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  1. #1
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    My 8 year old will be turning 9 in two months and I'm thinking about buying him a go kart or dirt bike. He doesn't have a clue about this, hasn't asked for it, but is fasinated by dirt bikes. When we were on vacation, he'd get very excited when we drove by a motocross track.

    We've pretty much dismissed getting him a fourwheeler because of all the injuries kids seem to suffer from them. We know a few nurses and have heard these stories from them, on the news and online. I do like the remote kill switch that the small four wheelers have. Being able to turn it off while he's riding it wold probably go a long ways to keep him safe. But we're still not comfortable with kids on four wheelers, so I think it's out of the running.

    I realy like the idea of a two seater go kart. They seem safe and I'm sure would be allot of fun for him. From what I've seen,they all seem to be from China, and I'm unsure about parts. The stores that sell them don't have parts, so it's a concern that if I spend the money on it, how long will it last and what would it take to repair it? For allot more money, there are other options, but I was hoping to keep this under a grand.

    Then there is the dirt bike idea. I had a Honda 70 as a kid and loved it. Very reliable and allot of fun. With the proper gear, I think it would be safe enough, as these things go. We don't hear the horror stories from dirt bikes and kids like we do with the ATV's, but don't know if this is because ATV's are more popular or if there is a real difference between the two and how dangerous they are. My thought is the four wheeler would be safer because of the four tires, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    He's turning 9 and this might be a bad idea. He might be too young for this, so that would be something that I'd like to hear about too. He's kind of on the wild side, tends to push things a bit, but he also learns from what doesn't work and will keep doing something until he gets it. We've been very impressed by how quickl he learns and improves at what he's doing. With the golf cart, he started out bad, but quickly learned and became pretty good at driving it. His sister is 3 years odler then him, but doesn't have his skill at driving like he does. He can think ahead, plan for what will happen and when he's suprised, he'll react to it appropriatly. He has good reactionary skills. She freezes up and just runs into things. She does not react well to suprises and has not improved at all in her driving skills since the first time she's started driving stuff. It's actually scary how bad of a driver she is. From a bicycle to the golf cart to my truck, she just doesn't get it.

    If this is a good idea, and we decide to do this, what would you recomend?

    I'd go to the dealer for a dirt bike and buy a name brand. I see the chinese bikes out there for less, but I don't think they have any resale value, don't know about parts or reliablity. Any of the Japanese brands should be fine for his first bike if we go that route.

    If we get him a go kart, what should we look for and what should we avoid. It seems that they are only sold at the box stores like Tractor Supply and Atwoods. Is there a good brand to look for?

    Another thoght for the go kart would be to increase the budget some and get it for both of them as a shared Christmas gift. That has some appeal too. She really needs to practice driving and developing some sort of skill. If we bought it for Peyton, then he'd have to share it with her and it wouldn't be his gift as much. He's pretty good at sharing, but if it was both of theirs from day one, that might be better.

    Thanks,
    Eddie

  2. #2
    Elite Member Dmace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    Personally, I think the go-kart is a waste of money unless you have a smooth track with no real hills. They are typically underpowered and have no ground clearance versus a similarly priced ATV.

    That said, there is no doubt in my mind that a four wheeler is safer than a dirt bike. Maybe you have heard of more accidents involving ATV's but that has got to be due to the fact that kids ATV's outsell Dirtbikes by at least 3 to 1, just ask your dealer.

    When my son turned 6 I decided it was time to put away the Power Wheels that he was bored with and get him a real toy. A dirtbike never even crossed my mind because even with "training wheels" they are too tippy and dangerous. We originally bought a small 50cc 4-stroke Kymco (the company that makes all the kids ATV's now) and he was bored within 3 days. It was slow, hard to start and too small for his small frame.

    We returned it for a Kawasaki KFX80 2-stroke ATV and he loved it! There are plenty of power restrictors that kept it slow until he was comfortable, the size was perfect and he can go anywhere my full-size ATV can. Now he's been riding it for over 1 year, I removed all the power restrictors and only use the throttle limiter screw to control his speed. It works great and with the CVT transmission there is no shifting.

    My 12-year old nephew and niece come over and ride it a ton too and love it, I loosen up the throttle screw for them and they can really fly. I know my son wont out grow it for a long time. A dirtbike small enough for him now would be out grown within a year or two and certainly too small for a 12-yr old unlike the ATV. I also have two 9-yr old nephews who love it and an 8-yr old niece, they all beg us to get another one because the line is too long waiting to ride again.

