bike based on your specific size & budget so you don’t waste time & money!

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike?

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.

kids dirt bike sizing xr50 xr70 and xr200
Honda Dirt Bikes For Kids

How to pick the best kids dirt bike

Choosing the right dirt bike can be difficult if you’re overwhelmed, but I figured out a simple process to make it easy for you. Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive dirt bike or the fastest motocross bike for kids, there are three steps to picking the best kids dirt bike

3 step foolproof process 

What kind of riding will you or your kid be doing? This will determine what type of dirt bike you should get. 
There are two main types of dirt bikes (motorbikes) for kids; a trail bike and a motocross bike. 

A trail bike is great for your first dirt bike, casual riders and trail riding. A motocross bike is for racing on tracks or off-road riding if you’re experienced and have mastered the basic techniques

The next step is choosing the right size. In this guide, I’ll go through every age of kid, as well as cover different size bikes for each age based on your height. 

The third step is choosing your budget. New motorcycles can get very expensive, especially if you don’t have a lot of extra income in your family. Don’t worry – I’ll show you the best cheap dirt bikes that are good and reliable!

Which dirt bikes to avoid for kids just starting out?

If you’re buying your kid or grandkid their first dirt bike, please don’t start them on a motocross bike. They are racing machines that aren’t not safe for beginners.

Kawasaki KX65 2 stroke motocross bike for kids ages 7-11 years old
KX65 Motocross bike for racing

Motocross bikes, such as a KTM 50 SX, Kawasaki KX65, or Yamaha YZ85 are not good if you’re son or daughter is new to dirt biking because they are too fast and hard to control.

You need to start them on a bike that has less power, a lower seat height, making them easier to ride and stay in control so that they don’t crash and get hurt.

What are the best youth dirt bikes available?

Just want to know what all of the top rated dirt bikes are?
Here’s a list of all of best name brand dirt bikes for kids:

Honda dirt bikes for kids:

  • CRF50F
  • CRF110F
  • CRF125F/B
  • CRF250F

Kawasaki dirt bikes for kids:

  • KLX110R/L
  • KLX140R/L/F
  • KLX230R/S

KTM dirt bikes for kids:

  • 50 SX Mini
  • SX-E 5 (electric)
  • 50 SX
  • 65 SX
  • 85 SX 17/14
  • 85 SX 19/16

Suzuki dirt bikes for kids:

  • DRZ50
  • DRZ125L
  • RM85

Yamaha dirt bikes for kids:

  • Yamaha PW50
  • Yamaha TTR50E
  • YZ65
  • YZ85/LW
  • TTR125LE
  • TTR230

Electric vs gas dirt bikes for kids

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

2022 KTM SX E 5 The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]

Electric dirt bikes for kids: Are they good?

An electric bike such as a Stacyc (Amazon) 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.

Stacyc electric balance bike for kids

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.

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)

Best Toddler dirt bike (2 year old+)

For the youngest of kids, I wouldn’t even start them on a full gas dirt bike these days.
Why? Because there are better and safer bikes to ride that will help transition them to a gas dirt bike as they get older and bigger.

For example, the best dirt bike for a toddler (2-3 year old) to start on is a balance bike or electric balance bike (Amazon). They are lightweight, easy and safer to ride, help them build their “balancing” muscles and coordination, and they’re more affordable than a gas dirt bike.

Dirt Bikes For Kids 3 & 4 Years Old

Starting your little kid on a dirt bike when they’re under 5 years of age can be scary if you don’t know much about dirt bikes. You may hear stories about dirt bikers getting hurt, but that is not the case if you are properly prepared.

Best dirt bikes for 3 & 4 year-old:

  • Yamaha PW50
  • Suzuki JR50
  • Kawasaki KDX50

The Yamaha PW50 is the only one of these 50cc 2 stroke dirt bikes still made today, but they’re are all good starter bikes. The KDX 50 and JR 50 are 2 stroke oil injected dirt bikes as well. Oil-injection simply means that you don’t have to premix the gas – you just have to refill the oil tank when it gets low.
They all have very low seat heights (19 inches/48cm), which makes it easy to touch the ground and hold the bike up. 

If you’re looking for the best small dirt bike for a 3 or 4 year old, the Yamaha PW50 is the way to go. It’s small, lightweight, reliable, parts are easy to find, and there’s plenty of dealer support and mods available. 

Yamaha PW50 2 stroke dirt bike for little kids ages 3-5 years old
Yamaha PW50

How fast does a 50cc 2 stroke dirt bike go?

They can all go 25-28 mph, but with a throttle limiter and/or exhaust washer to reduce power it will only go about half that speed. This is very nice for keeping your son or daughter at a reasonable speed when they’re just starting out.

