Best 50cc dirt bike for kids [Top Picks] – 2023 Buyers Guide

Here are our top picks for the Best 50cc dirt bike for 2023:

TOP PICKS FOR 50cc DIRT BIKES – 2023

  1. Most versatile kids dirt bike for both, trails and race (motocross): KTM 50SX Mini
  2. Best overall children’s dirt bike for beginners: Honda CFR50
  3. Lightest, smallest beginner dirt bike for younger and shorter kids: Yamaha PW50
  4. Best competition kids motocross bike for experienced riders: Cobra CX50SRX King

What’s the best 50cc dirt bike out there? We can list the top models by brand and break down their features (which we will). Yet, the honest answer to this question is, it depends on kid’s height, experience and budget.

Best 50cc Dirt Bike – Motobiketips.com 2023 Top Picks

First, we can look at the popular brands and their pricing. Then, move on to the buying options, performance, and maintenance. Moreover, we dive deeper into why we picked our top picks.

In the following sections we’ll talk about:

The Big Brands – How much does a 50cc dirt bike cost

Father sitting on their Honda dirt bike with the view of mountain on their side.

The Big 4 Japanese Brands

Let’s compare the prices of new 50cc dirt bikes. We can first take a look at the “Big Four”: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. So named because of their dominance in the world of motorcycles. These Japanese giants make small dirt bikes for kids that are some of the most popular choices in the market. The starting base prices for their gas dirt bike for kids in 2023 are shown in the following table:

The starting base prices for their gas dirt bike for kids in 2023 are shown in the following table:

Big 4 BrandsModelPrice (USD)
HondaCRF50F$1,699
Kawasaki*N/AN/A
SuzukiDR-Z50$2,499
YamahaPW50$1,699
The Big Four Brands with 2023 Prices in US Dollars

*Kawasaki doesn’t sell 50cc dirt bikes anymore. In 2006, they stopped producing KDX50A – Kawasaki 50cc dirt bike. The same year it ended a ‘model sharing’ arrangement with Suzuki. As a result the Suzuki JR50, a previous generation 50cc dirt bike was discontinued and Suzuki DR-Z50 was born.

Dirt bike parents who want their kid to ride in Kawasaki’s trademark lime green will have to move up an engine class to the KX 65.

The Japanese bikes above are aimed at beginner and novice riders. They are off-roading trail dirt bikes and not kids’ motocross (MX) bikes designed for performance and handling big jumps. They are, therefore, priced lower than the American and Austrian motocross bikes.

The American and Austrian (European) Brands

Isolated image of KTM 50 SX Mini dirt bike in white background
2023 KTM 50 SX Mini Motocross Dirt Bike (Courtesy: KTM Photo: Fotografie Mitterbauer)

Race bikes, with their added features and competition-oriented components, require a big upfront investment. The base price for top racing brands like the Austrian-made KTM and American-made Cobra start is around $3,800 (USD).

MX Race BrandsModelPrice (USD
KTM50SX Mini$4,199
KTM50SX$4,699
KTM50SX Factory Edition$5,599
CobraCX50SRX$4,815
The Motocross Race Brands with 2023 Prices in US Dollars

The prices shown above are for the new 50cc dirt bikes, but you can always opt for a slightly used version of the same model. For used bikes, prices are different based on bike condition and across model years. Especially, when a motorcycle brand decides to include technology in more recent models that were absent in the previous ones.

Related Article KTM 50 SX Seat Height and More – An Inside Look

Related Article 2023 KTM 50 SX Factory Edition

Key Takeaways – 2023 Prices of Mini Dirt Bikes

50cc children’s dirt bikes come in a variety of prices. They are influenced by a number of factors like features, performance parts, and the purpose dirt bike is designed for. It also depends on whether a brand’s local dealership is nearby and the bike’s availability.

Beginner models like the 50cc trail bikes are brand new at around $1,600 USD. On the other hand, brand new race dirt bikes can range between $3,800 – $5000 USD.

2 Stroke vs 4 Stroke – Performance and Maintenance

Image of father and son riding on their dirt bike with trees at their back.

