Tips and strategies for getting your child on a dirt bike safely and securely
By Kali Kotoski
May 5, 2021
The American Motorcyclist Association is launching a new nationwide campaign to encourage and support parents or family members to get kids out riding in the dirt.
At the AMA it is important to cultivate the next generation of passionate riders, and Take a Kid Dirt Biking Day on Saturday, May 22 is a great way to teach kids new skills, boost confidence and gain an appreciation for the sport.
Whether it’s taking the kids out to trails, riding on a dirt track or just tooling around in the backyard, AMA Deputy Director of Racing Mike Burkeen said it is important to provide consistent encouragement and mentorship when building confidence.
“It is important to set goals so they can work toward improving their riding skills,” Burkeen said, adding that proper riding habits learned early on in a rider’s development serves as a strong bedrock for future growth.
If your child is interested in riding but you feel like you need a little help with teaching them skills, there are numerous certified programs out there for all age groups. Another resource is to contact your local AMA district to see what programs they offer or to participate in riding meet-ups for your kid to meet other youngsters excited about riding.
AMA Ohio State Coordinator and owner of Brand New Day Motorcycles Chris Sasso has made teaching kids to ride and introducing more people to motorcycles his goal since he started riding later in life.
“One of my regrets is that I didn’t start motorcycling until I was 40 years old,” he said, “and that motivates me to get kids riding early because there are a lot of memories I could have made. I think the dirt is an awesome and safe and controlled environment, making it just a fantastic way to get them started.”
With Take a Kid Dirt Biking Day fast approaching, getting them out to practice their skills is what the day is all about – and don’t be surprised if they ask you take them riding the next weekend and the one after that!
“I think riding is one of the most enjoyable experiences a person can have,” Sasso added. “Your child will learn mastery over mind and body, to appreciate nature and a drive for exploration. Plus, riding creates an enduring family bond and connection that is extremely important in the digital age.”
This is the first year the AMA is introducing this campaign, and as more parents and riders participate, the more it will grow. So, get ready now to celebrate Take a Kid Dirt Biking Day on May 22 and help spread the word!
How to Get Involved
Check out the event page Here!
After the Take a Kid Dirt Biking Day, we’d love for you to share your story with us on social media! Create a post and be sure to use the hashtag #AMAKidsRide so we can see your pictures. You can also tag us on Facebook at @AmericanMotorcyclist or on Instagram @ama_riding. When you share your story, you’ll have a chance to be featured on the AMA website.
Even if you are skilled motorcycle dad, mom, grandparent or family friend, it is important to refresh your knowledge of the basics to make sure the day of riding is a success. We have pulled together some checklists and resources for you to prepare for the day.
It’s important that you inspect and maintain the bike to ensure it is safe to ride. Of course, you need to look at the basic maintenance items like tire pressure and chain adjustment and lubrication, but there are many more items you should check. Here is an inspection checklist called T-CLOCS to help you prepare.
If your child is just starting out, we encourage a trail bike as the best option. If your child is more experienced, a more race-oriented machine could be a perfect fit. Don’t forget to stop by your favorite dirt bike dealer to find the right bike for your child. You can also find sizing recommendations on manufacturer websites.
If you’re new to dirt bikes, here is a quick gear and safety checklist:
- Over-the-ankle boots
- Long pants
- Long sleeves
- Motorcycle helmet
- Goggles or eye protection
- Chest protector (optional)
- Neck brace (optional)
Make sure all of this gear fits properly and is suitable for the age of the rider.
Above all, get out there and have some fun on Saturday, May 22 for Take your Kid Dirt Biking Day, and don’t forget to share you adventure with us on social media by using the hashtag #AMAKidsRide so we can continue to grow the motorcycling community!
Support the AMA
The AMA’s mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. You can help protect your right to ride, along with the right to ride for future generations, by supporting the AMA with your membership.
Not a member? Join today!