Dirt bike riding is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by your teen. It’s an excellent way to make them reconnect with nature and chase some adrenaline highs.
You can ensure your child’s safety and performance by picking the best dirt bike that’s suitable for his age. The best dirt bikes for a 14-year-old are Yamaha YZ125, Razor MX350. You can go for other models for as long as you consider factors like the child’s weight, height, and experience level.
The things to consider when choosing a dirt bike include its seat height, color, style, transmission system, starter system, engine type, wheel size, and price.
Guidelines For Choosing A Dirt Bike
At this age group, your child might transition from casual riding to professional and competitive riding. It’s recommended to purchase a dirt bike that has at least a hundred-cc engine. There are three main factors to consider when choosing.
This refers to the amount of suspension in the motorcycle. It also depends on the weight of your child. Their weight will directly influence the suspension of the motorcycle. If he weighs around a hundred and fifty pounds, then his motorcycle must have a 250-cc engine or less. This allows your child’s body to quickly adjust to the motorcycle. If your child is heavier than 150 pounds, then he’s better off with a 250cc to 400cc engine. These engines give the dirt bike enough suspension to traverse even the roughest of trails.
Your child’s height is a very important consideration because it dictates their comfort, safety, and overall skill level. The best way to determine your child’s comfort level and the suitable dirt bike height is to let him hop on the bike and ride it. His toes should be able to touch the floor. If he can ride with his feet flat on the ground or with knees bent, then the dirt bike is too small for him. If his toes can barely touch the ground, then it might be too big.
The best determiner is if your child can put about a third of his foot to the ground. They should neither flat nor on tiptoes to provide the best suspension to the bike. Any discomfort may cause your child to lose his balance while riding. The mismatch between the seat height and the leg length may put more weight on the bike’s suspensions, hence making it difficult to maneuver over every bump on the road.
There’s no fixed height for fourteen-year-olds. Some may be small for their age while others may be taller. As such, the best buying tip is to bring your child to a physical store to make him try out different models of varying seat heights.
This pertains to the skill level of your child. The bike you choose must match the skill level of your child so that they can maneuver it perfectly. For example, stick to beginner models with automatic transmission and automatic clutches before moving on to three-speed, manual models. It’s better to start with a 250cc engine if your child is a beginner, then graduate to 300cc to 400cc after some time.
As aforementioned, there’s no uniform height for fourteen-year-olds. Some may be taller or shorter than their age. Even their weight varies which means that there’s no fixed dirt bike recommendation for this age group. If your child is about 160 cm tall, then go for a dirt bike that has 83 to 92 cm seat height. This will still vary so the best tip is to bring your child to a store and try out different motorcycle models. For a more detailed guide, refer to the chart below:
5’ 2″ (157cm) – 31 to 35″ seat height
5’ 4″ (162cm) – 33 to 36″ seat height
5’ 6″ (167cm) – 34 to 37″ seat height
5’ 8″ (172cm) – 34 to 38″ seat height
5’ 10” (178cm) – 35 to 39″ seat height
6′ (182cm) or taller – 37.5″ or taller seat height
Color And Style
Like it or not, the aesthetics of the dirt bike still matters. This won’t have any practical or technical influence on the bike. This is more on the preference of your child. They’re more likely to love dirt bike riding if they can appreciate how their bike looks. This will also encourage them to train more and be more comfortable with their ride. Ask your child about his color and style preferences. Does he want something muted or flashy? This’ll prevent awkward arguments at the bike shop.
Dirt bikes from different price points have varying transmission systems. The most popular transmission system for dirt bikes for teenagers is the automatic transmission. It’s so much easier to control and it’s easier to shift between gears. There are also semiautomatic models with a centrifugal clutch for shifting gears. A manual transmission will be more challenging for a 14-year-old unless they are skilled enough. A dirt bike with an automatic transmission is the better option.
This refers to the mechanism that kickstarts the engine of the dirt bike. It’s best to go for electrical start engines as these are perfect for beginners. You can start the engine with a simple push of a button. It’s also easier to maintain. If you think your child is experienced enough and has the height and build for it, you may try a dirt bike with a kick-starter. This is more common among older models as newer ones have electrical starter engines.
There are two main types of bike engines: 2-stroke or 4-stroke. It’s better to go for 4-stroke engines because they deliver more power per rotation of the crankshafts. That also means that the acceleration is smoother and the rider will experience fewer jerking motions from the bike.