Even people who dabble in dirt bikes come across the following question time and again. “Which bike is better, a 50cc 2-stroke dirt bike or a 50cc 4-stroke dirt bike?”

One parent will swear by 2-strokes, while another will insist that 4-strokes are the way to go. In the end, it all boils down to preference, use, and your kid’s skills.

As a quick reference, use the following table for the advantages and disadvantages of each engine type:

Criteria2 Stroke4 Stroke
Power DeliveryPunchySmooth
Engine WeightLighterHeavier
MaintenanceSimplerMore Complex
Popular UseRacingTrail Riding
Noise levelLouderQuieter
Performance and maintenance matrix for 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke engines

Should you go for a 2 stroke or a 4-stroke

4-strokes are known for handling smoothly and predictably but tend to be heavier and slower to respond. On the other hand, 2-strokes are praised for their power, lightweight, and responsiveness. However, they often require more skill to ride (with the exception of the PW50).

Choosing between a 4-stroke or a 2-stroke will depend on how comfortable you’re with your child’s current skills. If your child is just starting out consider the honda CRF50F which has a smooth 4-stroke engine. If your child will compete in the race consider KTM 50 SX or Cobra King 50 which are 2-stroke.

Due to more moving parts, 4-stroke can be more expensive when rebuilding engines. However, with regular maintenance, you don’t have to worry about rebuilds.

The Best 50cc Dirt Bike – Our Top Picks for 2023

2023 KTM 50 SX Mini ($4,199 USD)

Isolated image of KTM 50 SX Mini facing on the left with white background
2023 KTM 50 SX Mini Motocross Dirt Bike (Courtesy: KTM Photo: Fotografie Mitterbauer)

This 50cc dirt bike is perfect for adventurous and active kids. They can reach a good top speed and are designed to race.

The 50 SX Mini is a great racing bike for its versatility. KTM’s tagline “ready to race”, says it all. It handles itself well on trails and keeps a competitive edge on the racing track. It’s a powerful bike. But if it’s too much for your child, in the beginning, you can install KTM’s power reduction kit to help the adjustment along.

Quick facts and features:

  • 50cc, 2-stroke high-performance liquid-cooled engine
  • Fully automatic transmission
  • The seat height of 22 inches which is a bit taller than the Honda CRF50
  • Adjustable shocks and air forks to keep bike handling consistent as your child grows
  • Self-cleaning disc brakes
  • Lightweight steel frame
  • KTM’s Power Reduction Kit can be installed to reduce power for beginners

The 50 SX Mini is a serious bike for racing, but its premium components give it a hefty price tag. It also has the taller seat height of racing bikes. Which is somewhat offset by a manageable curb weight of 88.2 pounds.

Related Article KTM 50 SX vs Mini – Which is better for you?

2023 Honda CRF50F [$1,699 USD]

Image of Honda CRF50F dirt bike on a stand

If you’re willing to accept a longer learning curve, the CRF50F is a great trail bike for beginners. Kids who ride this little Honda need less time to adapt to their future bikes. The bike already has a kickstart and controls that are laid out in a way similar to a bigger bike’s.

Known for being reliable, the CRF50F will last for several years. Just do the periodic maintenance of its oil, air filter, and drive chain.

Quick facts and features:

  • 3-speed manual shift
  • Seat height is 21.6 inches high from the ground
  • 50cc, 4-stroke engine, it’s perfect for size for beginners
  • Adjustable throttle limiter that limits top speed
  • Possible top speed of up to 35 miles per hour

The CRF50F is best for taller and naturally adventurous kids. Its taller seat height and heavier weight (110 pounds) might otherwise overwhelm young riders.

Related Article: CRF50 Complete Review, Top Features and Specs

Related Article Dirt Bike Training Wheel – Skip it or Get it?

2023 Yamaha PW50 [$1,699 USD]

Isolated image of Yamaha PW50 dirt bike standing on the ground

The go-to choice for parents easing their kids into riding, the PW50 is a popular 2-stroke trail bike for shorter and younger riders. Its lightweight and short seating height makes it perfect for little boys and girls as young as 4 years old.