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

Dirt Bike With Training Wheels For Kids

The PW50 and CRF50 are great dirt bikes to add training wheels onto if you don’t feel comfortable with your little boy or girl trying to balance. 

XR50 With Training Wheels The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
Honda XR50/CRF50 with training wheels

These training wheels from Amazon are affordable, easy to install if you have basic mechanical ability, and it builds riding confidence. Your child only has to concentrate on throttle and brake control without having to worry about tipping over.

Best Dirt Bike 5 Year Old and 6-Year-Old

Once you get into the 5 year old age and up is when there are more youth dirt bikes available. You can choose from multiple trail bikes and race bikes, so I’ll show you the differences to make the best decision.

Best dirt bike for 5-6 year old beginner:

  • Honda CRF50F
  • Yamaha TTR50E
  • Suzuki DRZ50

The CRF50F, TTR50E, and DRZ50 are all 50cc air-cooled 4-stroke dirt bikes that are built for brand new dirt bikers. They are taller than the 2 stroke 50cc bikes mentioned above, coming in at a 22″ seat height, which is 3 inches taller.

CRF50 Vs. PW50 Best Kids Dirt Bike The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
The CRF50F hasn’t changed since 2004

The Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki 50cc 4 stroke trail bikes are very similar in specifications. They all have a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission, about the same power, and the same size wheels. 

Honda 50 vs Yamaha 50 vs Suzuki 50

The biggest difference is the weight and how to start each dirt bike. The Honda CRF50F is kick-start only, which makes it a little harder for you or your little kid to start it.

With that said, it starts quite easily, and as a benefit, it’s noticeably lighter than the TTR 50 and DRZ 50. The Honda 50 comes in at 110lbs ready to ride, while the Yamaha 50 weighs 126lbs wet (wet curb weight is full fluids).

Having electric start is the biggest advantage the TTR50 and DRZ50 has over the CRF50F, so if the extra 11-16 pounds isn’t a big deal for your little new rider then the Yamaha TTR50 or Suzuki DRZ50 is the better starter bike for a 5 or 6 year old child.

Best motocross bike for 5-6 year old:

  • KTM SX-E 5 (Electric)
  • Cobra CS50e (Electric)
  • KTM 50 SX Mini (Small-wheel)
  • Cobra CX 50JR (Small-wheel)
  • Husqvarna TC 50 Mini (Small-wheel)
  • KTM 50 SX
  • Cobra CX 50SRX
  • Husqvarna TC 50
2017 Cobra CX50JR 50cc 2 stroke mini motocross bike for kids
Cobra CX50JR MX Bike

50cc mini vs 50 big wheel motocross bike differences

If your kid has already learned how to properly ride on a 50cc trail bike and is ready for a faster dirt bike then a motocross bike is the next step. You have two size options: the 50cc mini, which is about the same seat height or slightly taller than the trail bike, or the larger 50 that’s a 4-5 inches taller and has more power.

Best cheap used dirt bikes for 5-6 year old:

  • Honda XR50
  • Honda Z50R
  • Kawasaki KDX50
  • Suzuki JR50

Can’t afford one of the newer dirt bikes listed? These are older and generally cheaper models you can buy used. They’re name brand and still reliable if you properly maintain them.

Best Dirt Bikes For 7 Year Olds and 8-Year-Olds

While a 7 or 8 year old can ride a 50cc dirt bike (I started out on a Honda XR50 when I was 7), they are generally big enough for the next size up. A 110cc dirt bike is generally the best size, and there are two seat height options if you choose Kawasaki.

The best dirt bikes for a 7 or 8 year old beginner are:

Kawasaki has been selling the KLX110 since 2002 and had one major change in 2008. The ’08 and newer models have slightly more power, an added 4th gear, and a large wheel model.

The KLX110R L (large wheel) has more suspension travel, a manual clutch, and a slightly taller seat height. It’s the most popular pit bike for adults, so there are many mods available.

KLX110 1 The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
Lightly modded KLX110

Honda vs Yamaha 110 mini dirt bike

Honda and Yamaha came out with their 110cc air-cooled 4-stroke in more recent years. They all have a 4-speed semi auto transmission, so there is no clutch to worry about. However, the features are slightly different on each dirt bike. 

The best first dirt bike for a 7 year old is the Honda CRF110F to start out on. This is simply because of the new fuel injection system. You don’t have to deal with starting problems like a carb would, and it will always run smooth if you keep it stock.

The Yamaha and Kawasaki 110 do have electric start as well as the Honda, but they are still running a carburetor that can get dirty more easily, potentially requiring more maintenance and tuning. 

If you want a reliable, hop-on-and-go beginner bike, the CRF110 is the way to go. 

