Is your child really ready for riding a dirt bike?
While there is no fundamental rule about the age when a child can ride a dirt bike or not, a 3-4 years old child can begin with a very less powerful and safe dirt bike. Again, as I have already mentioned, the age doesn’t matter that much. But what matters is the physical and mental ability of your child. A child only 2 years of age, maybe sometimes more mentally active and physically stronger than a 3-4 years old child. You must make sure that your child is strong enough for controlling a dirt bike handle firmly and sharp enough for overcoming the obstacles that will come while riding it. If he is too small in age, then it may be dangerous for him for riding a dirt bike right now as he may get hurt. Also, your child must have his own interest in riding a bike. If a child is forced to ride a dirt bike without his will, then even a small injury or accident may produce a fear inside him, which will restrain him from riding a motorbike in the future also. Also, none can judge better than you that whether your child is ready to learn riding a dirt bike or not. If you find your child ready for that, then it is very good. He/ she will be adding a new type of experience in his life. However, you still have to take another decision. Which dirt bike should you choose for your child? A number of things must be kept in mind while choosing a dirt bike for your kid. While choosing a perfect one will give an excellent start to his/her training, a wrongly chosen bike can be dangerous for your small and innocent child. To take you out of this confusing situation, I will be guiding you in selecting a dirt bike that is going to be a perfect match for your child and also the best gift you can give him/her.
Various features you must take into account while looking for dirt bikes available in the market for kids:
Dirt bikes of various size ranges are available in the market. Bikes of 14 to more than 20 inches of wheel diameter are available. The size of the wheel does make a difference. A larger sized wheel will be able to absorb larger shocks without much disturbing the balance. However, with an increase in the wheel diameter, the seat height also increases. The size required varies from age to age or even from different body sizes within the same age group. The bike height must match well with that of your child. The most general rule for deciding the perfect size for your child is by making him sit on the bike seat and check if his/her feet are touching the ground well enough or not. He must be able to do so in order to control the dirt bike easily in case he/she loses his/her balance. Also, he must be able to hold the handle easily while sitting straight at the same time otherwise he may develop a pain in his neck and back. Although you can also adjust the seat height a little by adjusting the suspension, still it will be better to buy the right size only.
Gas or electric
An electrically powered bike for kids will be best for a 3-4 years old (or lower) as it is much safer and is also easier to control. Also, it is much silent and smoother than its gas counterpart. A bigger child, however, would like much more power which is easily available in gas dirt bikes.
Engine type (2-stroke and 4-stroke)
Two types of engines can generally be present in dirt bikes for kids namely 2- stroke and 4-stroke based on the number of combustion chambers in the engine. A 4- stroke engine is much more powerful than a 2-stroke one. For starting, a 20cc 2-stroke engine will be the best choice for a child who has already mastered with electrical bikes. As they grow older and more experienced, they can upgrade from 40, 70, 100cc, until they can handle a full sized 250cc dirt bike. Also, the transmission for a 4-stroke engine is a bit more complicated with respect to a 2-stroke engine. Once your child is comfortable with a 2-stroke engine and its transmission, then he can try a 4-stroke engine bike too. And once he gets acquainted with a 4-stroke engine and becomes comfortable with its transmission too, he can ride any type of bike.
Weight of the bike
Another important factor that you must keep in mind is the weight of the bike with respect to that of your child. The bike should not be too light or it won’t be able to bear the load of your child. Even if it is too heavy, then the child won’t be able to control it properly. It will become difficult for him/her to maintain a good balance. Also, a heavy bike increases the risk of injury to a great extent. The bike for 5-15year old kids should weigh somewhat 20-30 kgs. Here also, the strength and capacity of the child must be considered while deciding the weight of the bike.
Here, I will be discussing various power ranges for dirt bikes suitable for children of various ages:
- Dirt bikes for kids of age 3 years or less – For children of this age, the dirt bikes must not be powerful and the speed also should not be more than 3-4 miles / hr. The dirt bikes that fulfill their need is an electrically powered bike as it is slow and its starting and controlling systems are also easy for those kids who are learning to ride a dirt bike for the first time. In fact, in the beginning, they should also use training wheels.
- Dirt bikes for kids of age 4 years– By this age, the training wheels are no more required. The child can now move to a little more powerful bike. A 20cc bike should do in the beginning.
- Dirt bikes for kids of age 5 to 6 years– A hunger for power and speed inside a 5-6 years old child can be well catered with a powerful 50 cc engine. At this stage, a child can ride his bike at a greater speed and he can even perform simple jumps and tricks using their powerful 50 cc engine.
- Dirt bikes for kids of 7 to 11 years– These kids can drive a dirt bike of about 70cc engine, which is again a lot of power. Also, along with an increase in the bike power, the other features are also improved at the same time. For example, when you buy a powerful bike, it is taken for granted that the brakes should also be very powerful, the suspension and transmission system also becomes more advanced and so on.
- Dirt bikes for Kids who are 12 years or more- older kids who have been riding on dirt bikes for last few years, can ride even fully sized dirt bikes with almost 200-250cc of engine capacity.
Now, as you know what features and parameters you must check for selecting the right dirt bike for your child, lets move to the other things you must take care of in order to make their bike riding experience safer and enriching.
Safety measures and precautions that your child must take in order to minimize the risk of injuries:
Although it is a fact that your child can’t learn without being hurt, or without facing any minor injury, at least the risks can be minimized by following proper safety measures. These are some of them:
- Whatever their age be, you must ensure that your kids are wearing proper biking jackets and dress. A good quality helmet is a must.
- When training your 3 years old or younger child, surely use training wheels.
- Your kids are still small and they are not supposed to drive on the roads at any cost as it can be very dangerous for them. They are legally not allowed to drive on the road and that’s the reason you wanted them to ride on dirt bikes, which are meant to be driven off- road only.
- Let your kids drive these dirt bikes only when you or some other elder is present to watch them and help them if they fall into any problem.
So, allowing your little kids to ride a dirt bike is a very good decision. It is a very good adventure sport and they are surely going to love it. In fact, not only they’ll enjoy riding the bike, even you are going to love watching them driving. No words that I will write can truly describe the feeling you have when you see your little ones holding the handles of their bikes with their tiny hands and drive it round your backyard. Don’t wait any longer to experience that feeling and go get a nice dirt bike for your kid right now!