Are you getting one of your little guys or gals started early on dirt bikes, and you know they're going to need a little help with balance, at least for the first little bit, until they can balance on their own? The solution? Training wheels!
Hardline Products Wheels-4-Tots Universal Training Wheels are the best generic training wheels. They fit the widest range of bikes, are easy to install and remove, and they're adjustable to fit a variety of different riders, skill levels, and terrain. If possible, bike-specific training wheels are the best to purchase.
That's right, dirt bikes can have training wheels, just like regular bikes! Let's go over some different kinds of training wheels to use, along with some other useful tips for using training wheels on your (or more likely, your kid's) dirt bike.
Apollo New Youth Fully Automatic DB25-70cc Dirt Bike w/Training Wheels
The first "kind" of training wheels are actually training wheels that come attached to the bike. For the example I'm showing you, the bike they come attached to is a 70cc dirt bike with a four stroke engine. The max speed of this dirt bike is 34 miles an hour, and it has an electric start.
34 miles an hour, as you can probably imagine, is much faster than you need to be able to go if you have a dirt bike that has training wheels on it, so if you actually end up going that fast, you probably shouldn't have training wheels on.
The training wheels that come on this bike are just that; wheels. Like the kind that come on a scooter, but bigger. So, while you don't have to worry about popping them, you also won't be getting the same kind of shock absorption you get from having tires, which is another option for training wheels.
If you know you're in the market for a dirt bike AND training wheels for a kid, this is a pretty good option, especially since you can get it shipped straight to your house without the hassle of going shopping yourself for a solo dirt bike and the dirt bike training wheels to match it. This bike is going to be the best option out there because the training wheels are designed to go on the bike.
This dirt bike and training wheel package will cost you $753.99, with free shipping.
Adjustable Motorcycle Training Wheels for Honda CRF 50, XR 50 and Z 50 ONLY
The next example is training wheels that come without a bike. It just comes with the wheels and the pieces you need to attach them to your bike. However, the catch with these particular wheels is they are made specifically for a certain range of bikes. In this case, those bikes are the Honda CRF 50, the Honda XR 50, and the Honda Z 50.
These specific wheels will fit any of the years of the above-mentioned models and are actual tires, not wheels. They mount to the frame of the bike, not the engine, which will help prevent damage when the wheels or axel inevitably collide with something they're not supposed to.
The wheels do come with off-road tread, so you are able to take the bike off-road while you're learning with the wheels attached.
These wheels, in combination with the hardware needed to attach them to your bike, will run you $89.99, with just under five dollars of shipping.
They won't chip or rust, as they're coated with steel, the axel is covered by a warranty, and of course, they come with installation instructions. They are great options, but they are bike-specific, so be careful when ordering.
If you are interested in these top-of-the-line training wheels, you can find them on Amazon by clicking here.
Adjustable Height Yamaha TTR50 TTR 50 Kids Youth Training Wheels ONLY
These training wheels are adjustable! That's right, adjustable.
Why is that cool? Or important? Or noteworthy? What exactly is the point of adjustable training wheels?
The point of these training wheels, my friend, is to own a set of training wheels that allow you to adjust the height of the wheels up to five inches off the ground, letting the rider of the bike slowly move the tires up, getting used to the lack of support they've become accustomed to. They're still there though, and they'll still "catch" the bike if it starts to tip too far over. It's a great way to get used to the balance of a dirt bike, and then slowly get used to the feel of a dirt bike without them, while not completely giving up the security from knowing you can't really tip all the way over.
These wheels are made specifically for all years of the Yamaha TTR50 model. They're ten-inch tires, and they do not mount onto the engine, which is a good thing. So, if you have one of these models, I highly recommend these!
These tires are going to cost you $89.99, and you get free shipping.
Hardline Products Wheels-4-Tots Universal Training Wheel
If the idea of getting a dirt bike with the wheels already attached isn't your can of beans, and you the idea of whether or not the training wheels were made specifically for your model of bike doesn't really float your boat, there is still another option out there for you!
There are options that fit most dirt bikes or at least a specific range of dirt bikes. For example, the Hardline Products Wheels-4-Tots Universal Training Wheel, just like the name insinuates, is universal. Sort of. It's universal across all beginning level 50cc dirt bikes.
These training wheels have eight-inch tires, giving adequate clearance and shock absorption to the rider, so any bumps to the side that they encounter won't be too jarring.
You can adjust them to compensate or allow for the skill level and the different kinds of terrain that the rider will come across.
Coming in at a whopping $97.98 and free shipping, they're the most expensive "wheels only" option that I've mentioned. That being said, they do fit all 50cc dirt bikes, and they're only about ten dollars more expensive than the next most expensive option I've found.
According to some of the people who have used them, they are adjustable enough to fit on a number of other bikes with different engines. That isn't what they're advertised for, but there's a chance it could work if you're strapped for options.
