May 11, 2021 6 min read

Dirt bike riding is an outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy, and it is a great way to spend time together as a family. If you have a range of ages of kids in your family, you will need to know how to get the right size bike for each member of the family. So how do you work out what size dirt bike your kid needs?

A dirt bike for a child needs to be sized by matching the age, height, and confidence of the child to the seat height and engine capacity of the bike. As a guide,

  • 3 – 7-years - 50cc
  • 7 – 12-years - 50cc to 110cc
  • 12 – 14-years - 125cc
  • 14 – 16-years - 125 to 250cc
  •  

    Making certain that you get the right size bike for your kid is a really important aspect for their dirt bike riding experience. Having the right size bike will make the activity safe and more enjoyable for them and will give you peace of mind that they will be comfortable and confident on a bike that is the right fit for your child.

    two peewee racers 026 n 4 lined up for a moto start at 2 risk racing holeshot starting gates

    How Do You Size A Dirt Bike For A Child?

    Getting the right size dirt bike is not only important for your child but for anyone intending to take up dirt bike riding!

    This is even more important if the person is just beginning, and this will be their first dirt bike. Here are the main reasons that a bike of the right size is beneficial to your child or anyone else.

    • Starting. Many dirt bikes still use the kickstart method to get the engine going. It is very difficult to kickstart a bike that is too big for you.
    • Balance. If the bike is too tall for the person, they will have trouble pulling off and stopping the bike.
    • Confidence. If the person or child feels comfortable on the bike, they will have more confidence, and their ability to learn to ride and negotiate the terrain will progress at a more rapid pace.
    • Control. If the dirt bike is too big for the person, not only in physical size but also the power of the motor, then the person will struggle to control the bike and could develop a fear for the machine.
    • Safety. Safety should always be a top concern in dirt bike riding, especially for kids, and all the previously mentioned points could result in a compromise of the safety of the child on the bike.

    The temptation may be to buy a bike that is slightly too big for the child so that they can "grow into the bike." This may be a good strategy when you buy your kid a pair of jeans, but not when it comes to dirt bikes!

    Yes, kids do grow fast, and they will outgrow their dirt bikes, but it is not worth compromising their safety by buying too much bike for them to handle. Dirt bike riding is a growing outdoor activity, and as such, there will always be a market for second hand bikes.

    Once your child outgrows the bike, sell it and put the funds towards buying a bike another size up for your kid.

    dueling dirt bikes both secured into the back of a rhino lined pickup bed using lock n load pros by Risk Racing

    How To Size A Dirt Bike For Your Kid

    The standard way to size a bike is by the person's height and what seat height of the bike is appropriate for that particular bike.

    Generally, the power of the motor will increase along with the increased height of the bike until you get to a certain seat height, where you will get a number of different sized motors in that range of bikes.

    With the younger generation kids in the 3 to 7-year age group, the bike could last the child a good few years before you need to upgrade. We will cover this aspect when we discuss individual bikes.

    The best way to judge the right size bike for your child is to use the following guidelines to establish a baseline size bike.

    Child Age

    Child Height

    Bike Seat height

    Engine Size In CC

    3 – 7-years

    2ft 7-inches

    To

    3ft 7-inches

    17 – 21-inches

    50cc

    7 – 12-years

    3ft 7-inches

    To

    4ft 7-inches

    21 – 25-inches

    50cc – 110cc

    12 – 14-years

    5ft

    To 5ft 2-inches

    31 – 35-inches

    125cc

    14 – 16-years

    5ft 2-inches 

    To 

    5ft 8-inches

    35 – 38-inches

    125cc – 250cc


    These guidelines should help you to find the right size dirt bike for your kid, but you also need to take into account the boldness and personality of your child, especially when choosing the engine size of the bike. Some kids show no fear, and others are a little more conservative and reserved.

    Let your child progress in dirt bike riding at their own pace, and don't push them to ride a bike that is too powerful for their level.

    three different sized dirt bikes and their riders driving on a dirt road towards camera forrest in BG

    What Size Dirt Bike Should A 5-Year Old Ride?

    Many children start dirt bike riding at a young age, some even asyoung as 3-years old. Children that are younger than 5-years would probably start on a bike with training wheels to help them balance since they are unlikely to even be able to ride a bicycle yet.

    When it comes to children that are about 5-years old, you would need to get a bike that is suited to the height of your child, and in the smaller-sized bikes, this is often determined by thewheel size.

    A 50cc bike would be the recommended engine size for a bike for a 5-year old, but you would need a 50cc with a wheel size of between 14 and 16-inches to cater to the height of your child.

    What Age Is A PW50 For?

    PW50 bikes are a great entry-level bike for the younger generation of dirt bike riders. These bikes are so popular that they come in a range of sizes. The size can be adjusted as the child grows by increasing the size of the wheels on the bike, which would make the bike a better fit for your child as they grow.

    This means thata PW50 can be suitable for a child from the age of 3-years all the way to 7-years old. The popularity of these bikes also means that there is a great secondhand market for these bikes.

    Another bike that fits well into this age group is the KTM50, which is also popular and has a little more of a rugged look to it than the Yamaha PW50.

    mx num 77 Mike Burry checking his Risk Racing goggles wearing an RR jersey and RR auto roll off track dirt BG

    How Old Should Your Child Be To Ride A 250?

    When you get to the bikes with the larger engines, the dynamic changes quite substantially. These bikes may only be 125 or 250cc, but they are very powerful machines that should be treated with respect and responsibility.

    125cc bikes are generally more than enough for most teenage riders. Many adults ride the 125cc class motorcycles as well, which is an indication of the power of these bikes.

    The 250cc is a big jump from the 125cc and is a lot of bike for a teenager to handle. This is especially true if your child is a smaller framed person and is not tall enough or does not have the physical strength to handle the bike.

    It is recommended that only teenagers from the age of 16-years upward consider riding a 250cc dirt bike. Even so, you should only consider this bike for your kid if they are tall for their age and have the experience and strength to be able to tame a 250cc dirt bike.

    close up of two very young dirt bike riders on their bikes both wearing Risk Racing Goggles

    Conclusion

    The right size dirt bike for your kid is a crucial aspect not only for their safety on the bike but also for their enjoyment of the bike and being able to ride it in the dirt with confidence.

    Another important part regarding the safety of your child on the bike is for them to have the right safety gear. This includes quality riding protection in the way of a helmet, goggles, chest, back, elbow, and knee protection, gloves, boots, and clothing.

    These items are not to make your kid look cool when they ride their bike but serve to protect them from injury. Looking cool is just a bonus side-effect of the gear! 

    At Risk Racing, we can offer you a wide range of gear, not only for your child to wear but also gear for the bike that will make life easier. 

    Our innovative magnetic dirt bike stand is one such item among many, so take a look at what we have to offer to make dirt bike riding a fun-filled activity for the whole family!


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