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Should I Buy My Kid An ATV Or A Dirt Bike?

Parents or grandparents looking to buy an ATV or a dirt bike for their youngster have several factors to consider.

First of all, either would be a great choice, especially if it is a special present for Christmas or a birthday.

It can be very rewarding to see the youngster’s eyes light up with the joy of receiving a present he or she really wants, instead of a less exciting item forever put away in a game room or closet. Plus, you might very well get a big hug for a gift like this.

Also, isn’t it a great idea to purchase something that will get the youngster outside in the fresh air enjoying an active pursuit rather than habitually cooped up with video games or cell phones? In many cases, the entire family will be together enjoying the outdoor fun.

Another important factor to consider is that, if you purchase an ATV or dirt bike for your own child, you will be able to personally supervise to insure the activity is taking place in a safe manner – as opposed to not knowing the circumstances of where and who your young loved one is involved with. In this case, you also will be meeting your kid’s friends and enjoying the activity with them.

In looking at the specifics of buying either an ATV or a dirt bike, there are some comparable factors between the two powersport vehicles, but a few differences to consider.

Safety is always a top priority and ATVs have many features such as speed limiters, remote control shut-offs, hand tether shut-offs and wider front wheel distance (compared to the rear wheels) for better control in handling or turning. With dirt bikes, parents or grandparents can limit its operation to first or second gear to control speed.

In general, ATVs are easier to learn to drive for a youngster, but sometimes there is a concern about over-confidence as a result. Be sure you take into account the size, maturity level and physical skills of your youngster as he or she learns to operate an ATV. It also is extremely important to make sure the unit is not too large for the child, a mistake that is all too common. 

It generally is more difficult for a youngster to ride a dirt bike than an ATV, so good training and supervision is critical. But another factor is that most kids already know how to ride a regular bike, so that could lead to parents choosing a dirt bike for their youngster. Some models come with training wheels, which make the task easier.

Another factor to consider is that dirt bikes are more likely to tip over on the side than ATVs as kids learn to ride. But keep in mind that ATVs can be somewhat more of a safety concern in that their weight is about twice that of a dirt bike for a comparable-sized rider. Again, the prior knowledge of riding a regular bike could often make it easier to transition to a dirt bike.

One detail to consider, depending on your situation, is that ATVs generally require more storage space than dirt bikes and are more difficult to lift and to carry in a pickup truck or other vehicle.

In either case, it is important to purchase the correct size unit. A factor to consider is whether you have just one youngster, or if brothers and sisters are involved. 

Let’s look at a couple of examples. If you have a four-year-old and an eight-year-old and both want to ride, it would be good to go with the kids (or mini) size since it will fit both. On the other hand, if you have an eight-year-old and a 12-year-old, the correct option would be the youth (or mid) size – again being workable for both.

It is important to take into account what the entire family likes to do. If the parents or grandparents are involved with ATVs, it naturally would make sense to go that direction when purchasing a unit for a youngster. By the same token, many families like to ride trails together on their dirt bikes. Keep in mind that dirt bikes can operate on narrower, or single path, trails. Also consider what type of operational areas are available, such as owning your own property for riding, access to trails or tracks, etc.

From a price perspective, the dirt bike will be cheaper and, in some cases, you might want to consider purchasing more than one depending on the ages of the youngsters. Keep in mind that, at, our models are so affordable that they can often be sold (when the youngster moves to a larger unit) at something close to the original purchase price. 

There are several other important factors to consider that add up to a positive experience for a youngster when you make the popular decision to purchase that new ATV or dirt bike.

When maintained properly, the units can last for many years. And there is great value in teaching your young person how to take care of his or her ATV or dirt bike. Changing the oil, keeping the air filter clean, properly airing the tires, battery maintenance and keeping the unit clean are some of the activities that will teach responsibility.

Also consider that, as the youngster starts to approach the age of driving a a car or riding a motorcycle or scooter, the motor skills and responsibility learned through supervised operation of an ATV or dirt bike will pay dividends. He or she will have a “leg up” on youngsters who have not had those experiences.

At we will be happy to discuss in detail the right choice for your family – ATV or dirt bike – and what model or models fit the bill. We have a great inventory of AFFORDABLE units on our website, with lots of information about each model – along with many informative videos.

We have been providing family fun since 1990 and our knowledgeable technicians can answer any of your questions – plus we place great emphasis on service after the sale. We have a 5 Star Customer Service rating and take pride in following the great Midwestern tradition of friendly and honest service.

At we have a complete line of parts, feature free shipping and offer convenient financing. Check out our website or give us a call at 800-250-5502 or 320-695-2899. We want to help you provide great outdoor recreation experiences for your family.