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Motorcycles For Kids

by uturn on February 9, 2012 · 0 comments

Motorcycles For Kids

Some people may consider buying motorcycles for kids a ridiculous notion.

I am very glad my parents introduced the sport of motorcycling, to my brother and I, at a very young age. We grew up on a farm in Canada, out in the middle of nowhere, with not much to do. Motorcycling got into my blood very early and has remained a huge part of my life ever since.

My brother and I were introduced to motorcycles around the age of 5 or so. Our first motorcycle was a mini-bike with a 3.5 horsepower Briggs and Stratton Engine. It didn’t have a clutch, so it was easy just, twist the throttle and go. It also didn’t have shocks so it beat the crap out of us.

We rode the living daylights out of that thing!

From there it was a Honda XR75, then a CR125 and the list goes on and on, and the motorcycles got bigger and badder.

I have had several motorcycles since then, including a few off-road motorcycles and several street bikes. The lessons I learned from riding a motorcycle as a kid has been invaluable to me over the course of my riding career.

When I started my research I started looking at all the major manufacturers. I was surprised at the selection available. Not only did the big guns have a wide variety of makes and models available for little riders, there are a whole bunch of “off brands” that have off-road bikes, as well.

We focused on the major manufacturers because we feel that warranty is a an important aspect of these types of motorcycles. We checked out Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, KTM and Suzuki motorcycles and they all make a great selection of motorcycles for kids.

Motorcycles For Kids: Safety First

When buying motorcycles for kids, parents need to look at their child’s age, size, athletic ability and maturity before allowing them to ride any type of two-wheeled vehicle.

Your child should always wear the proper motorcycle helmet, eye protection and protective gear whenever they operate a motorcycle. It goes without saying that NO ONE should ever operate any vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There are usually plenty of places to ride, in your area, but always make sure you have permission when riding on private property.

If riding in an “off-road” area, always abide by their rules and stay on established trails. Teach your child to use common sense by respecting others riding in the area and picking up after yourself when you are done riding for the day.

If you do your own motorcycle repair, don’t modify your motorcycle’s silencer, exhaust system or spark arrestor and make your child’s motorcycle a nuisance to your neighbors.

Motorcycles For Kids: What To Look For

If you are already familiar with motorcycles, this will not be anything that you should not already know. When your child is first starting out in anything, nothing will kill their interest more than if they get frustrated while learning it.

You need to assess where you child is in respect to physical ability. If they are a little older and you think they will progress faster you’ll want to make sure you don’t buy a motorcycle that they outgrow too fast.

If they are really young say, 3 to 5 years old, you know it will take a little longer for them to “need” a bigger, better, faster bike. With that being said, there are some motorcycles for kids that can be scaled up as your child progresses.

Just like with any major purchase we highly recommend doing your due diligence. We suggest that you have a look at several bikes, talk to dealers in your area and then purchase a motorcycle that fits your child physically and emotionally. Trust me; purchasing a motorcycle is an emotional thing for most people. When I purchased my first Harley and the dealership brought it around front, I had tears of joy running down my face. I was 39 years old at the time!

You don’t want your child not wanting to ride his or her motorcycle because you liked the color and they didn’t!

A big mistake people make when buying motorcycles for kids is buying a bike that is too small or one that the child outgrows really fast. Your first impulse might be to buy a bike that isn’t too fast because you’re afraid your child might get hurt, but then soon after mastering it they get bored. Instead look at buying a motorcycle that has a throttle limiter. A throttle limiter can be slowly “turned up” a little a time, as your child’s riding skills increase.

Lastly, make sure you feel comfortable with the dealer. You want a dealer that you feel will give you the best, “after the sale,” support. You’ll want to know that you’ll be taken care of if you have service issues.

Are Motorcycles For Kids Safe

The sport of motorcycling can be a fun, rewarding, confidence building and safe activity for your child if done correctly. Teaching your child how to handle a motorcycle in different environments and situations will keep them riding safely for many, many years.

Being involved with motorcycles over the years has given me my share of bumps and bruises. I improved my riding skills gradually, progressing from mini-bikes, to dirt bikes and then on to the big Harley Davidson that I ride today.

By the time I took the sport from dirt bikes to street bikes, I was a more skilled and confident rider, able to adapt to many riding situations.

Motorcycle Toys For Kids

Do you believe in buying motorcycles for kids?

Obviously it’s up to the individual parent, but we feel there is nothing wrong with introducing the sport of motorcycling to a child. When someone grows up around something like motorcycling they get comfortable and it becomes a natural thing to them. If you are into motorcycles, there is no reason why your children aren’t involved with them.

