Dirt biking is an excellent sport for 9-year-olds to enjoy. It makes them reconnect with nature while giving them an adrenaline rush that so many kids love.
For 9-year-olds, the first thing to do is to pick between two dirt bike categories: trail dirt bikes or motocross dirt bikes. This will depend on the type of terrain and the skill level of your child.
Trail Dirt Bikes
As aforementioned, it’s ideal to start with a trail dirt bike that has a semi-automatic or automatic transmission. This is easier to control and lessens the driving stress that your child might face. It’s also advisable to go for a bike with an air-cooled and 4-stroke engine. The 4-stroke engine is highly efficient in generating power to make the bike run.
It’s also ideal to go for a lowered bike with a seat height that will suit your child. Lower bikes are easier to control so that your child won’t easily topple over. These bikes also feel more stable and are generally safer.
It’s best to go for bike engines that you can modify to go slower so that your child can gradually get used to the feeling of riding a dirt bike. It’s also important to start off slowly when going over rough terrains. As such, the suspension of the bike should match the speed. Go for a bike with an adjustable suspension so that it can adapt to different riding conditions, from training to competitive dirt biking.
The only downside is that trail dirt bikes often have weak brakes so your child won’t come to a full stop when he needs to. It will take some practice to anticipate when to brake so that he can push it in advance.
Motocross Dirt Bikes
This is the best option if you wish to get your child into the world of competitive racing. Since motocross bikes are built for intense competitions, that means that they run faster and are harder to ride for kids. Only buy one of these if you’re sure that your child is experienced enough to handle it. If your child is already practicing dirt biking for years, then a motocross dirt bike is a nice upgrade.
Motocross dirt bikes for kids usually have 2-stroke engines. That means you still need to mix the 2-stroke oil and gas together before making it run. It’s important to mix the two fuel components together to provide sufficient lubrication to prevent engine damage. The fuel-to-oil ratios may vary from model to model so be sure to consult the manual.
Semi-Automatic Or Manual Clutch?
A semi-automatic model means that there’s no manual clutch. There are still gears that need to be shifted, but there’s no need for a clutch to engage or disengage. It’s highly recommended to go for a dirt bike with a semi-automatic transmission so that your child will have one less thing to think about. This is the better option for beginners because it’s easier and safer.
A manual clutch means that there’s a lever or clutch that one has to pull so as to activate the transmission. This helps the rider modulate the bike power to his liking. Naturally, more bike power means a higher speed level. This type of transmission is only recommended to seasoned bikers who are confident enough to drive the bike with a manual transmission. This is usually present among 2-stroke engines.
Other Things To Consider When Picking A Dirt Bike
Age 9 is when most kids who’ve been dirt biking for years start to develop a serious interest in the sport. This is when it’s ideal to invest in a sturdy model that they can use as a transitional bike from hobby riding to competitive racing. The factors to consider include the size of the bike, the engine, and the cost.
The correct bike size is important because it ensures your child’s riding safety and comfort. It should neither be too tall nor too short. The general rule is to bring your child to an actual bike shop and make him hop on different models. At least a third of his feet should touch the ground. His feet shouldn’t be too flat or on tiptoes. The correct seat height and wheel size that matches his height will help him stay balanced in case he topples over.
The engine size has two implications. A bigger engine means that your child will have to straddle a wider bike which may affect his ability to keep his balance. A bigger engine also means more power and higher speed, which may be something more than your child could handle. Make sure to purchase an engine size that actually matches your child’s skill level. Most beginner 9-year-olds start with a 50cc engine. They move up to 90cc or 110cc engines when they feel more confident. There’s no use investing in a bigger and oftentimes more expensive bike which could just put your child in danger.
This is a subjective factor to consider because expensive means different things for everyone. The best thing to do is to browse through different makes and models and compare each. Don’t pay for a costly bike with so many features that your child will be unable to maximize due to his lack of experience. It’s also important to remember that children grow up really fast. That means that they’ll update their bikes faster than you think, which means that you might need to swap out the bike you’ll buy in a year or two.
Best Trail Dirt Bikes For 9-Year-Olds
The seat height is 26.4 inches which suits most 9-year-olds. The 50cc engine is a good starting point. If your child is more skilled and confident in riding, then he can go for the 11occ engine.
This bike weighs around 159 lbs and it’s a manageable weight for children. It may feel too heavy at first, but with sufficient practice, it should feel comfortable. The weight is not that heavy that it will disable your child from getting the bike to its upright position when it topples over.
Another good advantage is that the gas tank is slightly larger than its counterparts on the market. It’s also four to eight pounds lighter so that your child can handle it effortlessly. On top of that, it has an electric kickstart which is ideal for beginners. The bike is also fully automatic and clutchless so it makes driving easier and more fun. The automatic transmission allows your child to fully focus on driving without compromising his safety on the road.
The low seat height that measures 26.8 inches is perfect for most kids. Even its whole aesthetic is something that your child will surely love. It comes in a lime green color with race-inspired bodyworks paired with a high-tensile steel frame.
It has a mid-size steel backbone-type frame that is compact, nimble, and comfortable to ride on. The low seat height also makes this a good pick for shorter riders.