When it comes to dirt biking, there are a lot of considerations to think about when buying, especially if its your first purchase.
If you’re buying a dirt bike for your teenager, then there’s a chance you’ve already owned a dirt bike and you’re upgrading.
That means you probably also know a thing or two about dirt bikes – great!
However, if this is your first purchase of a dirt bike sized specifically for teens, then we think you will find this review of the 5 Best Teen Dirt Bikes very useful indeed.
Table of Contents
- Size Matters
- Power and Responsibility
- What Are The Different Types Of Dirt Bike?
- Motocross Bikes
- Dual Sport
- Enduro Bike
- Trail Bike
- Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike For Your Teen
- Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Experience
- Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Height
- Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Weight
- How Fast Is A 125cc Dirt Bike?
- How Fast Is A 450cc Dirt Bike?
- 5 Best Teen Dirt Bikes for 2020
- Razor MX350
- Kuberg 2016 Freerider
- Razor SX500 McGrath Dirt Rocket
- Razor MX500 Dirt Rocket
- Razor MX650 Rocket
Alright, let’s go!
You see, the thing about dirt bikes is that the manufacturers can only do so much to target their bikes to be age appropriate.
For example, some teens are bigger than others. This is one of the main things that make a dirt bike either suitable or not for your teenage son or daughter.
Dirt bikes for teens are a little bit larger than those for younger kids, and so that is one big factor to consider when buying.
You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bike that’s too small for your big teen, or a bike that’s too big for your small teen. We will be discussing this more when we talk about the specific bikes.
Power And Responsibility
Another big consideration to think about is how much power the bike is going to provide. Is it going to be enough? Some teen riders have been riding for years, while others are just starting.
Knowing a thing or two about how much power your teen can handle, depending on their experience level, is crucial.
Dirt bikes that are designed for teenagers are generally bigger and badder than those that are for little kids, and so if your young rider is new to dirt biking, you’ll want to think about this as well.
What Are The Different Types Of Dirt Bike?
These are the notable types of dirt bike to watch out for:
A motocross bike is made for competition and designed for speed. For this reason, it may not be the first choice for a younger teen.
These are bikes that go on dirt or pavement terrain and have either two or four stroke engines.
We would recommend going to an established class for tuition in motocross bikes, as it is something that takes some skill. This is very much not the first bike of choice for a beginner!
For a teen just looking to start out with dirt bikes, we would steer away from a motocross and more toward something far less powerful.
If you are ready for a motocross bike, then check out brands such as Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki.
This is a sort of enduro bike, which are, as the name implies, made for endurance.
A dual sport may be adapted to legal road use and frequently comprise mirrors, signals, lights etc and all the things required to make them roadworthy. All the same, they still may not be legal to ride on the street, so do check.
A dual sport can ride on asphalt, or rough ground. It will be a quieter and more smooth than a regular dirt bike.
While a dual sport is light enough for the tough terrain, they are still heavier than a motocross or enduro and aren’t really made with competitive use in mind.
Given the easier riding of a dual sport, they might make a good beginner vehicle, as the controls are easy to find and they balance relatively well.
Additionally, they are usually less expensive than some other kinds of dirt bike.
An enduro is rather like a motocross bike to look at, but designed for longer distance racing, that mix both off-roading with the pavement.
An enduro bike has headlights, signals, silencers and mirrors. Unlike some other types of dirt bike it has a light frame.
These are principally a racing and competitive bike and not really suited to transportation and general travel purposes – they won’t be a comfy ride for the long haul!
This kind of bike is an off-roader. It doesn’t come with a horn, or lights or anything else required for road riding.
These bikes have chunky, large tires and carry their engine up high, so that difficult, bumpy terrain cannot damage it.
Trail bikes aren’t as powerful or as heavy as a motocross bike (see above). They also don’t achieve the same speeds as some other kinds of dirt bike. This might make them a good starting point for your teen, especially those on the younger age spectrum.
Check out makes such as Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda for some prime examples of trail bikes.
