There are many questions that parents of children who are interested in dirt biking should ask themselves.
How old does a child have to be before they can start riding?
How much does it cost for them to ride?
How safe is it for them?
How often can they ride?
The list goes on and on....
To answer some of these parental concerns, we've put together this helpful guide!
How Old Do You Have To Be to Ride a Dirt Bike in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, there is no statutory age limitation for off-roading, as there is for driving on a public road. Similarly, in the United States, you do not need to be a certain age to ride a dirt bike offroad.
However, it is a case of using some kind of common sense, though. Don't forget, these dirt bikes are extremely powerful and can cause serious injuries.
For this reason, you should never allow your child to ride a dirt bike unless they are old enough and physically developed enough to control it well.
Older children will be better able to operate the controls of a motorbike if there is an emergency situation such as loss of grip or balance on uneven terrain.
Do They Need To Wear A Helmet?
Yes, anyone that is looking to ride a dirtbike in the UK must wear a full safety helmet, otherwise, it will be illegal.
In addition to this, other protective clothing is advisable for those riding dirt bikes offroad too such as goggles and gloves.
Dirt biking in itself can cost quite a bit of money but if you take into account how often children enjoy doing activities like this with their friends or family members - every weekend during school holidays, etc., then spending £100-£200 on all the equipment could seem extremely worthwhile over time. Typically though, any decent dirt bike would start around £350.
How Often Can They Ride?
Dirt bikes are a great hobby to get into but it's important that children don't ride them too often as they will become tired of the activity quickly.
Unfortunately, this may mean that their riding skills won't improve at all - putting themselves in danger when they do eventually return to off road motorcycling.
For this reason, we recommend parents limit how much time their kids can spend practicing each day and ensure there is lots of variety in terms of location (e.g., woodlands one weekend vs sand dunes the next) so that children aren't just repeatedly traveling from point A to point B on the same piece of land.
What Are The Benefits Of Kids Riding Dirt Bikes?
There are many benefits to kids riding dirt bikes, especially if it is a hobby that they really enjoy and get invested in. For instance, off-road motorcycling encourages children to develop responsibility by taking care of their equipment (e.g., storing safely when not in use), being aware of road safety rules (i.e., obeying traffic regulations), and leadership skills as they will be required to take charge of other children who may need help with anything from learning how to turn correctly or staying balanced while traveling at high speeds etc..
Dirt biking also makes them more physically active than most traditional games which could benefit their health in the long run through increased fitness levels and improved bone strength, as well as giving them an active outlet to let off steam.
As you can see, there are many benefits of kids riding dirt bikes - even more than most parents would think at first! It is important though that they only begin practicing once they are old enough and developed enough (physically) while wearing all the relevant safety equipment such as helmets etc.
Things Parents Need to Look for When Buying Their Kid a dirt bike
First of all, we don't recommend purchasing a second-hand dirt bike for your child.
Dirt bikes are high-powered and can cause serious injuries if not properly maintained or used by a responsible adult who is experienced in off-road riding.
Second of all, make sure you buy the right size dirt bike as this will ensure that there's no risk of it being too heavy for them to control well (e.g., they won't be able to accelerate quickly enough).
On average, children aged approximately eight years old could ride a dirt bike with 50ccs on board while those at least 12 should have an engine capacity between 90 and 125ccs - though very few kids around this age would need one quite so powerful!
Kids' protective equipment such as helmets should always meet safety requirements but also fit them well.
It's important that they wear a full-face helmet and we also recommend knee/elbow pads as this greatly reduces the chances of injury in case they fall off their bike.
Finally, remember to buy them appropriate riding gear too such as goggles (to protect against dust) along with gloves and boots - particularly if you're going to be practicing on dry terrain rather than wet!
What About If I Have To Buy Second Hand?
If you do need to buy a secondhand dirt bike, then look out for the following:
* How often has it been serviced and how old are the tyres? - This is important because it can indicate how long the bike has been used and whether it may have as many issues.
* The age of the tyres is also important - because they will need to be replaced at some point, which is expensive!
* How easy is it to get hold of spares? - If you only live in a rural area then this won't matter but if not your child's hobby could become very difficult when certain parts break down due to them being impossible for you (or anyone else) to find/replace quickly enough.
* Does it use gearbox oil or engine oil? - This might seem like an unimportant question but dirt bikes usually make use of two different oils so that things don't mix together during riding causing damage.
Make sure whoever sold you the bike is aware that you need both types of oil and that they know where to get it from.
* How old are the spark plugs? - If these look very dirty then this might indicate a lack of maintenance or possible issues with performance etc..
* Is there evidence the bike has been dropped/taken off road before? - This isn't always an issue as bikes can bounce around without sustaining any damage but if their bodywork looks damaged, dented or misshapen (e.g., in unusual places) then we recommend steering clear until you've learnt more about what caused it!
* How easy would it be for them to change blades, brakes, etc.? - While kids' dirt bikes don't usually have too many parts on board it's important that they know how to change them if they break down. How much it will cost you for these parts and where you can get them from should be considered when buying second hand too with blades often being the most expensive part of a dirt bike!
* Examine the rear suspension, swing arm, and linkage - How are these working and is there any play in the linkage?
* How much suspension travel does it have (use a ruler to measure how far down the tyre has gone)? If you can't see clearly, spray some WD40 or similar on them.
* Check the front suspension - How is it working and how much travel does the front tyre have? How easy would this be to adjust?
* Is there any play in the steering head or swing arm bearings - How smooth are they when you turn/steer etc.?
* Does anything move freely (like all the bolts) without being loose i.e., if something on your bike doesn't work, will another part of it get damaged because that piece isn't secure anymore)?
* Check screws, nuts, and bolts for tightness - as these can become loose after lots of riding causing parts to fall off!
* Check engine compression - by pushing down hard with one hand on top of each cylinder while someone turns over the motor using a screwdriver inserted into the spark plug hole but do not touch the spark plug or screwdriver with your bare hands. - If it does not feel right then there is a problem and you should consider buying another dirt bike instead!
* Listen to the engine & shift through the gears - How is the engine sounding? How smooth are the gears when being shifted through?
* Finally, avoid bikes that are difficult to start - as this might indicate other underlying issues e.g., problems with the carbs/exhaust, etc.
If possible, test ride - This isn't always an option but if it is then you should take advantage of it and check how well your child's dirt bike performs at high speeds.
* How easy/hard would it be for them to control this bike on a track or similar e.g., on their own in low-speed conditions such as mud, etc.?
* How much noise does it make - under different riding styles (e.g., accelerating, braking)?
* How long will they need to change gear i.e., can they easily find neutral while going slowly around corners without struggling?
* And finally...is there enough power here for your child's skill level and size?!
A person doesn't need to be 18 years or older to ride a dirt bike. There is no statutory age limitation for off-roading in the UK, and there are many benefits of starting as early as possible.
In some cases, the minimum age requirement may vary depending on the type of vehicle they're planning on using (i.e., motocross vs. all-terrain vehicles).