This is a parent’s guide:
The thrill of motorcycling is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child, and a kids 50cc motor bike is definitely the best starting point for little ones.
You may be a keen biker hoping to set your children on the right path in life, on two wheels, or you might simply want to give your kids the opportunity to compete in exciting motorsports healthy for their developmental years.
Either way, you’ve come to the right place to discover everything you need to know about getting your child up on two wheels for the first time. In this article we cover the key points to be aware of when it comes to letting them loose on a kids 50cc motor bike and for those who haven’t yet taken the plunge, we help you work out which is the right first bike to buy.
If your child is a bit older, you’ll probably want to turn your attention to our best dirt bikes for 10 year olds article where we cover the next size up from these 50cc bikes.
Top Speed & Performance
Cranking up a motorcycle and throwing your kid onto it for the first time is one of those heart-stopping moments that parents dread. This “throwing them into the deep end” tactic is not often one that pays off and can leave your child terrified to get back on their bike.
When you’ve invested hard earned cash and time into providing them with their first motor bike, this can be a very challenging to experience as a parent, and it’s something we see all too often.
Some kids just aren’t naturals when it comes to riding mini motorbikes, but from our observations, gaining the skills, experience and discipline it takes to safely pilot a motorcycle is hugely rewarding for them and can teach many skills which will get them ahead in life quicker and lead their peer group.
Kids 50cc motor bikes can certainly go fast considering they are for kids, some of the fastest ones go up to 30mph depending on the rider’s weight and the terrain being ridden on. They can accelerate pretty quick too, especially if you opt for one of the more motocross racing orientated options.
Mini Dirt Bike Maintenance
Nobody likes to take on a big maintenance liability when it comes to any type of vehicle. Luckily kids 50cc dirt bikes are generally simple machines which are easy to look after.
Depending on which bike you opt for and how it is used, they also tend to be solidly reliable too. So you can hopefully avoid the awkward scenario where you tell your excited kids you’ll take them out for a ride and can’t deliver on your promise.
Competition dirt bikes tend to require a lot of maintenance but less aggressively used kids dirt bike engines can keep delivering smiles year after year. Just make sure you follow the manufacturers recommended service schedule with regular oil changes based on running hours.
If you’ve not yet purchased a kids 50cc motor bike then you will want to bear in mind that it will require some running in. This is a simple (but sometimes annoying) process that a new engine needs to be put through to ensure its longevity.
Running in a dirt bike engine generally involves using a special break-in oil and running the engine at lower speeds for a couple of tanks worth of fuel (or a set number of hours) before then dropping the oil and replacing it with the engine’s standard fill.
This is absolutely key with any new bike if you want to ensure a long lifespan and trouble-free running for years to come. If you’re purchasing second hand, you may be lucky enough to avoid this process, as trust me, it can feel absolutely painstaking when all your kids want to do is go fast on their new bike.
However, you will want to be sure that the first owner of the bike has properly bedded it in so you don’t pay the price down the line. Often the documentation for this is not recorded and you’ll need to take a seller on their word.
Other than oil changes, it’s worth keeping the air filter clean which can require a bit more attention than a normal road-going bike, for the simple reason that these bikes are used on loose terrain which is sometimes muddy, dusty or wet.
If you are only taking the little ones out a few times a year to enjoy their bikes then you will want to be mindful that these engines are generally fueled through carburettors which can clog up and seize if you allow the fuel to evaporate from their float bowl. For this reason it’s usually recommended to properly drain the carb for storage if it sits for a long while.
Kids Motorbike Safety
As a parent, you will be keen to ensure your kids are not subject to any unnecessary risk when it comes to riding mini dirt bikes. No matter what you read or hear, there is always risk associated with riding bikes, especially when you’re young and experienced.
Every biker has had a scary moment or two in their time, and some bikers don’t come out in one piece. These are machines to be taken very seriously, no matter how small and cute they first appear.
Luckily, proper kids mini dirt bikes come CE marked and even MIRA tested to UK standards to safeguard your child from unnecessary risk that could be as a result of poor quality or design.
If you’re buying from one of the bigger motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or KTM, you can be sure that they will have undergone the rigours of research and development before reaching the market.
Look out for these key features when considering kids motorbike safety:
- CE approval and MIRA testing
- Handlebar Mounted Engine Kill Switch
- Parent controlled speed restriction
- Chain guards
- Heat Shields
When it comes to motorcycles, wearing the right, high quality protective gear is non-negotiable. Your partner will never forgive you if something unexpected happens to your kid, even if it’s just a nasty knock to their confidence.
You should always make sure your kid has access to a good quality helmet, eye protection, body armour for back protection, tough motorcycle gloves, and also a sturdy pair of boots. It can be uncomfortable to wear, but it can really make the difference when it counts the most.