A minibike is by definition a shrunk down version of a motorcycle – but there is so much more to them than this. For a start off, minibikes spawn a whole subsection of varieties, which include;
A pit bike is a little scooter and resembles a motocross bike. These can be ridden in a go cart track.
These bikes are designed for pit racing and often suit children. They differ from trad dirt bikes because they aren’t made for the road or tough off-road conditions.
Also known as a minimoto, a pocket bike looks like a sport bike and is usually under half a meter in height.
It can have a two stroke engine with horsepower of 4.5-6, or a four stroke one of 110cc power. Their top speed is around 40 mph.
The minimum age is 13 years, and the top weight is 160 lbs – so this may not be suitable for all teens. However, many parents do get pocket bikes for their kids.
The thing to consider is the child’s height and weight, as well as their individual experience level.
You need to seriously decide if your kid is up to riding something as powerful as this.
Above all, stay safe with whatever choice you make, and remember, they do take practice!
Midi Motos/ Super Pockets
Sometimes known as super pockets, these are similar to a pocket bike, but bigger.
Essentially, a midi moto is a miniature version of the bike it is modeled on, and quite often has a Honda engine.
A quad bike is a type of dirt bike and also a subset of minibikes. These are four wheeled off-roaders.
Don’t be fooled into thinking quad bikes are more safe, just because they aren’t as fast as a regular bike. Although they are slower than a motorbike, and despite their four wheels giving greater stability, they are still dogged by a poor safety record.
Quad bikes may be designed for use over a variety of terrain, which includes roads, but unfortunately they aren’t street legal in most of the U.S. or Canada.
And as for being the first choice of bike for a teen; definitely not! In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend their use for under 16s.
If you are planning on getting a quad bike for an older teen, we advise you be aware of both the severity and the ratio of accidents on these vehicles.
This is also a scaled down version of a motorbike. Choppers are made from a 1 inch steel tube or pipe that’s welded to match the outline of the original.
The engines on these bikes varies massively, but a Briggs and Stratton is commonplace.
These are often custom built bikes, utilizing big pneumatic tires at the back and moped or push bike wheels on the front.
Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike For Your Teen
As you may imagine, picking out the right sized bike for a teen can quickly turn into a nightmare of conflicting choices and competing brands.
There are so many considerations to be made when choosing a dirt bike – for anyone – let alone a teen. Here are some of the things to bear in mind;
Their maturity, their ability level, their height and their weight.
The first is possibly the hardest to gauge correctly, but as a parent you have to ask yourself seriously if they are ready for this yet.
The next thing to consider is their experience, this means knowing what they can already do and what they haven’t tried yet.
Then we come to the last two, their height and weight, these should be relatively easy to know, so make sure they always try out a bike in person for the best fit.
As only you really know the maturity level of your dirt biking teen, we will skip over the first category and go straight onto their skill level.
Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Experience
When it comes to assessing the type of dirt bike to buy, experience counts – in some ways more than age does. Even if you’re fifty, it is important to be aware of your ability level.
The same of course applies to a teen getting their first bike. So, firstly, you also need to think about their age and height together.
If your kid is still a tween, rather than a teen (i.e. below ten years of age and/or less than 5 feet) then you are looking at something sub a 110cc. You should also consider an automatic clutch and three speed transmissions, to ease your kid in gently to being on two wheels.
However, for someone with more experience (and height!) then you will want to go for something which is taller, but still moderate in power.
We would suggest staying under 250, for a larger teen who is a first timer. This will help acclimatize your teen to a dirt bike and get them used to using a clutch.
Only once they have mastered using a clutch can you move onto the next consideration, which is the size of the bike.
Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Height
Of course, one of the top considerations is the rider’s height. This is where it is crucial for your teen to try out the bikes before buying.
What you are looking for is their feet to touch the ground, from a forward position.
Check carefully the position of their feet from the seated position. If they are completely grounded then it may be the bike is too small.
Riding a bike which is too small could put strain on the suspension and this means really noticing going over bumps on the road!
