How old do you have to be to ride an electric dirt bike?
The short answer according to electric dirt bikes offered by manufacturers Razor and MotoTec is that kids can start riding electric dirt bikes by the age of 3. But, as you probably guessed, the answer depends on who you ask. According to leading medical authorities such as PubMed, kids shouldn’t start until the age of 16.
“Children should not operate motorbikes until they are old enough to obtain a motor vehicle driver’s license, which occurs at a minimum of 16 years of age.”–Wendy Pomerantz MD, MS
Why the different assumptions and what do you have to consider as a parent? Read on to find out.
Why Are Electric Dirt Bikes Dangerous for Kids?
Riding electric dirt bikes can be absolutely exhilarating. However, it comes with a great many dangers especially if you don’t know how to operate a dirt bike properly whether that be a kid or an adult.
Most kids can be a little too headstrong when it comes to things they like such as exciting activities like dirt biking. This can be dangerous as young inexperienced riders can neglect their own safety while they focus their attention on having fun riding.
Moreover, according to the Medical Journal of Australia, kids — most likely between the 6 and 10 years old — might not have the developmental and cognitive ability to properly control the movements of motorcycles.
A study conducted by researchers from Ohio with the participation of 6 Ohio hospitals found that the most common injured body parts in accidents involving children and motorcycles included:
- Lower extremities (23%)
- Head (22%)
- Abdomen/pelvis (13%)
- Face (12%)
- Upper extremities (12%)
While the most common types of injuries included:
- Fractures – 37% – (Damages involving bones)
- Abrasions – 24% – (Injuries caused by scraping on the skin with damage to its topmost layer)
- contusions – 24% – (Hemorrhages under the skin. AKA bruises)
- Lacerations – 13% – (Skin injury produced by the tearing of soft body tissue)
- Abdominal organ injuries – 8% – (Injuries to organs inside the abdomen usually caused by blunt trauma during crashes)
- Intracranial injuries – 8% – (Injuries to the head or brain caused by blunt trauma)
Another reason dirt bikes are dangerous for children is that kids tend to neglect wearing safety gear such as helmets. The same study above also mentioned that 67% of 152 injured kids from the 6 Ohio hospitals weren’t wearing helmets. Crazy!
Though even fully grown adults can get seriously hurt crashing with no helmet, the best thing to do is to wait for your child’s body to be fully developed. Likely, to the point where they can withstand impact from minor accidents before you completely give them the reins in dirt biking. That would be at age 18 on average although they can start riding as early as 14. Oh — and never forget the helmet.
Is Your Child Ready to Ride an Electric Dirt Bike?
It’s best to start the little ones with lightweight and child-friendly electric dirt bikes (with training wheels). By 6 years old, your kids will be taking supervised quick rides using more advanced electric dirt bikes. You can even find a seven year old more experienced than an adult rider that the latter can’t keep up with the little one on the tracks.
But what exactly do parents have to watch out for before letting a child ride an electric dirt bike for the first time?
A confident attitude, for one. You can probably tell when a child is comfortable with dirt biking by their attitude towards seeing the dirt bike. If they’re excited just looking at it, this raises the chance that they’ll be comfortable with it and vice versa. Another way to find out kids’ comfort level with dirt bikes is to check their feelings. Are they scared? Nervous? Kids who are too scared or nervous to ride a dirt bike will be very uncomfortable in doing so.
You can build confidence in a nervous child by taking your time introducing him or her to the activity. You can try letting your little one sit on the bike without moving it until they realize it isn’t that scary, or slowly move the bike back and forth by hand while your child is sitting on it. You can also install safety bars and training wheels. This will slowly build their confidence until they get over the fear of riding a dirt bike.
Dirt Bike Safety and Kids
The first thing parents think about before letting children ride electric dirt bikes is their safety. If you’re fully intent on introducing your kids to dirt bikes, here’s a bit of advice on handling kids with electric dirt bikes safely.
Babies and Electric Dirt Bikes: Specific Tips
We’re sure you already know this, but babies can’t ride electric dirt bikes all on their own. Most are still using push bikes without pedals. That doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to ride one though. Babies can be quite fast learners when given the chance.
The best thing you can do is to let your baby sit on a push bike with training wheels hopefully with a safety belt so they won’t fall over. At first they’ll play around on it trying to get a feel for the new object in front of them, but as time goes on they’ll eventually learn how to hold the handlebars… and maybe even steer. Feel free to push them so they get used to the experience of being on the bike while it’s moving without pedaling or walking it.
Toddlers and Electric Dirt Bikes: Low Speed is Key
How old do you have to be to ride an electric dirt bike? Some experts rail against introducing toddlers to electric dirt bike riding. Alternatively, some parents approve of toddlers riding electric dirt bikes so long as they take safety precautions.
Training your little one this early has its own upsides since kids will quickly learn the basic skills. Try installing training wheels and getting a lanyard or a rope and tie it onto the bike’s rear end to control the speed then keep the speed below 5mph.
We also recommend that, if you choose to introduce your son or daughter to electric dirt bikes this young, the bike is sufficiently slow with smooth acceleration to make riding easy. The last thing you want is a snappy bike that hits a rapid top speed, sending your kid into a telephone pole. Something that gets the bike up to a low max speed gradually will build confidence and core skills.
3 – 8 years
Children aged 3 to 8 should be riding below 10 mph. There are various electric dirt bike models in this age bracket. One example is Kuberg’s Cross X-Force Pro 50 electric dirt bike. This electric dirt bike’s low speed can minimize crashes and accidents.
Once your kid gets used to the basics of dirt biking, maybe they can try bigger starter dirt bikes like MotoTec’s 24V electric dirt bike. This bike comes with the authentic dirt bike look and optional training wheels so it’s an ideal starter bike if you want your kid to get used to authentic dirt bikes early.
Guide your little one through the activity patiently since their ability to process and understand information is still developing. The smallest electric bike for kids has a maximum speed of 2mph, so it is very safe. The dirt bikes in this category are incredibly light and easy to handle.
Always be present to provide guidance and to make sure your kids are comfortable. Remember that children this young especially lack spatial awareness and the adequate strength to ride an electric dirt bike by themselves.
You can also equip the electric dirt bike with safety bars or training wheels so that it remains upright at all times. This will help your kid get used to the bike without the risk of falling over and injury.
How old do you have to be to ride an electric dirt bike?
The dangers with dirt biking doesn’t end when a kid finally grows up. The risk persists all the way to adulthood. This is one thing parents must understand before introducing the art of electric dirt biking to children. Always remember to prepare accordingly — get a bike that fits, wear proper gears, and practice safe riding.
Once your child gets used to dirt biking, it becomes more exciting to teach them how to ride electric dirt bikes and watch them grow up to seasoned electric dirt bikers. Nothing provides your kid with the opportunity to get out there and explore the world like electric dirt biking. Hence, you have to make sure you’re doing everything right to start them on the right track.
Also read: Apollo DB-10 Electric Motorcycle Review