Get Yourself A Dirt Bike That’s Juuust Right
There’s nothing like the feeling of hitting the berms and flinging dirt. That’s why we want to share our love of dirt biking with our friends and family. It’s also the reason why we want to pass along this love and tradition to our kids. No matter what your reason, we’re here with a handy dirt bike size chart so you can be sure you’re buying the right bike for you or your family.
For instance, maybe you bought your daughter or son their first dirtbike. You can’t wait for them to get the hang of riding and starting to really explore what they can do on two wheels. Except they’re not getting the hang of it because their feet don’t touch the ground.
When we get excited buying a dirt bike for our kids or even for yourself, we can often overlook something as simple as buying the right sized bike. Or maybe you didn’t realize there were different sized bikes for different sized people. Take a look at this guide to get a better idea of where you or your loved one fits on the dirt bike sizing chart.
Height of the Bike, Not The Size of the Engine
Most often when we talk about the size of the dirt bike, we talk about the size of the engine. 50cc dirt bikes, 250cc dirt bikes, and the whole array of other engine sizes can come in just about any bike height when you think about a dirt bike size chart.
“CC” stands for cubic centimeters and literally describes the volume of the cylinders in your bike’s engine. A bigger volume means more air can be taken into the engine, and it can run more quickly than cylinders with a smaller volume.
In a very basic sense, this means that the higher CC your engine is, the faster it will go. But this does not necessarily translate to size. Big frames can be homes to small dirt bike engines and vice versa. So if you’re a tall person and a new rider, don’t be intimidated by the big bikes and end up getting something too small for you. Getting a properly sized dirt bike is directly going to affect your riding experience and how much fun you’re having.
Proper Bike Height
So, if having the right sized bike is so important, how do you figure it out? Well, the best way is to simply sit on the dirt bike. The height of the dirt bike doesn’t matter so much as how you rest on top of it.
At the proper size, both of your feet should touch the ground. However, your feet should not be flat on the ground. You should be able to touch the balls of your foot and your toes on the ground. The reason you want that extra room is that it is indicative of your shocks.
With the extra room, your shocks are going to absorb any of the impacts you might feel if you go over a big rock or hit the ground coming off a ramp. Without that extra room, you’re going to be taking all of that force directly into your groin, which we don’t need to tell you can be very painful.
The Right Seat Height
A Taller Body Doesn’t Mean a Taller Seat
Moreover, while bikes are sized differently, you also need to think about the height of your seat. But, it can be more complicated than you think. Your height does influence what seat height you should be at, but it’s not an exact science. The reason for this is that people have differently shaped bodies. Longer legs, taller torsos, there are lots of things that can affect how tall you need your bike vs. your seat to be.
So there’s no way to exactly tell you how tall your seat should be based on your height, but the folks at Dirt Bike Planet came up with this handy guide to give you a ballpark idea:
- 6′ (182cm) Tall and Taller – 37.5″ or taller seat height
- 5’10” (178cm) Tall – 35 to 39″ seat height
- 5’8″ (172cm) Tall – 34 to 38″ seat height
- 5′ 6″ (167cm) Tall – 34 to 37″ seat height
- 5’4″ (162cm) Tall – 33 to 36″ seat height
- 5’2″ (157cm) Tall – 31 to 35″ seat height
- Kids 10 to 12 years old – 26 to 31″ seat height
- Kids 8 to 9 years old – 24 to 28″ seat height
- Children 3 to 6 years-old – 50cc dirt bike
Again, this is not the end-all, be-all list when it comes to your height and your bike height. But it’s a good place to get an idea from when you start to think about your place in the dirt bike size chart.
The Right Size for Your Kids
Getting the best dirt bike for your daughter or son can be a little bit trickier than your teenager because they have to overcome the intimidation. Also, just like with their clothes, you have to think about not spending a lot of money on something they’re going to grow out of next year.
For kids, you want to stick pretty hard by “the balls of your feet on the ground” rule. Your kids might think they feel more comfortable with their whole foot on the ground, but it’s going to have you going back to your dealer to get them a new bike much sooner than you’d like.
Get your kids something that they feel safe and comfortable on, but make sure that they can continue to grow into it.
DIY Dirt Bike Size Chart: Adjusting Your Bike Height
So maybe you’ve already got your bike. But, reading this you’re realizing that maybe it’s not the right size for you. Well, if you can afford to, you can always go buy a new one that is the proper size. On the other hand, for the rest of us, you can think about ways to adjust the height of your dirt bike.
Lowering the Bike
The easiest way to make your bike lower to the ground is to fiddle with your seat foam. You can easily slip the foam out entirely, or make some holes in the foam so that it sinks more easily. You can also think about replacing the foam with softer foam. This will allow your body to sink more and put you closer to the ground.
Keep in mind, however, that softer (or no) foam will mean you hit the ground just a little bit harder. Another route is to set the sag for your rear suspension to it’s lowest level. Again, you need to think about the impact of making contact with the ground as well as your ability to steer.
Raise the Height
Again, the simple solution resides in your seat foam. Replace your seat foam with a thicker one. You can adjust your height this way by a matter of a couple of inches. It can greatly affect your comfort levels without compromising how your bike handles.
Also, think about your handlebars. You can adjust your handlebars to set them forward, or just get taller handlebars. This will allow you to lean further forward and stretch out your body. This can give you more of a comfortable fit without adjusting your seat or suspension. And it can affect how well you can maintain control of your ride.
A Ride For Life
We all love dirt bikes. That’s why you’re reading this article, and that’s why I’m writing it. But just imagine for a moment, if you will, all of those poor souls who think they don’t like dirt biking because they rode one that wasn’t the right size for them. (Where the heck was this dirt bike size chart when they needed it?!)
Dirt biking is a sport with so much to offer the people who partake in it. So, don’t let your kids or your partner go through the rest of their lives without riding a properly sized dirt bike. You know how much fun it is, so make sure they do, too! In short, share this dirt bike size chart with all your friends, TMS Parts loves to be loved. Also, if you’re looking to buy an ATV, be sure to check out our handy buyer’s guide.