But alternatively, if they can’t actually reach the ground, or only just manage to, then the bike is too big.
You need to check that your teen isn’t flat footed, when seated on the bike, but also that they aren’t struggling to touch the ground.
They need to be able to get their feet on the ground to steady and control the bike safely.
Choosing The Right Sized Dirt Bike By Weight
Don’t neglect the weight of the teen who will be riding the bike. So, if you’re not sure, now is the time to take a trip to the bathroom scales, to find out!
If your teen is younger, or very slim, then they want to start off slowly, with a bike that’s below 250cc; this is the category of bike that is recommended for riders under 150 pounds.
Especially if they are first timers, they will need the time to adjust to the size and weight of the bike, before progressing up to something more powerful.
We know that it may be tempting to steer an inexperienced teen towards a smaller bike, because it seems easier. But this is not a good idea because the excess weight will put undue strain on the suspension and ultimately affect the performance of the bike.
Whereas a lot of teens do learn to ride this way, because it easier to go faster without lots of practice, we would still advise caution!
For the bigger teen (above 150 pounds in weight) then you need a bike that is going to accommodate their size adequately. In terms of power, then look between the 250 and 450cc range.
Obviously, their weight is not the only consideration here, and experience level has a lot to do with it.
For example, we wouldn’t advise any beginner, no matter how big and strapping to leap right in on a 450cc!
For a basic rule of thumb, we have compiled a handy chart with some basic information regarding height and size of bike.
How fast is 125cc Dirt Bike ?
It might be easy to assume that a 125cc dirt bike is going to be a rather laid back affair – but this would be a big mistake!
With an average top speed of 45 mph we would say that this is still plenty fast enough when you’re talking about a novice teen. And, worryingly, some models will definitely exceed this.
As with everything, you will discover that the more you spend, the more you get and the more expensive dirt bikes are likely to go even faster. And as a basic pointer, a two stroke engine is usually going to hit higher speeds than a four stroke one.
Of course, your kid might be ecstatic at the prospect of going as fast as they can – but you are probably not. Here are some things to impress upon them!
Not For Speed!
The bottom line is that a dirt bike isn’t meant for speeding and boy racers. They are really designed for rough terrain and being able to handle bumps in the road.
Going fast may be fun, but your teen needs to know how to handle the bike first, and this means paying attention to the acceleration and the switch from slow to fast.
We would always advise beginners and teens to start off with a slower bike and concentrate on learning to bike properly. Then, when they have mastered the difficult trails and terrain may they be ready to speed up.
Remember, even a 125cc can get to its top speed in little more than 4 seconds – make sure your teen is equipped to deal with this level of acceleration.
Before choosing a bike with a higher top speed, try and put yourself in their place and ask yourself the question, what would I have done with this bike at their age!
125CC Dirt Bike Facts
- 125cc dirt bikes can achieve speeds of 37 to 60 mph on average.
- The highest recorded speed of a 125cc is 100 mph!
- Faster bikes may not be the best for rough terrain and obstacles.
- A faster bike needs a more skilled rider, who can control it properly.
- A 125cc bike can get to their top speed in just 4 seconds!
How Fast Is A 450CC Dirt Bike?
Your average 450cc 4 stroke dirt bike can get up to about 85+ mph. Of course this is dependent on the bike and the weight of the rider, the terrain and the engine stroke.
Even though a two stroke engine is generally faster than a four stroke one, when it comes to a 450cc, the four stroke engine is the fastest thing you can get. This is because they don’t really come in a two stroke engine at 450cc.
Why Weight Matters
Generally speaking, for each seven pounds gained or taken away, you lose or increase one horsepower. This should help you work out how weight affects your 450cc (or any dirt bike).
Some Tips To Lessen The Load
- Try swapping heavier screws and bolts with some lighter titanium ones. This will be more expensive, but gives an advantage in the end.
- Consider how full your gas tank is. To go faster means to sacrifice having a full tank. If you can get to where you are going with less, consider lighter top ups for a speedier ride.
