Today’s class (fourth already!) is a bit off-topic, although still closely related to the eco-living aspects of everyday’s life. If you have kids, boys especially, I am sure you’ve once gone through the on-going questions like: “dad, can I get a dirt bike” (or any other motorized ride on toy). I’ve been there several times and decided to write this class to make more parents aware that buying a motorized vehicle for children doesn’t have to be in conflict with an eco-friendly approach to living.
Let me explain.
Kids like to be mobile and they like to feel like a grown-up when they ride their very first motorized vehicle. For this reason, it’s pretty inevitable that they’ll beg for their own dirt bike, ATV or motorized e-scooter. If are eco-friendly and don’t feel like paying for gas for these vehicles, you should “go green” and buy them an electric dirt bike, like the Razor.
Electric dirt bikes for kids are relatively new. Most models of dirt bikes for kids still use gas, but manufacturers are responding to the new market for more environmentally friendly options. That means they’ve developed the capacity to use rechargeable electric motors for mobile toys like dirt bikes and ATVs for kids. That’s good for you because you don’t have to make frequent trips to a gas station with a gas can and good for the environment because electric dirt bikes produce no emissions.
Benefits of Electric Dirt Bikes for Kids
I’ve spent some time browsing through the internet resources to see if my own views on kids’ dirt bikes resonate with what others say. So, if I would have to name key benefits, these would be the following.
They’re quiet. The motors tend to produce fewer decibels than equivalent gas motors, which means fewer complaints from the neighbors when the kids ride around on their dirt bikes.
They’re safe. While kids might still get a few scrapes and bruises while learning how to handle the dirt bike, this can be mitigated with a helmet and knee and elbow pads. Once they’ve learned how to steer and show that they can be aware of the environment they’re riding in, dirt bikes are actually a relatively safe outdoor activity. Electric dirt bikes for kids, usually have less powerful engines, so they don’t go very fast. The Razor MX500 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike, for instance, doesn’t go above 15 MPH even though it’s rated for older kids. As per this source, they aren’t rated for street use in most states. That means they’ll usually be riding them on the sidewalk or on smooth dirt surfaces, where they’ll be in less risk of being hit by vehicles on the road. Electric dirt bikes usually also have a limited range, so even if you don’t see or hear them right this second, they probably won’t have gone far on their electric bike.
You can usually find one that’s suitable for your child’s age. Like bicycles, electric dirt bikes can come in varying sizes. If you have a very young child who has just mastered riding a bicycle without training wheels, you should get one that’s less than 20 pounds so that it’s easy for kids to master while still being challenging enough to be fun. Heavier and larger bikes like the Kuberg Trial E 21-Inch are usually suitable for kids between the ages of 7 and 14.
They’re easy to maintain. Very often, they will just need to be plugged in between uses. If it seems to be running rough, it usually just needs to be taken to the shop for a tune-up.
It can increase your kid’s confidence and coordination. An electric dirt bike is a major confidence-booster for kids who like the freedom of riding around their neighborhood and it can increase their coordination as they learn how to steer it.
It’s eco-friendly. While it might not be as eco-friendly as riding an entirely foot-powered bicycle, an electric dirt bike does not have the emissions of a gas-powered bike. This is especially true if you use solar power for your home.
So, what should you look for in an electrical dirt bike for your child? The first consideration is to take your kid’s age, size and physical development level into account. The bike should be easy for your child to handle and big enough that he can spend a few years riding on it. The 16” version of the Kuberg 2016 Trial E Electric Bike is rated for children up to 10 years old, for instance, but if your child is in the higher percentiles in terms of height and weight, he might outgrow it before he reaches his tenth birthday. So you might consider the 21” version instead.
Another important thing to consider is the power rating of the motor. Besides the fact that higher cc ratings might need to be charged more often or for longer periods of time, the higher cc ratings can also move faster. A crash at max speed on a bike with a 125cc motor might hurt more than a crash at max speed with a 50cc motor. So if your child has not yet mastered the use of an electric motor bike or you worry about safety, consider buying one with a lower rating.
The truth is that electric dirt bikes can be fun for children on the move if you choose the right options. They’re eco-friendly, they can be found in a variety of sizes and motor powers to suit your child’s age and skill level, and they can be found at affordable prices so you feel like you’re getting a good value for your money.
To the next green-living class, folks!