How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Ride a Dirt Bike?

Dirt bike riding is a fun family activity that’s exhilarating both to watch and engage in. However, as a parent, you may be nervous about letting your kids on what’s essentially a motorcycle, given that you’re unsure whether it’s safe. 

Although dirt bike riding isn’t the safest sport, it teaches children essential driving skills. In fact, some parents allow their kids to ride when they’re as young as three years old. Is that safe, and at what age should you expose your kids to dirt bike riding?

At what age should kids be allowed to ride a dirt bike?

A child sitting on a dirt bike motorcycle during a motocross championship in Tavricheskoye of the Omsk Region in Russia
A child sitting on a motorbike | Dmitry FeoktistovTASS via Getty Images

According to Dirt Rider, there’s no age limit for dirt bike riding. Kids as young as three can start riding small electric dirt bikes

One of the best ways to gauge whether your kids can ride a dirt bike is if they can ride a bicycle smoothly. This is important as it gives kids confidence and balance and teaches them speed and braking. Alternatively, you can train your children through the years as they grow up with special bikes with training wheels until they’re confident to ride by themselves. 

There are other particular types of dirt bikes for children of different ages. As your kids get older, you should begin to expose them to more advanced ones. Here are the recommended bike types to buy your kids based on their ages: 

  • Toddlers: If you want to introduce a toddler to bike riding, try a 6V bike with training wheels. 
  • 3 to 6 years old: You can buy both electric and battery-powered models that run below 10 mph. 
  • 7 to 9 years old: Introduce them to gas-powered 50cc models which will give them more excitement
  • 10 to 12 years old: These kids can handle a bike at 70cc and a height of 21 -25 inches
  • Teenagers: Some teenagers can handle more powerful bikes of up to 250cc, and they can even sign up for competitions

Choosing the right bike for your kids

When choosing a dirt bike for your kids, there are other factors to consider. Getting the right bike size, for instance, can help the rider maintain balance, control, and confidence off-road, which are incredibly important for their safety. 

Avoid buying bigger bikes than your children so they can grow into them. If you want to introduce dirt bike riding early, it’s best to buy two bikes. Giving them a bigger bike compromises their safety, plus you can sell the old one as a second-hand bike when they outgrow it. Other factors to consider when choosing a dirt bike for your kids include:

  • Whether you can change the bike height as the child grows
  • Starter systems: Whether your kid can handle a kick start or an electric bike
  • Two-stroke or four-stroke: Four-stroke engine dirt bikes are best for beginners as they provide smooth acceleration
  • Transmission: If your child cannot manage the clutch, an automatic system can help them focus on steering and balancing only

Tips to ensure kids safety on a dirt bike

According to Dirt Bike Planet and Dirt Bike School, dirt bike riding is safe for kids unless proper safety measures are not taken. You should always take safety measures to ensure your children are safer on the road. Some key things include the ones mentioned above, like getting a bike of the right size, power, and transmission. Other tips to help ensure your kids’ safety include: 

  • Never allow your child to ride on tarmac roads. Restrict them to dirt roads designed for starters. 
  • Buy safety equipment such as helmets, back and chest protection, kidney belt, goggles, boots, gloves, etc. Never try to save money on safety equipment, but aim for high-quality gadgets.
  • Don’t allow your child to ride at high speeds as it’s easy to lose control and get into accidents.
  • Always take them to ride in clear weather and not during the rain.
  • Maintain the bike properly and ensure that it’s in good condition before the kids start riding.

What’s the right age to start riding?

In conclusion, you can teach your kids to ride a dirt bike at any age you desire. If you think your kids are agile and can handle off-road terrain and adventures, then it’s time to get them a dirt bike. Still, it’s essential to get them the right bike, especially when they’re starting. The key is to help them get the balance and confidence to ride more sophisticated bikes. So, choose your dirt bike accordingly

RELATED:  4 Entry Level Dirt Bikes Perfect for Beginners