    Price-wise the ATV was a left over in the crate and we got it for $1500 compared to $2200 for a brand new one. Over a year of 6 different kids riding that ATV and NO ONE has ever been injured, hurt or even scared while riding. I garauntee that within a few weeks we would have had some scraped knees, sprained ankles, and other misc injuries with a dirt bike. I don't get how you are more comfortable with him on a dirt bike vs. an ATV...

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    Click video to play and click images for larger view.
    Derek
    Kioti CK20HST
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  3. #3
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    West central Illinois
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    Wow, thats a tough one. In my opinion, a 4 wheeler would be no more dangerous than a small dirt bike. I think the reason there are more injuries on them is that they have grown so much in use. I bet alot more kids ride the 4 wheelers than dirt bikes. The go cart would be the safest. Most of the ones I have seen have a roll cage and seat belts. I wouldn't think parts would be a big deal, alot of the stuff would be off the shelf items, such as parts for the engine, clutch etc. I would think you have the ability to fix just about anything on one, they are pretty simple.

    My oldest just turned 15 and will get his permit next week. I let him drive around a empty parking lot yesterday. He did alot better than I thought he would. He has been driving my BX2350 and mowing with it since I got it, and had used my previous riding tractor. I think it is amazing how much this will help your 9 year old to drive and learn saftey when he gets older and starts to drive. 9 years old is probably a good age to start. Good luck and I bet his eyes get big when he sees what you bought him!

  4. #4
    Tig
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    Veteran Member Tig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    Go karts usually have very poor ground clearance and have to be driven on some sort of road, where cars are. I never liked that idea. I agree with your four wheeler thoughts. They are heavy and can do a lot of damage when they turn over. Lots of sad stories there.
    I think a Honda 50 would be a lot of fun for him. If they still exist. You should be able to govern the throttle discretely while you evaluate the fit of this new toy.
    I had dirt bikes and dune buggies and three wheelers and motor cycles as I grew up. Sold the last one when my son was 3 years old. He took to little league so that's what we did instead.
    Steve

    The best things in life are not things.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    Despite all the promises that he makes, your son will take a motorcycle and atv out on the street when you're not around. And that's dangerous for him and your pocketbook.
    So an underpowered go-cart is the only alternative if you must get him wheels.
    Eastern PA -JD2320 w/R4; 200CX w/61" bucket & Markham toothbar or JD adj forks; 46BH w/16", Imatch, ballast box & York rake-blade-scarifer, 54" front plow and trailer receiver. Case 580K w/fel+bh, mule 610XC

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    I vote dirtbike.

    I thought they already had go karts ?
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  7. #7
    Veteran Member Mark_in_NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    Eddie,
    I did a quick random search for "off road go carts" and it turned up alot of results.
    This website sure has some Cool looking machines. Kind of like the old Honda Odessy's.
    Take a look, at this particular one. At $1900.00 I wouldn't mind having one myself. Talk about a second childhood. Spyder 150

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Mark_in_NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    for a few hundred dollars more, I like this one even better. Go Cart Explorer 150cc

    Sure wish I had the acereage or area to ride on, owning one would be wicked tempting.

  9. #9
    Elite Member tallyho8's Avatar
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    Katrinaville LA west of Westwego east of Ama south of River Ridge north of Boutte, above sea level
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    My next door neighbors bought their 3 year old son a 4 wheeler a few months ago. I cringe every time I see him riding it. So far he has no injuries except a few scratches. But if a 3 year old has a 4 wheeler, what can they get him that he will not be bored with by the time he is 12?

    What bothers me the most is the people in the subdivision who live on 50 X 100' lots and buy 4 wheelers and dirt bikes for the kids to come ride on your property (without asking of course).

    I guess I'm Old School and I'm sure many will disagree with me, but I believe that a child ought to develop his muscles on a bicycle and shouldn't have a motorized vehicle before he is at least 12 years old. Kids who get everything they want at a young age seem to get awful bored in their teens when there is nothing new for them to do except things that are illegal or immoral.
    Happy Trails!
    Dudley

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Mark_in_NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motorcycle, ATV or Go Kart for a 9 year old. Your thoughts?

    This manufacture in Alabama has some nice buggies as well. http://www.carterbro.com/
    Their "Talon" line of buggies sure look like alot of fun.

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