Are Electric Dirt Bikes Safe for Kids? Best Models by Age
BMX has always been a popular sport. What kid doesn’t want to experience the freedom and exhilaration of the sun shining on their face and the wind at their back as they strategically race to win?
But dirt bike technology has evolved so much in a few years that new dirt bike models are faster, smoother, and have more features than ever. Enter electric dirt bikes. Between the rising prices of gas and an increase in the concern of global warming, the demand for electric mobility has increased. In addition to that, the maintenance of the electric dirt bike is also less due to fewer moving parts and electric dirt bikes are very quiet.
Considering all the advantages offered by the electric of dirt bikes, automakers are now starting to invest in the production of electric dirt bikes. In 2019, Husqvarna launched its first electric dirt bike. Even Tesla has said they plan to roll out a model of electric dirt bikes in the future.
Let’s be honest, dirt bike riding (electric or traditional) might not be the safest sport but it can be a great tool to teach children, some as young as 3 years old, basic driving skills. That doesn’t necessarily make parents any less concerned for their child’s safety. It’s nice that there’s a more eco-friendly option but whether or not your child can safely ride an electric dirt bike is what every parent really wants to know.
What's the Difference Between a Regular and an Electric Dirt Bike
An electric dirt bike is essentially a regular dirt bike with a fast-charging, long-lasting battery life giving it upgraded power and speed. They are compact, lightweight, easy to maintain, and budget-friendly, as well as, deliver superior off-road performance. These bikes have all the right elements (tires, high torque, dual suspension, and quick charging time). An electric motorcycle can basically be taken to any off-road adventure a child can dream of.
How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Ride a Dirt Bike?
There is no actual age limit for dirt bikes. It’s just a matter of finding the right bike and seat height suited for the size, age, and skill level of the child.
An easy way to gauge whether a child is ready to ride a dirt bike is to first see whether or not they can smoothly ride a traditional bicycle. You know what they say, you need to learn to walk before you run!
Parents should make sure their child is comfortable riding a bike and understands how to control their speed, balance, and breaking before attempting to ride an electric dirt bike.
How to Choose the Right Dirt Bike for a Child
When choosing an electric dirt bike for children, there are many things to consider like the right bike size and other safety features. Size can help the rider maintain balance, control, and confidence off-road, which is crucial for their safety.
Resist the urge to buy young riders a bigger starter bike than your child is so they can grow into it. It doesn’t work like pants. A bike that’s too big will compromise their safety. Other factors to consider when choosing the best dirt bike or best electric dirt bike for kids for your child include:
- Bike height: Can the seat height be adjusted to grow with your child?
- Starter systems: Can your child operate a kick start or an electric motorbike?
- Two-stroke or four-stroke: Four-stroke engine dirt bikes are best for beginners as they provide smooth acceleration.
- Transmission: If the child cannot manage a clutch, and let’s be honest some adults have a hard time mastering that skill, an automatic system will allow them to focus on steering and balancing only.
Recommended Bike Types for Kids Based on Age:
- Toddlers (2 to 3 years old): Try a 6V bike with training wheels.
- 4 to 6 years old: Try either electric or battery-powered models that run below 10 mph.
- 7 to 9 years old: Try a gas-powered 50cc models that will give them a more thrilling experience.
- 10 years old to 12 years old: Try a mini dirt bike at 70cc and a height of 21 -25 inches
- Teenagers: Teenagers can often handle more powerful bikes of up to 250cc, and can enter competitions.
All dirt bikes follow the same basic formula: long-travel suspension system, knobby tires, lightweight frame, and one or two-cylinder engine. These features help them easily maneuver around off-road trails. However, not all bikes are created equal.
Trail bikes aren’t as extreme as motocross bikes. There are full-on racing machines, with even lighter frames, more suspension travel, grippier tires, and high-strung engines. The Honda CRF250R is 36 pounds lighter than the CRF250F and has bigger brakes and roughly 50% more front suspension travel.
How to Ensure Child Safety on a Dirt Bike
Motorbike riding is safe for little ones, as long as, proper safety measures are taken and the dependability and durability of the bike can be counted on. Some tips to help ensure your kids’ safety include:
- Never allow a child to ride on tarmac roads. Keep them on dirt roads that are designed for starters.
- Buy safety gear such as helmets, back and chest protection, kidney belt, goggles, boots, gloves, etc. Never skimp on safety equipment. It’s okay to be frugal but aim for high-quality equipment.
- A suitable helmet, goggles, and pads must be worn at all times when riding an electric dirt bike.
- Don’t allow children to ride dirt bikes at top speed. Riding at maximum speed makes it easier to lose control and get into an accident.
- Always consult the weather and, for safety sake, only take children to ride in clear weather and not during the rain.
- Make sure the electric bike is properly maintained to ensure that it’s in good condition before the child ever gets on the bike.
Electric Dirt Bike Maintenance
Regular maintenance is non-negotiable for any family who wants to regularly ride dirt bikes. Just because electric dirt bikes don’t require things like oil changes or new filters, doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of them!
Ensure the battery is always charged and working correctly whenever you’re able to, ensure the bike’s tires are properly inflated, and regularly examine the bike for any loose bolts or broken parts. E-dirt bike repair should be done by a trusted professional/mechanic.
Always comply with the weight capacity of the bike. All manufacturers indicate their electric dirt bike’s weight capacity. Adhere to these capacity maximums to avoid damaging elements of your dirt bike.
Biking Safety Matters
Children must be taught the proper rules of the road when biking. They should learn about bike lanes, be advised to always watch for pedestrians, and learn the basic traffic rules and signals in their neighborhoods if they are going to go out on the road. It is the responsibility of parents to teach proper biking etiquette to kids.
You should always practice by first teaching children to ride in a controlled environment.
Use a flat, straight dirt road and an open field for leaning and doing turns. This reduces the opportunity for disaster. If you're using dirt bike training wheels choose debris-free ground that makes learning to ride safer.