The bike’s wheel sizes matter because it dictates the comfort level of your child while riding. Smaller wheels make turning around bends and corners easier. They make the dirt bike feel lighter and more manageable. They’re also better to control over bumps on the road. However, if your child is a tall fourteen-year-old, then it’s better to go for models with bigger wheels because the bigger size adds to the seat height.
There’s no need to break the bank just to get a good quality dirt bike engine. There are plenty of models across different price points. Remember that more expensive bikes don’t automatically mean they’re better. There can be two models with the same features but may differ due to their brands or any other additional features.
Make sure to purchase a dirt bike with the correct features that will suit your child’s needs. It wouldn’t make sense to purchase an expensive bike loaded with features like GPS or luxury stereo when those won’t be actively used. Beginner dirt bikes should only cost two hundred to three hundred dollars. If your child is on a serious track, then it’s worth investing in a model that costs four hundred to six hundred dollars.
What Are Good Dirt Bikes For A 14-Year-Old?
The three best dirt bikes for a 14-year-old include Yamaha YZ125, Razor MX350, and Honda CRF230F.
This model is one of the best dirt bikes Yamaha has ever released. Its features are engineered to suit teenagers, particularly fourteen-year-olds. For starters, the seat height is 38.4 inches, perfect for taller teens. This is also a lightweight model that weighs only 207 pounds, perfectly manageable by fourteen-year-olds. The engine is small and compact yet powerful. It’s a two-stroke engine with six different transmission speeds so this is better for more experienced riders. There’s also an eight-liter fuel tank to power short rides.
The brake system is likewise impressive and powerful. The front brakes are 270mm hydraulic disk while the rear brakes are 245mm hydraulic disc. These brakes can effectively bring the bike to a standstill. Additionally, they offer excellent control over the bike.
Even the design of this model is impressive. The entire unit is made of high-quality materials with a durable yet lightweight aluminum frame. The surface is durable and comes with a scratch-resistant coating. Your child can use this on the roughest of trails and even let it fall over multiple times but you’d find that it can perfectly resist physical damages. It comes in blue and white colors.
This is an excellent dirt bike option for teenagers. Go for this if you want a bike with menacing, large, and impressive features. The maximum speed is 14mph. The tires have large and pneumatic features that make this bike perform well over the roughest of terrains. This has a hundred and forty-pound weight capacity. It’s the best option for the smaller fourteen-year-olds.
This bike is very easy to control, thus making it perfect for beginner teens. The throttle can be controlled by the twist grip throttle control module. There’s also a hand-operated rear brake for stopping.
Like most dirt bike toys, this comes with a 24V battery that is made up of two 12V batteries. The batteries are lead-acid rechargeable so you can reuse it as many times as possible. The initial charge should last up to twelve hours, but it dips to thirty minutes to an hour of usage after the battery has settled in. You charge the bike for ten to twelve hours. While this feels too troublesome to have to charge a bike that your child can only use for about an hour, you don’t have to worry because this actually has low energy consumption levels.
This is a good choice for lightweight kids who are only starting. It won’t fare well in serious tracks because of its weak battery and limited performance, but it’s the best option if your child just wishes to explore the world of dirt bike riding. This bike won’t break the bank while giving your child a premium riding experience.
The Honda CRF230F is the next generation following the XR200. There are a few cosmetic and insidious changes that make this the better option that’s more suitable for a fourteen-year-old. The main feature that makes this a remarkable bike is the powerful engine. It runs smooth and is torque-based, perfect for teens. Even the power delivery is forgiving. The power dies off after 8K rpm so you can’t rev this high. The engine also has different engine mods, like a high compression, a modified flywheel, and a sizeable bore kit. There are also carburetor jets that you can modify with aftermarket kits so that the fuel offtake is at pat with your child’s preferences and skill levels.
The biggest downside is the stock rear shock. It’s very soft with very slow damping. That’s why the rider will experience some bucking when going over humps at a fast speed. It also negatively impacts the performance of the bike over rough terrain. This is forgivable if the bike is going to be used by a beginner with tame riding habits. However, lower your expectations if you intend to use this for rough riding, which is the bulk of dirt bike riding.
This bike has excellent suspension. It’s perfectly capable of being controlled to make corners and turns. The suspension is all about the basic bike geometry, and its physical attributes certainly helped. It has full-sized wheels but a low seat height so this is good for shorter fourteen-year-olds. The lower seat also creates a low center of gravity which makes this bike excellent for cornering and making turns.