It is the case with most things that if you want to get good at a particular skill, it is often best to start young.
Growing older, we tend to get more cautious as we become more concerned about injuring ourselves.
Children are not only more fearless and willing to try new things, but their minds are also more open to taking on new skills.
Many parents will be concerned about the prospect of letting their 13 year old ride a motorized vehicle, especially one as powerful as a dirt bike.
The prospect of your child falling off and injuring themselves may make you reluctant to encourage this hobby. However, dirt biking can be both an exhilarating and highly enjoyable sport.
Letting your child take up dirt biking will make them more comfortable controlling other vehicles in the future and give them a great outdoor sport that they will enjoy for many years to come.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t any dangers, but as long as you buy the right vehicle and make sure your teen wears all the proper safety equipment, many of these risks can be mitigated.
Picking the right bike for your kid is all about finding a machine that will be fun to ride, but not too powerful that they won’t be able to control it.
Similarly, the saddled should be low enough that the child can reach the footrests but not so small that they will grow out of it in a year.
With so much to consider, we’ve put together a helpful guide to assist you in shopping for a bike and run through a few of the best dirt bikes available for 13 years olds.
OUR TOP PICK
Electric dirt bikes are a great choice for young riders as they are a simple way to get moving and are cheaper to maintain since they don’t require gas.
The Razor MX650 is a great choice for teens beginning their motorcycling journey that provides up to 40 minutes of riding time when fully charged.
The bike says it is for recommended ages of 16 plus but it is small enough for most 13 years olds to ride it comfortably.
With a 650w high torque motor that is small but powerful, the bike can reach a maximum speed of 27km/h which is fast enough to be fun, but slow enough to be safe.
The plastic, lightweight chassis means it won’t be too heavy for your child to lift it and carry it around themselves.
Dual suspension makes it easy for the rider to stay in the saddle without being thrown by any unexpected bumps.
This bike's only drawback is its battery which takes up to 12 hours to fully charge.
Charging it overnight should be fine to avoid long waits, but it is essential to charge the battery once a month or the power cell may lose its ability to accept a charge.
- Electric motor - No buying fuel or worrying about your carbon footprint.
- Maximum speed of 27km/h- The motor is powerful enough for your child to build up speed, but not so fast that they will lose control of the bike.
- Light-weight chassis - Made from shatter-resistant plastic, so the bike can be easily picked up and transported.
- Dual Suspension - Means the bike can absorb most impacts without unseating the rider.
- Affordable - Great for anyone looking for a cheap way to introduce their child to the wonders of dirt biking.
- 40 minutes riding time - This bike can’t be taken for long rides without needing to be recharged.
- 12 hours charge time - As well as having a short riding time, this bike takes a very long time to charge before it can be ridden.
Thirteen seems like a young age to take up motorcycling, but some riders start even earlier. There are even smaller bikes available for children as young as 9.
If your son or daughter is already an experienced rider, you may be looking for an upgrade so they can take their skills to the next level. In that case, the Husqvarna TC 85 is the bike for you.
This vehicle is marketed as a stepping stone for young riders to progress from training bikes and hone their skills.
Don’t worry about it being too powerful, the two-stroke 85cc engine has a solid kick but is still very tame compared to a fully-fledged dirt bike.
The WP XACT rear and front suspension are great for keeping the bike stable and absorbing all sizes of impact while still providing a smooth ride.
The frame is made from chromium-molybdenum steel, which is highly durable and great for providing the type of feedback that will make your child a better rider.
As well as helping young bikers to improve their skills, this bike will also help them learn how to maintain their vehicle.
The air filter is easy to reach without tools and many of the mechanical components are easy to see, so children can learn how their bike works and how to look after it.
- Help your child get better - The TC 85 is a great choice for young intermediate riders who are looking to step up their game.
- WP XACT suspension - 43 mm front forks and shock absorbers under the saddle provide a safe and comfortable riding experience.
- Chromium-Molybdenum Steel frame - Not only is the bike very durable, but the solid frame will provide precise feedback that will help the rider improve.
- 2-stroke 85cc engine - Provides enough power for an exhilarating experience, but not so powerful that the rider will easily lose control.
- Not great for complete beginners - May be intimidating for someone who has never touched a dirt bike before.
As with the Husqvarna, this isn’t a vehicle for beginners and inexperienced riders due to its powerful engine.
That said, it is a great choice if you want a small bike that will give your child a similar experience to riding a full-sized one.
A 125cc four-stroke engine may sound frightening, but it is still a low to mid-range power engine. Your 13-year-old can tear through the mud, but shouldn’t have any problem handling this bike.
