Being a junior rider can be an excellent hobby for a pre-adolescent. Learning to ride a dirtbike develops a kind of skill and focus that can’t be taught in school; learning to look after a bike properly requires discipline and commitment that’s hard to train elsewhere. But most of all, zipping over the tracks is a fresh-air thrill like no other.
So, whether you’re a parent looking for the best dirt bikes for your 12-year-old kids, or you’re a 12-year-old looking to learn more for yourself – here you’ll find all you need to consider, followed by our top picks.
Having said all that, a junior rider should certainly take safety precautions very seriously. Here’s a few basic points but make sure to do additional research before the bike hits the dirt:
- Always wear an appropriate helmet.
- Goggles will protect your eyes from dirt and mud.
- Get the correct boots and body gear.
- Make sure the bike’s seat height and engine size are in a safe range for you. Read on to find out our thoughts on these.
What seat height is best for a 12-year-old kid?
What you’re looking for in terms of size is the ability to just be able to touch the ground with both feet while sat on it. Can’t touch the ground at all? You will find it very difficult to stay upright when you stop. Too easy to get your feet flat on the ground? You will outgrow the bike very quickly.
The ideal range for seat height for kids aged 10 to 12 years is 25” to 31” depending on how tall they are for their age. The perfect height for you lies where the balls of your feet can touch the ground.
Bare in mind that riding boots have a higher heel than regular shoes – make room for this.
What wheel size is best for a 12-year-old kid?
Smaller wheels will allow the rider to be more agile, turning bends with ease. However, small rims are less hardy, will dent easier and struggle with rough terrain. Big wheels are heavier but more stable.
Both ease of handling and hardiness are useful qualities for a young rider – what you choose will be a personal preference.
Engines. Two-stroke? Four-stroke? Electric? Size?
Let’s first focus on typical fuel engines. For most kids, the four-stroke engine is likely the best candidate. They only produce power for every two turns of the crankshaft. This allows for smoother acceleration, at the cost of a little punchiness. So for total beginners, it’s easier to control and requires a little less skill and focus.
If you or your kid has gained a little riding experience already, you may be ready for a two-stroke. If not you may be stopping and starting a lot.
For size, you will want anything from 50cc to 125cc, and nothing more powerful than that. Again this depends on experience. You could also put a ‘throttle pin’ in a larger engine to guard against using too much power.
Or, forgetting all this complex business, you could just get an electric bike. They are simple, easy to maintain, and quiet. Just charge it up and go. They are also better for the environment and much cheaper.
Top 4 best dirt bikes for 12-year-old kids
Considering all that, here are our recommendations.
Razor MX650 Rocket Electric Motocross Bike:
Ideal for total beginners, and those on the smaller side. With a top speed of 17 mph it shouldn’t be too hard to handle; it’s also on the smaller size of other dirt bikes at 22″, but the handlebar is adjustable, allowing you to find a decent fit.
The electric motor is quiet and simple, but with a 40 minute battery life it isn’t any good for longer sessions.
At $518 new, it’s by far the cheapest option here and our pick for total beginners.
If you want to read more about this BMX bike or if you want to buy it, then click here or click on the button below.
Kuberg Young Rider Trial Hero:
An electric engine for slightly more advanced riders. Again, 17 miles per hour top speed, but with 3 power settings – ideal for slowly increasing skill level. It has a seat height 25″ and at 33 kg, it’s very lightweight and easy to pick up off the track.
The battery gives up to 2 hours of riding time – double the Razor.
It also has a safety engine kill switch – a great feature for worried parents.
The better engine brings its price up to $1,900. It’s our pick for those who are still just starting but want a great quality bike, or are set on an electric engine.
With a cool, lime-green frame, this bike is pretty showy inside and out. The seat height is 26.8” – ideal for a typical twelve-year-old, but it weighs 76kgs, which is fairly heavy and may be difficult to pick up.
It’s a high-powered 110 cc, four-stroke, 1-cylinder with a centrifugal clutch and a 4-speed transmission. It will hit a high top speed of 48 mph.
A brand-new bike is available for $2,999. This is only for young riders with some experience behind them. The engine is large but the four-stroke allows for smoother riding.
This is a serious bike made by a top-shelf manufacturer. It’s pretty light, at 68 kg and the
35″ seat height is only for the tallest twelve-year-olds. But this allows for more growth as long as the rider can touch the ground.
It’s a 85cc, two-stroke, 1-cylinder, with 6-speed transmission. At 25.36 horsepower and a top speed of 65 mph, this will provide more than just a thrill and requires a high level of competence to use safely. When you can do that, it will be a hell of a ride and a sure competition winner.
You get what you pay for at $6800 for the 2020 model. If your budget won’t stretch less you could have always saved a few grand on an older model or a second-hand bike.
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