Kids and Dirt Bikes -- Buying
All right! Your child is showing an interest in dirt bikes – another reason to spend even MORE time on the trail or at the motocross track. But now you have to find him or her a bike. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Make sure you buy a dirt bike that’s the right size for your child. A dirt bike is not something kids can “grow into”. It’s better to start with the right size and let them keep riding when they’re a little too big for it, than to get one they’re too small to handle properly to begin with.
Take your child with you so he or she can sit on any bikes you’re considering. Most beginning riders are only going to feel comfortable if they can rest both feet on the ground while straddling the bike.
The height of the bike is important, but so is the weight. Make sure your child can hold the dirt bike upright while getting off or on, and while kick starting. Also make sure he or she can pick the bike up on their own if it’s lying on its side.
Too much power can be a bad thing, especially for a beginning rider who hasn’t learned proper throttle control. A number of the smaller bikes have a way to control the maximum throttle – so you can start with bike not doing much more than idling at full throttle, and then graduate to wide open when the child is ready.
Look for a used dirt bike if possible. If the child is very young or small, he or she will quickly outgrow it and you’ll lose less money reselling a used bike than a new one. The best part of a used bike though is that neither you nor the child will be as upset when it falls down and gets scratched. If you’re buying for a taller child, you may be able to get something in the 100cc range – and these are big enough for adults to ride as well, so you’ll get more use out of it (but buy with the child in mind, not you).
For general advice on buying a used dirt bike, click here.