Top 5 Best Dirt Bikes for Kids – From 5 to 12 Years Old

Top 5 Best Dirt Bikes for Kids – From 5 to 12 Years Old

For some motorcyclists the passion for two-wheeled vehicles comes later in life, however, some riders begin their journey long before even thinking about riding on public roads. Many riders, especially those that enjoy dirt track and trail riding, start out very young – sometimes as early as five years old. Many children who get into riding dirt bikes early in life grow up to be safer, more capable riders than those that pick up motorcycles only after receiving their driver’s licenses. 

When children take an interest in riding dirt bikes, some parents already have an idea of where to start their children out. However, for some families it can be difficult to choose their child’s first dirt bike, especially if the rest of the family doesn’t ride. In these cases, the numerous options available can be overwhelming, even within a single brand. Fortunately, there are several consistent factors that go into choosing the best dirt bike for a young rider

In this guide, we’ll go over 5 picks that are great for young riders just starting out, and go over what factors to consider when choosing the best bike for your child.

Top Choice

For most parents with children just starting out, the Honda CRF50F is an excellent option. This bike features a small, reliable engine that makes manageable power, and an automatic clutch so that new riders will not have to worry about stalling the bike. This is a popular option with parents that are just beginning to introduce their children to dirt bikes.

 The Best Dirt Bikes for Kids Are:

1: Honda CRF50F – Best Overall

Honda CRF50F

For young riders just getting interested in dirt bikes, this popular and reliable option from Honda is a fantastic starting point. This bike is built with especially young riders in mind, featuring an automatic clutch, reliable 50cc engine, and a seat height of 21.6 inches, which makes the bike ideally suited for most riders between 5 and 7. 

An adjustable throttle limiter also allows you to set the bike’s capabilities so that your child doesn’t ride too fast too soon. The chassis and bodywork was designed with the understanding that new riders are especially hard on their equipment, and therefore designed to last through all sorts of riding conditions. The reliability, safety features, and overall quality make this popular model out top pick for young riders. 


  • Reliable 50cc Honda engine
  • Automatic clutch does not require shifting
  • Adjustable speed limiter can be adjusted for rider skill level
  • Tough construction can handle harsher riding


  • Kickstart motor
  • Low power and response may be easy for some young riders to grow out of quickly


This bike is designed specifically for young riders just getting started, and is an excellent way for any child to get used to handling a dirt bike. Because of its beginner-friendly design and features, as well as the 21.6 inch seat height, the CRF50F is recommended for riders between 5 and 7. 

Read more on Honda’s Website

2: KTM 50SX


For young riders with a little more experience under them, or new riders looking for a more serious start, this high performance KTM is an excellent option. Featuring a high performance 50cc, liquid cooled 2-stroke engine and centrifugal clutch that doesn’t require shifting, this bike is ideal for young riders that may be interested in competitive riding. 

KTM is especially well-known for their advanced technology and refined motorcycles, and their 50SX is no exception. XACT suspension ensures excellent shock absorption, and can be adjusted to suit any rider, and the engine’s liquid cooling system helps enhance the reliability of the bike. For riders just starting out, KTM also offers a power limiting kit so that your child can take time getting used to the bike. 


  • XACT front and rear suspension
  • High performance liquid cooled engine
  • Centrifugal clutch does not require shifting
  • Available power limiting kit from KTM


  • 26.18 inch seat height may be tall for some younger riders
  • 2 stroke engine requires pre-mixed fuel


KTM is one of the top dirt bike manufacturers, and is known for their competitive models. For riders that are just starting out, the 50SX is a great option, and is meant to be the first step for riders that may be interested in riding competitively. As it is a taller bike with stronger performance than many in its class, the KTM 50SX is recommended for riders around 8 years of age. 

Read more on KTM’s Website

3. Honda CRF110F – Best Dirt Bike for 10-Year-Olds

Honda CRF110F

This larger trail bike from Honda serves as the next step up from the CRF50F, and is designed with youth riders in mind, providing reliable performance for children that are ready for a bit more power, while still providing a predictable and controllable experience. The bike is capable of a maximum speed of 50mph, but can be limited if necessary. 

Using an automatic clutch, the CRF110F delivers smooth and confidence inspiring performance that is suitable for riders that are simply looking to get used to stronger bikes, or that may be becoming interested in more competitive models. The four-stroke engine is also highly reliable, and includes a backup kick starter in addition to its electronic ignition, which provides options for starting the bike if it has been sitting for a long time. 

over when your kids can use the bike. This comes in addition to the bike’s electric starter that is easier for most kids to use without adult help and a backup kick start system for cranking the engine in the cold months.


