I’ve seen firsthand the joy and learning opportunities that dirt biking offers, especially for youngsters. Today, I am going to shed light on the top five dirt bikes perfect for 12-year-olds in 2023, highlighting their features, capabilities, and safety considerations. I’ve based these selections on reliability, ease of control, and overall suitability for a pre-teen rider.
Top 5 Dirt Bikes for 12-Year-Olds In 2023
1. Honda CRF125F
Starting off the list is the Honda CRF125F, a perennial favorite in the junior dirt bike world. Honda has always been known for its reliability, and the CRF125F is no exception. Powered by an air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine, it delivers a smooth and easy-to-handle power output ideal for young riders.
The 2023 model comes with both an electric starter and a manual kick start, providing a reliable start in all situations. It’s equipped with a four-speed transmission that’s simple to master. An excellent feature that increases safety and rider confidence is the adjustable throttle limiter, which allows parents to limit speed while the child is still learning.
2. Yamaha TT-R125LE
Next, we have the Yamaha TT-R125LE. It’s another fantastic entry-level bike designed specifically for younger and smaller riders. With a 124cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke engine and five-speed gearbox with automatic clutch, the TT-R125LE provides plenty of power without being intimidating.
The bike features an adjustable suspension, enabling you to fine-tune the bike to cater to your child’s growing needs. It has a lower seat height for easier maneuvering, and the electric start mechanism makes it very beginner-friendly. The TT-R125LE’s build quality, easy handling, and dependability make it an excellent option.
3. Kawasaki KLX140R
The Kawasaki KLX140R is designed for a variety of riders, including younger riders progressing from beginner bikes. Its 144cc, air-cooled, four-stroke engine offers a generous torque output. The smooth power delivery, paired with a five-speed transmission with manual clutch, allows the rider to have full control.
The KLX140R features a keyless electric start for easy operation and adjustable suspension that can be dialed in to match the rider’s weight and skill level. The disc brakes offer excellent stopping power, and the bike’s ergonomics are designed with smaller riders in mind. It’s a fantastic stepping stone for those ready to move up to a more potent, race-style bike.
4. Suzuki DR-Z125L
The Suzuki DR-Z125L is a great middle-of-the-road choice. With its 124cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine and five-speed transmission, this bike strikes a balance between power and controllability, ideal for growing riders.
Suzuki has designed the DR-Z125L with a steel frame, contributing to its durability and stability. The bike also comes with a low seat height, ensuring your child can comfortably touch the ground. Additionally, its aggressive styling makes it appealing to pre-teens who want a bike that looks as great as it performs.
5. KTM 85 SX 19/16
Finally, for pre-teens with some experience under their belts, the KTM 85 SX 19/16 is a phenomenal choice. This is a competition-ready bike with a two-stroke, 85cc engine, offering a significant power upgrade from the other options on this list. However, it’s worth noting that it’s geared toward more experienced riders due to its manual clutch and powerful performance.
This bike is packed with premium features like an adjustable suspension and high-quality disc brakes. It’s lightweight, agile, and designed for speed and performance, much like the full-sized motocross bikes KTM is renowned for. While this bike is definitely on the higher end of the price range, its performance and features justify the investment.
All the bikes listed here have something unique to offer, and your ultimate decision will be driven by your child’s experience, confidence, height, and weight. Remember, safety is paramount, so ensure your young rider always wears appropriate protective gear and rides within their skill level. Happy riding!