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Teaching your kid to ride a dirt bike

Does your little champ beg you to let him ride a dirt bike? Are you considering buying one of those 50cc or 110cc dirt bikes to get your kid started? Great decision!

Teaching your kid early on can help him become the confident, responsible rider that you want him to be. But it takes a little training and hard work.

Here’s a brief guide to help your kid get started.

Purchasing a bike

If he can ride a bicycle, he might as well be ready to ride a dirt bike. All you have to do is pick the right one for him. Let him sit on the bike and see if both his feet touch the ground. Buy the right size, as a bigger bike might intimidate him.

It is recommended to choose a 3-speed ‘semi-automatic no-clutch’ bike over a manual. Why? I’ll explain later in this article.

And how much power can he handle will depend on the environment where he will be learning in initially. Choose an area that is wide open and has no obstacles. Avoid tarmac until your child has built enough confidence and skills.

Riding Gear

Safety is undeniably the top priority. If your kid has the right safety gear on, he’s going to have a fun day. Consider purchasing kids motorbike gear before taking the delivery of the bike so that your kid is safe on his first day of riding.

The right body posture

Let him sit on the bike and put him in the controlling position, with hands firmly holding the handlebar, upper body leaning forward and elbows bent. This posture will help your kid stay alert and be in-charge.

Before you teach your kid how to ride, teach him how to stop.

This is the first thing your kid must learn in order to build confidence and a sense of control. You can do this by educating him about the front and rear brakes and how they work. Stomp on rear brakes and then gently pull on the front brakes to stop the bike without tipping over. Teach him about the perils of jamming on front brakes and let him practice so he can learn to avoid panic braking.

Getting started

Let your kid accelerate slowly. Once he travels about 10 feet, ask him to use the front brakes to come to a stop. Repeat this process over and again until he feels confident and can stop at his will.

Avoid whisky throttle

Whisky throttle is when someone ends up giving the throttle when they don’t want to and lose control and fall backwards. You can prevent that by letting your kid ride in the second gear. Yes, skip the first gear. Put him in the second and make sure his posture is accurate. This is where a ‘semi-automatic bike with no clutch’ is helpful.

Practice

Your involvement matters. Observe when he’s practising. Correct when he’s making mistakes. And tell him that it’s okay to tip over. As long he has his safety gear on, he’ll be safe.

Introduce him to twists and bends

Once your kid seems confident enough, take him to the track and let him negotiate the twists and bends, and ups and downs on his own, based on what he has learned so far.

Teach him:

  • Not to apply front brakes when leaning into the corner
  • Go steady on the acceleration when riding up the slope
  • Do not panic when going downhill and don’t let your feet off the pegs.
  • Always reach for the kill switch when tipped over
  • Respect your fellow riders when riding in a group

Most importantly, teach him to be safe and ride within speed limits on open roads.

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Written by Virily Editor

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