How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike?

So your kid is hassling you for a dirt bike. Here's the lowdown on age, safety and some general shredding advice!


Let's face it: the roar of a dirt bike engine and the feeling of flying over a dirt track is pretty darn seductive for any kid who has seen how much fun a dirtbike can be. Is it little wonder that your grommet is eyeing those two wheels with a serious case of moto fever? 

We get it. You’re a concerned parent with lots of questions. Before you hand over the keys (or the throttle!), here are a few things you might want to consider.

Dirt bike age limits: It will depend on location and the size of the rider

In Australia, there's no one-size-fits-all age limit for riding dirt bikes, so here’s a bit more info to help you figure out if your little one can get on their pocket rocket and shred some tracks.

How old do you have to be to ride dirt bikes on private property?
There is no minimum age on private land (with the owner's permission, of course). As Willowbank MX is private property, there’s technically no age limit for your little ones to have an awesome day out. 

As with everything we do, we put safety first, so it’s essential that your little shredder has the skills and maturity to handle the bike safely (more on that in a bit).

What about riding dirt bikes on public land?
Most states in Australia require a motorcycle licence to ride off-road in designated areas. The licensing age varies, but generally, it starts at 16 years old with a learner's permit. So if your little tacker wants to hit the fire trails or enduro tracks, they might need to wait a few years until they get to 16. 

What size dirtbike is right for my child?

When it comes to matching your child to a bike, it's all about fit! A bike that's on the larger side of things can be intimidating and dangerous and one that’s too small will leave them feeling a little lacklustre when hitting the trails. Here's a rough guide to help you figure out what size bike is best for your little one.

  • 4-7 years old - Look for a small (50cc or less) automatic dirt bike with low seat height. 
  • 8-12 years old - A 50cc or 80cc semi-automatic bike with a slightly taller seat height would be suitable for this age bracket.
  • Teenagers - As your child grows, so too can their bike size. 125cc or 250cc bikes are more appropriate for teenagers, depending on their size, experience and skill level.

Safety gear: Because gnarly wipeouts happen (even to the best of them)

No matter where your kid rides, safety gear is non-negotiable. Think of it as full motocross armour readying them to go into battle:

  • Helmet - This is a no-brainer unless you want your kid to have no brains!
  • Eye protection - Goggles or a full-face helmet shield to keep out dirt and debris.
  • Gloves - protect those mighty mitts from scrapes and blisters.
  • Boots - sturdy boots with good ankle support are crucial for protecting their happy tappies.
  • Long pants and sleeves - Remember kids, dress for the crash, not the course!
  • Chest protector - This adds an extra layer of protection for young bones.

Should my child take dirtbike lessons?

Absolutely! Lessons from a qualified instructor can help teach your little one the proper riding technique, safety protocols and how to handle different terrain before they hit the tracks. It's an investment in their confidence and riding skills.

Willowbank MX offers riding lessons each fortnight. Check out our training page for more details.

How to tell if your kid is ready to ride

Dirt bikes can be powerful machines, and riding them requires a certain level of maturity. While the dream of shredding like a pro might be there, it's important to make sure your little one has the right skills and development before they hit the gas and head to some tracks.

If you’re not sure if your child is ready to hit the dirt and spin some wheels, here are some things to consider before heading out to your local dealer and picking up a shiny new dirtbike for them.

Balance like a boss
This one's a bit of a no-brainer. Before conquering dirt jumps, you want to make sure your little shredder can be a balance ninja on an every day bicycle. Can they zip around corners, navigate bumps and maybe even do a sick little bunny hop? Mastering a bicycle builds the foundation for feeling comfortable and in control on a dirt bike.

Core strength is King (or Queen!)
Holding onto a dirt bike while bouncing over rough terrain takes some serious core strength (and hand strength). Think of it like being a tiny superhero – they gotta hold their body upright and steer that bike through the dirt jungle! Tummy time exercises, planks and other core-builders can help prepare your child for the demands of riding.

Gotta reach those bars, dude!
Imagine trying to ride a bike that's too big for you – not fun, right? It's the same with dirt bikes. Your child needs to be able to easily and comfortably reach the handlebars along with being able to sit on the seat with both feet flat on the ground. This gives them a sense of control and lets them react quickly when needed.

Learning rocks!!
Learning how to properly ride a dirtbike involves following instructions, understanding safety rules and making good decisions on the fly. Think of it like learning the secret code to the coolest club ever (the moto club, that is!). If your child struggles to follow directions or gets easily frustrated, some practice with basic commands and games might be helpful.

Attention span can be a dirt biker's superpower
Riding a mini moto requires focus, and lots of it. Your child needs to be able to concentrate on the trail ahead, anticipate obstacles and react quickly if needed. Think of it like laser focus to avoid becoming one with a dirt pile! If your child has trouble staying focused during activities, consider games or exercises that help them develop their attention span.

Remember, these are just some general guidelines. Every kiddo develops at their own pace. The key is to focus on building their skills and confidence in a safe and supportive environment before they get anywhere near a track with other riders on it. With a little practice and the right preparation, your mini moto master will be ready to shred in no time!

It's all about fun

Dirt biking is a great way for kids to build confidence, get exercise and have a blast outdoors with their friends and family. Remember, it's not about pushing them to become the next motocross champion or Evel Knievel. Focus on the fun, emphasise safety and let the enjoyment of the ride be the priority.

Are your kids ready to get down and dirty?

So, how old does your child have to be to ride a dirt bike? There's really no magic number. It's a combination of age, maturity, size and responsible supervision. With the right preparation and safety gear, your kiddo can be on their way to experiencing the thrill of dirt biking in no time!

About Us

We are a recreational ride park with a variety of tracks that cater to riders of all levels of ability.


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0475 222 007
Corner of Coopers Road and Lanes Road Ipswich, QLD 4340. PO Box 4226 Gumdale Qld 4154