The Garage

Garage Talk for Motocross, Bicycles, Street, UTV, ATV and More!

How To Get Your Kid Riding | Pt.1

Our Easy Guide to Getting Kids Riding

Motocross is an American pastime. A bike, dirt, and no traffic rules! Continuing these pastimes from one generation to the next is one of the great pleasures of life. Now, while getting on a bike might be easy, actually riding as a sport possesses a considerable learning curve. Looking for a good approach on how to get your kid riding? Follow these steps on how to get your child into one of the most accessible motorsports on the planet.

Get Them On A Bike In The Dirt, And Do It Early.

A toddler catches some air on his Strider balance bike.
Balance bikes such as a Strider are a good tool for young kids to learn proper balance.

Riding a bike is widely considered one of the hallmarks of childhood. It’s something practically everyone does. An easy way of getting your little one prepared for a dirt bike is getting them on a non-powered bike, like a Strider Balance Bike. Learning the basic fundamentals of balancing and learning to shift their weight on a curve/turn is absolutely crucial. This is especially true once the jump is made to a full-fledged dirt bike. That’s the key; DIRT. Riding on the street or sidewalk is largely different than off-road. Have them get a feel for, well, how riding on dirt FEELS.

Buy A Motocross Bike

A toddler rides his first dirt bike while the father captures the special moment.

This one should be obvious! Once you feel your child is ready, get them on a dirt bike! For the smallest riders, a 50CC bike is the most common. They drive essentially like an automatic, eliminating the complexity of having to operate a clutch. Even if it’s a second-hand bike (oftentimes a good idea, especially since kids grow so fast), getting them accustomed to a throttle is an important element to learning about this motorsport.

Find Your Local Motocross Tracks

A parent and child ride dirt bikes in matching Yamaha gear.

Do some research, and find your nearest dirt bike track or established open space. Motocross is an inherently loud sport, and noise pollution and complaints are commonplace. If you want to get experience under your belt, especially course obstacles, find your local track. This is where you’ll be able to make connections with others involved with the sport. This brings us to our next tip…

Find A Coach/Riding School

A Honda Riding Experience Instructor explains to kids the basics of dirt bike riding.
Riding schools such as the Honda Rider Experience introduces kids to the sport and teaches them how to properly control a dirt bike.

Does your kid want to ride motocross but you’ve never really done it? Or are they trying to take their skills to the next level? Riding School! While they tend to be on the expensive side, riding schools are often worth the investment. These kinds of facilities cater to riders of all skill levels. Most all of riding schools have a former top-level/pro motocross rider for coaching and tips. Having someone with vast competitive experience under their belt should serve as a good point of aspiration and inspiration for your child. Riding schools also tend to be associated with/the site of…

A Riding/Motocross Club

a pack of kids riding on a dirt track during a moto

A large majority of sanctioned races/tracks require a motocross club membership. This is due to the sanctioning and officiating of their races. This is widely considered to be an integral part in progressing further into the world of MX, and is the first step into full-on competition. Before they do any of this though, it’s extremely important to invest in…

Getting Good Gear

Safety is always the biggest priority in sports. In motorsports, this is magnified even further. Racewear (Jersey, Pants) nowadays feature light, yet durable material that helps the rider stay cool and protected. Proper fitting goggles with tear-off strips ensure all-too-important clear vision of surroundings. (Get a free pair of Fox youth goggles with the purchase of a Fox jersey/pant set with our limited time offer). Boots are essential to helping control a bike with physical contact and prevent ankle twisting. Gloves are necessary for proper grip on the bars and overall hand protection. A chest protector is very important to prevent injuries caused by rocks and debris that inevitably get kicked up by other riders. Neck braces like the Leatt GPX, while pricey, could be the difference in a life or death scenario.

Youth Dirt Bike Gear Brands

Here are some great youth motocross gear brands to get you started:

By far the most crucial piece of gear to have is a motocross helmet. This absolutely required piece of gear works only as well as it fits. Be sure that your child’s helmet fits properly. Helmets should feel snug all-around, especially on the cheek pads. If they say its ‘too’ tight, ask them where. If it’s the cheeks/face, especially if it’s a new helmet, this is considered normal and will ‘break-in’ after a few rides.

Proper gear is important for young riders starting out.

Should the helmet feel tight around the crown or top of their head, this would be cause for concern, and the helmet may be too small. If the helmet slides around on your child’s head, even a little, it’s probably too big. There are sizing guides and measurements that can be referenced to ensure your kid’s helmet fits and functions properly. Still not sure? Try calling one of our friendly knowledgeable sales staff. Lastly…

Practice/Support!

Encouraging your child and having them practice are the biggest, most important aspects of getting your kid into MX. Practicing on your bike not only helps with technique and finesse but is a physically conditioning workout that helps every muscle needed in an actual moto. Teach them that it’s okay to fall down or crash, and never get frustrated with them. Have them learn one mechanic of riding at a time, and get them on their bike as often as they’re willing. Don’t forget the most important part about riding a dirt bike or motocross—HAVE FUN!

Practice Practice Practice! Ride any chance you get!

Riding dirt bikes is an extremely enjoyable activity, whether going out to the desert for the weekend with family or climbing up the amateur ladder for competitive racing. Remember to invest in a good bike, a can-do attitude, and quality safety gear. Get top-quality dirt bike gear and parts at the best online pricing over at BTOSports.com!

Pt 2 – The Proper Gear From Head to Toe

Trevor Edwards
A wordsmith that also keeps it wide open, I have been known to win a race or two. The world of music and dirt bikes come together in my life for an epic ride sesh!