This is helped by the large tires, which will provide extra stability and traction on any terrain.
Slowing down is as essential to becoming a skilled rider as speeding up so the front disc brakes and rear drum brakes will also massively help with controlling the bike.
With a 4.8L gas tank, your child can enjoy hours of dirt biking fun between each refill.
This bike is durable, and the 32-inch seat height will be the right size for your teen to not immediately grow out of it in a year or two.
If the bike becomes damaged or arrives with a defect, you can rest easy thanks to the company’s 6-year limited warranty.
- Five-speed gears - Give your 13-year-old a proper dirt biking experience with this semi-professional dirt bike for junior riders.
- 4.8L fuel tank - This bike will run for longer than many electric models on a single can of gas.
- 6 Year Warranty - If your bike is broken or damaged, the company will replace or repair it for you.
- 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels - The wheels are large to provide more stability and traction on any terrain.
- Not great for complete beginners - If your child is trying dirt biking for the first time, they may be intimidated by the power offered by this model.
The Kawasaki KLX110 is advertised as a small bike that provides big fun. With a stylish lime green chassis and an air-cooled 4-stroke engine, this is another great choice for young riders.
The seat is low enough for any child to fit on the bike and the engine, while capable of picking up speed, is manageable enough for beginners.
While the two drum brakes at the front and the back will heat up and possibly wear out faster, they will also provide more braking power.
This gives your child more control over their vehicle, which is crucial to staying safe.
When it comes to suspension, the Kawasaki has telescopic front forks and single-shock rear suspension for a smooth, comfortable ride.
The bike may struggle with heavier riders and the suspension is great for tracks but less capable of handling big jumps.
Naturally, if your 13-year-old is just starting with the hobby, they won’t be trying to launch off any ramps. That said, if you are looking for a trick bike, you will want a slightly sturdier vehicle.
Another feature great for beginners is the semi-automatic clutch that will allow your child to get riding without worrying about stalling the engine.
- Air-cooled 4-stroke engine - Enough to pick up speed but still manageable for inexperienced bikers.
- Drum Brakes - The brakes may heat up faster, but they will also slow down the bike much faster.
- Steel frame - This bike is durable and capable of withstanding a few drops.
- 3.6L fuel tank - Ride for hours before you need a refill.
- Telescopic front forks - With excellent suspension, this bike can travel over rough or flat terrain while still providing a smooth ride.
- Not great for heavier riders - This bike may struggle with carrying heavier individuals.
- Not a trick bike - The suspension on this bike is not designed to withstand repeated jumps.
The trial hero is another electric bike and as such will need to be charged before you can use it.
Many electric dirt bikes won’t run as long as their gas-powered counterparts, but the Kuberg definitely has the advantage over the Razor we covered earlier.
This motor only requires a 6-hour charge for 2 hours of tearing up the track.
While this is an improvement, it is still a long time to wait, so remember to put the bike on charge well before your child intends to use it.
What makes this a great bike for beginners is its manageable maximum speed of 27 km/h and clutchless one-speed transmission.
Not only will this get your teen used to handling an engine, but it will also get them moving without the worry of stalling.
Concerned parents will love the kill switch, which is attached to a small bracelet worn by the rider. If your child does come off the bike, the engine will immediately stop.
The double-cradle, powdered steel frame, is more durable than many other bikes sold for kids.
This is combined with front forks and a rear suspension system that is built to handle rough terrain without sacrificing comfort.
Instead of conventional gears, the control panel allows the young rider to choose between three speed settings, helping them to control their power and battery consumption.
Finally, this bike can be paired with your phone via an app for downloading firmware updates and setting a riding perimeter.
- Solid durable frame - Built to withstand most impacts without taking damage.
- Three different speed settings - No clutch or chance of stalling, the three speed settings make it easy for the rider to control their speed and battery usage.
- Great for beginners - With a max speed of 27 km/h this bike is very manageable for those new to biking
- Safety Kill Switch - The kill switch is connected to a bracelet worn by the rider, so if they fall off, the bike will immediately stop.
- 6 hours of charging for 2 hours riding - Long preparation time to ensure the bike is fully charged.
If you want a bike that is in between the Kuberg and the Husqvarna, for those riders ready to go faster but not ready for a full powered engine, this is what you are looking for.
The Yamaha TT-R110E has a 110cc engine which will go fast, but certainly not as fast as other engines we’ve looked at.
Even though it has four different speeds, there is no clutch, so children can get accustomed to moving up the gears without stalling the bike.
There is an electric start with the kick-start acting as a backup, meaning if your child hasn’t gotten the hang of kicking off, they can get moving with the press of a button.
