Kids 70cc Dirt Bikes: What Are Your Options?
A fun, cool-looking 70cc dirt bike may be an ideal gift for your 8- to 11-year-old kid. These bikes possess just enough power to give a kid a thrill and to feel like a motocross pro. They also include the right features to help a child develop biking experience; they're a stepping stone to more powerful bikes, but not too overwhelming to be difficult to handle or uncomfortable.
You might just be surprised to find out how many fairly decent 70cc engine mini dirt bikes there are. I know I was while researching my nephew's new bike. There's a pretty decent range to choose from, both new and used, which we will explore. We'll focus on the more popular and trusted models. Granted, no decent 70cc dirt bike (even used) is going to be spare change, but you certainly don't need to necessarily break the bank either.
- How fast do they go?
Let's get the most common question out of the way before we move on: What's the top speed of a 70cc dirt bike? In all honesty, it depends on the model and its condition. In very general terms, these bikes tend to have a top speed within the range of the 40 to 50 miles per hour (some of the cheaper models even less so). However, I do not recommend that you be overly concerned with engine specs, cosmetics, and top speed. Focus on the feel your child gets from the bike, the quality of the components, and how well it is put together. These factors generally determine how comfortable the bike is and how secure it feels, which in turn relates to how much performance and enjoyment your child gets.
Let's get right into some of the better and more popular models to choose from. I will just give a general review: where you can find them and what kind of price tag you should expect. Then I will go into a few tips on buying dirt bikes.
This Chinese brand is certainly one of the more popular bikes. This is due to it being so cheap in comparison to the other dirt bikes on offer in this power range (of course there is a reason for that).
They typically run around $500 bucks brand new, plus a set-up fee and tax. In all, $650. You can get a used one from Craigslist, motor forums, or eBay for under $300 from what I've seen. They are of course small enough to just stick in the large car trunk and you can take them out the woods or a field and have an awesome time, just make sure you are all kitted out safely.
- Dimensions: L 60" x W 19.3" x 35.9"
- Weight: 130 lbs
These bikes are a lot of fun (great video review above), are surprisingly well-constructed, and pretty sturdy. A lot of the plastic will undoubetdly fall and break off over time with usage.
That being said, if you have done any research and read reviews of the Baja brand, (and Chinese bikes in general), they are somewhat more miss than hit. Many will tell you to stay well clear and go for a Honda quality build, whereas some others have had no issue with Baja whatsoever.
What a lot of people find issue with is just the simple lack of quality in the build. The amount of time you to spend fixing it might add up to the price of a better quality bike (or a used one that has been re-built over time and still are more reliable). On the flip side, a Baja is just under half the price of a brand new Honda CRF. If you find a sound Baja, you could potentially save yourself a lot of money.
However in this market, you more often than not get what you pay for. If you have a budget, you're better off going with an older, used, and refurbished Japanese Kawasaki or Honda than a brand new Baja.
This is the model that I have recently been on the look out for. The versions of the Honda CRF 70 are undoubtedly of better overall quality bike, in terms of components and build quality. It offers a far superior riding experience, and more importantly, reliability. They are built to last an age, however, they are a fair bit more expensive.
A used 2008 Honda CRF, listed for $1,500 on eBay, is three times the price of a Baja. Obviously the older the model, the cheaper they tend to be. Ten years old and you're looking at closer to $650. However, the difference in quality throughout the bike is as plain as night and day.
Originally released in 2004, this ultra-fun compact bike provides both feel and aesthetics. As you can see from the video, the CRF 70 has pretty vibrant graphics and a decent body. A particular selling point is its 3-speed constant mess transmission, alongside the auto clutch that allows for nice, smooth, easy starts and a whole load of torque. This bike is basically ideal as the stepping stone between beginners and a larger 100F Honda, for instance. Besides, what child wouldn't love riding out on a top of the range on a brand new $1,500 dirt bike?
Look at eBay and Craigslist for a used model. A 7-year-old model is close to half the price of a brand new one.
Another popular bike is the SSR 70cc. Though the quality is somewhat questionable, it is similar to the Baja in price (around $400, if you do some savvy shopping). If you get a hold of a sound model, then you will have a good little semi-automatic pit bike on your hands. In fairness, there are many owners that are thrilled with what the SSR has to offer. There have also been a few complaints, about the overall build and necessary repairs. The situation is similar with the Coolster 70cc bike,which are related to SSR bikes.
