Low compression on your dirt bike is one of those things that is relatively inevitable. Whether your engine is a two-stroke or a four-stroke, its compression will eventually run low and will require your attention.
In a two-stroke dirt bike engine, the likeliest cause for low compression is worn pistons or rings. A four-stroke engine also has piston rings that need to be replaced regularly. However, the latter can also experience worn intake or exhaust valves, leading to low engine compression.
As is the case with most dirt bike questions, there is a lot of detail that goes into these common problems, and the more you understand about the machines, the more capable you will be at solving issues before they happen.
How to Tell If My Dirt Bike Has Low Compression
Low engine compression is the number one reason for dirt bikes working perfectly one day and struggling the next. Fortunately, there are many symptoms that indicate that your engine is in need of attention. In the case of a two-stroke dirt bike, you may notice any of the following signs that indicate your engine compression is low.
It becomes difficult to start
The kick-starter is too easy to kick over
Your dirt bike feels lower power than usual
Your spark plug is fouling
Your dirt bike won’t idle well
If you have a four-stroke dirt bike, many of the symptoms will be similar to the two-stroke variety, but with a few notable differences. You can expect to see any of the above, but with the following added to the list.
Dirt bike backfires or pops when decelerating
Complete loss of power
Runs very roughly
The only benefit of low engine compression is that it is easy to identify, thanks to these extremely obvious symptoms. Once you find your dirt bike showing any of the above signs of low compression, it’s time to get it tested.
How to Test Your Engine Compression?
Completing a compression test is reasonably straightforward, but there are a few variables to be aware of before starting. There are actually two ways to test an engine, warm or cold. The concept behind a compression test on a warm engine is that it will give you more accurate results because the machine will be closer to its average operating temperature.
While this has the benefit of accuracy due to the thermal expansion of the piston, cylinder, and rings being more representative of your engine when it’s running, it can be challenging to replicate this when testing. There are a few steps that need to be completed to run the test, and your engine will inevitably cool down as you get prepared, so in the pursuit of accuracy, you may end up with more variable results.
Choosing to perform a cold compression test is much simpler. However, it is important to be aware that the resulting compression values that you get from your test on a cold engine will be lower than a warm one. While mechanics will go back and forth over which choice is better, repeatability is the key to successful testing, and a cold compression test is infinitely easier to duplicate.
Step-By-Step Two Stroke Compression Test
The first step is the simplest one, and that is to remove the seat from your bike. Note that some bikes will give you sufficient access to the engine that you won’t need to remove the seat, but consult your owner’s manual to determine if yours falls into that category.
Remove both the fuel tank and the radiator shrouds from your bike. If your bike has a petcock equipped, turn it off before removing the fuel line. For safety and cleanliness, catch any fuel draining from the line with a rag.
Next, you will need to remove the spark plug cap. However, before you remove the plug itself, use compressed air to blow dust and debris out of the plug cavity so that it can’t get inside your engine. After doing so, remove your spark plug.
At this point, you should install your compression tester into the spark plug hole and ensure that all of your fittings are tight to reduce the possibility of getting false readings.
You will then hold the throttle wide open and kick the bike over five times as quickly and as hard as you can. Then, confirm the number recorded on the compression tester.
Once you’ve recorded the value somewhere, reset the testing gauge, and repeat your test three to five times to ensure that your results are accurate.
Testing compression on a two-stroke dirt bike is not a very complicated process. As long as you follow these steps and confirm the details of your exact make and model of bike in your owner’s manual, you should be able to get consistent readings of your dirt bike’s compression.
It is worth noting that a four-stroke engine will also involve a compression relief system and will have a specific allowable compression range. Consult your owner’s manual to find this information, and if your test indicates low compression in your four-stroke engine, you should complete a leak down test to determine what components need replacing.
What Level of Compression Should My Dirt Bike Have?
Now that you have a recorded compression value, you will need to compare it to your dirt bike’s recommended minimum compression. As mentioned above, your owner’s manual will have a minimum PSI specification, but there are commonly upheld two-stroke PSI values that you can use as a guideline. Be aware that these numbers are not absolute for every dirt bike.
50cc engine – 120 PSI minimum
65cc engine – 120 PSI minimum
85cc engine – 130 PSI minimum
125cc engine – 140 PSI minimum
250cc engine – 170 PSI minimum
500cc engine – 140 PSI minimum
Along with various makes and models possessing individual minimum requirements, where you live may also make a difference. Suppose you run identical tests on a single dirt bike at sea level and again at a higher altitude. In that case, you will receive different values as the difference in air pressure will provide alternate conditions.
How to Fix Low Compression?
With all the information you’ve gleaned from your dirt bike’s compression test, you will be ready to fix the actual problem. In most two-stroke engines, the primary reason for low compression will be a worn top-end, which may require replacing the piston or perhaps just the piston rings. However, if your cylinder has worn out of specifications or has physical scratches on it, you may need to rehone or replate it.
If you have a four-stroke engine suffering from low compression, you may need to replace the valves, seals, and potentially a new timing chain to ensure its reliability. Whether this is a task for you or your local mechanic depends on your mechanical aptitude and familiarity with top-end rebuilds.
Don’t Let Compression Get You Down
While the signs of low engine compression can be dramatic and alarming if you are not familiar with it, taking the time to understand your dirt bike’s engine will pay off in the long run. Even if you aren’t mechanically inclined, identifying problems with your machine before they get serious can save you time and money by preventing them from getting worse.
At the end of the day, knowing more about your bike will make maintaining it more straightforward and ensure that you spend less time worrying about what might be wrong and more time back out on the track!
Getting a title and registration for an off-road vehicle is one of the first things an owner should do after the acquisition. However, US states have different processes for titling and registering such vehicles. So, the question is: how can you register your off-road vehicle in your state and acquire the necessary documents for operating it?
The process for registering an off-road vehicle varies in each state. In fact, there are even some states that don’t require the title and registration of ORVs in their jurisdiction. States also vary when it comes to certifying the registration, which includes stickers, decals, plates, and tags.
Responsible owners of off-road vehicles should have their machines titled and registered, especially now that it’s easier to have everything you need. We’ll discuss the processes you need to take in each state to register an ORV and get the necessary certification to ride your vehicle legally.
Registering an Off-Road Vehicle in Every US State
Generally, off-road vehicles (ORVs) can’t operate on paved roads. Additionally, no one can ride an untitled and unregistered ORV on public land. There are some exemptions to this rule because some states allow such vehicles’ operation even without registration. However, most states still require a permit to use it on public land designed for ORVs.
It varies from state to state, so we created a table for you to use as a reference in registering off-road vehicles and acquiring the necessary tags, plates, stickers, or permits to operate on public land legally. If you’re visiting another state, it would be best to acquire the necessary license even before you transport your vehicle.
Off-Road Vehicle Registration
Under Section 40-2A-7(a)(5), Code of Alabama 1975, owners can’t register off-road vehicles or have it titled unless they meet specific requirements. Operators aren’t required to possess a driver’s license or safety courses to operate an ORV.
The Division of Motor Vehicles states that off-road vehicles aren’t titled in Alaska, but owners may have their ORVs registered. Snow machines aren’t titled as well but must be registered unless it only operates on private property.
Under the Arkansas Statutes Title 27, all owners of off-road vehicles must register within 30 days after the acquisition. He should provide satisfactory proof of ownership or a bond that costs 1.5 times the ORV’s market value.
The OHV California State Parks requires all off-road vehicles to have the identification plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles or the “California Green Sticker.” Owners only need to register their vehicles once every two years.
The Colorado Parks & Wildlife requires all off-highway vehicles (OHV), including out-of-state vehicles, to be registered at any Colorado Parks & Wildlife office. The OHV permit is valid for one whole year and allows the owner to use it on any area designated for such vehicles.
The Department of Motor Vehicles requires all OHV to have the registration plate affixed to the vehicle’s rear section. Owners are also required to display their registration numbers on both sides of the front section.
The Division of Motor Vehicles requires all OHV to be registered by an owner at least 18 years of age or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The registration certificate for an off-road vehicle is valid for three years.
As of July 1, 2020, all OHV owners must purchase their permits through ReserveAmerica.com. After the purchase, you can take your receipt to an OHV forest office to claim your registration sticker.
The State of Georgia doesn’t register or title all off-road vehicles. Non-residents may operate their ORV for 30 days without registration, while visitors may operate for 90 days without registration, as long as it has a valid license plate from the home state.
Registration of off-road vehicles in Hawaii starts with the Application for Registration. The fee will depend on the registration personnel, and the owner needs to provide satisfactory proof of ownership to proceed.
Every ORV owner should visit their local Secretary of State Driver Services to apply for a title certificate. CyberDriveIllinois.com provides all the documentation needed for the registration and titling of off-road vehicles.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles handles all the registration and titling of OHV. You can visit a local BMV branch or visit their website to get full documentation on what you’ll need to register your OHV and acquire the necessary permits.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources provides detailed documentation of everything you need for titling and registration. All ORVs that the owner operates in public areas need to have a registration decal affixed to the front section. He should also have the registration certificate at all times.
In Kansas, ORVs are treated as motor vehicles that require titling and registration. 3-wheel ORVs are registered as motorcycles, while 4-wheel ORVs are registered as passenger cars. To register your vehicle, you can visit the website of the Department of Revenue.
All ORVs in Kentucky are required to be titled, but they are not registered. You’ll need a completed TC 96-182 form with an attached photo ID to start applying for the title certificate.
You will receive a registration decal within 30 days after acquiring your ORV. However, according to the 2015 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes Title 32, if you want a title and registration for your ORV, the state won’t honor your application unless you have satisfactory proof that you’ve paid all sales tax.
Owners of ORVs in Maryland should register their vehicles with the Department of Natural Resources annually. After the registration, you will receive a registration sticker that you need to affix to your ORV before riding it.
You can acquire the title for your ORV through the Michigan Secretary of State. However, if you’re planning to use your vehicle on public land, you need to acquire an ORV decal from the Department of Natural Resources and renew it annually.
The Department of Natural Resources handles all registration of off-road vehicles in the state. Registering and renewing should be done in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles.
All ORVs with decals or plates declaring that the vehicle meets the Federal Safety Standards must be registered and titled through the state’s Department of Revenue. Without these decals and plates, Mississippi considers it a “toy vehicle” that can’t be titled or registered.
Owners have 30 days to pay all sales tax and acquire a title for their ORV. The Department of Revenue handles all titling and registration processes. They’ll also penalize owners who failed to title and register their vehicles before the 31st day.
Residents must register their ORV at the County Treasurer’s office where the owner resides. Non-residents can purchase an annual Nonresident Temporary Use Permit that expires every December 31.
All off-road vehicles are required to have a Certificate of Title before the owner can use it legally. To apply, the owner must submit one of the documents listed in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website to the County Treasurer’s office.
The Nevada Off-Highway Vehicles Program manages all the registration and titling process for ORV owners. All off-road vehicles must be registered annually and have their registration decal affixed to the vehicle before operating on public land or designated areas.
ORV owners who are operating their vehicles outside their property should have it registered. New Hampshire Fish and Game manages the registration of ORVs and has provided detailed documentation on how you can register your vehicle.
The state doesn’t require owners to acquire a permit or license to operate an off-road vehicle. However, they should still have it registered, and the operator must adhere to the guidelines listed on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s website.
The state requires all owners to register their vehicles at any Motor Vehicle Division Field Office. Owners who want to operate their ORVs on paved roads should also have a valid Paved Road Use decal.
The Department of Motor Vehicles handles all titling and registration processes for ORVs that operate in the state. They’ve also provided detailed documentation on vehicles that fall under this category and the registration process.
The Department of Motor Vehicles processes all titles and registration for ORVs in their jurisdiction. However, the requirement to acquire the certification to operate depends on the type of vehicle you own.
All ORVs come with a 30-day temporary tag that allows the owner to use the vehicle on public land. However, owners should submit all the documents listed on the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicle before the temporary tag expires.
Vehicles should have operating permits (stickers) affixed to the front section before operating on public land. Anyone who owns an ORV can buy a permit on the State Parks’ online store.
The state’s Department of Conservation & Natural Resources requires all ORV vehicles to be titled and registered before anyone can use it. Even if the owner will only use it on his property, he still needs to acquire a Limited Registration certificate for his vehicle.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles requires all off-road vehicles to be titled before operating on public land. The owner must submit all the documents listed on their website to complete the titling application.
Not all ORVs qualify for a registration plate. You can refer to the Department of Revenue’s website for a list of vehicles that qualify for a plate, including the application’s processes.
The state categorizes ORVs as “unique vehicles,” and are required to be titled before they can operate on public land. However, vehicles designed for off-highway use aren’t eligible for registration. You can visit the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to check if yours fall into this category.
The Division of Motor Vehicles handles all ORV registrations. Before someone can operate, or even transport, an ORV on public land, the vehicle should have its OHV registration sticker affixed to it.
Registering an ORV for the first time should complete the entire Vermont Registration, Tax, and Title application. Once you have all the documents needed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a registration plate will be assigned and mailed to you.
Owners of new off-road vehicles that can displace more than 50cc should have their vehicles titled through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. However, owners aren’t required to have it registered, and they can still operate legally even without it.
The Washington State Department of Licensing has different registration and licensing processes for various off-road vehicles. You can refer to their website to make your ORV legal for on and off-road operation.
The state’s Division of Motor Vehicles handles the registration of ORVs with the exemption of vehicles used for farming, commercial use, and use within the property. They also have detailed documentation of everything that an owner needs to learn before riding an ORV.
The 2019 Wisconsin Act 183 expanded the models of ORVs eligible for registration. Before having it registered with the Department of Transportation, a vehicle should already have the registration decals and plate affixed to its rear and front sections.
To legally operate an ORV in state, the owner needs to purchase the ORV Permit from ReserveAmerica.com. You can also order one through phone or via their selling agents found on the Wyoming Parks website.
Using Permits, Tags, Plates, and Stickers Correctly
Despite the differences in the law that US states have regarding the registration and titling of off-road vehicles, some things remain the same, such as the application of permits, tags, plates, and stickers.
Almost every US state requires a registration plate to be affixed at the rear of the vehicle. Some of them will even acknowledge these plates and may exempt you from the need for a permit to operate. The registration plate includes the registration number and the state where the vehicle is registered.
Registration stickers and tags should always be at the front section of the vehicle and attached to both sides of the ORV. Some states will have these mailed to you, while others will require you to have your registration number printed and affixed to the vehicle using a reflective material. Some states even use this as a requirement before you can acquire a permit to operate on public land designed for off-road vehicles.
Again, different states may impose different laws for the operation of ORVs, but knowing how to use them properly will make it easier for you to get the necessary permits. A title and registration certificate won’t be enough for an operator to use the vehicle in many states. It still needs a sticker affixed to the ORV, which you can order online, as long as you have the necessary documents.
Responsible ORV owners should make it a point to have their vehicles titled and registered unless the state doesn’t require or allow such vehicles to be registered. It’s the first step to legally operating your ORV.
Although some dealers can provide you with a temporary tag that allows you to use the vehicle, it only gives you enough time to process all the documents needed for the title and registration. It would be best to start working on them as soon as you acquired your ORV because many states only give new vehicles a 30-day temporary permit.
Because women are generally smaller and lighter than men, finding an ideal dirt bike for women’s stature can be difficult. However, there are plenty of dirt bikes out there for women of all ages, ability levels, and heights.
