The range of options when it comes to dirt bikes for 8 year old kids has been steadily growing over the past few years as the sport has become a bit more of a recreational family occasion.
With more options comes more choice and the need to carefully consider which kids dirt bike is right for your 8 year old child.
Read on to discover key considerations and the main factors to consider when selecting the right dirt bike for an 8 year old kid.
What size dirt bike for an 8 year old?
It’s well known that kids can vary greatly in size, so it’s very difficult to simply give a “one size fits all” answer here.
Plus, as parents, we always want to make sure whatever we buy has a bit of headroom for our kids to grow into, as they grow so fast.
Selecting the correct size childs motorcycle for your eight year old is crucial if you want them to take to it easily. There’s nothing more intimidating than trying to control a machine which is far too big and heavy for you, and that applies for teenagers and even adults too.
Ideally your child wants to be able to put a foot down on the floor in relative comfort while on the bike. This size will inspire confidence in your kid to enjoy the bike without feeling fearful of it.
To be sure about this, it can often be wise to visit a dealer or take your kid along with you if you’re buying a second hand bike so they can have a test-sit on it.
If this isn’t possible, or just to make sure you’re on the right track with picking the right dirt bike for an 8 year old kid, the general measurement used is seat height.
Kids Motorcycle Seat Height
Seat height is quite simply a measurement from the motorcycle’s seat to the ground. This can be an extremely useful measurement as it can be compared to your child’s leg measurement and very quickly give you a clear idea whether the bike is a good size for them or not.
Bear in mind many of the latest junior motocross bikes have adjustable rear shocks which allows for some raising or lowering of the seat height to get it fine tuned. Buying a bike with this feature could be very handy when you’re trying to extend the lifespan of the bike’s usefulness for your kid as they grow.
As previously mentioned, all 8 year olds are different, but generally you will be looking out for dirt bikes with a seat height of around 65cm for junior riders of this age bracket.
Child’s Dirt Bike Weight
Another big factor to consider is the weight of the dirt bike. If a bike is too large it can be intimidating to your kid, but this is equally true if the bike is too heavy.
As we’re talking about dirt bikes for off-road use here, the chances are your kid is going to find themselves needing to control the bike on uneven surfaces and a variety of terrain. It’s almost guaranteed that this mini bike is going to hit the floor at some point leaving your kid trying to get it back upright and ride on.
If the bike is too heavy for your kid, not only will they find themselves dropping it more often, they will have a very challenging time trying to get it back up on two wheels and mount it again.
In reality you will be looking for a bike that weighs less than 80kg for your average 8 year old kid. But like their height, their strength and confidence level can vary a lot too.
What size motor for kids dirt bike
With kids dirt bikes, you don’t just need to think about their physical size and weight, but also their power output.
As a parent, you will always have your child’s safety at the forefront of your mind, guiding your decisions as you go.
The truth is, no matter what the horsepower output, riding a dirt bike will always come with risks, for riders of any age. The key thing to bear in mind here, is what your child can learn from it in terms of what reasonable risks are.
It’s imperative that your child is wearing all of the correct, high quality safety equipment when riding such as helmets and body armour. If these things are in place then kids motocross or trail riding can be a sport enjoyed without too many restless nights,
On the flip side, you want your kid to be able to have fun on a bike that’s not so fast it’s scary or intimidating, but also not so weak that it gets bogged down easily on the rough stuff.
There aren’t too many engine displacements to pick from when we’re talking about junior dirt bikes of this size, they are all generally in the 50cc to 65cc range.
A good quality 50cc dirt bike should be plenty powerful for your 8 year old kid to enjoy and ideal for those beginner riders. If you started your kid off at a younger age than this and they are a bit more confident on a bike, sometimes it can be wise to stretch up for the 65cc options which give a fair amount of additional headroom for your kid to grow into, without being silly.
A new phenomenon storming the motorcycling world is the move to electric power. We think all bikes will eventually be electric like this and some of these early versions are very promising indeed.
Plus, there’s something serene about hurtling down a trail with only the noise of the nature and air rushing by you as you ride.
Electric motors on kids dirt bikes can pack quite a punch, just like their full size automotive counterparts. The beauty of these electric bikes is they have a lot more parental control built in, so you can dial down the peak power output for your kid and allow them to build up to full power at their own speed without throwing them straight into the deep end.
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Get the right type of bike
As mentioned at the start of this article, there’s quite a few more options when it comes to dirt bikes for 8 year olds these days. One of the key things to note here is the diversification of bike types.
Previously you could only really get junior motocross bikes, and while these are still the most popular and versatile by far, they aren’t always the best tool for the job if you want to take your kid out with your riding trails or singletrack.
Motocross bikes are much more at home on traditional dirt tracks, which is where they give their best performance.
Here are a few key features that distinguish between these two types of dirt bike for 8 year old kids.
Kids Motocross Bikes
- Stiffer suspension for track work
- Revvy 2-stroke engine
- More horsepower, modest torque figures
- Sharper disc brakes
- Not much of a seat – designed to be ridden on the pegs
Kids Trail Bikes
- Soft suspension for rough trails
- More durable 4-stroke motor
- Less horsepower, more torque
- Older style drum brakes
- Soft seat better for longer rides
Which brand of dirt bike?
So now we’ve covered all the key factors to be aware of when it comes to picking the right dirt bike for an 8 year old kid, it’s time to share our recommendations with you.
There are quite a few brands of dirt bike these days, whether that be motocross style, or trail “pit bike” style bikes that you’re looking at.
There’s a considerable number of Chinese bikes entering the market at extremely attractive prices, and while the quality of these is improving year on year to the point where they’re starting to become competitive, the best all-round kids dirt bikes are still products of the big Japanese manufacturers.
Going with a big, traditional motorcycle brand such as Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha or Suzuki will ensure you’re putting your eight year old on the safest machine possible, and you’ll really be limiting your exposure to mechanical issues or unexpected repair bills.
If you’re looking for a motocross style bike for an 8 year old, the perfect starting point is the Yamaha PW50. This miniature 50cc motorcycle is as good as a “my first dirt bike” gets and you will find your kid having plenty of safe fun getting comfortable on one of these.
The PW50 has been available since the early 90’s and it’s a formula they have been perfecting ever since. Saying that, not much has changed as they more or less nailed it the first time.
If your 8 year old kid is a bit more experienced on a dirt bike having been riding a 50cc bike of some description for a while. They may be ready to notch it up to a 65cc motocross style bike. If this sounds like your kid, we’d highly recommend the Kawasaki KX65 which provides a fair amount more power than the 50cc bikes at a slightly larger size.
This KX65 bike is a serious piece of kit for a junior rider and their skills and ability on two wheels will increase massively at the helm of one of these.
If your kid is on the larger side and more confident in their abilities, you might want to head over to our article that covers the best dirt bikes for 10 year old kids which are the next size up from most of the bikes covered here.