Nicknamed PeeWee 50, this is the smallest dirt bike in the 49cc class. You can say it’s a mini among the mini dirt bikes. Designed to make learning to ride very easy, it comes without any gear shifters or foot controls. PW50 is far more popular than its big brother – Yamaha TTR50.

Quick facts and features:

  • Curb weight of 90 pounds makes it the lightest dirt bike in the 50cc dirt bike class
  • A conveniently low seat height of 18.7 inches
  • Fully automatic transmission
  • Adjustable throttle stop screw keeps adults in charge to set the top speeds
  • No foot brake pedal or gear shift pedal

Yamaha, Honda, KTM SX Mini, and even Suzuki 50cc dirt bikes are compatible with aftermarket training wheels. However, we recommend that you fit training wheels on dirt bikes for the 4 – 5 years olds who only need that extra help.

The PW50 is a great beginner’s bike, and in one way, that is its main drawback. Once your kid is comfortable with riding this bike, they will have to upgrade to a different bike. This will help get used to the concepts of shifting and using a foot brake pedal.

Related Article: Yamaha PW50 Complete Review, Top Features and Specs

2023 Cobra CX50SRX King ($4,815 USD)

Isolated image of Cobra CX50SRX King in white background

If you want the cream of the crop for race bikes, you can do well by getting the CX50SRX King. This liquid-cooled 2-stroke was designed to win races.

You should only consider it if your kid is an experienced rider. If their skills are up to standard for this bike, the American-made King 50 will give them better odds for bagging races.

Quick facts and features

  • Competition-inspired motocross bike
  • Fully automatic transmission
  • Weight of 89 pounds (no fuel)
  • A seat height of 26.8 inches makes it the tallest bike in our top picks
  • Powerful disc brakes and lightweight frame
  • Fully adjustable front and rear suspension

No machine is perfect and that goes for this Cobra race bike. It has large shrouds (the plastic parts on either side of the tank) that can make it challenging to grip the bike. The bike is also the tallest bike of the four mentioned here. Its seat height towers over the others discussed in this article.

Related Article How fast is a 50cc Dirt Bike and is it safe at topspeeds?

Key Takeaways on Best 50cc Dirt Bikes

50cc dirt bikes can be separated into two categories, trail bikes, and racing bikes. Trail bikes are for riding in fields and the trails in the woods. They are built to have smooth power and low seat heights, which makes them ideal for shorter riders.

Trail bikes are very beginner and novice friendly. 50cc trail bikes, in particular, will have a lower seat height, soft suspension, and a tamed engine. Several models will also come with speed control features like three-speed transmitters and throttle stops and screws.

Racing bikes are for motocross tracks so they are much more powerful than trail bikes. They have adjustable suspension, sturdier, lighter parts, and disc brakes. They have more expensive and durable components. These 2-stroke 50cc racing bikes rise up to meet its exacting demands, making them ideal for experienced and skilled young riders.

Buy Used or Brand New?

2 boys riding their Yamaha Peewee 50 cc dirt bikes on the trails.
2 boys with safety gear riding Yamaha PW50 mini dirt bikes

If you want the best for your kid, there’s no question that a new bike is the surest way to make it a reality. However, with the proper precautions, it’s possible to land a used dirt bike your kid will enjoy riding until they’re ready for an upgrade.

In our opinion, buying used brand-name youth dirt bikes is a better choice than buying a new but cheap dirt bike.

For instance, the SSR brand sells dirt bikes for $569 USD (MSRP). But it has been so reliable. It has cheaper alternatives such as a pull-starter found in lawnmowers. Other major brands have a good reputation for making reliable dirt bikes.

Buying New Mini Dirt Bikes

Deciding to buy a brand new bike comes with several clear advantages:

  • You know exactly what you’re getting right from the start. Unlike with used bikes, you don’t run the risk of discovering issues as you condition the bike
  • The search for a new bike requires less time and effort. Usually, you only need to set your budget and look for dealers who stock the bike you want
  • You don’t have to spend money to replace worn or damaged parts like on a used bike

You may also want to consider the popularity of these dirt bikes. This can help understand the demand if you plan to resell it later.