The best dirt bikes for beginners are Honda CRF230F, Yamaha WR250R, or Kawasaki KLX140RL; HUSQVARNA TE300, Yamaha YZ125, or Kawasaki KLX230R for Intermediate riders; Honda CRF250F/CRF125F or Yamaha TT-R230 or teens; and Kawasaki KLX110/KLX140G, Yamaha TT-R125LE, or Suzuki DR-Z125L for short women.
This article will delve into some of the best dirt bikes for women depending on their experience level, age, and height. It will also go over some important dirt bike features for women to consider.
Best Beginner Dirt Bikes for Females
Beginner dirt bikes for women should have four stroke engines for a smoother ride, skid plates to protect the bike and electric starts for easier use.
This bike is great for average-sized women. The seat height is 34.6 inches (87.9 cm), so it is high enough off of the ground to feel comfortable going over bumps but not so high that it’s intimidating to ride.
It comes with an electric start, so beginners can easily turn it on. It also has a four stroke engine that is air-cooled, making it an incredibly smooth ride. The engine was designed to use minimal gas, allowing bikers to ride for longer.
Beginners can feel safe with this bike’s impact-resistant skid plate protecting the engine and its top of the line front disc brakes, which allow riders to stop at a moment’s notice.
In total, this bike weighs 249 lbs (112.9 kg). This weight includes all of the required equipment, fluids, and fuel necessary to ride it. Women should test out the bike’s weight to make sure they can pick it up if it were to topple over.
Youtube motorbike reviewer KDE Motorsports goes over the pros of this bike and why he recommends it for new riders. If you’d like to see his review, check out this video:
This bike is perfect for beginners who plan to spend most of their time off-road in the dirt. All of its features are perfect for hitting the old dusty trails.
The seat height of the Yamaha WR250R is 36.6 inches (93.0 cm), so it’s the perfect size for average to tall women in the 5’6″ (168 cm) to 5’11” (180 cm) range. It features adjustable suspension so riders can adjust their bike depending on the conditions of the trail.
This bike weighs 295 lbs (133.8 kg), which isn’t exactly light, so riders should test out this bike in the store before purchasing it to make sure they can handle the weight.
To see this bike in action, and to learn more about its features, check out this Youtube video by motorcycle rider and vlogger, Chaseontwowheels:
For women new to dirt biking, the Kawasaki KLX140L is a wonderful choice. This bike has an electric start, making it easy for newbies to use. It also has front and rear disc brakes, which will effectively stop the bike whenever the rider needs to.
Its five speed transmission with a manual clutch makes picking up speed easy. This bike also features an air-cooled four-stroke engine, which is ideal for new riders that want a bike that’s easy to maintain.
Its lightweight steel frame and wonderful suspension make this bike easy to maneuver for novice riders.
Its seat height is 31.5 inches (80.0 cm), which is perfect for petite to average-sized riders. It weighs 209.4 lb (95.0 kg), which is lighter than most dirt bikes, making it easy for beginners to handle.
Best Intermediate Dirt Bikes for Women
Intermediate riders can handle bikes with a little more power and speed. Some intermediate riders may want to try out a bike with a two stroke engine while others will prefer to stick with their four stroke.
This two stroke engine provides intermediate female riders with a high-powered engine, ready to give them a thrilling ride. It’s easy to use an electric starter that allows intermediate female bikers to simply get on their bike and go.
This bike’s seat is 37.4 inches (95.0 cm) tall and it weighs 234 lbs (106.2 kg), which is no small feat. As always, riders should test out this bike beforehand to make sure it feels comfortable and that it is suitable for their size and build.
The chromium molybdenum steel body of this bike was crafted with lasers and advanced welding techniques, ensuring top of the line quality. This frame geometry assures that riders will get great rider feedback, energy absorption, and stability. The body also features frame protectors, making this bike strong enough to last.
The HUSQVARNA TE300 offers a feature called map select switch. Basically, the user is able to toggle between two settings, which change the amount of power going to the bike. The first setting, called Map 1, provides full power, whereas Map 2 offers less power. The second setting allows riders to handle terrain that doesn’t have great traction.
The Yamaha YZ125 is a speedy bike with a two stroke engine. Two strokes are easier for intermediate riders to handle, and they provide them with a faster acceleration time and greater power, which are desirable features for more experienced riders.
This bike is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 207 lbs (93.9 kg) when it is fueled up. Its seat height is 38.4 inches (97.5 cm), which is tall for most women. However, intermediate riders should feel more comfortable with this additional height. Its six speed transmission provides bikers with more gear options and better acceleration.
One of the best things about this bike is its incredible powerful braking system. Its large front disc brake allows riders to quickly stop, thereby avoiding potential collisions. Another wonderful feature of the Yamaha YZ125 is that it is incredibly easy to rebuild. All riders need is a piston, gasket, and some rings to get this bike up and running after a blow out.
In the video posted below, Motocross Action Magazine reviews this bike and discusses how its balanced frame, low- to mid-range power delivery, and powerful two stroke engine make it a great ride:
Intermediate riders will love this fun dirt bike. With just one click of the electric starter, this bike will be ready to hit the trail.
The Kawasaki KLX230R provides riders with low to mid-range power. Intermediate riders will enjoy the control they feel over this bike.
This model offers long suspension and great ground clearance, so it can handle any number of terrains. Its seat height is 36.2 inches (91.9 cm), which is on the taller side, but intermediate bikers should be able to handle it.
This bike isn’t light at 253.6 lb (115.0 kg), but it tends to be a manageable weight for most female riders, especially for more experienced riders that don’t topple over too frequently.
The KLX230R’s engine and body were designed at the same time, making it a balanced and reliable ride. For intermediate riders looking for a dependable bike to take off-roading, the Kawasaki KLX230R is the ideal choice.
Best Dirt Bikes for Teenage Girls
Teenage girls typically need bikes that are fairly light, a reasonable seat height, and are safe. Many teens are still advancing their skills, so getting a bike that they’ll be able to progress with is key.
The Honda CRF250F is a wonderful bike for teenage girls. It comes with an electric start, which is perfect for riders who want to start their bike with ease. It weighs 265 lbs (120.2 kg) when it is fueled up, which is a heavy but manageable weight for teens. Its seat height is 34.8 inches (88.4 cm), making this bike the perfect height for average to tall teens.
Its soft seat and great suspension from the ground make this an amazingly comfortable ride, even over rough terrain.
One of the main things parents want for their daughter’s transportation is for it to be reliable. The 2021 Honda CRF250F lives up to this expectation with its durable four stroke fuel injected engine. This bike can withstand demanding climates, even cold weather and high altitudes. So, no matter where the girls are riding, the Honda CRF250F will be able to get them home safe and sound.
To see this bike in action, check out the video below by motocross rider MotoJake. MotoJake goes over his favorite things about the bike, including its five speed transmission, great handling, and its hassle-free maintenance:
This blue beauty will be any teenage girl’s dream. It comes with an electric start for ease of use. This bike is lighter than most of its competitors, weighing only 251 lbs (113.9 kg) when it is fueled up and ready to go.
The seat is 34.3 inches (87.1 cm) high, so it’s a great size for most teenagers (depending on their height). This bike also offers 11.6 inches (29.5 cm) of ground clearance, so it’ll be able to handle any bumps in the road. It is very comfortable, making the Yamaha TT-R 230 a joy to ride.
This bike is perfect for young teenage girls who are just starting out. This bike is also great for smaller teenagers since it has a short seat height of 30.9 inches (78.5 cm). Most teens should be able to handle this bike since it only weighs 199 lbs (90.3 kg).
This bike comes with an electric starter, four stroke engine, and a four speed transmission, which are great features for less experienced riders. Its suspension allows teens to comfortably glide over any terrain.
The Honda CRF125F Big Wheel comes with a 19-inch (48.3 cm) front wheel and a 16-inch (40.6 cm) back wheel, making this bike the ideal size for short to average-sized teens.
The steel frame on this bike is extremely durable, so even less experienced teen riders won’t be able to do too much damage to it.
Best Dirt Bikes for Short Women
For short women, finding a dirt bike that allows their feet to touch the ground can be a challenge. However, there are some child and adult-sized bikes perfect for women of shorter stature.
While this is technically a child’s bike, many adult women love riding it, especially if they are new to dirt biking.
The Kawasaki KLX110 seat is 26.8 inches (68.1 cm) off of the ground, making it the ideal size for short women since most will be able to put their feet fully on the ground.
This bike has an air-cooled four stroke engine, which is perfect for off-road riding. It also has a four speed transmission with an automatic clutch, providing riders with easy to use gears that are great for casual rides.
This sweet ride is not only functional but fashionable as well. Its sporty race-inspired look is perfect for female dirt bikers who want to ride in style.
This awesome dirt bike’s seat is only 33.9 inches (86.1 cm) off of the ground, which is a perfect height for shorter women. It’s a little bit taller than the KLX110, providing riders with better ground clearance.
This bike features an electric start, steel frame, and front and rear disc brakes.
Its four stroke air-cooled engine allows riders to maintain control over their bike. It was designed for trail riding with its 21-inch (53.3 cm) front and 18-inch (45.7 cm) back wheels.
The Kawasaki KLX140G is on the lighter side, weighing 218.2 lb (99.0 kg), so it’ll be easier for petite women to push or lift up their bike if it falls over during a ride.
This lime green bike features and style make this a desirable option for any short woman looking for a new ride.
The Yamaha TT-R125LE is perfect for shorter riders who are looking for a fun ride. Its seat is
31.7 inches (80.5 cm) off of the ground. Its seat has a low center of gravity, providing riders with great stability. While the seat is low, the bike still has 11 inches (27.9 cm) of ground clearance, permitting it to handle a wide variety of trail conditions.
The TT-R125LE features an air-cooled four stroke engine that provides petite women with all of the power they need for long trail rides.
It is relatively light, only weighing 198 lb (89.8 kg). While this bike is ideal for short women, it is also a great option for teenage girls because of its light frame.
The engine on the Yamaha TT-R125LE is very low maintenance. It is also easy to service since its filters are easily accessible, making this bike incredibly easy to care for.
The Yamaha TT-R125LE comes with a 19-inch (48.3 cm) front wheel and a 16-inch (40.6 cm) rear wheel, which helps riders achieve greater handling and steering control.
For riders with a smaller stature, the Suzuki DR-Z125L is an ideal ride.
Its seat height is only 32 inches (81.3 cm), so smaller women will have no trouble riding it. As an additional bonus, it only weighs 190 lbs (86.2 kg), so smaller women should be able to restore it to its upright position if it ever topples over.
Although this bike is small and lightweight, its adult-sized 19-inch (48.3 cm) and 16-inch (40.6 cm) wheels make it feel like its larger competitors.
The Suzuki DR-Z125L’s four stroke air-cooled engine offers low to mid-range power, which is ideal for off-roading. Its engine is turned on with a kick start, which is more challenging than the electric start but also more reliable.
Important Dirt Bike Features
Some of the most important features female riders need to consider before picking out their dirt bikes are how powerful the engines are, how the engines cool themselves, how the bikes turn on, the bike’s seat heights and weights, their prices, and the brands that make them.
Two Stroke vs. Four Stroke Engine
Two strokes and four strokes engines differ in the kind of ride they provide. Two strokes are speedy but unstable, whereas four strokes offer a smooth ride, but they are a little less powerful.
Two stroke and four stroke engines also require different types of fuel. Two strokes need a specific pre-mix of oil and gas, whereas four strokes run on regular ol’ gas from the pump.
Beginners typically want a bike with a four stroke engine since they are easier to control. Even more advanced riders sometimes prefer four strokes because they are more durable and fuel-efficient than two strokes. However, two strokes are lighter and easier to fix, so they are a great option for intermediate riders that can handle their power.
Liquid-Cooled vs. Air-Cooled Engine
Air-cooled engines only require airflow to cool off their internal mechanisms. Liquid cooled engines, on the other hand, need coolant and a water pump to get rid of any heat that has built up inside of the engine.
While liquid cooled engines are more effective at removing heat, they are also more difficult to maintain since there are multiple mechanisms involved in the cooling process that could potentially break.
Air-cooled engines are incredibly durable and are much easier to maintain. However, they require a constant flow of air to be cooled off, so they don’t work very well in bumper-to-bumper traffic, at stoplights, when the weather is hot, or other situations where there isn’t much airflow.
Liquid cooled engines tolerate warm weather and slow traffic extremely well, so they are ideal for bikes that are driven on the road or highway.
Most of the dirt bikes on this list will have air-cooled engines because they are great for outdoor trail bikes.
Electric Start vs. Kick Start
Electric start and kick start are two different methods to start the bike’s engine. If a bike has an electric start, riders simply have to push a button to get the bike up and running. Bikes with a kick start require the rider to kick a foot pedal several times to get the engine started.
While electric starts are easier, they are less reliable since their mechanical components are more likely to fail. Kick starts are more dependable, but they can be incredibly difficult to start, sometimes requiring multiple kicks before the engine will start up.
Seat height is an important factor for all riders, but especially women. Women are typically shorter than men, so they need to find a bike that is suited for their height.
Women should select a bike that is short enough to allow them to comfortably touch the ground with at least one foot. Being able to touch the ground is an important safety feature since it allows riders to prop their bikes up, preventing them from falling over every time they stop moving.
Listed below is a seat chart created by MX Hideout. This chart lists the ideal seat heights for riders, depending on their stature.
4’10”-5’0″ (147-152 cm)
27-30 inches (68.5-76 cm)
5’0″-5’2″ (152-157.5 cm)
29-31 inches (73.5-79 cm)
5’2″-5’4″ (157.5-162.5 cm)
30-33 inches (76-84 cm)
5’4″-5’6″ (162.5-168 cm)
33-35 inches (84-89 cm)
5’6″-5’8″ (168-173 cm)
34-36 inches (86-91.5 cm)
5’8″-5’11” (173-180 cm)
35-38 inches (89-96.5 cm)
6’0″ or taller (183+ cm)
37+ inches (94+ cm)
Female riders should select a bike with a manageable weight depending on their strength and stature. Dirt bikes, on average, weigh 215 lbs (98 kg), but there are many bikes on the market that weigh less or more than that. All women differ, so every rider will need to select a bike with a weight that works for her.
Riders should test out the bike they are considering purchasing in the store beforehand to make sure they can push it and pick it up if it topples over. If the bike is difficult for them to maneuver, they may not want to purchase it. It will be much harder for them to pick up a heavy bike on the trail when the ground is slippery or muddy than it will in the store parking lot.
According to Dirt Bikes 101, riders shouldn’t assume that smaller bikes will weigh less. Many off-road dirt bikes aren’t made with light materials like race bikes are, so even small ones can be very heavy. So, it is important to test out the weight of every bike, even the tiny ones.
Brand new dirt bikes typically cost between $8000-$10000. Some models cost less or more depending on the features and quality of the bike.
Some riders choose to purchase used dirt bikes for a lower price. The price of dirt bikes generally depreciates by approximately $1000 each year. So, a dirt bike that originally cost $8000 may be sold for around $4000 four years later.
Riders that choose to purchase a used bike should be prepared to perform repairs. Even if the bike was really well maintained, new owners will likely need to replace or fix some parts. Before purchasing a used bike, riders should make sure the repairs won’t cost as much as it would have cost to purchase a new bike.
