Choosing a bike is difficult. In principle, all you have to do is head into a showroom and choose the one that jumps out at you. However, when you see the selection available, such as the best KTM bikes, you’ll find it can be hard to know which one jumps out at you the most.
Of course, selecting any bike, especially a dirt bike isn’t just about the look. You need to be comfortable riding it, happy with the way it accelerates, and confident you’ll stay in complete control.
Part of this is assessing the height of the bike in comparison to your height. If you want to be a good rider it’s important to choose the right size dirt bike for your height.
Height Versus Engine Power
In general, as you get taller you’ll be able to move up the power ranks. This is partly because you are more likely to be an adult and partly because you’ll be able to control the higher power better.
The general consensus is that anyone around 6ft tall should be on a 450cc, while those at 5ft 10 inches are better with 250cc. If you’re 5ft 6 inches or less it’s generally recommended to stick with 140cc.
You should note that there are plenty of dirt bikes with low ride heights and powerful engines. This caters for shorter people that have the experience to handle larger engines and more power. If you’re buying for a child, it will be important to assess the size of the engine in conjunction with the size of the bike. It will help to ensure you choose wisely.
The opposite is also true, you can get bikes that look like a beast but have small engines.
However, there are further complications to this.
In general younger children, even those that are tall for their age, should stick to the smaller bikes. That’s a 140cc dirt bike or less. This is simply a matter of power versus experience. Children tend to get overconfident quickly and if you let them have a larger bike they are likely to get into trouble.
Weight also plays a part in choosing the right size dirt bike for your height. The heavier you are the more work the engine will need to do to get you across bumpy terrain. That means heavier children may benefit from a bike with a bigger engine.
However, the same basic rule applies to all riders, your feet should be flat on the ground. This is particularly important for novice riders as being able to put your feet flat down will help balance and stability, especially at low speeds.
Remember, if the bike is for a child they will grow and will need a larger bike in the future. Aside from looking silly, riding a bike that is too small for you will place unnecessary strain on your knees and feet, increasing the likelihood of an injury.