- Swap the exhaust for a titanium one. Although like for like, aluminium is lighter, the design of a titanium exhaust is not the same. This is because titanium is stronger, and therefore a thinner depth can be used to make the exhaust.
- Think about the plastic on your bike. If it is heavy with them on, they can be changed for a more lightweight version. Try looking for racing plastics, to cut down on the weight.
So, now you are all clued up about dirt bikes, the next thing to do is to get into our review of the 5 Best Dirt Bikes For Teens in 2020!
#1 – Razor MX350 Electric Dirt Bike
Let’s start with this one – the Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket – because, first off, Razor is a company that literally dominates the dirt biking realm, with several models out on the market suitable for teens.
The Dirt Rocket is one of their bikes designed for ages 13+, but it is not the most intimidating bike you’ll see. It handles well and has large, knobby tires that keep it glued to the earth as you tear it up.
With the Dirt Rocket, they’re basically designed a bike that is ready to introduce your teenager to the exciting world of off-road biking.
As for size, the dimensions here are: 44 inch x 24.5 inch x 31 inch once it is assembled. It is not a huge bike, so if your teen is on the larger size, you’ll more than likely be needing something a bit bigger.
In terms of aesthetics, this bike is basically this bike is simply a scaled down version of a gas motocross bike, with an electric 350-watt motor that allows it to race up to 14 mph, so its no slouch.
Here, Razor has built the MX350 for pre-teens and teens who really enjoy an awesome version of an off-road dirt bike.
The Dirt Rocket, is a great performing electric dirt bike with an authentic dirt bike frame and beautiful styling.
Highly recommend this one!
Here’s a video demo of the MX350 Dirt Rocket just in case you want a sneak peek at the action.
#2 – Kuberg 2016 Freerider Electric Dirt Bike
If there was any doubt that the previous bike may not be quite enough for your teen rider, then the Kuberg 2016 Freerider should put those concerns to rest.
Not For Kids
This bad boy has 8 kW of pure power that provides extreme torque from start to top speed, getting you moving at a blinding clip within seconds.
Top speed here is roughly 34 mph, so you know this bike isn’t for kids, but rather for teens and adults
Even though this bike is clearly not for children, at only 79 pounds, the Kuberg 2016 Freerider is not bulky, and this helps with sustaining battery life, as this is an e-bike.
In fact, for its size, it is quite light, and actually perfect for trick biking because of the design of the bike.
Going along with that last point about being great for performing tricks and stunts, Kuberg puts an emphasis here with this bike on making it extremely responsive to the rider, and excellent when it comes to turns.
My 15-year-old nephew has had this very same dirt bike for over a year now, and tricks are what he loves to do best.
He’s a serious biker, and the Kuberg 2016 Freerider here has served him well.
MOTOR – 48V, Peak power >8kW
TOP SPEED – Approx. 34 mph (55 km/h)
RANGE – up to 1 hour
CHARGE TIME – 2.5 hours
BRAKES – Hardened 203 mm brake disks with sintered brake pads
FORKS – 180 mm Manitou Dorado Expert with air pump
SHOCK ABSORBER – DNM BURNER RB-RCP
WHEELBASE – 48.5” (123 cm)
SEAT HEIGHT – 34.5” (86 cm)
WEIGHT – 79 lbs (36 kg)
WIFI OPTION – set up and control your bike with our mobile app (WIFI adapter sold separately)
Here’s a quick look at the Kuberg 2016 Freerider in action!
If you are 160 pounds, it is estimated that you should get the full 1-hour runtime; I’m 180 myself (not a teen btw) and I get more like 45-50 minutes flat out.
It has massive torque, but the top speed for this bike with my weight is only about 36 miles per an hour.
If you had grown up riding professional trick bikes, this bike is great for off-road trail riding and jumps, like I said.
My nephew sure does some of that, from time to time, but mostly he would use it to commute to school or football practice. This bike definitely grabs people’s attention. I wish I had one like it when I was a high schooler!