Another thing to consider when deciding whether to buy new or used is the manufacturer’s warranty. Buyers only get this warranty if they buy a new bike. This warranty guarantees that the riders’ bikes will be fixed or replaced if they have any manufacturer related issues within the specific warranty time frame. Buyers won’t have this same assurance if they buy their bikes second hand.
Brand of the Bike
Some of the best dirt bike brands include Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and HUSQVARNA. All of these companies are leaders in the industry. They make top-notch bikes for riders at every experience level. This article will list some of the best dirt bikes from these companies for women.
Additional Useful Features
Women Riders Now, a motorcycle magazine for women, lists a couple of additional things female riders should be on the lookout for when they are selecting their bikes. They suggest finding a bike with hand guards, a skid plate, and headlights for added safety during outdoor trail rides.
The best bikes for women differ depending on their height, strength, and ability level.
For beginners, some of the best bikes are the Honda CRF230F, Yamaha WR250R, and the Kawasaki KLX140R L, which all feature four stroke engines.
Intermediate female riders will enjoy the HUSQVARNA TE300, 2020 Yamaha YZ125, and the 2020 Kawasaki KLX230R because of their powerful engines and wonderful features.
Teenage girls will like the 2020 Honda CRF250F, 2021 Yamaha TT-R 230, and the 2020 Honda CRF125F Big Wheel because of their reliability and ease of use.
Shorter women may enjoy the 2021 Kawasaki KLX110, 2021 Yamaha TT-R125LE, Kawasaki KLX140G, and the 2020 Suzuki DR-Z125L because of their small, lightweight frames and shorter seat heights.
Hopefully, this article helps you find the perfect bike.
Young people have always had a fascination with things that go fast, and dirt bikes are very much no exception. In recent years, more and more manufacturers have been switching towards making electric dirt bikes. But who is winning this arms race?
When choosing an electric dirt bike for your kid, make sure to get it from a trusted brand. Important things to consider include seat height, power, speed, brand, and safety features. You should always tailor which bike you buy to the specific needs of your child.
In this article, we will be discussing what kind of things you should think about when choosing an electric dirt bike for your kid, before comparing different makes and models to see who is making the best bikes on the market today. Let us begin!
Why Choose Electric?
Before we get into particular models of bike, it is worth looking more generally at the difference between petrol and electric bikes. There has been an explosion of new electric dirt bikes in recent years, and the reasons for choosing one over a bike with a traditional engine keep mounting! Here are a few reasons to choose electric:
This is perhaps the best reason to choose electric. Checking the tire pressure and adjusting the chain are just about the only bits of maintenance you need. With an electric bike, you no longer need to change the oils, spark plugs, or coolant. Plus, you no longer need to worry about the engine itself breaking down. If you are having a problem with the battery of an electric dirt bike, you can simply swap out the battery for a new one.
Lower Running Costs
Aside from not needing to change things like oil and coolant, which can be quite expensive, electric bikes are just generally cheaper to run. That is largely because you do not have to constantly fill them with petrol, which is becoming more and more expensive thanks to dwindling supplies and climate change legislation.
Another benefit of having no petrol is that you can lay the bike down on its side without worrying about petrol spilling all over your trunk.
Better for the Environment
In general, electric vehicles have a much smaller toll on the environment. According to the WHO, approximately 4.6 million people die from air pollution each year! A significant amount of that air pollution comes from the exhaust pipes of petrol vehicles. Plus, electric vehicles are responsible for far fewer CO2 emissions, which are the primary driver of climate change.
All in all, electric bikes are a big step up when it comes to environmental health.
Were you dreading having to kickstart your kid’s bike every few minutes? Electric dirt bikes have the advantage of starting at the simple flick of a switch. On top of that, electric motors can deploy all their power instantly rather than having to warm up to it like a petrol motor. That means acceleration is always going to be better on an electric bike.
Perhaps the biggest performance advantage (especially for parents) is that electric bikes make no noise.
What to Look for in a Dirt Bike for Kids
Now that we have hopefully convinced you of the merits of electric vehicles, let us move onto more general considerations about what to look for in a dirt bike for kids. One important point to make right at the beginning is that you should try to tailor the bike to your kids’ needs rather than just buying the best one on the market. That said, things like the build quality and safety features are also very important.
Here are a few things to think about:
The size of the bike is one of the most important things to consider before buying. Your kid should be able to rest their feet flat on the ground and be able to get on and off the bike with ease. If the bike is too tall, they will struggle to stay upright when they come to a stop. Too small and they will be hunched over and not develop proper riding techniques.
MudBike.com has created a handy table to help you decide what the right height is for your kid.
Another good tip is to get a bike that is nearly too big for your kid. So long as the seat/suspension can be adjusted to the right height, a bike that is nearly too big will stay with your kid for longer, since they will not grow out of it as quickly. Of course, be careful not to get one too big as this can be dangerous for the child.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning that the power the bike has available should be tailored to the age of the kid. A child of 5-7, for example, should not have a bike that is more than the equivalent of a 50cc engine. It is also worth noting that there are plenty of bikes available that have speed limiters, which means you can change a setting, then sit back and relax in the knowledge that the bike cannot reach dangerous speeds.
Choosing the Right Brand
One reason why you should think about the brand before buying a bike is that, in all likelihood, you will want to sell the bike in a few years. Not only will your kid get too big for the bike, at some point, they will become desperate for more power. The reputation of the brand, then, becomes an important factor in how much you will be able to get for the bike when the kid is done with it.
It will also, of course, impact the reliability and build quality of the bike.
Now that we have gotten the more general considerations out of the way, it is time to look at some specific brands and models to see how they compare. Remember, even if one of these bikes looks great, you have to make sure that it also suits the specific needs of the kid like their height, weight, experience level, and age. A great bike is no good if it is too small or, worse, too fast. Let us get stuck in!
While it is quite expensive, the SX-E 5 is one of the best electric dirt bikes on the market today. It has a throttle limiter with 6 different settings, which means that you can start your kid out slow, then gradually increase the available power as they become more comfortable with the ride. The height and shape of the bike can also be adjusted, with 6 different seat heights and adjustable handlebars.
This bike is in the 50cc category, which means it will be perfect for a child of around 4 to 7 years old. It is a very versatile design that will suit everyone from a beginner to the more advanced kids in the 50cc category. The SX-E 5 has a battery that can be charged from 0% to 80% in just 40 minutes, which will then last for between 25 minutes and 2 hours depending on how hard the bike is being ridden. That is a very competitive battery life!
Still in the 50cc equivalent range, this bike is significantly cheaper than the KTM, while still retaining excellent build quality. The first thing to say about this bike, however, is that the recommended age of 13 is simply misleading. Most reviews say that there is no way a 13-year-old would be small enough to fit on this bike. For a 4 to 10-year old, however, this is still a great bike.
The Dirt Rocket is essentially a perfectly scaled-down version of an adult motocross bike. While it may be a serious step down from the likes of the KTM SX-E 5, it is also approximately a tenth of the price. We all know that kids can move onto new things at the drop of a hat. If you are worried about that, maybe it is a better idea to buy something in this price range then move up to something more expensive if your kid takes to the sport.
This is another pretty top-of-the-range bike, despite being Husqvarna’s first ever electric dirt bike. While it will cost a fair bit more than the Razor, you will get what you paid for in terms of build quality, safety features, and durability. Like the SX-E 5, this bike comes with a power limiter so parents can decide what kind of speeds they want their kids to be able to reach.
This bike also has great adjustability. With a bit of work, you can set the seat height anywhere between 26.9 and 21.9 inches (68.3 and 55.6 cm). It will suit a child anywhere between about 4’ 2” and 4’ 8” tall. The EE 5 has a very similar range to the SX-E 5. Husqvarna claims that it will last up to 2 hours with a beginner in the saddle, although that drops to about 25 minutes in race conditions.
This one falls into a price range between the likes of the Husq and the KTM, coming in at around $800. One big issue with this bike is that there is no display, which means you do not know how much battery is left until you run out. One big plus, however, is that this is a fantastic-looking bike. Your kid will be so happy with how it looks, and they might not even notice that the range and speed are not the best.
The top speed is, however, adjustable. The absolute top speed is 15mph, but that can be limited to either 7mph or 4mph using a switch on the battery compartment.
It also has disk brakes, which have far superior performance to other types of brakes like rim or drum brakes. Disk brakes have better stopping power, do not heat the rims as much, have better traction, and can be used with any type of tire, which means you can change them without worrying.
No list of electric dirt bikes would be complete without an entry from OSET, who has been one of the leaders in the field for quite some time. The MKII is a sturdy, reliable bike for kids of about 8 and up. With an adjustable seat and handlebar height, however, your kid should be able to keep using it for years to come.
This bike has a super lightweight battery and a serious range. It can last up to 3 hours of aggressive off-roading, making it one of the longest-range bikes out there. It is also significantly cheaper than many other high-end bikes like the SX-E 5 or MX350, coming in at around $3,600.
Parents also have the option to adjust the speed, responsiveness, and power characteristics of the bike, so you can set the bike to be as powerful as you think is safe.
This is a really great bike, and it can be bought at a really great price. It is hard to go wrong with a bike which is available for just $499.95. The range on this bike is between 14 and 20 miles depending on the weight of the rider. It has 2 speed modes, one at 8mph and one at 17mph. That means it is great for a beginner, but it also has the option to be cranked up to a power level more suited to an experienced rider.
This bike, which is primarily aimed at teens, comes with both a lithium-ion battery and disc brakes, which translates to fast charging, high range, and all the benefits of disc brakes listed above. Many customers are very impressed with the handling and suspension too. Again, if you are looking for a solid starter bike that is not going to break the bank, you may have just found your man.
As the name might suggest, this is the MX350’s big brother. This one’s for older kids, although again, you can adjust the speed to something a bit more suited to younger kids. Like the Burromax, it has a top speed of 17mph. That does not, however, tell the whole story. At around double the price of the Burromax, this is a seriously well-built bike. Build quality is what you are really paying for when you choose Razor.
Another great feature of the MX650 is the sound. Despite its formidable power, this bike is as quiet as they come and can be driven even in a busy neighborhood. It also has large, knobby tires that are perfect for gripping loose dirt when you are off-roading. This is one of the best-rated electric dirt bikes out there. It is not too expensive, and it is guaranteed to be of great quality and do everything you need.
Safety Tips on Dirt Bikes
It can be a very difficult thing to accept that your kid wants to get into such an action-packed sport as dirt biking. It just looks dangerous. There have, however, been many advancements in the area of health and safety on dirt bikes in recent years. Plus, electric dirt bikes are generally safer than their petrol-powered cousins.
For one, there is no chance of the kid burning their leg on the hot exhaust pipe or engine. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your kid safe:
Your kid should always wear protective equipment, including helmets, goggles, gloves, boots, arm and leg pads, and long sleeve shirts.
Children of 15 or younger should never be left to drive a dirt bike unsupervised. It may be pretty safe already, but you can never be too careful.
It is a good idea to stay away from paved roads or tightly packed mud. These bikes are designed for off-roading. Plus, you do not want your child to take a tumble onto the pavement.
Dirt biking can be a very enjoyable activity for people of all ages. Not only do electric bikes make it safer, but they also make it cheaper and better for the environment. However, before you buy a bike, make sure that your kid is genuinely interested in the sport. You do not want to spend a few thousand dollars on a bike only to find out that your child is a ballet dancer at heart.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to decide which bike is best for your kid. Remember, it is very important to make sure that the bike is the right height for your kid, and that it runs at a speed which is safe for a child of that age.
Now you are ready to buy a bike and to bask in the never-ending enjoyment your kid will get from it. Enjoy!
Are you looking to buy a dirt bike for your child or teen? It can be hard to figure out which bike to get, including which size your child needs and what features you should be looking for.
The right size dirt bike for your child is one that lets you adjust the height, so the balls of his feet touch the ground. For an 8-10-year-old, get a 50-90cc dirt bike, a 90-110cc dirt bike for a 10-12-year-old, a 110-125cc dirt bike for a 12-14-year-old, and a 150-250cc bike for a 14-17-year-old.
If you would like to read the full youth dirt bike guide, which includes different size dirt bike options for your child and buying factors and tips, just keep scrolling.
What Size Dirt Bike for an 8-Year-Old
The average eight-year-old is only around 5’5” (128 cm) and weighs around 57 pounds (26 kg). As such, you should not get a large dirt bike for them. A 50cc dirt bike will be sufficient for many eight-year-old boys and girls, especially if they are beginners.
If your child is very small and is a true beginner, you may even want to consider getting a 25cc dirt bike, though that would be stretching it a little and probably unnecessary. A 25cc dirt bike is more suited for 3-6-year-olds.
Another option is getting a 70cc or an 80cc dirt bike. If you feel that a 50cc dirt bike is a little too small for your child and a 100-125cc dirt bike is too large or fast for your child’s level of experience, get a 70cc or 80cc bike.
This is not to say that an eight-year-old can not ride a larger cc dirt bike. They can, but it’s best if they do so after they gain a bit of experience. If your eight-year-old is very experienced with dirt biking, that’s a little different; in that case, a 100-125cc dirt bike will be fine.
As for height, it all depends on the height of your child. Usually, the correct seat height for an eight-year-old child will be between 22 inches (56 cm) and 26 inches (66 cm). You should adjust the seat, however, to fit your child. Their feet should be able to touch the floor when they are sitting on the seat, but they should not be able to put their feet flat on the floor.
If your child is a beginner, however, you should make the seat a little lower so they can place their entire feet flat on the floor. While this is not standard seat sizing for dirt biking, it can help your child feel more comfortable on the bike and keep themselves steady. If they cannot place both feet on the floor, they may end up hurting themselves due to not being able to stop their bike.
It should be noted that most 50cc dirt bikes have a seat height that is around 21 to 22 inches (53 to 56 cm). As such, if you get a 50cc dirt bike for your eight-year-old, you may have to actually raise the seat a little.
Get an automatic clutch. Gears are okay, but a manual clutch can confuse your child and lead to some dangerous situations. For example, they can accidentally release the clutch and stop power to the engine, throwing them off the bike.
The Honda CRF50 is a great dirt bike for eight-year-olds. The CRF is known as a great all-around dirt bike in general, and the 50cc version is no different. With a weight of just 104 pounds (47.2 kg) and a seat height of 21.6 inches (54.9 cm), it is perfect for eight-year-olds. Since the gears operate without any clutch interaction, it is a great bike to learn with.
Another great bike is the Yamaha TT-R50. It is small, you can control how much power is released by the throttle to protect your child’s safety, and there is no clutch interaction to confuse your child.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 9-Year-Old
Engine Size: For a nine-year-old kid, a 50cc dirt bike might be too small. Of course, this all depends on the child, but look for something a little bigger at that age. A 65cc, 70cc, or 80cc bike might be a better choice, and you could go up to 110cc depending on your child’s size and experience. For most nine-year-old beginners, though, a 65cc or a 70cc would be perfect.
Height: For a nine-year-old child, you will generally need a seat height that is between 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm) tall. Nine-year-old children are usually around two inches (5 cm) taller than eight-year-old children.
Clutch: An automatic clutch would still be recommended for a nine-year-old child. An exception would be if they are not beginners and already have a lot of experience with dirt biking, in which case a manual clutch would be okay.
