If you’re reading this, your teen is already well versed on a bike, or they’ve discovered it as a new interest. Either way, we won’t lie, we’re thrilled. It’s really cool to have the tots throttling away, but there’s something a bit more special about teens being keen. They’re making purposeful decisions about what to do with their time, and demonstrating some ownership over their interests. If they’re continuing to love it, or newly finding their feet with it, it’s because they really want to do it. We’re equally excited that you're supporting them, or at least venturing into the idea of supporting them through it (we know it can be a little scary for parents new to biking, on a few fronts). Our job is to support YOU through the process.
So, your teen wants a dirt bike? Where do you start?
Although we work hard to maintain competitive prices, getting a bike is no tiny investment and you want to make sure it’ll be worth it for you and for them. Having a really good chat with them about why they want a bike will also help navigate the kind of bike you should get them, better gauge how responsible they’re likely to be on the bike, and if they have a clear understanding of the responsibility that comes with owning one. This is less parental advice (we’d never overstep the mark there!), and more ensuring that the bike you get is the right one for you and your teen, and that’s what we’re here to support you through.
Truthfully, it can also be the deciding factor on if they get one now, or if you wait a little longer.
Typically, the teen years of dirt biking begin at 13 (probably after many years of telling you they can’t wait to be 13 so they can get a bike, or a bike upgrade). Physically, it’s a great age to move on from the younger age bikes (puberty hits and the height and weight changes begin, rapidly). Even if your youngster is a bit of a seasoned rider, buying into the teen-appropriate market should still have safety at the forefront. With that, you want to find a bike that is:
Easy to handle
Immediate stop function
Easy to start
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, having a powerful engine.
On that last part, it’s not to say you want them hooning at top speed; instead, a bike that has the ability to be steady and strong mid-ride will actually help prevent accidents, rather than cause them. Think about push bikes… You keep a steady speed and you stay up right, you falter and meander and you’re on your butt. Same goes.
Yes, riding. But, are they looking to have one for purely recreational, casual purposes on, say, your own land? Or are they wanting to race with it? While there aren’t too many differentiators in the types of bikes you would choose for each of these, there are some that are slightly better for one purpose than the other and it’s worth noting. If it is for racing, you could also get information from our local motocross group and see what tips they have for the kind of bike that’s best, or the qualities to prioritise between bikes.
The big question! There are a wide range of brands and bikes to choose from that can be very overwhelming. It’s enormously helpful to, as we mentioned, ask around local community groups, trial bikes if possible and bring them along for the ride (literally) when you’re purchasing (for them to sit on the bike and get a true idea of how it fits and feels).
At Suttos, we stock KTM and GasGas motorcycles, who both have incredible options for the 13-18 year old bike market.
This bike has a powerful 2-stroke engine and six transition speeds for easy handling. It’s also super lightweight at just 87kg and offers a powerful disc brake system for a no-lag stop. This is probably particularly good, and well known for, racing; so seasoned riders would love it.
More for your teen beginner, this is lightweight and has a reputation for great safety. It’s also an electric start, so there’s no mucking around and wasting time when they want to get going.
With an electric start engine for easy functionality, and a compact 250cc engine, this is a great bike for a newbie or an age upgrade. It has a low weight and has a pretty great rep for off-road fun for riders who have grown up on bikes, and for beginners.
Ready to get your teen on a dirt bike? Talk to our friendly team today, or come and visit our store for an in-person shop that’ll kickstart an incredible lifelong passion.