Using This Bike On The Road
I also want to mention, lights aft and fore for night riding are critical. I also would like to recommend a rear light with an accelerometer, like a Lupine Rotlicht, so that cars driving behind you can see when you are braking (very important).
If I were you, I wouldn’t really want to be in traffic with this bike (I commute in the bike lane mostly) the bike lane or sidewalk should work just fine, though. As we know, sometimes it’s unavoidable.
#3 – Razor SX500 McGrath Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike
The Razor SX500 McGrath Dirt Rocket is comparable more to the first bike we looked at as it comes from the same basic line, but it is a bit bigger, with dimensions measuring: 24.5 x 36 x 56 inches, and is styled quite differently.
This bike can hold up to 175 lbs of rider, and it reaches a speed of 15 mph, so just a tad faster than the MX350.
Obviously, the style of this bike takes inspiration from none other than Jeremy McGrath, one of the best motocross riders to ever compete.
The SX500 is, in fact, designed after Jeremy’s bike. So, whether you are a fan or not, this bike still looks great and it is a big hit with young riders everywhere.
It has all of the specs your teenage dirt bike enthusiast could want, including high torque, large tires for an ultra-smooth ride, and great hill climbing ability thanks to maximum power transfer.
The SX500 also has a variable speed motor, and offers 40 minutes of constant usage.
- Other cool specs about the SX500 include:
- Twist grip acceleration control
- Spoked aluminum wheels
- Hand operated dual disc brakes
- 10 x 250 Supercros treaded pneumatic tires
- Adjustable riser handlebars
- Dual Suspension
… And more!
Take a closer look at the Razor SX500 in this video review here.
#4 – Razor MX500 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike
Surprise – another Razor bike has made our list! This time it is the Razor MX500. I purchased this for my 8-year-old, 75 pounds, 3rd grader for Christmas and he just LOVES it!!
He has literally done nothing but ride it since he got it, and I can’t blame him. It goes about 17 miles per hour when the battery is charged all the way, and the ride is pretty smooth on grass and pavement.
Like the box said, it is for teens ages 14 and up but I don’t see a child that age that would even ride something like this.
I guess it depends on the size of your kid. A bigger, heavier kid doesn’t make sense on this bike, to me. A smaller, younger kid? Sure!
The battery on the MX500 charges ok, but you have to charge it overnight or half way through the day to use it as the ride to charge ratio does suck, IMO. The vehicle is 100% smooth and quiet.
My son did have 1 wreck nothing major but he sure did bang it up a little. He hit a little ridge in the driveway he wasn’t going that fast either while making a turn and that bike didn’t get damage at all.
The bike weighs a tad over 100 pounds so it takes a lot out of a kid if not careful. Make sure your kid is wearing protective gear when riding at all times!
When it comes to assembling this bike together it’s pretty easy and simple, yet fast. This bike is definitely a solid choice, and so that’s why we’ve included it here.
Take a closer look at the Razor MX500 in action in the video review below to see if it suits your needs!
#5 – Razor MX650 Rocket Electric Motocross Bike
My cousin is totally obsessed with dirt bikes so my mother got her one for her 16th birthday.
Before the bike was given to her on the day of her birthday, I was the lucky one to assemble it and test ride it for stability and braking, as she was totally new to riding.
Like I said, I’m 180 pounds and believe it or not this bike took off, the torque level is 0-100. The MX650 has a 220 pound weight limit, by the way.
The suspension is unbelievable and braking is great. The throttle has variable speed per input, meaning you can give it a kick and it’ll only go a kick.
The 16-year-old loves to drive this thing full throttle and has no issues at all. She actually wanted this bike so she could do some trick riding, but she is still a long way off from being able to do that, as far as I’m concerned.
Basically, this is just another great dirt bike from Razor and for the record it is great for tricks (I can do a few myself).
Check out this trick riding video featuring the Razor MX650!
Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, please leave them underneath this article. Also, have fun, and be responsible out there!