Recommended Bike: The KTM65 SX is a great 65cc bike that is flashy and will inspire future dirt bike racers. It has the same orange and black style of larger KTMs, which will make your child feel really cool and awesome. The Kawasaki KX65 is also a great option, and it tends to be a little cheaper than the KTM.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 10-Year-Old
Engine Size: For a 10-year-old, a 65cc would be on the small size. Your 10-year-old is much better off with an 80cc, an 85cc, a 90cc, or even a 95cc. As before, you could go higher if your child is larger, taller, or more experienced, but the 80-95cc range is a good starting range for beginner 10-year-old dirt bikers.
Height: For the seat height, aim for between 26 to 30 inches (66 to 76 cm) of height off the ground. As before, this will depend on your child’s height, so adjust the seat height as needed.
Clutch: For a 10-year-old, an automatic clutch is still recommended. It is easier to learn with and safer.
Recommended Bikes: A good 80cc bike would be the Honda XR80R. It’s small but not too small, and it has a powerful four-stroke engine. You could also get the Honda XR 100cc version. These bikes may be hard to find, but there are plenty of other 80cc bikes out there as well.
What Size Dirt Bike for an 11-Year-Old
Engine Size: For an 11-year-old, you will need something with a little more power. An 80cc bike just won’t do it. Instead, opt for a 100cc or a 110cc bike. As always, go higher depending on your child’s size and experience.
Height: The seat should be between 26 and 32 inches (66 to 81 cm) off the ground. Again, this is just a general rule of thumb, as it all depends on your child’s height. In addition, it will depend on how long your child’s legs are.
Clutch: At this age, you can get a bike with a manual clutch. At 11 years old and up, children are mature enough to be able to ride a manual bike safely. Of course, you will have to give them extra training to help them handle manual bikes.
Recommended Bikes: There are plenty of great 110cc bikes that you can get for your 11-year-old. The Kawasaki KLX110cc is green and colorful, which is why many children like it. The seat height is a little low, but it can be adjusted. The Honda CRF110 is another great 110cc bike that is great for beginners. It has both an electric start and a kick-start, which makes it a lot easier to ride.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 12-Year-Old
Engine Size: Most 12-year-old children can handle a 125cc bike just fine. They might need a bit of practice to get used to it, and you will need to give them all the training they need, but there’s no reason they can’t ride a 125cc bike. If you are worried that it is too much for them, you can give them a 110cc bike instead. A 110cc bike will still fit most 12-year-olds, even if it is a little small.
Height: Your child might need anything between 26 inches and 33 inches (66 to 84 cm). Always ask your child to try out the bike first to see if they are comfortable. If they are too short, you will need to lower the seat. Alternatively, if they are too tall, their feet might snag on the ground while riding, so you will need to raise the seat height to prevent that.
Recommended Bikes: If your child wants something flashy, a KTM125 SX is a good option. KTM tends to be an expensive brand, so you can always go for a Honda or a Kawasaki if you are on a budget. The Honda XR 125cc is a decent-sized bike that is kind of small for adults but perfect for 12-year-olds and teens.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 13-Year-Old
Engine Size: While a 110cc dirt bike is okay, a 125cc dirt bike is definitely better. You could even go higher than that if your teen is experienced or tall.
Seat Height: Anything between 27 inches and 34 inches (69 to 86 cm) might be required. It is best to take your child’s height into account at this point rather than their age. There will be a size chart displayed further in this article.
Recommended Bike: The Honda XR 125cc is a great 125cc dirt bike that is powerful, smooth, and fun to ride.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 14-Year-Old
At this point, your teen might need a 150cc dirt bike. A 125cc dirt bike is still fine, but a 150cc bike will provide a little extra power. That little extra boost can make your teen’s dirt biking experience a lot more fun and engaging.
If you are looking for a 125cc bike, just get one of those bikes in the 125cc version: the Honda XR 125cc, the Honda CRF 125cc, or the Yamaha FZ 125cc.
A lot also will depend on availability in your area, but these bikes are commonly used all around the world.
What Size Dirt Bike for a 15 to 17-Year-Old
A 150cc dirt bike is still a good option, but if your teen is larger and more experienced, they could very well use a 200cc or even a 250cc dirt bike, which is already a full-sized adult bike. This will depend on availability in your area. In many countries, it is hard and very expensive to find bikes that are over 150cc.
There are plenty of options for 200cc and 250cc bikes.
The latter option can be used on-road as well, as dual sports are street-legal. As such, you can use it yourself when you need to ride, or your teen can use it if they have a junior motorcycle license.
Dirt Bike Size Chart
This size chart is courtesy of Dirt BikePlanet. Note that this chart is not perfect; there is no one size fits all. For example, someone with longer legs might need a higher seat than someone who is as tall as them but has shorter legs.
5’10” (178 cm)
35 to 39″ (88.9 to 99.1 cm)
5’8″ (172 cm)
34 to 38″ (86.4 to 96.5 cm)
5′ 6″ (167 cm)
34 to 37″ (86.4 to 94 cm)
5’4″ (162 cm)
33 to 36″ (83.8 to 91.4 cm)
5’2″ (157 cm)
31 to 35″ (78.7 to 88.9 cm)
The most important thing to remember is that the balls of the rider’s feet should touch the ground so they can stabilize themselves and stop the bike when necessary. However, the heels should be off the ground. Unlike with a street bike, the rider’s feet should not be able to stay flat on the ground.
If the rider is a beginner, however, and feels unstable without being able to place both feet flat on the ground, you can adjust the seat height to accommodate them.
Buying a Youth Dirt Bike: Factors to Consider
When buying your child or teen a dirt bike, there are a number of things you should keep in mind, both in regard to buying the right bike for your child and training and preparing them properly to ride it.
Getting the Right Bike
We already went over general guidelines on which bike is best for which age. However, those guidelines are not set in stone. Some children might feel more comfortable riding a 50cc even if they are 10-12 years old, while some eight or nine-year-olds might have a lot of experience and feel that a 50cc is too slow and not fun. Use your common sense. Always buy a bike that fits your child’s experience and riding skills.
Also, don’t buy a larger bike for your child to grow into later. That is not a good strategy; a bike that is too large and too powerful can be dangerous for your child to ride. When your child gets older and grows out of their smaller, beginner bike, you can always sell it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and buy a new one. Alternatively, you can keep it for your younger children if you have any.
Giving Your Child Training
Many parents just let their children hop on a bike and figure it out on their own. However, riding a motorcycle of any kind is not like swimming. You can’t just figure it out on your own. If your child does teach themselves to ride it on their own, they may pick up bad riding habits that can interfere with safe riding later in life and which can be difficult to shake off.
Instead, invest some of your time showing your child how to properly operate and ride their new dirt bike. There may be a riding center offering a kid’s dirt bike course in your area; a quick Google search will help you find information about that.
For example, The Dirt BikeSchool has certified MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) instructors giving kids classes on how to safely ride a dirt bike. The course takes place with professional supervision, on a dirt bike course. There may be other schools in your area. If not, you may be able to find a private instructor who can help.
Here’s a video with some useful tips on how to teach your child to ride a dirt bike:
Getting the Right Gear
Wearing protective gear isn’t just important when riding on the road. It is also necessary when riding in the dirt, whether the rider is an adult or a child.
To start, get a strong, DOT-certified helmet that properly fits your child’s head. It can be hard to find good helmets for children, so shop around. There are many brands of MotoCross-style helmets, but not all are DOT-certified. This GLX Unisex-Child
It’s even better if the helmet features SNELL, SHARP, or ECE certification in addition to DOT certification. DOT certification is the bare minimum, but its standards are relatively low and it relies on a model of self-certification, which means that some DOT-certified helmets don’t actually meet the DOT’s own standards.
The helmet should fit your child’s head snugly. It should not be loose; a helmet can only protect against concussions when there is a snug fit. Try to get a full-face helmet, as half helmets and open-face helmets provide no protection for the face and mouth. In addition, make sure the helmet has a strong visor that is not cracked or dirty.
A helmet, however, is only the bare minimum. Gloves come next; a good pair of motocross gloves will help your child grip and control the throttle and protect their hands from abrasions when they fall off their bike. A good pair of boots is also necessary; the boots should cover the ankle to protect against sprained and broken ankles.
A pair of riding goggles or sunglasses will prevent dirt and sand from getting in your child’s eyes and obstructing their vision while riding. It will also protect their eyes from flying pebbles. Alternatively, just make sure they keep their visor down.
This colorful GLX Unisex-Child DOT-Certified Helmet comes with a pair of free gloves and a pair of goggles as well, and it’s very affordable. It comes in three colors: Blue and white, camouflage green, and graffiti pink, so it’s perfect for both boys and girls.
Elbow and Knee Guards
Finally, get some elbow and knee guards to protect your child when they fall (it’s not a question of if but when; falling off while dirt biking is to be expected, even for experienced riders). Ideally, you would want to get a full suit and jacket that has built-in elbow, knee, shoulder, chest, and back guards, but it can be hard to find such suits or jackets that fit children.
Get the Appropriate Bike
We already went over ideal engine sizes and clutch types. However, there are many kinds of dirt bikes you can get. Here are some of the different types out there:
This is the standard dirt bike and probably the one you should choose for your child. A regular dirt bike is designed to be light, smooth, and easy to maneuver. It is not built for explosive speed but rather to take the rider through rough terrain; it is meant to be ridden on rocks, stones, dirt, mud, and through all types of obstacles.
Enduro bikes, on the other hand, are built for more speed and power. Enduro bikes are usually heavier and more difficult to maneuver. There are plenty of 50cc Enduro bikes out there, but in general, they are made for speed and are not optimized to ride better on rough terrain.
A motocross bike is even more optimized for speed than an Enduro. Motocross bikes are made for racing. However, unlike Enduro bikes, they are actually lighter than most trail bikes. A motocross bike, for example, might not have a kickstand or headlights; they are removed to shave off some extra weight. It will also have an altered suspension.
Unless your child plans on getting into Motocross racing, there’s no need for a Motocross bike, as they are also not as smooth as trail bikes.
A dual-sport bike is a street-legal bike that is designed to be ridden both on and off the road. As such, it sacrifices some of the optimizations a dirt bike usually has so it can be ridden on paved roads as well. If you want to ride only off-road, there’s no reason to get one. However, if your teen plans on using the bike on the road once they get their junior license, you might want to look into a dual sport.
In many places, a standard trail dirt bike is not street-legal.
Customize the Bike
Regardless of which bike you get, consider customizing it so that it fits your child’s needs. For example, if your child is a beginner, you can get training wheels so they can learn how to operate their bike without worrying about maintaining their balance.
Your child should be able to ride a bicycle before learning how to ride a dirt bike, but training wheels exist for dirt bikes as well. On the other hand, if your child is a little older, training wheels might end up becoming a crutch for them, so you might want to skip them.
Other modifications include controlling how much power goes to the rear wheel when the throttle is turned. Many small dirt bikes that are designed for children make it easy for you to control this. Also, consider adjusting the seat height and handlebars.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Motorcycling is a skill that one only gets better with by practicing. It is important to take your kid out to a dirt bike track or to an open area where they can practice dirt biking fundamentals. Focus on things such as emergency braking, emergency swerving, and slipping the clutch properly (if the bike is not automatic).
Other skills, such as keeping a loose grip on the handlebars and having a relaxed posture instead of grabbing them tightly and leaning forward, are important too.
Finally, never let your child ride a dirt bike themselves unsupervised unless they have a lot of experience. Keep an eye out so you can help them if they get into an accident. Also, if the weather is hot, make sure they stay hydrated the entire time. If they don’t get enough to drink and get dehydrated, it can interfere with their ability to focus and ride properly.
Regardless of what kind of dirt bike you get for your child, always get one that is appropriate for their skills. It can be tempting to want to get a bigger bike, so they can “grow into it” and you won’t have to buy a new one later, but that can lead to some dangerous situations.
More important than the bike you get for your kid is the training you give them and the mindset you instill in them. Too many parents just let their children hop on a bike with no prior training whatsoever. Instead of doing that, take the time to teach your child important safety skills.
They should have the mindset that motorcycling is dangerous and that proper safety precautions, including wearing protective gear, are necessary in order to have fun.
The electric dirt bike and the gas dirt bike are very similar, but with a few key differences. Whether you’re a beginner buying your first dirt bike or an expert looking for an upgrade, it’s important to know the difference between these bikes to know what’s right for you.
An electric dirt bike is powered by a lithium-ion battery and therefore saves on operating costs, whereas a gas dirt bike is powered by either a two-stroke or a four-stroke engine and has more power. Electric bikes tend to be more expensive, but are easier to maintain than a gas dirt bike.
This article will discuss the differences between gas dirt bikes and electric dirt bikes, as well as their similarities and some things to take into account when purchasing a dirt bike or maintaining one that you already have.
Know Your Environment
Before you make a choice about the right dirt bike for you, you should develop a clear picture of how and where you’ll want to use the bike. Most bikes can be used in multiple kinds of environments, but you’ll find that knowing what environment you’ll be riding in will help you find a bike that is especially well suited to your needs.
There are two main kinds of dirt biking: motocross and off-roading. Within motocross, there are three primary forms of competition: racing, freestyle, and supercross. There are also competitive forms of off-roading, with the main being enduro.
Motocross takes place on an outdoor track that is groomed for bikers. You’ll know what to expect as you take laps around the course and move through the preset ramps and turns. Motocross is both a recreational activity and a competitive sport.
During an official motocross race, about 25 to 30 riders ride around the course for a certain number of laps, and the first to finish is considered the winner. In championship events, the fastest riders compete in a series of rounds leading up to a final race.
Freestyle motocross is like motocross racing in that it is performed on a set motocross course, but instead of being judged based on speed, riders are judged based on acrobatic stunts as they complete laps.
One kind of freestyle motocross is big air, where the riders are given two major jumps covering a distance of 75 feet in which they can perform a stunt. In this kind of event, judges consider originality and difficulty and give a rating on a scale of 100.
Another kind of freestyle motocross, simply called freestyle, involves two routines, each lasting 14 minutes and 90 seconds. During this time, the rider takes laps around the motocross course, performing a series of jumps at different lengths and at different angles. In this case, judges also evaluate the skill and originality of stunts and give a rating on a scale of 100.
Supercross is an indoor form of track racing that is very similar to motocross but technically considered its own sport. These courses are shorter than motocross courses and involve steeper jumps and harder obstacles, which are less similar to the natural terrain. Supercross tracks are also shorter than motocross courses.
Off-Road Dirt Biking
Off-roading, or trail riding, takes place on natural trails that span hundreds of miles and have endless unknown obstacles: rocks, holes, steep slopes, and tight corners. Off-roading bikes need to have bigger tires with more rubber padding and softer suspension to be able to handle these obstacles.
Off-roading is also more doable with a push-button start than a kick start because you’ll need to start and stop the bike more often. These bikes are also often heavier than racing bikes because they have bigger gas tanks (if applicable) and more features built for comfort.
However, all kinds of dirt bikes can be ridden for motocross or for off-roading. Different models simply have better performance in different areas.
Enduro racing happens on off-road courses, and are given points based on the rider’s timing. The race takes part in stages, and riders are allowed to re-fuel or service their vehicles at certain stops along the way. If they do not keep to this schedule for stops, they can be penalized and lose points.
EnduroCross is a mix between enduro racing and supercross, and is usually conducted on indoor tracks. Riders are judged based on both the time that it takes them to finish the course, like in enduro, and based on how well they navigate course obstacles, like in supercross.
