Kids and dirt bikes.advice?

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jimbob37, Sep 19, 8:18am
Contemplating getting mr 8 a bike for Xmas. Advice on things to look for/avoid would be appreciated.

seadubya, Sep 19, 8:40am
Stick to the main brands, they hold their value and are easy to get parts for.
Get full armour, gloves, helmet, boots, pants etc so he doesn't get put off when he comes a cropper, because he will come a cropper.

tamarillo, Sep 19, 9:11pm
A visit to your local bike club kids day will help. See what kids ride, gear, and measure kids fever! If you think he or she will want to race at kids mx then that tells you type of bike needed.
Top brands only as they last and have resell power as kids grow up. Yamaha pw50 and 80 are very popular.
Assume you're going straight to two wheels.

bjmh, Sep 19, 9:28pm
I brought 2 Hondas new . a 50 . then a 70 . for 4 grandkids,they have all ridden and looked after these bikes,with a fair bit of prompting by me.I recently sold both bikes for good money,as they were still in good order.The g/kids have all out grown them,but had a ball.Don't be tempted to buy Chinese rubbish,as stated stick to a good brand.Also as stated,don't scrimp on safety gear.DON'T buy a quad.

tgray, Sep 19, 9:35pm
Now here's a thread just made for Kaz.

3tomany, Sep 19, 9:35pm
As others said do not be tempted by cheap unknown brands. Get safety gear as well. Honda would be my pick as they grow out of it fast so resale is very important. Honda have a kids club as well.

kazbanz, Sep 19, 9:52pm
Jimbob--I just typed a huge post and lil miss 3 pushed the esc button on my computer.
Please answer the following
1)has he had ANY riding experience.
2)how tall is he?
3)how competent is he on a bicycle?
4) is he leggy or long in the body?
heres a simple list for you
JR50,JR80 Yamaha
PW50,PW80 suzuki
DRZ70,DRZ110 Suzuki
KLX70 KLX110 Kawasaki.
XL100, Crf 50.80.110 Honda

brapbrap8, Sep 19, 10:08pm
Don't forget Yamaha TTR50, 90, 125 models, they are Yamahas more modern, 4 stroke kids bikes, often with electric start and things.

motorboy2011, Sep 19, 11:06pm
Whatever you get, go for one with a foot brake for the rear brake. When I was little I had a jr50, had the foot rear, my mates all had the rear brake on the handle bars (qr/pw50s?), took them longer to get used to a "normal" bigger bike when they moved up and would end up grabbing the clutch instead of hitting the rear brake.

kazbanz, Sep 19, 11:08pm
Two strokes
JR50,JR80 suzuki
PW50,PW80 Yamaha
KX50 Kawasaki
Four strokes
DRZ70,DRZ110 Suzuki
KLX70 KLX110 Kawasaki.
Crf 50.80.110 Honda
TTR50, 90, Yamahas

kazbanz, Sep 19, 11:43pm
A heads up--The small Kawasaki and Suzuki trail bikes are the same bike with different color plastics
So spec wise
Two strokes
Yamaha PW50 No gears so you ride it like a scooter.-brakes on handlebars like a pushbike. VERY small bike
Suzuki JR50, KX50 Kawasaki -Brakes in the "normal" motorcycle position.
They have neutral and one gear you shift down into but they otherwise are twist and go.SOME rare ones have had the second gear enabled so you have a 2 gear gearbox. For a small kid they are great as a starter bike.
Yamaha PW80-this is the bike I normally recommend. They have 3 gears and auto clutch (3. gears and neutral) even though they are a two stroke they have a very flat power delivery.Good size for a kid but dad at 80 ish kg can ride it.To start out with you put it in second gear and it will ride away flat and easy power. Once the lad has some confidence then put it into first and he will get a taste of a bit of decent acceleration. Then he moves into swapping cogs.
JR80 suzuki -This is a "real" motorcycle.5 speed gearbox and clutch
A fraction bigger than the PW80 but a fair bit harder to learn to ride.
You are learning clutch,gears etc rather than just to start with put it in gear and go.

Four strokes

DRZ70,DRZ110 Suzuki
KLX70 KLX110 Kawasaki.
Crf 50.80.110 Honda
TTR50, ,110 Yamahas
To be honest these all seem to have come out of the same factory.The only noticeable difference is cosmetics and physical size.They have a flat power delivery but are torquey. Good size for a kid but dad at 80 ish kg can ride them The 50's are physically a fair bit smaller.The variation really is that some have 4 and others have five speed gearboxes.
Im generalising here. They all have proven to be reliable bikes.
.To start out with you put it in second gear and it will ride away flat and easy power. Once the lad has some confidence then put it into first and he will get a taste of a bit of decent acceleration. Then he moves into swapping cogs.

sorry OP it kept timing out on me -My two suggestions--Yamaha PW80 and Suzuki DRZ110 (Kawasaki KLX110)

skiff1, Sep 19, 11:56pm
All real sensible advice.
1) Good safety gear, might cost more than the bike but it's worth it.
2) major brand bike, they work better, last longer and retain value.
3) steer clear of quads, kids learn to ride better, and even my girls will look down their nose at a boy who can't ride a two wheeler.
4) keep a bloody close eye on them, and if you are not compete tent or confident, find someone experienced to teach your kid. It's so much easier to learn good habits than to break bad ones.

