Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]

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.

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

Dirt Bikes For Kids 3 & 4 Years Old

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. 

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

CRF50 Vs. PW50 Best Kids Dirt Bike 2 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
Yamaha PW50

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.

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)

Dirt Bike With Training Wheels

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 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
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 For A 5 Year Old Kid:

  • Honda CRF50F
  • Yamaha TTR50E
  • KTM 50 SX Mini

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

The Honda and Yamaha 50cc 4 stroke are very similar in specifications. They both have electric, a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission, same size wheels. 

Honda 50 Vs Yamaha 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 a little kid to start it. With that said, it starts quite easily and as a benefit it’s considerably lighter than the TTR50. 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 has over the CRF50F, so if the extra 16 pounds isn’t a big deal for your little new rider then the Yamaha TTR50 is the better starter bike for a 5 or 6 year old child.

Best Dirt Bikes For 7 Year Old Kids:

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. 

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.

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

  • Honda CRF110F
  • Yamaha TTR110E
  • Kawasaki KLX110

Kawasaki has been selling the KLX110 since 2002 and hasn’t changed the base model much. It’s the most popular pit bike for adults, so there’s lots of mods available.

KLX110 1 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
Lightly modded KLX110

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 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. 

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 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
Honda CRF110F

Best Dirt Bike For 10 Year Old Kids:

Moving up to the 9 and 10 year old range, we see that same dirt bike brands. Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha all have great beginner trail bikes for kids. 

The top beginner bikes for a 9 or 10 year old are a Honda CRF125F and 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.

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. 

Best Dirt Bikes For 13 Year Olds:

Depending on how tall your 13 year old is, there’s several good dirt bikes for starting out. 

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

  • Honda CRF125FB
  • Kawasaki KLX140L
  • 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 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
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. 

Best Beginner 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.

Honda crf250f beginner dirt bike Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
Honda CRF250F

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

Best Kids Dirt Bikes For Racing Motocross

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.

85/105/150cc Bike For MX Racing

85cc motocross bikes are the start for a young teen aged racer. However, the age range for a an 85cc 2 stroke is 9-15 years old.

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 are the popular brands that still 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.

2010+Yamaha+YZ85 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]

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.

2009 CRF150RB 1 Best Kids Dirt Bike: Definitive Guide [2021]
CRF150RB

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“.

Kelley Fager

I help new riders learn how to safely ride and understand how to tune and fix your dirt bike in your garage.

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