In EnduroCross, obstacles generally resemble outdoor obstacles, including rocks, boulders, fallen tree trunks, water, and mud, as well as giant tires and other obstacles.
Gas Dirt Bikes
Gas-fueled bikes have been used since the 1800s, and racing came soon after. Motorcycle racing became popular in the early 1900s. These events all occurred on rough, open terrain, and races became official by the 1920s in the UK, funded by factories like BSA, Norton, and Matchless.
By World War II, motorized bikes took a lighter form with less rigid frames, better shock absorption, and suspension, looking more like the dirt bikes that we see today. The speed and power of these bikes improved due to these and other innovations in engineering.
By the 1960s, motocross became popular internationally, both in the United States and Japan. Major auto manufacturers Suzuki and Honda began producing dirt bike models designed for off-roading.
Since then, the engineering of motocross bikes has developed to improve speed and overall performance, but the basic design of the gas dirt bike has remained the same.
Gas dirt bikes require regular maintenance of the engine, as well as the exterior of the bike. This includes washing and drying the bike and keeping a close eye on its performance, as well as changing the oil and air filter like you would for a car.
The following steps are important to take for a gas dirt bike. Some of these are the same as what you’d do for an electric dirt bike, and some are unique. Generally, a gas dirt bike will require more steps in the maintenance routine.
Gently wash your bike after every ride, using brushes and water, but avoiding getting water or dirt into the engine. You can, however, use a powerful stream of water, even a power jet.
Dry the bike before checking for hardware problems. You can use a leaf blower to make the drying process faster.
Check for oil leaks.
Check for leaks in coolant and brake fluid.
Clean dirt from the chain and let it dry.
Inspect the chain for weak points or tension issues
Lubricate the levers and cables, any moving parts.
Inspect and tighten bolts.
Check for frayed or bent control cables.
Check your throttle for twisting issues.
Make sure your air filter is clean and coated with oil.
Check your tire pressure after every ride.
Change your oil at least after every 8-10 hours of riding.
Grease your engine to seal out water and dirt.
A gas dirt bike engine comes in two varieties: two-stroke and four-stroke. Both are internal combustion engines with pistons, cylinders, fuel, exhaust, and a crankshaft, although the four-stroke varieties operate more similarly to large vehicles like buses and cars.
The dirt bike engine works by igniting a combination of fuel and air to move pistons up and down inside the cylinder, turning the crankshaft, which then turns the rear wheel of the bike. The clutch and the transmission allow you to control the rate and intensity at which this happens.
Most gas dirt bikes are classified according to the size of the combustion chamber, measured in ccs. 1,000 cc is equal to about 0.22 gallons, and most engines are somewhere in the range of 250-350 cc. You may also find bikes classified according to the number and shape of cylinders, like in cars.
It’s important to note that the lubrication process is different between a two-stroke and a four-stroke engine. A two-stroke engine mixes oil and fuel, and so either needs a fuel pre-mixed with oil or needs oil injected into a reservoir that combines with fuel on intake.
Having an oil reservoir means that you don’t need to worry about measuring the proper ratio of fuel to oil, but if something breaks in the pumping system, your engine can undergo serious damage.
The four-stroke engine is only ever lubricated through the use of an oil reservoir, which does not mix oil with fuel.
Electric Start Gas Bikes
Some gas bikes have an electric start mechanism, making them hybrids mostly reliant on engine power but with a small battery and some electric features. The push-button start is the most common electric feature and allows the bike to start more quickly and smoothly.
Built for kids, Aluminum big wheel, 2 stroke engine
Electric Dirt Bikes
Electric bikes were invented first in the 1890s, then evolved throughout the 1900s along with gas-powered bikes. However, very few electric bikes were available on the market for purchase at this time, even though they had been invented. It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that electric bikes really became available to consumers.
During this time, electric bikes moved through a heavy lead-acid battery design to a lighter lithium-ion battery design, which made for more lightweight bikes. This led to speed improvements and extended the range that the bikes could go before needing to be charged.
Electric dirt bikes require regular maintenance to prevent failure and injury, and to keep you from having to pay for repairs. Make sure to wash your bike after every ride, and to inspect components for hardware issues before they become a problem on the track or trail.
The following steps are important to take for the maintenance of an electric dirt bike:
Very gently wash your bike after every ride, using brushes and water, but avoiding any powerful streams of water. It is very important not to get water into the electrical components.
Dry the bike before checking for hardware problems. You can use a leaf blower to make the drying process faster.
Check for leaks in coolant and brake fluid.
Clean dirt from the chain and let it dry.
Inspect the chain for weak points or tension issues.
Lubricate the levels and cables, any moving parts.
Inspect and tighten bolts.
Check for frayed or bent control cables.
Check your throttle for twisting issues.
Check your tire pressure after every ride.
Don’t store your bike in direct sunlight, or anywhere that the battery might overheat.
Avoid opening electrical components, as they are difficult to seal and susceptible to water damage.
Recharge the battery.
Most electric dirt bikes today are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged by removing the battery pack from the bike, turning it off, and plugging it into a general power outlet. Some bikes come with a spot for the charger on the bike so that you’re sure to have it when and where you need it.
Most electric bike batteries will charge within 2 to 6 hours, depending on their range. Some charge at a rate of about 15 miles per hour, while others charge faster, at a rate of 25 miles per hour. Generally, the bigger the range, the faster the battery will charge.
Some more expensive models charge the battery as you ride, transferring energy each time you use the brakes. This can extend the life of your battery by 5-10%, although it also makes pedaling more difficult.
Batteries last longest if they are charged before they run out of power, and so you’ll want to recharge the battery after every use if possible. There is no harm in unplugging the battery before it is fully charged.
Many bike owners carry an extra battery so that they can make long trips and extend their range without worrying about stopping to charge. Without recharging, an electric bike will generally make it to about 22-56 miles, although some can go for over 70 miles.
You can extend the life of your battery by using the appropriate gears for different speeds and situations and by using a lower assistance setting on the bike.
Lithium batteries tend to last 500 charging cycles before losing much of its power, and up to 1200 cycles on some bikes. This translates to about 10,000 to 30,000 miles of total bike usage.
An electric bike can usually reach about 20 miles per hour, although some can go up to 28 miles per hour.
Best on the Market
Electric dirt bikes have become more advanced in recent years, now including high-quality brakes and suspension systems. These are ten of the best electric dirt bikes currently on the market:
Similarities Between Electric Dirt Bikes and Gas Dirt Bikes
Both electric and gas-powered bikes were invented in the 1800s and improved in performance and style throughout the 1900s.
Both gas and dirt bikes require regular maintenance to keep performing well and prevent the occurrence of mechanical failures, which can cause major accidents and injuries. All dirt bikes are also expensive to repair, so maintenance is also important from a cost-saving perspective.
No matter which kind of bike you have, it’s important to wash and dry it after every ride, and make sure that no liquids are leaking, no matter whether or not oil leaks are a concern. There is also coolant and brake fluid to consider, which both kinds of bikes have.
Both kinds of bikes also have chains that need to be checked and cleaned, as well as bolts and control cables. Tire pressure and brake liquid levels should be maintained in either case, too.
Both gas and dirt bikes are powered and need to be re-supplied with energy from time to time, and work through the use of a clutch and transmission. For this reason, the experience of riding and guiding a bike is generally similar between an electric and gas bike.
Differences Between Electric Dirt Bikes and Gas Dirt Bikes
Although gas and electric bikes came onto the scene at roughly the same time, gas bikes were available to consumers at a much earlier time and were at the heart of early motorized racing. It wasn’t until about a century after their invention that electric bikes became purchasable and usable for racing purposes.
Electric dirt bikes are easier to maintain than gas dirt bikes because they do not require engine maintenance. Oil changes and leak checks, air filter cleanings, and engine maintenance are all unnecessary or not relevant to an electric bike, but are necessary for the owner of a gas dirt bike.
However, the electrical components of an electric dirt bike are very sensitive to water and overheating, so it’s very important to be careful washing the bike with water and to keep the bike in temperature-controlled environments.
Where electric bikes are fueled by a lithium-ion battery, gas bikes are fueled by either a two-stroke or four-stroke combustion engine. Generally, the battery-powered model will have a longer range before needing a new supply of power, but the gas engine will top out at higher speeds.
Although both electric dirt bikes and gas dirt bikes come in a range of prices, depending on the model, electric dirt bikes will usually be more expensive. However, gas dirt bikes involve more maintenance expenses, and so the cost can also build over time.
How to Choose a Bike
When choosing which dirt bike to purchase, there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider. First, make sure that you understand the context you’ll be riding in. You should know what kind of terrain you’ll need to be ready for, how long you expect to ride, and how fast you need to be able to go.
If you are a beginner purchasing your first dirt bike, you’ll likely want to choose a secondhand bike with a gas engine, which is easier to find and generally cheaper for the amount of power that you get.
If you have some experience riding and want a bike that will go longer distances and be easier to maintain, and have the money to spend, you’ll likely be happiest investing in an electric bike.
Consider these factors as you look through your options, whether you choose gas or electric.
Your height, weight, arm length, and leg length are all relevant in picking a bike, and so the best way to find a good fit is to sit on the bike and see how it feels. Notice how heavy the bike feels, whether your feet can sit flat on the ground and whether you can reach the handlebars with a straight back and 90-degree angle in your elbows.
You should have room to reach the pedals without more than a slight bend in the knees, without being cramped.
Dirt bikes are made with a smaller wheel in the rear, which helps with fast acceleration, and a larger wheel in the front, which allows you to ride smoothly over rocks and other rough terrains.
If you’re hoping to spend more time off-roading, find a bike with smaller wheels and more rubber, which can take more of a beating from rocks and other obstacles.
In general, larger wheel sizes means for a more comfortable ride for beginners.
If you’re choosing a gas bike, check for a value measured in cc, like 250cc or 450cc. This stands for cubic centimeters and will tell you how big the dirt bike’s cylinders are. Higher numbers and larger cylinders mean that the bike will have more power, while lower numbers and a smaller cylinder size means less power.
Note that high and low cylinder sizes do not always go along with the size of the bike itself. A smaller bike can have a larger engine, and a larger bike can have a smaller engine. Other factors, like ground clearance, can be a reason for differences in bike sizes.
Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Engines
In gas bikes, you will have the choice between models with a two-stroke engine and models with a four-stroke engine. Two-stroke engines will speed up more quickly, whereas four-stroke engines will have more consistent power and more reliable motors.
Electric dirt bikes and gas dirt bikes are very similar in function, but are different in that electric dirt bikes tend to have less power but are easier maintenance and are more environmentally friendly. Electric dirt bikes also tend to be more expensive, and so are better for riders with more experience than for beginners.
A dirt bike already produces a large amount of noise, but this can be exacerbated by a number of factors. The good news is you can affect most of these factors to reduce the volume of noise and not end up permanently damaging your eardrum.
To make a dirt bike quieter, you need to buy a new muffler, silencer, spark plug arrestor, and also ensure that there are no maintenance problems with your bike that could be causing unnatural noises.
If you follow these 12 expert tips, your dirt bike will be transformed into a much quieter beast. Keep reading for an informed guide on why your dirt bike is so loud and how to affect decibel volume.
Buy a New Muffler
A muffler is responsible for keeping your dirt bike’s noise output at manageable levels. Modern bikes come with factory-installed mufflers due to the enforcement of the USA Noise Control Act, which mandates that noise caused by motorcycles and other vehicles can only reach a certain amount of decibels.
Although there might be no performance issues with your muffler, it is important to remember that all companies value profit. They will not be giving you a premium quality muffler for your dirt bike because that will cause a spike in prices, and fewer people buy from them. As a result, you should be buying and installing a new, better-quality muffler on your dirt bike if you’re really serious about reducing noise.
The muffler that you should be buying needs to align with your bike specifications. Here are some things that you need to look out for when buying a new muffler:
Type of exhaust system. Depending on whether you have a single or dual exhaust system, you will need to change the number of inlets that you need on your muffler.
Exhaust pipe diameter. You will usually need to match your inlets, and in some cases, outlets with the exhaust pipe diameter.
Vehicle specifications. You will need to take the exterior specifications of your vehicle so that you can buy the right muffler. The proper length and casing size mean that you will be able to install your new muffler easily and with proper clamping while allowing it to fit in the undercarriage.
The muffler type that will give you the biggest bang for your buck is called a “slip-on” muffler. As the name suggests, it is easily installed while effectively reducing noise. However, this comes at the cost of reducing horsepower and torque.
If you want a dirt bike that will go fast while still maintaining a lack of noise, you can go with a full system exhaust. This replaces everything – the header, midpipe, and muffler. On the other hand, a full system exhaust is much more expensive than a slip-on and does not reduce noise any further, instead of optimizing horsepower and speed.
Here are the three options of mufflers that you can pick from:
Chambered mufflers have a number of chambers with different configurations for sound waves to bounce off of. As these soundwaves bump into each other, they cancel each other out and reduce overall noise. They also contain sound-canceling plates called “baffles” within. The sound produced by chambered mufflers is akin to a throaty purr, with this consistent tone guaranteed because the materials making up the packing will never blow out.
A turbo muffler is constructed in an S shape and uses less than 3 perforated tubes. Although the design is somewhat restrictive compared to your other options, it is still the quietest of all three types of mufflers, making it a great step up from a stock muffler.
This kind of muffler uses a single, perforated tube and has a fiberglass or steel wood packing, encased in an aluminum shell. Quieter mufflers have a more angled tube while louder mufflers have a straighter tube. These kinds of mufflers are the loudest of all three because the soundwaves have a direct path out of the exhaust resulting in the maximum amount of energy being transmitted out of the dirt bike.
When you’re buying your new muffler, try to make it a turbo muffler or a chambered muffler that sounds quieter than stock if you can find one. Never buy a glasspack muffler because it will not help with noise reduction.
You might also want to head down to an actual repair shop to see how well it works and if it actually fits your dirt bike. When you’re buying online, practice caution, and do not buy from sites like Amazon. Instead, opt for the mufflers found on the official websites sold by different brands. That way, you know that the quality of the parts you buy are not cheap and will actually work.
Buy a Muffler Silencer
A silencer is an additional method to reduce the amount of noise that is produced by your muffler. It works by reducing the size of the exhaust hole to remove additional noise while still allowing combustion and the emission of gases from your dirt bike.
Instead of a loud sound that rings and retains the same intensity from a few meters away, a silencer focalizes the noise and ensures that the output from even a few meters away is much decreased.
If you want to buy a silencer, as with a muffler, you need to know the specifications of your exhaust pipe because you will be inserting it inside the pipe. Instead of buying a silencer online, you should go down to a dirt bike shop and ensure that it fits your bike before buying it. The silencer’s outer diameter needs to be slightly smaller than that of the inner diameter of your exhaust pipe.
Clean Your Exhaust Pipes
Dirty exhaust packing will emit a loud, shrill noise, which is significantly more unpleasant than loud, deeper tones. Beyond the noise emitted, the machine will also become less efficient, with reduced horsepower and dark smoke being emitted from the exhaust pipe.
You should aim to replace your packing before the situation gets too bad – for an average rider, that’s every 20 hours of motorcycle use. On the other hand, if you’re not riding on rougher terrains often, your packing will probably last much longer.