Good luck!

3tomany, Sep 20, 12:46am
Purchase may not be able to be a secret as fitting the kid to the bike can be important so you may need to take the kid and try some on for size before purchase. a slightly oversized bike might be ok if the kid has some experience but if a complete armature then feet on the ground and not to much power will become important.

jimbob37, Sep 25, 5:19am
He's had very little motorbike experience. He rode a little rechargeable 2 wheeler, Razor, of a friends recently, up and down their cul de sac, and was fine.

He's very tall for his age. Just turned 8, and 150cm tall.

Very competent on a bicycle, has been riding no trainer wheels since 3 years old.

Yes, leggy - reminds me of a baby giraffe still learning to use his legs at times.

Thanks so much for all the advice and suggestions.
We would definitley not scrimp on the safety gear.
I have never ridden a motorbike in my life. My husband has, but not regularly.
We are not interested in quad bikes for him.
We live on a lifestyle block, so not necessarily interested in motorcross, but not ruling it out, but more just to have fun on riding around our block.

kazbanz, Sep 25, 7:02pm
Jimbo--you leave me with a quandary.
SIZE wise he would just about fit a DRZ125 small wheel or KLX125 small wheel
They are both REAL motorcycles -by that every control is standard for a bike regardless if its 100 or 1000cc.
But experience wise he just isn't ready. I don['t sopose you know anyone with a kids bike he can start out on?
Otherwise I'd put him on a DRZ110
I have to say too I take a different view on Quads than some on this forum. As a first riding experience a quad can be invaluable.
Getting the concept of throttle and brakes across to a kid over a couple of weekends is a good start. But that would be a case of borrowing a quad not buying one.--and a SMALL quad at that like a LT50 or LTZ50

Its a real pity you aren't this end of the country-"this fella I know" has a shed with a range of kids bikes in it

jimbob37, Sep 25, 10:38pm
Bugger. Wish we were a bit closer too! It really would be invaluable to try options out before buying. And I take your point on the quad, it's just not something I want to buy for him. We live on quite a slopey block. I'd rather he fell off a two-wheeler than a 4!

I might ask around. There are a few people around here with kids who have bikes that he could potentially have a go on.

mals69, Sep 25, 11:01pm
4 stroke honda - forget 2 stroke or mr 8 could
spend more time wishing he was riding - 4 stroke
so much more reliable ! - well that is my experience
over the decades between the two.

kazbanz, Sep 25, 11:18pm
nahh sorry mals-The PW80 and the JR80 are "old school" (not high strung two strokes and are pretty well bullet proof.
They also don't give two stroke type power delivery. flat and easy.

motorboy2011, Sep 25, 11:53pm
Same goes for the jr50, pw50, qr50. All are learners bikes, not race, very linier power.

kazbanz, Sep 26, 12:01am
yea mate--but looks like the young fella is way to tall for those.

motorboy2011, Sep 26, 12:04am
Ah click!

floscey, Sep 26, 12:05am
I got my 10 yo boy a Thumpstar jnr 90cc four stroke . 4 speed semi auto box . Goes great never had a problem with it .Good suspension and brakes and the big front wheel .Has electric or kick start .Dont waste your time with the junk 50cc 2 strokes .I got given a 50cc 2stroke .They are bad and poorly built and spent more time being fixed than being used and dont handle bumpy ground .

mals69, Sep 26, 12:38am
Yeah yeah cob - I'm talking laws of averages - nothing wrong with two strokes (don't own a kx500 for nothing) - trouble with the makes you mention is they are not number one under the sun :) email Clarkson he will tell you the most reliable vehicle in the world.

kazbanz, Sep 26, 1:06am
Sorry dude I genuinely don't understand what you are on about.
The Yamaha PW80 and the Suziki JR80 have a reputation for being bullet proof two strokes that run forever. Very much like in the "old days"
I wouldn't be surprised if the PW80 isn't the same engine as the old RX100 from the early 1980's
The Jr 80 engine has been around since the 1980's as the DS80

mals69, Sep 26, 1:50am
Where I was coming from is buy quality, the best make which IMHO is Honda. Most people I know have had better runs on average out of a four stroke (less temperamental). Take an XR80 any day over the JR80 and PW80 - your a car salesmen you know how it works with the best vehicles having higher resale value due to greater demand. Why have 2nd best when you can have the best ?