Are there a lot of options when it comes to motorcycles for kids?

We researched the best motorcycles for kids and we were surprised by how many there were. To be honest with you, you can’t go wrong with these major manufacturers. They have been in the game for a long time and they all build great off-road motorcycles. I don’t think your 6, 7 or 8 year old cares about shock travel or the wheel base of the bike. When trying to decide on a motorcycle for a child it will probably boil down to the bike having their favorite color!

Below is a list of the major player’s, “motorcycles for kids,” options in no particular order. Please make sure you do your own research to determine which motorcycle is best for your child.

 

Suzuki Motorcycles For Kids

Suzuki motorcycles have a long history of racing in all classes. Even the kids motorcycles have aggressive styling, inspired by the pros. Suzuki can be recognized by their Bright Yellow color.

1. Suzuki RM85

suzuki DR-Z125

The RM85 carries on the tradition of Suzuki’s racing excellence in the Suzuki RM family. It has a two-stroke engine, good low- to mid-range performance and just like the big boys, the RM85 handles well and performs good for experienced racers and rookie riders alike.

The RM85 is a great motocross bike for kids learning to ride, race and win!

The Suzuki RM85 comes with a six-speed transmission so there is a small learning curve if your child has never ridden before. They’ll get it quicker than you think!

Features

  1. Engine- 84.7cc, 2-stroke, liquid-cooled
  2. Seat Height- 850 mm (33.5 in)
  3. Transmission-6 speed shifted
  4. Curb Weight- 73 kg (161 lbs)
  5. Starter- Kickstart

2. Suzuki DR-Z125

Suzuki really doesn’t have an intermediate motorcycle. The DR-Z125 is pretty aggressive for a new rider, but is a great upgrade once they’ve got some riding in. The DR-Z125 is inspired by Suzuki’s championship-winning RM-Z motocross bikes. The seat height and bike weight is virtually identical to the RM85 making this bike a powerful little gem.

Features

  1. Engine- 124cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled, OHC
  2. Seat Height- 850 mm (33.5 in)
  3. Transmission-6 speed shifted
  4. Curb Weight- 73 kg (161 lbs)
  5. Starter- Kickstart

Honda Motorcycles For Kids

Honda starts off their line of bikes for kids with a mild little bike and builds slowly into the full racing monsters they are so well known for. Honda, of course, uses Bright Red to adorn their motorcycles.

3. Honda CRF50F

Honda CRF50FHonda’s CRF50F is one of the world’s most popular beginner’s motorcycles. The 49cc engine is reliable and smooth and the three-speed transmission, with an automatic clutch makes learning a snap! Your rider can concentrate on learning the fundamentals without stalling the bike.

An awesome feature of the CRF50F is the adjustable throttle limiter, so you can “turn it up” when your rider is ready. This makes this bike a blast for your kid!

Features

  1. Engine- 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  2. Seat Height- 21.6 inches
  3. Transmission-Three-speed with automatic clutch
  4. Curb Weight- 110 pounds
  5. Starter- Kickstart

4. Honda CRF70F

Honda CRF70FThe CRF70F has pretty much the same features as it’s younger brother. The engine is a solid 72cc, with just a little more giddy-up and go, and you still get the three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch.  This is a perfect bike to transition your child out of the CRF50 or to start an older child off with. Either way the CRF70F will be a nice addition to your garage.

Features

  1. Engine- 72cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  2. Seat Height- 26.1 inches
  3. Transmission-Three-speed with automatic clutch
  4. Curb Weight- 139 pounds
  5. Starter- Kickstart

Honda’s next step up is the CRF80F. This bike has a similar seat height to it’s younger brothers. It has an 80cc engine, and the transmission is a 5-speed with a clutch making this motorcycle perfect when your child is ready to start stepping up!

KTM Motorcycles For Kids

KTM has some great motorcycles in the motocross category and true to form they have a few really good kid’s motorcycles. KTM sports bright orange for their color of choice.

5. KTM 50SX

ktm 50sxIf you think motocross is in your kid’s future you may want to have a close look at KTM. They make a quality product with a very good reputation. Their motorcycles for kids are maneuverable, fun and reliable. What a great combination! The KTM50SX makes learning fun, with a twist-and-go centrifugal clutch that will keep your kid happy for hours.