However, depending on your bike settings, it can unwittingly last for a much shorter amount of time. For example, if you put the jetting on lean, your bike packing might be blown much more often than if you hadn’t. Keep in mind that bike settings also affect how long the packing lasts.
You can aim to replace your packing yourself using this guide, or you can head down to your local dirt bike shop for repairs.
Check for Exhaust Leaks
If your bike is suddenly emitting significantly more noise, check for exhaust air leaks. You should look along the body of the silencer in the head to look for any cracks and dents.
Exhaust leaks are either caused by rust or wear and tear. Even a very small leak can significantly impact the amount of noise coming from your dirt bike, so ensure that the only openings on your bike are the one designated opening at the very end.
To patch up a leak, re-weld and tighten the surrounding materials. If that doesn’t work, you will need to purchase some high-temperature silicone to fix it.
If the leak is caused by rust on your bike, it would be better for you to clean it before you start catching the bike up. You can clean it by soaking it with vinegar for a few hours and then wiping it all off.
Ensure Complete Combustion
In engines, a process called combustion takes place, with fuel being burnt to provide energy to the motorcycle so that it will work. As air is only made up of 21% oxygen and combustion requires oxygen to take place, a great amount of air is needed for a conducive combustion environment.
When combustion occurs, depending on the type of fuel that is being used, hydrocarbons of different ratios are being used in a chemical reaction with oxygen in the air to produce the energy that keeps your motorcycle running. However, when the amount of oxygen and, by default, the air is insufficient, incomplete combustion will take place.
When incomplete combustion happens in your engine, carbon monoxide is produced, and a noisy ‘popping’ sound occurs. In order to facilitate complete combustion, you can use a mushroom head air filter, which increases air intake by 50%. Even if your machine already comes with a mushroom head air filter, try looking for a better quality aftermarket one to reduce noise.
Proper combustion is important because not only will it make your dirt bike noisier, but it will also cause a decrease in performance. It is better to have a higher air to fuel ratio than a lower one.
Wrap Your Exhaust Pipe
The wrap works by reducing vibrations and frequencies of sound waves and thus decreasing the amount of sound produced. It is composed of titanium and is usually put on the inside and outside of the muffler. If you add fiberglass, it is possible to reduce up to 80% of the noise.
Wrapping your exhaust pipes also has a number of other benefits, like preventing the discoloration of the pipes and potentially increasing horsepower.
However, the wrapping will wear off in approximately six months, so if you’re truly serious about wanting to reduce noise generated from your dirt bike, you will need to go through the hassle of re-wrapping every half-year.
After you’ve wrapped your pipes, try and observe if there seem to have been any negative effects on your bike over time. Some say that wrapping your pipes in the case of certain bikes can cause overheating and reduce performance, so observe your bike closely to ensure that this isn’t happening to your particular bike.
Get New Pipes
Sometimes, there’s nothing that can be done to reduce the noise but get new pipes for your motorcycle. This could be necessary for a number of reasons – either your pipes could be irreparably damaged, or if you bought an older model that uses shorter pipes, the noise level is deafening.
If your bike has a dual exhaust system, you should install cross pipes. The mixing of sound from the two systems greatly reduces noise. You can use the y-pipe and h-pipe designs.
Otherwise, look for angled aftermarket pipes to reduce those decibels.
Get a Spark Arrestor
The primary function of a spark arrestor is to remove sparks before they cause any problems with the equipment in your motorcycle. It is legally mandated in some states, especially on trails, to prevent fires from occurring.
Despite this, a spark arrestor is useful in reducing noise. It can reduce sound by up to 10 decibels, and when used in conjunction with a muffler, will make your dirt bike quieter. Most motorbikes do not come with an inbuilt spark arrestor, so you will likely have to purchase one.
Unlike mufflers, which have needed to be specially designed so that they do not affect performance, a spark arrestor will not impact the power of a dirt bike in any way.
Ensure You Have a Closed Air Box
Not all of the air in your motorcycle will be coming out from the exhaust. If you’ve recently decided to vent out the air box, or if you have removed the lid to clean it, you might have forgotten to close it back up. Ensure that your airbox is always closed. Otherwise, your bike will be producing a lot of unwanted sounds.
Tighten Nuts and Bolts
Some of the noises that you hear might just be from vibrating parts when your dirt bike goes at high speeds. Those strange ticking and clunking sounds that you hear could just be the spring vibrating or from the footpegs knocking into each other.
If you’ve been using your bike for a long time, this is a phenomenon that you will experience, especially if you like to ride fast. The wear and tear are to be expected with time – you just need to weld everything back into place and fasten it properly. In addition to welding, you can also use lock washers – tools that are specially designed to prevent fasteners from slipping upon intense vibration.
These heavy-duty Loctite Threadlockers – a type of epoxy, is perfect for preventing fasteners from slipping, but it can easily be removed with handheld tools.
On the other hand, if noise doesn’t stop coming from your bike even after tightening, go to a garage and get your bike looked at because there is probably something wrong with your engine.
Use the Correct Oil for Gearbox
A less common place to search for noise is the gearbox. If you do not use the right viscosity of oil in the necessary amounts, your gearbox can produce all types of strange noises. Look through your manufacturer’s recommendations and ascertain, which kind of oil is appropriate for your specific gearbox.
If your manufacturer has not given you any specifications regarding the type of oil that you should be using, but just general instructions, that could be causing the problems with both noise and performance in your gearbox.
As this is a highly complicated subject, it is better to look for advice from an expert instead of trying to DIY. Head down to your local dirt bike shop or call nearby services to get some counsel regarding specifications.
When you find out the correct type of oil you should be using, be sure to change it often.
Get Your Bike Checked Out
If none of the tips above have helped you reduce the noise level, there is something fundamentally wrong with your bike. Go to the nearest local repair shop and look into it further because there is a possibility that you have gotten a faulty model from the company.
Alternatively, another reason why none of the tips might be working for you is that you tried to DIY them yourself and implemented it incorrectly, in which case, it would also be appropriate to head down to a repair shop and get your dirt bike looked at.
Having a dirt bike is really fun, but it is also necessary to remember the responsibilities that come along with the upkeep of the bike. Because you’ll likely be using the dirt bike on trails, it is imperative to try to keep the volume as low as possible so as not to scare or threaten the natural wildlife living around the trails.
Having a quieter bike does not mean changing the tone and sound of the noise produced, so you don’t need to worry about your motorcycle sounding different.
If you’re really serious about wanting to have a quiet dirt bike, it is best to get an electric bike. These produce almost no sound and can be ridden anytime, anywhere, without disturbing the peace and quiet.
The debate around quads vs. dirt bikes is an age-old one. People usually side with one or the other because a lot of things are subjective when it comes to these two offroad rides. However, there’s a clear answer if we wish to compare their speed.
Dirt bikes are faster than quads because they are lighter and can take sharp turns more quickly. Even if a dirt bike and a quad have the same engine, the bike has a better power to weight ratio, which makes it accelerate much faster than an ATV with the same motor.
ATVs don’t always perform slower than dirt bikes, though. Read on to learn more about their speed, whether faster speed means less safety with dirt bikes, and how you can choose which one is best for you.
This lighter weight allows dirt bikes to move more quickly and effectively in narrower spaces than quads. Also, you’ll be able to climb hills faster on dirt bikes.
As we’ve discussed, ATVs and dirt bikes have the same engine—weight is what makes all the difference. Imagine two vehicles: a quad weighing 400 lbs (181 kg) and a dirt bike weighing 230 lbs (104 kg). If they have the same engine, which one will go faster? Of course, the dirt bike as it can accelerate more quickly than four-wheelers, thanks to its greater power to weight ratio.
With that said, ATVs don’t lose all the time when it comes to speed. Dirt bikes have two wheels, and quads have four, which means they have more traction. Because of this, they can perform better on muddy, slick tracks and flat tracks.
Theoretically, quads would have more acceleration than a dirt bike if the power to weight ratios were equal. I’m saying this because they have more contact patch (the amount of tire touching the ground). Their extra weight also helps traction to some extent.
However, in real life, they have (compared to their heaviness) less power and more weight. So a dirt bike is faster, more maneuverable, and accelerates quicker than a four-wheeler. Of course, a lot of it also depends on the rider.
Advantages of Higher Speed
Since dirt bikes are so fast and convenient, they’re often used in racing and sport. On the other hand, ATVs are heavier and not suitable for high-speed racing. Riders can also perform more stunts and tricks on dirt bikes. In contrast, it can be dangerous to do the same on ATVs, especially for inexpert drivers.
This brings me to another point: dirt bikes give you more adrenaline rush than ATVs. Their higher speed and better flexibility offer a more thrilling adventure. I’m not saying ATVs aren’t fun, they are, but you would have to be an excellent rider to drive them at high speeds. Whereas dirt bikes naturally offer the thrill of jumping off hills and going super-fast.
Does This Mean Dirt Bikes Are Less Safe?
We’ve talked about high speeds, stunts, and hill-climbing. While that’s cool and all, there’s another critical matter to discuss: the level of safety.
This may seem obvious at first. Dirt bikes go faster, and people perform more stunts on them, so they’re more prone to accidents, right?
Well, yeah, quads are involved in fewer accidents, but there’s more to it. And if you believe ATVs are safer than dirt bikes, you’re in for a surprise.
A John Hopkins study shows that dirt bikes are safer than ATVs. Riding ATVs causes a lot more deaths than riding two-wheelers. To give you the stats, quad-crash victims are 50% more likely to die. They’re also 55% more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 42% more likely to be placed on a ventilator.
But ATVs are more stable and comfortable to ride for beginners. Why these surprising results? Quads are undoubtedly steadier than dirt bikes. The stability of ATV gives people a false sense of security. As a result, they try to corner too fast or ride on uneven tracks.
However, the center of gravity of ATVs is too high, so they’re likely to flip over. Remember that there’s no crash protection for the rider, so an ATV rolling over you can be extremely dangerous.
If you were in a bike accident, you could get away with strains and sprains, and you’ll probably be thrown off the bike. You may still break a bone, but it’s nothing compared to an ATV accident.
If you were riding a quad and got into an accident, its massive weight could break your neck or back, resulting in death. Even if you’re lucky, the chances of you getting injured severely are very high.
The bottom line? Dirt bike accidents happen more often than ATV accidents. Still, the latter can be much more fatal, which means dirt bikes are overall safer.
Choosing Between ATVs and Dirt Bikes
If you’re looking to get a new off-road companion for yourself, speed and safety aren’t the only factors to consider. There are many things you need to look for when comparing a dirt bike with an ATV. Here are some important ones:
Learning: If you’re a beginner, a dirt bike can seem more intimidating, and there’s also a learning curve involved. ATVs are more beginner-friendly and are forgiving for kids.
Comfort: Quads have a larger seat than dirt bikes. Sitting down on a quad is more comfortable than sitting on a dirt bike, which is designed for you to stand up more than sit down. Overall, the ATVs are more comfortable.
Utility: With ATVs, you can pull and drag heavy machines or a utility trailer. They can also carry passengers, so they’re more functional. Dirt bikes, on the other hand, are usually not used for work.
Maintenance: An ATV, of the same rider class as a dirt bike, is more expensive. Not only that, but the maintenance costs of ATVs are also higher. So if the price is a concern, a dirt bike is the way to go.
Convenience: ATVs are restricted to two-track trails only, while you can ride a dirt bike on many tracks. Dirt bikes take up less space, and you can even carry them by yourself if you ever encounter a malfunction. The same cannot be said for ATVs.
To summarize, if you want more out of your vehicle than just thrilling rides, go for an ATV. It can be useful in handling heavy machines and other stuff. But if you’re only looking for breath-taking adventures and unforgettable memories, a dirt bike should be your pick.
When it comes to speed, dirt bikes are faster because they weigh less but have the same power as ATVs. The only exception would be a flat or a muddy track where ATVs could have an advantage because of their increased traction.
Surprisingly, even with higher speeds, dirt bikes have been reported to be safer than ATVs. However, both these vehicles are fun to ride, and you’ll need to choose based on what you want from your ride.
Buying the right size dirt bike for you is important, not just because of the financial commitment required to get one, but also for your overall safety and to ensure a great experience every time you’re out on the trails. Knowing the right dirt bike size to go with before you head out to the dealership ensures you won’t make a rushed decision or rely on only the knowledge of the dealers to pick a bike.
To choose the right size dirt bike consider height, weight, age, the size of a dirt bike’s powerplant, how you fit on the bike, and experience level. Choosing a dirt bike based on these factors reduces the risk of injury ensuring you maintain control of the dirt bike.
In this article, we’ll provide all the information you need on dirt bike sizes and how to choose one for yourself or loved one. Watch out for the section on specific dirt bike model recommendations
How Is Dirt Bike Size Measured?
There are two main factors considered when measuring the size of a dirt bike. The first is the physical size of the dirt bike known as the seat height. It is the most important metric used to know if a dirt bike matches your body.
The second factor is the engine size, rated in “CC” or Cubic Centimeters. It refers to the engine displacement. Generally, the bigger the CC number, the more power in the bike. So, a 250cc bike is more powerful than a 125cc bike even if they both look the same visually or have the same seat height. There are always some exceptions to this rule, but this is what you should generally expect.
There is a misconception that tall people should only choose the highest CC engines in the market, but as you’ve seen above, the CC has nothing to do with your height. It’s not uncommon to find higher CC engines in smaller bikes, made for shorter people that are looking for a more powerful bike.
You can also find intimidating looking bikes with smaller CC engines made for teenagers that need big but not necessarily the most powerful bikes.
How to know if a Dirt Bike is the Right Size?
It’s easy to find dealerships and manufacturers with high definition images of their dirt bikes online, but you shouldn’t gauge a bike’s fit based on images and listed dimensions. To be certain that the bike fits you, you really need to sit on it in real life.
First, straddle the dirt bike and make sure your feet are touching the ground, but ONLY your toes and the balls of your feet, ensuring that just your heels are up. Being able to reach the ground with the tip of your foot will help you maneuver the dirt bike easier and yet still be tall enough.
If you get this fitting, then you’ve chosen a bike with a proper seat height for you.
However, If you’re a new rider, you’ll want to consider a dirt bike height that gives you more control by having both feet firmly on the ground. Since some dirt bikes can weigh quite a bit simply having more stability when your first starting is essential.
If you’re a casual rider, you can get by with such a fitting until you get more comfortable with the dirt bike. More frequent riders, however, will find that a bike that sits too low will leave their foot in a cramped position, which increases the chances of foot and knee injury. Also, you just look like a big kid on a little kids bike and will stick out in a crowd.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dirt Bike For Your Body
When looking to pick the perfect dirt bike for your body size, the three main factors to consider are your dirt bike experience level, your height, and weight. We’ll take a closer look at these factors below.
What Is Your Dirt Bike Experience Level?
It doesn’t matter if you’re getting the bike for an adult or for a child; the level of experience plays an important role in the size of the dirt bike you’ll choose. New riders need to choose a dirt bike with a CC-rating that will allow them to get a feel of the dirt bike experience and get a proper handle on riding across multiple trails. A CC rating lower than 250 is typically recommended.
A bike with a smaller displacement will have less power, and the overall size will be slightly less of a factor in how comfortable the bike would be while it’s out on trails. Once you choose a bike with an engine that isn’t too powerful for your experience level, you can proceed to measurement-based factors.
How Tall Are You?