Pros and Cons of Getting Dirt Bike Training Wheels
- Accessibility! Attaching training wheels to a dirt bike can make it rideable for a person or persons who might not have been able to ride it otherwise.
- Peace of mind. Worrying about a dirt bike falling on top of your kid if he or she falls over while trying to figure out how to ride is a legitimate concern. Training wheels will stop the bike from falling over, which, while your kid might still fall off the bike itself, the bike won't fall on top of them.
- Damage. Going too fast with training wheels attached to your bike can actually damage your bike, depending on the impact on your wheels and the location the wheels are attached to. If the wheels are attached to or near the engine, there is a higher chance of the engine of your dirt bike getting damaged. Once you or the other rider starts getting up to a certain speed, they really should be off the training wheels by then. At a certain point, the risk of injury to themselves and the bike is higher if you keep the training wheels on.
Many kinds of dirt bike training wheels don't attach there, they'll attach to the frame of the bike, so make sure you're paying close attention to the point of the bike where the training wheels you're going to be buying are going to get attached.
- Balance. Funnily enough, since training wheels are supposed to help people get used to balancing on a dirt bike, the training wheels can have a balance all of their own that you have to get used to, specifically if they've been adjusted to not be constantly resting on the ground. Whether or not they're resting on the ground, the wheels themselves or the axel they're attached to could clip or hit something on the ground, which could throw off the balance of the person riding the dirt bike.
- Cost. Training wheels are kind of expensive. Dirt bike training wheels don't really come cheap. The ones with some of the lowest prices I could find still rest in the arena of around eighty dollars, which can be a lot.
When to Use Them
Training wheels on a dirt bike would be used any time you would use training wheels on a normal bike. You're more than likely dealing with someone who has problems with balance, like a younger kid, or they have decent balance, but it's hard for them to focus on balancing with the absence of the up and down of the foot pedals that they're used to.
Or, alternatively, they could be having problems balancing initially while they're also trying to focus on the mechanics of getting the bike to stop and go. Most children's bikes will be automatic, which leaves a minimal amount of focus and attention that has to go elsewhere, but most things have a learning curve, right? It is definitely okay to cater to that long enough to "get their feet under them", so to speak.
Ideally, the person needing the training wheels will already know how to ride a normal bike before you get them on a dirt bike, since a lot of the skills they are going to need to ride a dirt bike are going to be learned from riding a normal bike, similar to learning how to play the piano before learning how to play the organ. If this is not the case with your rider, start with a normal bike. That way, balance will come a little bit easier.
Not all the skills you are going to learn will be directly transferrable, but the majority of them will, and it will make the experience easier, with a much smoother transition and a shorter learning curve.
How to Put Them On
Luckily, whenever you purchase training wheels for a dirt bike, they come with an instruction manual with all the hardware you're going to need to attach them to the dirt bike.
Since each kind of dirt bike training wheels are different, and each model of the dirt bike is built differently, the ways that they attach to the bike can vary, but here's a video that will give you a general idea of the tools you need, and the work involved in attaching training wheels to a dirt bike. It should not be too difficult, but it is something you want to do correctly.
If the training wheels are not installed correctly, you are probably going to do more harm than good.
When to Take the Training Wheels Off
There are a couple of reasons to take off training wheels. You can only go just so fast with training wheels on. If the rider is wanting to go fast (and by fast, I mean probably anywhere around ten miles an hour) you should probably take the training wheels off. You're just going to be putting additional (and unnecessary) strain and stress on parts of the dirt bike frame that weren't meant to have drag, and you don't want to wear the bike down.
More obviously, if you've gotten the training wheels that allow you to adjust the height so you can slowly wean off the training wheel, once the wheels are high enough, you can just take them off. You don't want to turn them into a crutch!
There still might be a few crashes, scrapes, and bruises once you take the training wheels off, especially if they've been on for a while and the rider has gotten used to them. Have the rider practice for a while on the grass once you take them off, so if your kid falls, it won't be too bad of a fall.
Walk behind or to the side of your rider and be ready to steady them if they start to wobble. With help, it's easier to recover from a wobble than it is to recover from a complete fall, and it's less damaging to their self-esteem to have a parent catch them than it is to fall completely when people are watching.
How to Take Training Wheels Off
Unless you "DIY-ed" something, the dirt bike training wheels should be pretty easy to take off. The nuts, bolts, and washers will be obviously different than the ones that came with the bike itself, making them easy to identify.
If that's not enough help, you can watch the video I attached for installation and do it backward, or you can find the installation manual online since the majority of manuals are always posted in PDF form, free to the public. Keep the instructions from the training wheels you purchased.
How to Make Your Own Training Wheels!
Did you know that you can make your own dirt bike training wheels? That's right! If spending all that money just was not your cup of tea, dirt bike training wheels are definitely something you can make for yourself, provided you have the right supplies.
Here's a video with this person's take on DIY dirt bike training wheels, and the internet is full of additional ideas that you can take and mold to your own needs and available supplies.
Best of luck with getting your riders confident in riding their dirt bikes!