There are a few different types of the SSR model, but they mainly refer to the aesthetics as well as the braking system drum or disc (in the case of Type C being compared to Type 0).
Other Popular 70cc dirt bikes to take a look at:
- Hawk Moto
- Suzuki DR-Z
- Atomik MotoX
- Kawasaki KX65, which technically has a two-stroke 64cc engine, but this is a top-quality bike. They are incredibly expensive new, so it is probably best to look for a used or older Kawasaki.
- Motovox MVX70
- Roketa DB-18
This is by no means an exclusive list, so if you have other models that you recommend please mention them in the comments below.
A Few More Important Points to Note
I just wanted to give a few tips, tricks, and techniques (more of a basic guide in truth) on buying and finding a 70cc dirt bike for sale, particularly if you plan on getting a used one.
- Research is a key component, especially if you are brand new to the sport. You need to locate a bike that's well suited to your child; not too powerful that they won't be able to handle it, but nothing too small or under-powered either. Also, take into account the size of the bike. Not all 70cc dirt bikes offer the same dimensions, and not all 8-year-olds are the same height either. Make sure they match up.
- One of the best things to do is sign up on a motorsports forum and explain your situation. You will get some pretty helpful comments, usually. Better still, if you have friends (or friends of friends) who are into the sport, talk to them and they will point you in the right direction as to what type of bikes to consider.
- Narrow down your choices once you have a list of bikes that are suitable for your kid. Then do some specific research into them. I have given you an outline on the popular 70cc bikes above, but be sure to do your own research to really get to know the bikes. Learn them inside and out in terms of specifications (e.g. pros and cons of a two-stroke as opposed to a four-stroke), what features they have (semi automatic), their build quality, and reputation.
- Forums are really great for extracting this information. Usually they will have a dedicated thread for each bike model and you will get a feel for both the advantages and disadvantages.
- I do recommend buying one from a local owner or motorsport store, simply because they will usually afford you the opportunity to test run the bike. You can see and inspect from there, if there any potential issues with the dirt bike. Turn on the engine, see if it sounds right, and so on. That being said, these bikes are sold online and there are some pretty cheap deals to be had. This method is generally a lot riskier, but check out places Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, motor sport forums, and so on.
- When buying over the Internet, you are condition by a few images, perhaps a video, and whatever the owner tells you. Of course this isn't anywhere near as reliable as getting a feel for the bike in person. Contacting and communicating with the owner/seller is an absolute must. Ask questions about the exact condition of the bike, its aspects, and specifications. You have done so much research into your chosen bike, you know exactly what you're looking for. Ask about all of the hidden aspects (does this bike suffer from a common issue like some of the other models, and so on) and if something doesn't add up, I would advise that you leave the sale and keep on searching. Were they the past rider? How big are they? This will give you an idea as to the state of the suspension.. Moreover, you can learn about the seller by the terminology they are using.
Again. If you don't do your research, you won't understand what type of bike is suited to you, you won't understand the sale of the bike, you just simply won't know what you're buying (I know I have been there and still don't consider myself anywhere near an expert). Ultimately though, this can of course end up costing you a lot of money. If you have someone more knowledgeable on dirt bikes, get them to help you out as well and see if they think it is a good buy.
There are some pretty solid guides online as well, actually, as to what to look for in a used dirt bike (the video below is an awesome overview). It is almost a check list for what to do when inspecting a bike (e.g. shifting the back tire up and down to see the amount of play, condition of the chain, what's condition of the suspension & steering bearings).
- Be aware of problems as you uncovered them. With used bikes, there are usually some issues. Expect to reserve somewhere between $200 and $350 for repairs and improvements. This tends to be a bit less for smaller 70cc dirt bikes though, as parts tend to be cheaper.
Ultimately though when you buy anything used (not just dirt bikes), you are taking a bit of a risk. You can never be sure exactly what you're getting (especially over the internet). So those who are a bit more risk averse, like myself, might be better off getting a brand new bike.
If you have any information you'd like to add, or any questions you want to shoot, then please do so in the comments below. Let me know which bike you end up going for as well.