As we’ve seen above, dirt bikes come in various seat heights. To choose the right size dirt bike for your body, you have to pick an option with a seat height that agrees with your overall height. Again, you have to actually sit on the bike to see how your height agrees with it.
You’ll find many seat height recommendations for people that are tall by X inches (we have some recommendations below), but it’s just general guidance. Two people of the same height might not have the same level of comfort on the same dirt bike. This is because some people have taller torsos, while others have longer arms or shorter inseams.
Remember, a dirt bike is too small for you if your foot is completely on the ground while you’re standing on the bike. You’ll only end up overloading the suspension, making every bump or rock you hit while out on the trail a lot more painful than it should be. On the other hand, the bike is not the right size for you if you’re struggling for balance on the tip of your toes while standing on it.
The goal is to choose a bike size that won’t leave your legs feeling cramped while at the same time balanced enough to allow you to use your toes and the balls of your feet to control the bike when you run into bumps and need to control the bike with your legs.
What Do You Weigh?
Your weight is important because it determines what qualifies as the right amount of suspension for you in a bike. Two beginner riders weighing 120lbs (54kg) and 225lbs (102kg) may not be able to ride the same dirt bike.
If you weigh less than 150lbs (68kg), it’s often a good idea to start with a bike that’s under 250cc. This way, you can gradually adapt to the height and weight. If you’re well beyond that weight limit, you have to look towards bikes between 250 and 450cc to ensure you can navigate any trails without your suspension giving way.
However, your weight isn’t enough. If you choose a 450cc bike because of your weight and you’re a novice rider, the bike will be too powerful for you, at least until you’re experienced enough for it. If you’re experienced and are heavier, going for the most powerful bikes is always a good idea.
If, for some reason, you can’t find the perfect bike that has the perfect engine for your experience level and also strong enough to hold your weight, you should consider submitting a request for a custom order. It will cost a bit more in many cases, but at least you can avoid wasting money and get the perfect bike size for your body.
Best Dirt Bike Sizes for Kids
Are you looking for a dirt bike that matches your child’s body? You still need to pick the bike, taking the factors we’ve discussed above into consideration. If your child is aged 15 years or younger, there are many dirt bikes of 50cc to 150cc you can choose from.
Children aged five or six years old who are just getting started with a dirt bike can go with the Yamaha PW50. With its low seat height of 18.7″ (47.5cm), it should fit even the smallest kids. It also only weighs 90lbs (40 kg), so it shouldn’t be too heavy for young children.
A useful feature on the bike is the throttle limit, which reduces the amount of power the bike can put out. This makes it easy to keep a lid on how much power the child is exposed to at any interval. As they grow in confidence and experience level, you can adjust the throttle to allow them to go a bit faster.
The PW50 also comes with an automatic transmission, so your child won’t have to worry about controlling the clutch and gears. The bike is designed to help your child learn balance, control, and steering.
If you’re looking for a bike that will fit the body of your 13-year old, you need to also consider their riding experience and overall height. If the child has grown to a height of around 5’1″ and is only just getting started with dirt bike riding, you should choose a bike like the 4-stroke Kawasaki KLX 140 for them.
It’s an off-road bike designed a bit differently from standard track-oriented dirt bikes, giving it a predictable and smooth power that makes it perfect for newbie riders.
The KLX comes in different seat heights ranging from 30.7″ to 33.9″ (78cm to 86.1cm). With this, you should be able to find the perfect fitting easily. Obviously, taller and heavier children should try out the 33.9″ (86.1cm) variant or the KLX140G. Smaller sized children in this weight class can stick to the vanilla KLX 140.
Children aged 14-15 and also just getting started with dirt bike riding can also get started with the KLX 140, choosing the model that fits their height and weight. If the child is already an experienced rider, however, you should consider getting them something close to the KX250.
Its seat height is 37.3″ (94.7cm), though, so you should also make sure that it won’t be too tall for your child. You can look for other bikes, but the KX250’s power means it’s one of the best if your child is a regular racer. A good idea will be to make some modifications to the seat (covered below) to reduce the height for the child.
If the height is manageable for the child, then it’s a good fit. The child’s experience will come to the fore, ensuring that they’ll handle the bike perfectly in the meantime while growing into it in a year or two for even better fitting.
Dirt Bike Size Table for Kids
Recommended Seat Height
24 to 28″ (61cm to 71.1cm)
26 to 31″ (66cm to 78.7cm)
30 to 37″ (76.2cm to 94cm)
Best Dirt Bike Sizes For Adults: Tall and Small
To choose the right size dirt bike for your body as an adult, you also have to work with the factors we’ve covered above in mind: your height, weight and experience level as a dirt bike rider.
Dirt Bikes for Smaller Adults
If you have little experience and your body type is short and small, you should be looking at dirt bikes in the size of the 125cc Honda CRF 125F. It’s a mild-powered trail bike, and at 30.9″ (78.5cm), the seat height will work well for smaller adults. It’s also a lightweight bike that can be maneuvered easily.
Dirt Bikes for Tall or larger Adults
For tall (6ft+ or 182cm) 200lbs (90kg) experienced riders, the right dirt bike size to go for will be something in the 450cc range. There are lots of options to pick from, so you should base your final decision on the type of riding you intend to do.
If you’ll spend a lot of time riding on motocross tracks, the Yamaha YZ450f is a good option to go for. It has a 37.5″ (95.3 cm) seat height, making it suitable for tall people. The 450cc engine also means it packs a lot of power.
If you’ll be spending more time off motocross tracks and more on the trails, you can consider a bike like the Honda CRF450X. It’s similar to the Honda CRF450R, but it’s been designed for off-road riders. The six-speed transmission (wide-ratio) has made it a favorite for many off-road enthusiasts.
Average Height Adults
If you qualify as an average height adult (5’8 to 6ft or 172.7 to 182cm), and your riding experience is somewhere between beginner and advanced, you should consider a 250cc dirt bike. This is another category with lots of options to choose from, but the Kawasaki KLX250 is a top model to consider if you’re looking for something a bit fun and not too powerful.
Many people choose this bike because its Dual Sport design means you can legally ride it on the streets and then move to the trails whenever you want. Its 35″ (88.9cm) seat height makes it a good fit for average height riders.
However, it’s a bit heavier than other standard dirt bikes in its class as it weighs 305lbs (138kg). This is understandable as the bike needs to be stable enough for average speeds around other vehicles if you take it to the highway.
Dirt Bike Size Table for Adults
Recommended Seat Height
5’2″ (157cm) Tall
31 to 35″ (78.7 to 88.9cm)
5’4″ (162cm) Tall
33 to 36″ (83.8 to 91.4cm)
5′ 6″ (167cm) Tall
34 to 37″ (86.4 to 94cm)
5’8″ (172cm) Tall
34 to 38″ (86.4 to 96.5cm)
5’10” (178cm) Tall
35 to 39″ (88.9cm to 99.1cm)
6′ (182cm) Tall+
37.5″ or higher (95.3cm)
Adjusting the Height of Your Dirt Bike
We’ve seen the recommended seat height for various body types above. However, it’s still possible that some of the bikes and seat heights for your body type may still not fit properly. Remember, these are not custom made. In such a situation, what should you do?
First, you can go ahead and order a custom bike from your favorite manufacturers. Many of them won’t honor the request, and you can expect to pay higher fees for any that agrees.
Alternatively, you can just adjust the height of the dirt bike. Knowing how to adjust the height of a bike is also a great way to avoid buying a new bike every year if your child is still at a stage where they can overgrow bikes in months.
How to Lower the Dirt Bike Height
Here are some tips to lower the height of your dirt bike:
Reduce the Seat Size
The easiest way to lower the height of your dirt bike is to cut some foam off the seat. It may sound counterintuitive as the foam makes for a more comfortable ride, but you won’t feel the change too much, and you’ll be able to ride more confidently.
Alternatively, you can replace the often sturdier foam in the seat with a softer block of foam. Such foam will compress when you get on the bike, thus lowering distance from the seat to the ground. If you don’t have the skills to replace the foam, drilling holes in the seat will achieve the same results.
Finally, you can also replace the built-in seat with a new option to avoid engaging in any DIY work. As long as you find a seat that isn’t as padded as the original, you can be sure of lowering your dirt bike’s height.
Modify the Sag Configurations
Another excellent way to reduce the height of your dirt bike is to modify the sag setting of the bike. You can do this by tweaking the rear suspension until you have a height that’s perfect for you:
However, this approach is not for everyone as may end up changing the original steering configuration of the bike a great deal. You’ll need to use your owner’s manual to be sure you have the perfect sag settings.
How to Increase the Dirt Bike Height
If you’re looking to increase the height of your dirt bike, all you need to do is the opposite of the steps discussed above. Simply changing the seat on the bike to one that has thicker, harder and higher foam can give you a few more inches in height. You can buy one from your local bike shop or have them make a custom seat for you.
You can also change the sag settings to make it higher, but remember, such a change can affect the handling of the bike. You should only use the option if you know what you’re doing.
Choosing the Best Dirt Bike for You
As we’ve seen thus far, every rider will have different needs. If you’re just starting out, choose a bike with a total seat height which rhymed with your height, and an engine that isn’t too powerful.
As a beginner, you should focus on choosing the bike that will be easiest to ride for you. A 4-stroke trail bike that matches your height is always a good place to start. As your experience level increases, you can move further up the power chart.
Your decision-making should also be influenced by the type of dirt bike you really need as they vary. Options include enduro, motocross, and trail bikes. If you don’t want to get involved in races or go to treacherous off-roading tracks, a trail bike is often all you need.
When you’ve narrowed down the size and type of dirt bike you need, it’s time to look at different models from different manufacturers and the specific features they offer. Then you should consider the following questions:
How reliable is the bike?
Does it have abrupt or smooth power?
Does it have suspension designed for your type of riding?
What does it cost?
Are there any other special benefits for choosing one model or manufacturer over the other?
By answering the questions above, you can pick the perfect bike. However, don’t descend into analysis paralysis. There’ll always be some disadvantage to any bike you choose. Look for the one that best fits and go with it instead of spending days trying to find the perfect dirt bike with any downsides.
Buying Your Chosen Dirt Bike Model
To make it easier for you to choose a dirt bike, we included some dirt bike models in our analysis for each body type above.
You can buy brand new versions of these bikes off a dealership, directly from the manufacturer or second hand from other bike riders—mostly those looking to upgrade. Getting a second-hand bike, however, is feisty territory. It’s easy to buy a bike that’s already too damaged. So what should you do?
To buy a good second-hand dirt bike, here are some tips you should follow:
Look at the overall cleanliness. If the bike is looking very worn out with lots of stains and caked dirt, there’s a high chance that the owner was careless with it—which translates to a bike that will most likely disappoint you if you buy it.
Check for damage to the frame, subframe, and handlebar. If the bike owner has been in a major crash or too many minor ones, you’ll see the tell-tale signs on the handlebar, frame, and subframe. Look for unusual bends, cracks, or welds. If the bike looks uneven from the rear when it’s standing, or the fender leans too much to one side, that’s extra repair work you’ll have to pay for.
Check the wheels. If there are few missing spokes, bends, and cracks, it shows that the bike has been used roughly. If you can’t readily see any damage to the wheel, spin the wheel and check for wobbling. New or used dirt bike wheels are costly, so you should try to avoid the expense.
Check the engine. You should turn on the bike and let it run for a minute at least. If there’s a ticking, it could mean a worn tensioner or timing chain—which can be fixed easily. If there’s a rattle, however, the piston needs a rebuild.
Check the transmission and brakes. If you’ve looked over the bike thus far and you’re satisfied, the next thing is to ride the bike and test the transmission by shifting through all the gears. It should shift easily through all the gears. If the gear doesn’t engage at a specific level, it suggests a bend in the shift fork, which will require the cases to be split—a repair job that can cost a lot of money. The brakes should also work perfectly.
Speed up progressively and check the brakes at various intervals.
If the body of the used bike doesn’t show too much wear and tear and the engine and transmission are perfect, you may be able to save thousands by choosing it instead of getting a new one.
Your focus should be on avoiding as much repair as possible, so you don’t get to lose the money you save from choosing to get a second-hand option at the mechanic or rebuild shop. There’s also the problem of putting yourself at risk by riding a bike that can give way under you or stop suddenly while you’re out on the trails.
Being a dirt bike owner is fun and exciting, only when you choose a bike that fits your body. You can choose a bike that fits you perfectly by paying attention to factors like your height, weight, and riding experience. Always remind yourself that smaller bikes aren’t necessarily safer, and tall people don’t always have to go for the most powerful bikes.
Test as many bikes as possible before you make a decision. If you can’t find a fitting model from your preferred manufacturers, look elsewhere. Remember, a standard bike will cost thousands of dollars. It’s not a decision you should make lightly.
Over the years 4-stroke dirt bikes have improved thanks to technological advancements. There have been power increases, weight decreases, and the performance of 4-stroke engines have become a lot more efficient. Nonetheless, these types of bikes require maintenance, and while maintaining a 4-stroke isn’t as intensive as a 2-stroke, you’ll still want to make sure you know what needs to be done.
4-stroke Dirt Bike Maintenance:
Wash, Dry Inspect, Tighten and lube bike (Every ride)
Oil change (4-6 hrs)
Replace Oil Filter (6-10 hrs)
Clean, Check, Replace, and Oil the Air Filter (Every ride or 3Hrs)
Replace Brake Fluid ( 20-40 hrs)
Replace Pads (0.04 in-1.00mm)
Check Calipers and Rotors (Regularly)
Check Coolants (Every ride, change yearly)
Check Tire Pressure, Valve stems (Every ride)
Check Tire and wheel Condition (10k, lube every 6 months)
Check for Engine, Brakes, etc… for leaks (Every ride)
Check Chain tension and Sprockets (Every ride)
Check Control Cables (Regularly)
Change the Piston and Rings (Every 30-100 hours)
Check Suspension/Steering (Regularly)
Make note that the maintenance of a 4-stroke dirt bike is different from that of a 2-stroke as the engines are different.
Read on to learn more about the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke, the importance of creating a maintenance schedule, and tips on maintaining a 4-stroke dirt bike.
How Does a 4-Stroke Engine Dirt Bike Work?
A 4-stroke engine consists of four functions, which include exhaust, combustion, compression, and intake. This type of engine is more complex than that of a 2-stroke engine. That’s because a 4-stroke engine power is fired every two revolutions of the crankshaft, something that allows for steady power delivery.
Also, the 4-stroke engines feature a smooth powerband that makes handling easier. It’s the reason why dirt bikes with this type of engine are preferred for beginners. They require little effort to ride. The 4-stroke dirt bikes have more moving parts, and there’s controlled engine power, which means you don’t need to worry about shifting, clutching, or the brakes.
Another reason why 4-stroke dirt bikes are preferred is that they require less maintenance than 2-stroke bikes. You can comfortably use these bikes for trail riding. Nonetheless, having too many moving parts also means the bike becomes heavier than that of a 2-stroke engine. You may also need to account for the replacement of the moving parts.
Differences Between 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Dirt Bikes
Some of the major differences between the two include:
Modern 4-Stroke dirt bikes have an excellent power performance due to the different advanced versions of the engines. 2-stroke dirt bikes, on the other hand, have a high power performance, but this can be difficult to control when trail riding or controlling the bike on rough terrain. The best part is that a 4-stroke bike has better power handling as power management is better than that of a 2-stroke.