CRF110F The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
Honda CRF110F

Best motocross bikes for a 7 or 8 year old child:

  • Kawasaki KX65
  • Yamaha YZ65
  • KTM 65 SX
  • Husqvarna TC 65
  • Cobra CX65
  • GasGas MC 65
Husqvarna TC 65 2 stroke motocross bike for kids ages 7-11 years old
Husqvarna TC 65 Race Bike

You shouldn’t start out on a race bike because they’re much harder to control, but they’re definitely the way to go if you (your kid) is confident and ready to race motocross or off-road. A 65cc 2-stroke has about 3 times more horsepower than a 110, much better suspension, and a manual clutch with a 6-speed transmission, so it’s just like an adult motocross bike at a smaller size.

Best cheap used dirt bikes for 7-8 year olds:

There used to be a Honda CRF70 and a Yamaha TTR90 that were a good transition from a 50, but they have been replaced by 110cc 4 strokes. You can still find them used if you want to save some cash over buying a newer dirt bike.

Best Dirt Bike For 10 Year Old Kids

Moving up to the 9 and 10 year old age range, you’ll most likely want a dirt bike with a manual clutch. Riding with a clutch is not hard if you start on a dirt bike that’s easy to ride, which is a trail bike.

The top beginner bikes for a 9 or 10 year old are:

  • Honda CRF125F
  • Kawasaki KLX110L
  • Kawasaki KLX140

Although 110cc to 125cc isn’t a big jump, the size of the bike is the big difference here. 

The Honda CRF125F has a seat height of 29.1″ and weighs 194lbs, while the Kawasaki KLX140 has a 30.7″ seat height and weighs 205lbs. 

The KLX140 is the better bike for a slightly bigger kid, being slightly taller and more powerful. 
A KLX110L is also a great choice if your 10 year old is shorter and still wants a dirt bike with a clutch.

2008 Kawasaki KLX140 small wheel dirt bike for kids
KLX140 with electric start

The CRF125F has some better technology with the electronic fuel injection so you don’t have to mess with jetting. Both bikes are super reliable 4 stroke trail bikes if you do simple maintenance.

The top motocross bikes for 9 & 10 year olds are:

  • Kawasaki KX65
  • Yamaha YZ65
  • KTM 65 SX
  • Husqvarna TC 65
  • Cobra CX65
  • GasGas MC 65

A 65cc 2 stroke is usually still a good choice for an MX bike at the age of 9 or 10 – most amateur racing has classes that range from 7-11 years-old for 65’s. However, if you’re already too big for one and can handle a bigger and faster MX bike, then an 85cc 2-stroke is your best choice, which I’ll cover more in the next age range.

Best cheap used dirt bikes for 9 or 10 year old:

  • Honda XR80
  • Honda CRF80
  • Yamaha TTR90

The Honda XR and CRF 80 are basically the same bike – the CRF is the name model name for it. They have a 5-speed manual clutch transmission. The TTR90, on the other hand, still has a sem-automatic transmission without a clutch.

Best Dirt Bikes For 12 Year-Olds

Once you get up to 12 years old, it’s about time to learn how to use the clutch. This will bring you to the medium size bike category for most kids, whether they’re a boy or girl.

The best beginner dirt bikes for 12 year olds are:

  • Honda CRF125FB
  • Yamaha TTR125LE
  • Kawasaki KLX140L/G
  • Suzuki DRZ125L

The top motocross bikes for 11 & 12 year:

  • Kawasaki KX85
  • Yamaha YZ85
  • Suzuki RM85
  • KTM 85 SX
  • Husqvarna TC 85
  • GasGas MC 85
  • TM Racing MX 85 2T
Husqvarna TC 85 2 stroke MX bike for kids
Husky TC 85, which is basically a “white” KTM

Stepping up from a 65cc, an 85cc 2-stroke is the next class for kids motocross racing. Unless you’re taller than average, a small-wheel 85 is most likely the right size for you if you’re 11-12 years old.

If you’ve never been on an MX bike before, make sure to scoot up on the seat because most 85’s hit pretty hard when you “get on the pipe” at high RPM and can easily pull a wheelie.

Best cheap used dirt bikes for 11 or 12 year old:

Can’t afford one of the newer models? No sweat! You can find these older discontinued trail bikes at a cheaper price on the used market and still have a blast riding off-road!

Best Dirt Bikes For 13 or 14 Year Old

Depending on how tall you are, there are several good dirt bikes to start on for 13-14 year olds. 

The best beginner dirt bikes for a 13 or 14 year old are:

  • Honda CRF125FB
  • Kawasaki KLX140L/G
  • Yamaha TTR125LE

All of these air-cooled 4 strokes have electric start. The KLX140L has a slight power advantage due to the extra 20cc. 