  • 109cc four-stroke engine provides smooth and predictable power
  • Automatic clutch does not require shifting
  • Speed limiter allows tailored power delivery for any skill level
  • Lower seat height can serve a wider variety of riders than some competitors


  • Engine performance is not suited for motocross competition


Like the smaller CRF50F, this Honda is designed with beginner riders in mind, and is a great option for riders that are looking to get a feel for handling a dirt bike. Electronic ignition is a major plus, as it makes the bike easier to start, and the four-stroke engine is very reliable. A 25.9 inch seat height makes the CRF110F’s size suitable for riders as young as 8, however the heavier frame and larger engine capacity makes this bike an ideal fit for slightly older riders. 
Read more on Honda’s Website

4. Yamaha TT-R110E

Yamaha TT-R110E

The Yamaha TT-R110F dirt bike is an excellent option for older riders that will be getting used to higher power bikes. The 110cc engine produces a modest amount of power, propelling the bike to a maximum speed of 55mph. A lighter frame also makes this trail bike nimble around corners, and an overall capable performer on dirt tracks and trails. 

An automatic 4-speed transmission allows the rider to focus on the bike’s handling without having to worry about shifting gears, and can help propel the bike effectively even on hills. Electronic and kick-start options provide reliable starting of the bike, however the carbureted engine may have difficulty in colder weather. 


This quick, fun offroad bike from Yamaha offers many of the features found in smaller bikes for beginner riders with a lightweight chassis and higher power engine that is a great option for older or more experienced ones. With a 26.4 inch seat height, the Yamaha’s size is ideal for most riders aged 10 and up. 
Read more on Yamaha’s Website

5. Kawasaki KX65

Kawasaki KX65

The Kawasaki KX65 dirt bike is a competitive 65cc dirt bike designed to introduce riders to the world of motocross racing. Equipped with a 64cc liquid cooled two stroke engine and 6-speed transmission, the KX65 offers an introduction to high performance riding. The responsive engine can bring the bike to a respectable 62mph, making this bike a good choice for dirt track racing. 

As a performance oriented bike, the KX65 is ideally suited to young riders with a bit more experience, as the high power and low weight may be difficult for new riders to handle. The manual transmission is also better suited to children who are already familiar with how to handle a dirt bike. 


As a bike designed for entry level motocross racing, the KX65 is an outstanding option for children with a bit of experience that are looking to move up into more serious bikes. Equipped with a 6-speed transmission and high-performance engine, this bike is one that young riders can spend a lot of time getting familiar with, and the 29.9 inch seat height is a good fit for these older children making their first steps into larger bikes. 

Read more on Kawasaki’s Website

Visit Joshua D. Mattie article on ‘Best GPS for Dirt Bikes’.

What to Look for When Picking the Best Dirt Bikes for Kids

Dirt bikes are very popular across every age group, however when choosing the best option for your child, the wide variety of options available can be overwhelming. In order to make sure you have a good idea of what to look for when deciding on your child’s first – or next – bike, here are some helpful tips on the various factors that go into picking the best model. 

Engine Size and Type

As a general rule, the displacement of an engine is a good benchmark for the level of power it can produce. In the majority of cases, dirt bikes designed for kids will have an engine size range of 50cc to 125cc. Remember to also check the performance specifications, though, as a higher displacement engine is not always a guarantee of a faster bike. 

Many trail bikes feature 4-stroke engines that offer smooth and predictable power delivery. This is a great option for most riders just starting out, as the smooth throttle response is also easier to control. 4-stroke motors are also easier to deal with, as they require no specialized maintenance or fuel preparation. 

2-Stroke engines are an excellent fit for more competitive bikes, and generally offer higher performance. Most motocross racing bikes feature 2-stroke engines, and the punchy performance characteristics are great for racing. However, 2-stroke engines require pre-mixed fuel and can be more maintenance heavy than 4-stroke options. This more intensive care routine coupled with the higher performance make 2-stroke bikes better suited for more experienced riders. 

Seat Height

The height of a dirt bike’s seat is definitely something to consider when looking at a bike for your child. The best bike options allow a rider to sit on the bike with both feet firmly on the ground to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. 

While no two riders are exactly the same, and your child’s own height may vary greatly, there is a general average that can be considered. A typical 5 to 7 year old rider will be comfortable with a seat height between 20 and 25 inches, most 8 to 9 year olds will ride at a height of 22 to 27 inches, while 10 to 12 year old children will typically ride bikes with seat heights of 26 to 31 inches. However, this average is not an absolute, and the only way to truly know if your child will fit comfortably on any given dirt bike is to actually have them test it out for themselves.

Final Thoughts 

Buying your child’s very first dirt bike is an exciting, once in a lifetime experience. When considering which bike they should start with, the various options available to start with can provide a wide range of experiences for any rider, and the choice will certainly lead to many great hours spent on the back of the bike. 

You can also check out these best 50cc dirt bikes for more information on features and frequently asked questions about dirt bikes for kids. 

Whether your child is looking to get into competitive riding, or just wants to try something new, the tips provided in this guide should help you make the best decision when it comes to their first bike, or the bike that will carry them to the next stage of their development as dirt bike enthusiasts. 

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!