Our top tip on protective gear is to bite the bullet and buy quality. Your kid will be far happier to put cool looking gear on and look the part, and generally more premium items are better designed making them both comfortable and particularly effective.
Regardless of the above, you should also take heed of the age ratings for kids motorbikes. It can be tempting to let them get an early start, but putting a kid on a bike that’s just too big for them is a recipe for disaster.
Generally, kids 50cc motor bike age ranges from 3 up to around 7, kids a bit older than this can ride them providing they are within the weight limit for the machine (usually around 60kg), but by this time they will likely be budgeting you for a bigger and faster one.
The Best Kids 50cc Dirt Bike For You
Selecting the right mini dirt bike can be a difficult minefield to negotiate with many options available on the market with wildly varying price points.
More than anything, it completely depends on what you’re looking to get out of kids 50cc motor bike ownership that counts in determining which is the right one for you.
To help you work out which motor bike is the right one for you and your kid, let’s take a look at some of the most popular options, and their great, and not-so-great features.
#1 Honda CRF50F
Easily the most commonly recommended first dirt bike for kids, and with good reason. Believe it or not, this particular bike is Honda’s oldest off-road model so you can be sure they’ve had plenty of time to refine the design and get it just right.
It’s not necessarily the fastest bike you can get your kid, but its 4-stroke engine is known to be one of the most reliable out there, and its tough design means it can endure plenty of abuse and deliver hour after hour of run without skipping a beat.
If you’re serious about getting your kids on two wheels, this bike is easily the strongest all-round performer when it comes to kids 50cc motorbikes, but it comes at a price. Its one of the more expensive options on the market and you’ll pay well over a grand for one, probably nearer to two!
#2 MXR 50cc Kids Dirt Bike
If your budget can’t stretch to the premium brand Japanese models, do not fear. This bike is from the more cheerful end of the price range.
You can hear plenty of horror stories when it comes to generic Chinese dirt bikes, and while many are poorly designed, there are definitely a few gems out there, and the MXR 50cc is one.
Technically this bike is built and offered by a UK company canned Funbikes, and they’ve been very careful in their design. Reassuringly this bike has acquired CE approval and has undergone MIRA testing.
This mini dirt bike is offered as a more casual bike option, and at this price it’s potentially the perfect starter bike for younger kids. It’s a great way to get a taste for things without too strong of an initial investment.
It’s a bit different to the other options being a pull-start 49cc 2-stroke motor, but this engine is found in many other small machines and is particularly simple, cheap and easy to maintain.
The automatic rev and go gearbox is also perfect for a first bike. It allows your kid to refine their balance and bike control without the intimidation of clutch work and shifting gears. Finding neutral can be a pain on any bike, this is a skill which can be added to their arsenal down the line as they move up to a larger bike.
This bike can be ordered online direct to your door which can bring a level of convenience the others simply can’t match.
As a first kids 50cc motor bike, the MXR 50cc is unbeatable value for money.
#3 Yamaha TTR50
This is Yamaha’s answer to Honda’s all-rounder CRF50, and it really is a worthy adversary.
The Yamaha is another fantastic all-rounder and has almost as many features as the Honda at a slightly lower price. This bike features an electric start which is perfect for kids as kickstarts can be tricky for smaller children as they’ve not got enough weight behind them.
It’s worth noting however, that the TTR50 does NOT feature any kind of kickstart, so if you end up with a flat battery, which happens a lot if the bike is only used occasionally, you can be left looking a fool trying to bump-start your kids bike for them.
Here is the kicker when selecting between this and the CRF50, this TTR50 is actually slightly faster making it a bit more motocross friendly.
#4 KTM 50SX Mini
The KTM is certainly the most focussed option on the list, but it comes at a premium price because of this and costs considerably more than even the mainstream Japanese manufactured offerings.
If your kid has already found their feet on two wheels, and you’re looking to guide them into grass-roots competitive motorsports, then you may well find a way to justify the extra cost and determine the 50SX as the right kids 50cc motor bike for your kid.
For the extra money, the KTM is equipped with a particularly well tuned and fast 2-stroke 50cc engine. This can be more fiddly to maintain as 2-stroke engines (particularly tuned ones) are more highly-strung than their 4-stroke counterparts and require pre-mixed fuel and 2-stroke oil to run.
Beyond the punchy little engine, the KTM features front and rear hydraulic disc brakes for brilliant stopping power, again increasing its racing performance.
This Austrian dirt bike offering also features a much more sophisticated suspension setup for maximum stability, plenty of travel for the rough stuff, and excellent damping enabling the bike to put the power down on the circuit.
There are plenty of options when it comes to selecting a kids 50cc motor bike, hopefully this article has helped shed some light on the topic and helped you determine which bike is right for your kid at their current skill level, or lack of.
If you have any suggestions over what models you think we should look over as being the best 50cc kids dirt bike – then let us know in the comments and we will be sure to check it out.