The CRF125FB comes in at a 30.9″ seat height and 194lbs. In 2019 it quickly received some updates. Electric fuel injection is the most notable, making carb adjustments obsolete. It only has a 4-speed transmission, so top speed will be slightly less than the other 125cc and 140cc four stroke bikes. 

The TTR125LE has a seat height of 31.7″ and weighs 198lbs. The 4lb weight difference will be hardly noticeable, but the 0.8″ taller seat height might be better or worse for your 13 year old. 

The Yamaha has a 5 speed transmission, but it still runs an older carburetor that can be finicky if it sits for a few months. 

Lastly, the KLX140L is a 144cc trail bike with a 5 speed transmission. Aside from not having EFI, it’s still one of my favorite beginner trail bikes for teens and women

20200422 174213 The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
Trail riding with my lovely wife (on her KLX140)L!

It has a seat height of 31.5″ and weighs 209lbs. A few pounds heavier, but it’s hardly noticeable because it handles so well. 

Top motocross bike for kids 13-14 years old:

  • Kawasaki KX85
  • Yamaha YZ85
  • Suzuki RM85
  • KTM 85 SX
  • Husqvarna TC 85
  • GasGas MC 85
  • TM Racing MX 85 2T
  • Honda CRF150R (4-stroke)

Aside from the CRF150R, these are all small wheel 85cc two-strokes. They’re light, fast, and built for racing. Most of them have very little low-end torque, so they’re not good for trail riding or if you’re a beginner.

Best Dirt Bikes For Teenagers

Riding a dirt bike is a great way for teenagers to blow off some steam, learn new skills and challenge themselves. These are the best beginner bikes for teens 13 years of age and older:

  • Honda CRF150F
  • Kawasaki KLX140G
  • Yamaha TTR230
  • Kawasaki KLX230R
  • Honda CRF250F

All of these dirt bikes have electric start, which I highly recommend for new riders to reduce frustration.

The CRF150F is the only bike on this list that has wheels that aren’t full size (21/18″), so it’s a good bike if you’re a smaller teen. 

On the other hand, the KLX140G is similar in size, but it has full size wheels. It has the lowest seat height for a full size bike, making it a nice transition from a standard KLX140 if you don’t want more power. 

The TTR230 is a good option if you like blue bikes, but there’s nothing special about it. It’s easy to ride, is very reliable, and has decent aftermarket support. 

The KLX230R is new to the game for medium size dirt bikes. Fuel injection is a big addition, so no carb cleaning or tuning to worry about. 

The CRF250F has been available for a few years now, so the aftermarket support is growing. Being a 250, it will have the most torque and power available in this group of bikes for teenaged riders. It’s on my list of best beginner bikes for many reasons.

2021 Honda CRF250F The Best Dirt Bikes For Kids In 2022 [3 To Avoid]
Honda CRF250F

Best kids motocross bike for teens:

  • Kawasaki KX112
  • Yamaha YZ85LW
  • Suzuki RM85L
  • KTM 85 SX 19/16
  • Husqvarna TC 85 19/16
  • GasGas MC 85 19/16
  • TM Racing 2T MX 112
  • Honda CRF150RB
2008 Honda CRF150RB 4 stroke motocross bike for kids
CRF150RB 4-stroke MX bike

While these are made from the original small-wheel 85cc 2-stroke MX bikes, they are an upgraded “supermini” class bike for teens. They have bigger wheels and max engine size 112cc, which makes them incredibly fast if properly tuned because they’re so light.

Best Electric Dirt Bike For Teenager

In a noise-conscience area and need a full size electric dirt bike? Battery powered electric dirt bikes are still relatively new, and there aren’t many options for teens or adults. 

However, the Oset 24.0 electric dirt bike is probably the best choice for a 13-18 year old.

It’s going to be a lot more reliable and higher quality than the typical electric dirt bikes you can find on Amazon

How to safely ride a dirt bike with your kid

Are you getting into dirt biking to ride off-road with your son or daughter? Starting on the right bikes is super important, but there’s one thing that will really help give you more control and prevent having an accident.

It starts with your riding technique, and I want to show you all the basic techniques to safely ride with control in a super short and practical training guide. Click here to get started now.

Shelley

Monday 18th of November 2019

Yz85 or Honda CRF80

Squire Boone Smith

Monday 19th of September 2016

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

Squire Boone Smith

Monday 19th of September 2016

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

connor

Sunday 7th of September 2014

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

Kelley Fager

Thursday 11th of September 2014

A ttr125l or crf150f would be a good off-road bike to start on.

Racer#11

Sunday 20th of July 2014

Im speAking of motocross!