The bicycle is often considered the first freedom machine for most of us, but there’s something special about the first motorcycle that changes how you view life. Whether it was an XR50, a YZ80, or a classic Trail 70, we put these machines through the ringer and imagined ourselves as motocross legends like Jeremy McGrath, Bob ‘Hurricane’ Hannah, or Evel Knievel. Our backyard became our own personal motocross track, and our precious first motorcycles endured all the wear and tear that came with pushing the limits on two wheels.
Unfortunately, most of those old relics are gone now. But for many of us, it’s time to pass that same enthusiasm down to the next generation, albeit with a little less daredevil activity. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to get kids off the couch and onto a motorcycle, with added safety and parental control.
When choosing a motorcycle for your child, consider their size, riding aptitude, and your budget. Here are five machines that are sure to ignite a passion for two wheels:
1. Yamaha PW50: This bike has been a popular choice for young riders for over four decades. With its traditional design and reliable performance, the Yamaha PW50 is an excellent choice for beginners aged roughly 3 to 7. It features a lightweight frame, low seat height, automatic transmission, and adjustable throttle stop to help parents control the speed progression. The PW50 is relatively maintenance-free and offers a great starting point for new riders, although it is priced slightly high at $1,699.
2. Honda CRF50F: With a reputation built on decades of excellence in mini-moto machines, the Honda CRF50F is considered the standard for youth motorcycles. This bike is perfect for riders aged 4 to 9 and offers a three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch, allowing young riders to learn the basics of gear shifting without the fear of stalling. The CRF50F is priced affordably at $1,799 compared to other options in its class.
3. KTM 50 SX MINI: While the KTM 50 SX MINI is more suited for the track than casual trail riding, it is worth considering if your child has aspirations of podium finishes. This bike is a miniature version of KTM’s motocross lineup, featuring race-caliber features such as a steel frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke engine, and high-performance suspension. However, it is important to note that the KTM 50 SX MINI requires closer supervision due to its higher performance and price of $4,199.
4. STACYC Electric Stability Cycles: For those who prefer electric-powered bikes, STACYC Electric Stability Cycles offer an excellent option to introduce young riders to the basics of motorcycle riding. These low-slung, lightweight bikes are easy to handle and feature different power modes for varying skill levels. The STACYC 12eDrive is the most accessible option for ages 3 to 5, while the 20eDrive offers higher speeds and better components for older riders. Plus, STACYC covers your USA BMX membership for the first year, allowing your child to race at BMX tracks.
5. SSR SX50-A: If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to the big-name brands, the SSR SX50-A is worth considering. Priced at just $569, this motorcycle offers decent performance and durability at a budget-friendly price. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end models, the SSR SX50-A is a great option for beginners who want to get their feet wet without breaking the bank.
When choosing a motorcycle for your child, safety should always be a top priority. Make sure your child wears appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, goggles, gloves, and protective clothing. Additionally, parents should provide proper supervision, teach their child the rules of the road, and ensure the motorcycle is suited to their child’s size and ability.
In conclusion, introducing your child to the joy of motorcycling is a great way to ignite their passion for two wheels. With a wide range of options available, there’s a motorcycle out there for every young rider, regardless of their age, size, or skill level. Whether you choose a Yamaha PW50, Honda CRF50F, KTM 50 SX MINI, STACYC Electric Stability Cycle, or SSR SX50-A, you can be sure your child will experience the thrill of riding and create memories that will last a lifetime.