The two drum brakes provide great stopping distance in most conditions, and the 26.4 inch seat height will be suitable for 13-year-olds and younger children as well.
Despite its small size, the bike has a 1-gallon gas tank, so it can keep going for hours of trailblazing fun.
The chain transmission makes the engine easier to service, and the air filter can be accessed without tools.
As well as making your child a better rider, this bike is another great model for teaching them about how their machine works and how to look after it.
- Small bike for small riders - The 26.4 inch seat height is great for younger riders.
- Electric start - Get moving at the push of a button
- No clutch - Your child can experience a four-speed bike without having to learn clutch control.
- Very easy to service - The chain transmission and air filter are easy to access and service when needed.
- Some difficulty shifting up - As with many 110cc engines, the auto clutch can have some difficulty shifting up gears.
If you are willing to spend a bit more on a starter bike, this model from KTM comes with all the bells and whistles you could wish for.
This bike is probably not for beginners since, unlike the other bikes on this list, the SX 17/14 has a clutch.
Clutch control can be challenging at first, but the six-speed gearbox and hydraulic clutch system make it easy to learn about shifting gears without stalling.
With a 85cc engine, this bike is capable of reaching decent speeds while remaining manageable for a young rider.
The frame is a scaled-down version of KTM’s championship winning larger models.
Not only does it look great, but this bike is very durable, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking after a few drops.
The bike’s swingarm serves the function of altering the distance between the rear wheel and the seat.
This helps the rider to have more maneuverability on tight turns and twisting dirt tracks. The rear wheel is slightly shorter than the front to accommodate young riders of all shapes and sizes.
- Easy to use clutch - Teach your child how to handle a manual bike with a clutch that always has the same biting point in any condition.
- 17 inch front and 14 inch rear wheels - The shorter back wheel makes this bike great for shorter riders.
- 85cc engine - This bike has a 6-speed gearbox, meaning it can pick up the pace without becoming unmanageable.
- Easy to service - The air filter can be accessed without tools for easy maintenance.
- Expensive - This bike is worth the money but not for those working on a budget.
Best Dirt Bikes For 13 Year Olds Buying Guide
If you are buying a bike for your 13-year-old, you are going to want to ensure that it is safe but also fun to use.
Some children will have a greater need for speed than others, and the most important thing to consider is your child's riding experience and confidence.
Starter bikes can range from small vehicles to bikes that are almost toys.
Here are some things to consider when looking for a bike for your 13-year-old son or daughter.
You don’t want to limit your child's speed too much.
When they do get a more powerful vehicle, it will be good for them to have had experience moving at high speed, so it doesn't catch them by surprise.
CC stands for cubic capacity and tells you how much gasoline an engine can hold and therefore how much rotational force it will generate.
A 125cc bike may be too powerful for a complete beginner, while electric motors capable of only reaching 27 km/h will be boring for more experienced riders.
Clutch Or No Clutch
One of the more difficult parts of driving any manual vehicle is controlling the clutch.
This is a useful skill to learn and at some point, and any child who wants to take dirt biking seriously, will need to have basic clutch control.
That said, not using the clutch properly will stall the bike, and this can be very frustrating for beginners.
If you want your 13-year-old to get moving as soon as possible, consider buying a bike with a clutchless transmission.
Disc Brakes Vs Drum Brakes
Normally, many bikers prefer disc brakes over drums, as they are more exposed to the air and thus won’t overheat as much.
This not only makes them easier to maintain, but disc brakes won’t need to be replaced as often as drums.
The reason many starter bikes have drum brakes instead is because they can provide more stopping power.
Stopping is as essential as speeding up, so drum brakes are much better for young bikers who may need to slow down faster if they feel they are losing control of the bike.
Also make sure the bike you buy has a good kill switch, as this is the component that stops the bike if the rider comes off, preventing damage to both the vehicle and the rider.
Frequently Asked questions
Are Dirt Bikes Safe For 13 Years Olds?
No sport is ever completely free of danger, but dirt biking is far from a risk-free hobby.
However, many bikers start even younger, and most starter bikes are designed to give a gentle introduction to handling motorized vehicles.
While there are risks, there are also many benefits that 13-year-olds can derive from dirt biking.
Not only does it get your teen out of the house, but it will get them used to engines, which will make them more comfortable with cars and motorbikes in the future.
What Safety Gear Do I Need?
Every time your child gets in the saddle, it shouldn’t be without a proper helmet and set of motorbike leathers.
The one-piece leather suits sold for bikers have special shock absorbent pads, so they can’t be substituted by thick cloths or just a simple leather jacket.
Also, pick up a good set of biking gloves to protect your child's hands and make it easier for them to grip the handlebars.