Another difference between the 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine is the handling. Four-stroke engines are heavy as they have multiple moving parts. The result is challenging handling. However, two-stroke engines have fewer parts, something that makes them lighter and easier to handle. The good thing is that adding suspension can reduce handling problems in a 4-stroke dirt bike.
Another difference between the 2-stroke and 4-stroke is in the operation. A two-stroke engine has oil mixed with fuel inside. The combination goes through a combustion cycle where it burns up and leaves through the exhaust pipe. There are some 2-stroke engines with an oil injection system that adds oil into the carburetor.
2-stroke engine oil is refined as it needs to mix well with the fuel and burn in the combustion chamber. These oils are thinner and have specific additives. You can find 2-stroke engine oils made from synthetic, conventional, or castor oil.
The 4-stroke engine has a separate chamber for the fuel. There is a pump that circulates the fuel through the engine, while the filter removes unwanted particles. The process repeats, and although the oil can be recycled, it’s best to change it after some time to avoid contaminant buildup.
Four-stroke engine oil isn’t as refined due to the circulation system. Nonetheless, additives may be added. Viscosity plays a critical role in how the engines function.
2-stroke engines have less moving parts, hence less repair and costs to rebuild. A 4-stroke engine consists of multiple moving components, which means you may have different parts to repair. That makes it costly to rebuild this type of engine.
Another difference between the two engines is in the maintenance. Like repair, maintaining a 2-stroke is easier because of the few moving parts. A 4-stroke bike will need more maintenance as there are a lot of parts involved.
The Pros and Cons of 4-Stroke Dirt Bikes
They are fuel-efficient
Only gasoline required to fill up
Durable with proper maintenance
More maintenance is required
Predictable power delivery
Can be extremely loud
Heavier due to the many moving parts
Change the Oil Regularly
A 4-stroke dirt bike has so many moving parts, which is why you need to change the oil regularly and lubricate these parts to ensure longevity and guarantee performance. Failure to change the oil means you may be unable to race or ride because your bike needs an engine rebuild.
How often should you change the engine oil for your 4-stroke dirt bike? The recommended time frame is five to ten hours. However, this depends on the times you race. It’s also best to buy stainless steel reusable filters as they only require cleaning using a contact cleaner when changing the oil.
When cleaning the oil filter:
Spray every part with a contact cleaner to remove all the debris.
Focus on the edges and the corners where dirt hides.
Allow the filter to dry before putting it back inside.
You should start by reading the owner’s manual for the process of changing oil and get your model of bike. Modern 4-stroke bikes have a single oil compartment, while others have two-one for engine oil and the other for transmission. Checking the oil filler caps will tell you how many compartments your bike has.
If you are forgetful, simply write down the time you last changed the oil and remember to clean the air filters each time. That will ensure you never have to deal with engine failure.
What’s more, when dealing with a 4-stroke dirt bike, you need to change the oil filter. If you are using the stainless steel filter, you only need to clean it every time you change the oil. However, when using the disposable filter, you need to change it each time you do the oil.
What Happens to a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Without Oil?
Engine oil is what lubricates the metal parts in the engine. Lack of proper lubrication means that these parts will rub against each other at high temperatures. The result is premature wear and, finally, a damaged engine. You may need to replace most of the engine metal components, which is expensive.
How to Change Oil in a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike
Here are the steps to follow:
Take the bike for a ride until the engine oil is warm. Doing this helps the used oil drain better.
Put an oil pan under the bike’s bottom and remove the oil filter cap on the bike’s side. Unscrew the drain bolt on the bottom of the dirt bike. You’ll start seeing oil pouring out. At this point, shake the bike from side to side to ensure you get everything out.
Remove the oil filter cover. Take the filter out and place a new filter, ensuring you cover it with some oil for a good seal.
Use a contact cleaner to remove any particles and hunk on the filter cap that could block oil flow. Fit the cover in place, but avoid over-tightening the bolts. Check the rubber o-rings to see if they are loose or worn out. You’ll need to replace them if they are old and don’t fit properly.
Tighten the drain bolt and add fresh oil. Use a funnel to avoid creating a mess and ensure you put the recommended amount from your user manual. Some bikes have this written on the engine casing.
Clean the oil filler cap and put it tightly.
Tips on the Type of Oil to Use in a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike
The kind of oil you put depends on the bike’s brand and model. All this information is available on the user manual, but here are some tips that you should consider:
Don’t go for the cheapest oil in the market. Instead, opt for high-performance oil. Although it may be costly, it will keep your engine running smoothly.
The type of oil to choose also depends on API classification and viscosity. The thickness of the engine level is the viscosity.
Some engine oils are best for cold weather, while others work for warm weather.
Another factor to consider is the API classification.
Find an oil with a classification of SG or higher, apart from oils labeled as resource-conserving or energy-conserving on the label.
Most dirt bikes will use engine oils rated equally in performance to SJ.
You should stick to the name-brand dirt bike oil if you are unsure of what engine oil to get.
Be Careful About the Coolant
4-stroke dirt bikes are more involved as they have multiple moving parts. These parts can overheat and affect you on the track. Unfortunately, you can’t just add coolant and forget about it.
The 4-stroke coolant is designed to lower the engine temperature drastically and keep the engine parts from breaking down and overheating. You need to change the coolant regularly if you ride a lot or go to the sand dunes.
Check the Tire Pressure
Another essential aspect of a 4-stroke dirt bike maintenance is tire pressure. You need to check the tire pressure in between each ride. Begin by checking the tread and any signs of visual damage like flat spots or cracks. Inspect the tires for any stuck objects in the tire like glass pieces or nails that could damage your tires.
Most riders get a range of 10,000 miles with a pair of tires. Nonetheless, this is dependent on how you ride the dirt bike and the type of bike you have. The front tires last longer than the rear ones.
It’s also critical to check the tire pressure of your dirt bike tires, especially if you are taking long rides. That helps to prevent wear and tear.
The best way to check tire pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge. There is an electric pressure gauge that checks the tire pressure in a minute or less. Experts recommend checking the pressure on cold tires before you ride and not after.
Check the pressure of the tires often when they are new. Afterward, you can extend the pressure check intervals.
The recommended dirt bike tire air pressure is between 10-21 psi. You’ll need to read your user manual to know the pressure your bike needs. You can adjust tire pressure down or up to get the right traction on the terrain you’ll be racing or riding on.
Tires that are soft feel spongy and roll on the rim, while tires that are too hard means less grip.
All of these could affect your performance. Incorrect tire pressure could lead to uneven tire wear, tube/tire failure, punctures, and sometimes the tire may come off the bead.
Check the Valve Stem
After checking the tire pressure, you need to check the valve stem:
Air leaks often happen in the valve system as opposed to tire punctures or holes in the tube.
The valve can have dirt and debris that creates gaps in the seal.
When checking the valve stem, ensure the caps are on and tightened.
If your stem has spun, you need to deflate the tire and reset it.
Check Tire Tread, Spokes, and Rim Locks
The next step is to check the tire tread. Most traction is from the knobs that get into the terrain, instead of friction between the pavement and rubber when riding, Check between the knobs for cuts and cracks in the tire as this could affect traction.
The tire spokes and rim locks are an essential part of the tires. They need to be tight in place and straight. Find out if the rim locks are fastened.
Sometimes you may need to replace the tires. A few signs you may need to replace tires include: cracked tires, rounded knobs. discolored tires, missing or torn knobs, and tires that are more than a year old.
If it’s time to replace a tire, it’s recommended to replace both tires even if one looks better than the other. Overall, tire pressure is about experimenting. Begin with 12 psi and go down or up with the tips.
Check for Leaks
When your engine is clean, you can quickly spot oil and air leaks. You’ll notice oily drips or marks on the floor. Other signs include sooty marks on the exhaust and cylinder. Check for leaks on the brake calipers, brake fluid reservoirs, and hydraulic brake cables.
Other areas prone to leaks are coolant pipes, radiators, and the water pump gasket. In case of any leaks, ensure that you deal with them before riding the bike.
Inspect the Sprockets for Wear and Damage
The chain and sprocket are critical in any dirt bike. Unfortunately, dirt wears out the bushings and rollers. Although lubricating the chain might seem like a good idea, sometimes it could worsen the situation. The lube forms a sticky substance that attracts dirt. You need to clean the chain as this makes inspection for damage easier.
For sprockets, look for any eroded/chipped teeth and missing teeth. Worn sprockets are easy to spot. Other indicators include bent rear chain guides, bent sprockets, or chain rub blocks that are worn through. If you find them damaged, it’s best to replace both the chain and sprockets.
Another area where people make a mistake is in the chain and sprocket alignment. That’s what leads to premature chain failure. Make sure that the chain is centered on the sprocket tooth. Use a chain adjuster to correct the misalignment.
Ever wondered how long the chains and sprockets last? All that depends on the riding environment, maintenance, and rising habits. If you want the sprockets and chains to last longer, make sure that you inspect the drive components regularly, adjust the chain properly, and keep the drivetrain clean and lubricated.
Check the Brakes and Brake Pads
Brake pads tend to wear out over time as the material breaks down until all that is left is the backing plate. The hardened steel can damage the brake rotor when this happens. Moreover, you could end up with brakes that no longer work. It’s critical to check your motorcycle brake pads routinely.
Brake pads that are between 0.04 in and 1.00mm need to be replaced. Some brake pads have indicator marks that are no longer visible when worn out. That is an indication to replace them immediately. Also, you need to replace other brake components like the rotors.
Carry Out Air Filter Maintenance
Your dirt bike’s air filter helps get rid of external elements you may encounter while riding. It’s essential to check the air filter regularly as dirt and debris may be embedded in the filter and not visible to the eye. Accumulation of moisture in the air filter can also result in other consequences.
Experts recommend atleast cleaning the air filter after one ride. Ensure that the filter is also covered in a good amount of oil, as too little can easily get through the intake, and too much can weep into the engine. The air filter should be replaced between 6-10 hrs of riding depending on how hard you ride and terrain.
Exhaust Pipe Maintenance
Focus on cleaning the outside of the exhaust pipe to prevent corrosion and rust. Don’t forget to check the muffler packing. Four-stroke bikes have the muffler packing compressed, which makes it ineffective. If you notice the compression, it means that it’s time to replace it.
The best exhaust packing prevents the exhaust from becoming too hot. Some are made from fiberglass for durability and maximum performance.
Your dirt bike is designed with mudguards, fenders, and side paneling to protect you and your bike from debris and dirt. They also come in handyman the event of a crash. Regular cleaning can prevent plastic parts from looking old and faded.
When restoring the plastic parts, some experts suggest sanding the plastic as it allows for better absorption. There are plastic restorers that provide a clean and fresh look by working as an undercoat protector and a lubricant. Some block UV rays to reduce cracking and fading.
Carburetor Care and Maintenance
Carburetors in a 4-stroke dirt bike regulate airflow through the main bore. It’s this flowing air that draws in fuel, and the mixture gets into the engine through the intake valve. They consist of a center bore, a bowl, passage, vents, jets, a slide, air/fuel ratio adjustment, accelerator pump, and idle speed adjustment.
Some of the signs that show you need a carburetor tuning include:
A bike that isn’t smooth to accelerate
Engine hiccups when the throttle is opened
The engine overheats even when you don’t race a lot
Reduced fuel efficiency
The importance of carrying out routine maintenance is to determine the right air-to-fuel ratio that the engine is getting. Adjusting these ratios ensures that your bike functions optimally. If you have a weak spark, check the ignition coil. A damaged ignition coil causes the engine to miss at high rpm and run erratically.
Clogged carburetor vent hoses are another problem that needs to be addressed. Any dirt and debris accumulation in the hoses or vent tubes causes jetting to be lean, something that makes the engine sluggish.
A worn carburetor fuel inlet needle needs to be replaced every two years. Failure to replace it means the fuel will get into the float bowl and go up the pilot jet and into the engine.
Spoke Tightening and Maintenance
Spoked wheels are more durable than single-piece cast wheels, and that’s the reason they are fitted on most dirt bikes. However, the spokes which are between the tire and rim are neglected. Loose spokes cab damage or break the rim, which is something that can be costly to repair or replace. Also, overtightening strips the thread and stresses the rim.
You need to check the spokes regularly by tapping them with a metallic item. A dull sound will be heard if you have loose spokes, while tight spokes have a high pitch. Check if your wheel is running true by placing it on a stand and allow it to spin freely.
Maintaining dirt bike spokes requires tightening them when they become loose. Follow these simple tips if you’re doing this on your own:
You can use a spoke wrench or get a spoke torque wrench to tighten the spokes.
Avoid using pliers as it could damage the nipples.
Put the spoke wrench over the spoke’s head.
Turn the loose spokes anti-clockwise and examine the inside of the rim as you tighten the spoke.
If you need to loosen the spoke, turn the spoke clockwise. The direction is unlike regular bolts and nuts that use a clockwise direction when tightening.
Remove the wrench and tap on the spokes to listen to the sound.
If the sound is high pitched, this shows the spokes are properly tightened, but if it’s dull, you may need to tighten them again.
Change the Piston and Rings
The durability of the piston and rings depends on how you ride the dirt bike. If you are a weekend rider, the pistons will wear out gently, but for motocross racers, the pistons wear out faster. Other factors like track conditions will affect the longevity of the pistons and rings.
It’s best to change the piston in a 4-stroke dirt bike used for racing at least every 30 hours of riding. Although most people suggest that riding a bike gently can get you up to 100 hours of a 4-stroke piston, exposing the piston to tough conditions can break it. That’s why it’s recommended to change the piston every 50 hours when riding the dirt bike gently.
Replace Worn Out or Damaged Bearings
It can be challenging to know when bearings wear out, which is why you need to check them often and replace them once you notice something is out of place. You can check the wheel bearings by holding the dirt bike and trying to move the wheels from side to side.
Check the swingarm linkage bearings by placing the dirt bike on its stand. Take the rear wheel and try to move it up and down. The movement will point to the top rear shock bearing or the linkage bearing. Any wheel movement shows that the bearings need to be replaced.
To replace wheel bearings, you’ll need a screwdriver, a wrench to remove the wheel, punch, hammer, bearing retainer tools, and a bearing installer/socket.
Here are the steps to replace the bearings on a dirt bike:
Start with a clean bike. Wash it to make your work easier and let you know if you have a leak or any other problem with your bike.
Set the bike on a stand once it’s dry and remove the wheel that has the bearings you need to replace.
Remove the seals with a screwdriver to get to the bearings. Get rid of the retainer and flip the wheel to remove the bearing. Take the punch and push the wheel space in between the bearings to hit the bearing.
Hammer on the punch to knock the bearing out of the wheel. You want the bearing coming out straight. You’ll notice the wheel spacer out once the first wheel bearing is out.
When installing new bearings, clean the area around the wheel and set it back on the stand. Take the wheel bearing and place it on the journal. Use a piece of wood to hammer the bearing in until its flush. Install the wheel spacer once you flip the wheel over to the other side.
4-stroke dirt bikes have multiple moving parts, which means they require lots of maintenance. These bikes are fast, powerful, and efficient, something that makes it ideal for trails and other races.
The above tips will help you understand how a 4-stroke bike works and how to maintain it to ensure the bike is simple to handle, easy to ride, and offers optimum power when maneuvering and controlling it.