According to our research of consumer interest levels on Google Trends, PW50 was the most popular kids’ dirt bike. CRF50 fell just a bit short followed by KTM 50. Yamaha TTR50 and Suzuki DRZ50 have relatively low-interest levels. Cobra CX50SR (King 50), not shown on the graph, has more interest than Suzuki DRZ-50.

Google trends graph comparison for Best 50cc Dirt Bike
Comparison of interest levels for Yamaha PW50, Honda CRF50, KTM 50 SX, Yamaha TTR50, and Suzuki DRZ50 (Source: Google Trends)

Note the above research was based on the most popular search terms. It wouldn’t be fair to use “DRZ50”, so we used Suzuki 50 Dirt Bike which is a more popular search phrase.

Brand-new bikes offer the best durability, performance, and peace of mind. This isn’t a good enough reason to completely shy away from buying used 50cc dirt bikes.

Buying Used 50cc Dirt Bikes

Wondering why you might want to go for a used bike over a new one, here are a few reasons:

  • You cut down on the initial costs of getting your kid to ride. The bike is the biggest expense in dirt riding. So the hundreds you save on the bike can be used for covering the costs of extra riding gear or several rider classes
  • Kids outgrow bikes quickly. Buying secondhand allows you to keep up with your kid’s growth spurt without hurting your wallet
  • 50cc dirt bikes will run for years despite minimal maintenance. This means a well-maintained bike can change hands several times before it completely breaks down
  • Someone knows the way around a dirt bike. Having some mechanical know-how to distinguish a seriously damaged bike from one near-mint tint condition can help

If you’re not mechanically inclined, you can learn how to inspect a used dirt bike.

In many ways, the Internet has simplified the process of searching for used 50cc dirt bikes for sale. A simple search engine result can turn up tens to hundreds of online listings for a particular dirt bike model. But, you don’t have to depend on just Google to find someone selling a dirt bike near you.

Here are several platforms you can use to connect with used dirt bike sellers:

Craigslist

Person's hand holding a phone with Craigslist's logo on the screen

An old standby for everything from for-sale listings to job ads. Craigslist is a great platform for finding great deals on dirt bikes for kids. As with any platform that allows just about anybody to post, exercise caution when browsing.

Promising listings typically include many pictures of the bike and describe the bike’s condition and history in detail.

Cycle Trader

If you’re not comfortable with reaching out to private sellers, check out Cycle Trader. Many listings on this platform come from local dealers and resellers.

Expect higher prices, though. The platform caters specifically to motorcycle enthusiasts. So sellers have a good idea of how much their bike is really worth on the market.

Facebook Marketplace

If you want to cast your net wide, go through dirt bike listings on Facebook Marketplace. Looking for a dirt bike through Marketplace also allows you to easily start a chat with the seller.

As a Facebook product, Marketplace also has the advantage of linking listings with user profiles. Take time to view a seller’s profile. It can give you some context and clues into how the bike for sale was used. 

As you search for the right bike for your child, don’t forget to tap the people you know. Your social circle can be a great source of deals.

Key Takeaways – New vs. Used Kids Dirt Bike

Buying a new dirt bike is not a must in getting your kid into dirt riding. New bikes do have distinct advantages, such as the latest tech and damage-free parts. But with some research, you can buy a used 50cc dirt bike cheap and have it run well for several years.

Look for new and used bikes at local dealerships, Craigslist, Cycle Trader, and Facebook Marketplace. Ask people in your social circles, too, to make sure that you’ve covered your bases. As with any transaction, make sure the bike you’re buying is in good condition. Don’t hesitate in asking if you could have a nearby mechanic look at it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the best 50cc dirt bike you can get is the one that fits your kid and their riding goals the best. Trail dirt bikes are great for beginner and novice riders. They tend to have lower seats, smooth and slow engines, and a slew of speed-limiting features like throttle limiters, stops, and screws.

Race bikes, on the other hand, are ideal for kids who want to race, since they have powerful engines, better brakes and suspension, and strong components designed to withstand the challenging conditions of motocross races.