Dirt biking is beneficial for 13-year-olds because they get to reconnect with nature, learn crucial skills, and remain physically active. These benefits will only be achieved if he gets the proper dirt bike that will allow him to ride comfortably.
When purchasing a dirt bike for a 13-year-old, it’s important to consider the engine type, transmission system, and starter system. The bike size should match your child’s features. The top three recommended dirt bikes for 13-year-olds include Say Yeah Dirt Bike Electric, XtremepowerUS 2-Stroke Gas Mini Pocket Bike, and Honda CRF125F.
Things To Consider
There are two main types of engines in dirt bikes for kids: 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. A 2-stroke engine is popularly used among different motorcycle models because of its efficiency in creating power. It delivers power in every revolution of the crankshaft whereas the 4-stroke engine needs two revolutions. The only downside is that 2-stroke engines may be overwhelmingly strong for kids. They also need strict maintenance to prevent damage.
A 4-stroke engine is more suitable for 13-year-olds because of the manageable and reliable power. It is less likely to cause stalling. It’s also easier to maintain.
Manufacturers found ways to give a good riding experience regardless of the engine type so it’s important tp evaluate each model on a case-to-case basis.
There are two main types of transmission systems: automatic and manual transmission. The automatic transmission system is better for beginners because it provides effortless shifting between gears. Conversely, a manual transmission system is harder to operate because it involves using a clutch just to shift between gears. This may be distracting for beginner riders.
There’s nothing wrong with going for a manual transmission for as long as you train your child consistently until you feel confident enough that he can handle it. Another option is to go for the middle ground option which is the semiautomatic transmission. This means that the clutch is centrifugal. You only need to shift between gears and the system does the rest.
Beginner dirt bikers will be safer with an electric starter system. That’s because they can start the entire bike with just a push of a button. There are other models that have kick-starters but those are more challenging because they require a lot of force and weight just to get the engine warmed up. The downside is that you’ll need to always be there to help your child start the bike. Age also plays a huge factor in this. Little kids from ages six to ten may be unable to start it for themselves. Ages eleven and up may be capable but will need supervision. If you want convenience and ease of use, pick a model with an electric starter.
Sizing Of Dirt Bikes
Size is very important because it dictates the comfort level and safety of your child. It may be tempting to purchase a huge bike thinking that he’ll just grow into it, but you’ll end up jeopardizing his safety since he can’t comfortably maneuver the bike.
Engine Size Displacement
This refers to the gas capacity of the engine. Most kids start with 50cc engines then work their way up when they feel more confident. For 13-year-olds, this can reach up to 125cc bikes.
A 125cc bike should only be reserved for skilled riders. You can still invest in one for as long as you place a speed limiter if your child is a beginner. This limits the maximum speed so that your child won’t accidentally power it up beyond the manageable degree.
A powerful engine is also great because it can handle different terrains, from rough trails to uphill pathways. Any other smaller engine won’t be as competent in a sense that your child can only use them on mellow off-road trails. Another possible downside is that larger engines mean a bigger engine to straddle, which might affect the rider’s ability to reach the ground to keep his balance.
Different models have varying seat heights and you can definitely one that suits your child. It’s not just about matching your child’s height to any bike. His legs’ length is different from his torso length. Since the leg length is the primary basis for the seat height, his entire height won’t give you a definitive answer as to which bike you should pick.
The best tip is to bring your child to an actual bike shop and make him hop on different models. Check his feet and see if he can comfortably reach the ground which will help him maintain his balance. His feet should neither be on tiptoes nor fully flat on the floor. Take your time in looking through the options. Check his other body parts like if he can comfortably reach the handlebars or if he is leaning too deeply. Check if his knees get so bent whenever he places his feet on the foot pegs.
Electric Dirt Bikes Versus Gas Dirt Bikes
This is the main debate when selecting a dirt bike for your kid. Electric dirt bikes are deemed to be better because of the “cleaner” emissions. They don’t involve the combustion of fuel which means that you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes and carbon build-up. It’s better for your child’s health and for the environment.
Electric dirt bikes are also popular because of their cost-efficiency. There’s no need to purchase fuel because oftentimes, you just plug it in a wall socket to charge. They’re also so much easier to maintain since you don’t have to get rid of dirt, dust, and chemical build-up that lead to corrosion.
The only downside among electric dirt bikes is that they don’t last as long as gas dirt bikes. They’re also more expensive. Some parents rationalize this by saying that the expensive price tag is reasonable because you don’t have to purchase fuel anyway. The short lifespan is also acceptable because children grow up really fast. Your child might outgrow his dirt bike sooner than you expect.
Best Dirt Bikes For 13-Year-Olds
Say Yeah Dirt Bike Electric
Is your 13-year-old a beginner? Then this is a good bike to start with. It’s a scaled-down electric dirt bike with a reliable off-road performance. It has three-speed transmission so that your child can pick the correct speed setting for every trail, from practice sessions to serious off-roading trails. It also has a throttle limiter to prevent over speeding and accidents. It allows moderate accelerations to make the bike run according to your child’s skills.
There’s also a key lock so that your child won’t be able to operate the bike without supervision and to minimize chances of bike theft. This bike is simple yet carries all the necessary features to introduce the basic concepts of dirt biking to your child, from keeping his balance to making turns around corners.
XtremepowerUS 2-Stroke Gas Mini Pocket Bike
This bike is another great introductory bike for your child. It is stable and fast without being too dangerous. The entire thing mimics adult bikes in terms of the design. It has a badass look with the knobby tires and elevated seat with good suspension. The grip is very good and comfortable to allow your child to maneuver it with ease.
The 2-stroke engine is very efficient in energy generation so that your child won’t experience any stalling. It’s also very environmentally-friendly so you can rest easy knowing that you picked a green choice. The front and back suspensions allow this bike to conquer the roughest trails smoothly. There are also front and rear brakes that immediately stop the bike when necessary.
This is a legitimate dirt bike model that has a roaring, powerful engine to give a thrilling ride. The 125cc engine is definitely for experienced kids but you can just add a speed limiter to make sure he doesn’t overspeed. The bike has a lower ground clearance to suit shorter riders. The best feature is the presence of both an electric starter and a kick-starter so that you can activate it in whichever way you want.
This bike has a single-cylinder, 4-stroke, and air-cooled engine that generates reliable power. It weighs a total of 194 lbs with a seat height of 29.1 inches. The only downside is that this is one of the more expensive options in the market, but it’s a good investment piece if your child is serious about taking his dirt biking to the next level.