Features

  1. Engine- 49cc 1-cylinder 2-stroke engine, water-cooled, with reed intake
  2. Seat Height- 684 mm (26.93 in)
  3. Transmission- Rigid 1-stage reduction gear, 3-lining automatic clutch on the main shaft/ centrifugal force
  4. Curb Weight- 41.5 kg (91.5 lb.)
  5. Starter- Kickstart

6. KTM65SX

ktm 65sxOnce your young rider is ready for a small promotion, you can step them into this little beauty. The six-speed tranny and added power will help your child start to develop their world-class riding skills in no time. As with all KTM Motorcycles, this bike has a powder coated, chrome molybdenum steel tubing chassis that will handle anything your little “Evil Knievel” can throw at it!

Features

  1. Engine- 65cc 1-cylinder 2-stroke engine, water-cooled, with reed intake and exhaust control
  2. Seat Height- 750 mm (29.53 in)
  3. Transmission-6-gear, claw shifted
  4. Curb Weight- 55.5 kg (122.4 lb.)
  5. Starter- Kickstart

Yamaha Motorcycles For Kids

Yamaha is another one of the big motorcycle companies that have been around for a very long time. Yamaha’s YZ-series were a dominating force back in the 80′s when I was riding motocross bikes. No matter where you were riding you would see the distinctive blue and white Yamaha’s everywhere. Yamaha has a couple of entries in the motorcycles for kids category. Yamaha’s colors are blue and white.

7. Yamaha PW50

yamaha pw50With a seat height of only 19.1 inches, the lowest in our starter bike review, the PW50 will almost give you the ability to go straight from the hospital to the motocross track with your new baby. Ok, that may not be the best idea, but you will be able to get your child up and running very quickly. The PW50 has shaft drive so chain maintenance is unnecessary, a throttle limiter that can be cranked up as needed, and an automatic transmission that will have your child ripping up the track with ease.

Features

  1. Engine- 49cc air-cooled 2-stroke; reed-valve inducted
  2. Seat Height- 19.1 in
  3. Transmission-Wet centrifugal automatic
  4. Curb Weight- 85 lb
  5. Starter- Kickstart

8. Yamaha YZ85

Yamaha YZ85The YZ85 has the YZ-series history behind it and it doesn’t disappoint. For your mini-racer, it is race-ready straight out of the crate. It is a rugged little bike that will suit both novice and mini-pro alike.

Features

  1. Engine- 85cc liquid-cooled 2-stroke; reed-valve inducted
  2. Seat Height- 34.0 in
  3. Transmission- Constant-mesh 6-speed; multiplate wet clutch
  4. Curb Weight- 157 lb
  5. Starter- Kickstart

Yamaha’s next YZ in the series is a YZ125. As with all of the bikes in our review we feel that a 125cc motorcycle is borderline, as far as a “beginner” or starter motorcycle. If your child progresses faster than most or just happens to shave at the age of 12, it may just be the perfect fit for them.

Kawasaki Motorcycles For Kids

The Big Green Machine as we used to call them, is no stranger to the motocross world. Their KX-series motorcycles have taken many podiums over the years. Their smaller bikes are battle born and have that aggressive styling that Kawasaki’s pro bikes are known for. Lime Green is Kawasaki’s color of choice.

9. Kawasaki KX65

kawasaki kx65The Kawasaki KX65 is an awesome way for a motivated youngster to get a taste for competitive riding. The KX65 has a very strong two-stroke engine, lightweight chassis, disc brakes, and shock travel that goes on for days. It’s small stature fits young riders’ growing frames and will help your child get started on the path to motocross greatness.

Features

  1. Engine- 64cc 2-stroke
  2. Seat Height- 29.9 in.
  3. Transmission- Six-speed
  4. Curb Weight- 132.2 lbs.
  5. Starter- Kickstart

10. Kawasaki KX85

kawasaki kx85This is another strong performer by the Kawasaki KX series of motorcycles. This little green machine is ready to tear up the track and blow away your child’s competition. Watch the smile on their faces as they twist the throttle and rocket around the track or down those trails. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the KX’s from Kawasaki.

Features

  1. Engine- 84cc, Two-stroke single
  2. Seat Height- 33.1 in.
  3. Transmission- Six-speed
  4. Curb Weight- 152.1 lbs.
  5. Starter- Kickstart

Kawasaki has a KX100 to follow up the KX85. If you need a little more zip for your child you may want to consider trading up for an extra 15cc’s.

Motorcycles For Kids: Summary

We hope you’ve got a little better idea on what to look for when buying a motorcycle for your future pro.

We suggest you take a look at several motorcycles before making a decision and always keep your child’s well-being in mind when making your purchase. We highly suggest that you pick up all of the safety gear at the same time as the motorcycle or even before that. You can never be too careful when it comes to having the proper protective clothing.

We hope you and your child get to share many years of riding together.

What are you waiting for? GET OUT AND RIDE!

Paul “U-Turn” Charron

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