How fast is a 50cc dirt bike and is it safe at top speeds?

Dirt bike riding is a great way to get your kids active outdoors. This fun motorsport can be an exciting new adventure. However, some parents and kids worry about safety at top speeds while others want more speed. Either way, they often want to know how fast is a 50cc dirt bike.

Let’s have a quick peek at their top speeds in mph (miles per hour) and in kmph (kilometers per hour):

BikePrice m/hkm/h
Honda CRF50$1,5993556
Yamaha PW50$1,6493048
Yamaha TTR 50$1,6993048
Suzuki DR-Z50$1,7993353
KTM 50 SX$4,3994267
Husqvarna TC50$4,3994267
Cobra CX50SRX$4,3994572
Top speeds of 50cc Dirt Bikes with 2021 Prices in US Dollars

Those speeds may sound a bit alarming or even unsafe to some. But you should know that some mini dirt bikes have safety features and accessories like throttle limiters, throttle stop screws, and power reduction kits. These will keep your kid from riding too fast.

For bikes without those convenient features, give your kid tips to keep them out of harm’s way. For instance, teaching them to only ride in low gears can prevent excessive speed.

Now that you know how fast 50cc dirt bikes can go, let’s cover related topics:

Popular 50cc dirt bikes

Top motorcycle brands, like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki offer good beginner off-roading motorcycles for kids. KTM and couple of other brands are race bikes, but some do offer a horsepower redution kit.

Below are some that you will encounter in your search for the right bike. Each one has its strengths, but they’re all kid-friendly, reliable, and designed for beginners.

Note: The prices indicated are the U.S. retail prices for 2021.

How fast does Yamaha 50cc dirt bike go?

Yamaha PW50 Top speed: 30 mph
Price: $1,649

The PW50, or Yamaha Peewee 50, as it’s affectionately called, has a tiny 2-stroke engine that has been a popular choice for parents who want to get their little ones into riding.

Its reputation goes back to the 1980s. It’s extremely light. It has a fully automatic transmission and a throttle limiter.

Yamaha TTR 50 Top speed: 30 mph
Price: $1,699

The TT-R50E is an ideal choice for confident kids with a good sense of balance. Your kid won’t outgrow it as fast, and its 4-stroke engine tackles hill climbs with power. A few more plus points are its electric start, throttle stop screw, and 3-speed automatic gearbox.

How fast does a Honda 50cc go?

Honda CRF50 Top speed: 35 mph
Price: $1,799

The CRF50F is well-known in the mini dirt bike scene as incredibly sturdy and reliable. This 4-stroke requires very minimal maintenance to run well.

Your kid will ride on it more easily thanks to smooth power and an automatic transmission. It comes with a throttle limiter and also accepts training wheels.

How fast is 49cc dirt bike?

Suzuki DR-Z50 Top speed: 33 mph
Price: $1,799

Like most 4-stroke dirt bikes, the DR-Z50 puts out power smoothly and handles predictably. It is a 49cc mini dirt bike like others, but belongs to the 50cc class.

The recommended age for this model is 7 years and up, making this 50cc Suzuki a good upgrade option for a kid coming from a smaller bike. A throttle limiter and an electric start also make it safe and convenient.

How fast is a 50cc 2 stroke pit bike?

KTM 50 SX – Minneapolis motocross (Image courtesy KTM by Simon Cudby)

KTM 50 SX Top speed: 42 mph
Price: $4,399

Excited about racing, some kids commonly ask how fast can a 50cc bike go? The KTM 50SX 2-stroke is the fastest 50cc dirt bike by far. Made to be ridden by kids from the age of 4 to 10, it’s a solid choice for kids keen to race. It has a punchy engine and great handling, thanks to an automatic clutch and a Chromoly steel frame (light yet strong).

True to KTM’s dirt bike heritage, you can fine-tune the 50 SX’s performance through its adjustable acceleration and air forks. For the 50 SX Mini, you can smooth out the engine with a power reduction kit.

Pro Tip: Before you buy the bike and any gear, take kids to dirt bike riding classes and gauge their eagerness to ride, especially if they’re unsure of getting their feet wet. These classes usually provide a bike and basic gear for participants.

Full of safety features or not, mini dirt bikes can be ridden by kids with little to no major accidents. Regardless of the dirt bike they ride, learn-to-ride training programs, safety gear and some ground rules can go long way for safe off-roading.

Advice on choosing the right mini dirt bike

Essential Safety Gear

Just like riding a bicycle, kids will fall, pick themselves up, and keep going.  Proper safety gear and coaching can give you some peace of mind and also train your kid to start off on the right foot.

Confident riders are protected riders. Invest in the proper gear to get your child to this stage. Use the following checklist as your shopping list:

  • Dirt bike helmet
  • Riding goggles
  • Chest protector with shoulder protection
  • Neck protection
  • Riding pants and jersey
  • Elbow pads
  • Knee pads
  • Gloves
  • Dirt bike riding boots

This list is thorough, but it isn’t overkill. Think of this gear as a 360-protection kit for the time when your child falls off their bike.

“You fall at a much higher frequency in the beginning, because you’re learning. You’re constantly pushing the envelope.”

— Rick Johnson, former AMA Motocross and Supercross racer, Wired.com

2 Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are two potential riding risks you should know about:

  1. Whiskey throttle
  2. Race track or trail jumps

Kids can usually learn how to move the bike forward in a short time. Twist the throttle towards your body, and off you go.
But, when a child forgets how to slow down, they could lose control. And if they panic, they can lose even more control and accidentally accelerate. This is known as Whiskey throttle.

Whiskey throttle is a negative and panicked reflex. There are several ways you can keep it from happening:

  • Introduce beginner riders to new obstacles gradually
  • Tell them how the bike will move through a section
  • Teach what they should do to get through without falling

The other riding risk is a feature built into motocross race tracks and may be found on off-roading trails. It’s the jump. Jumps are what riders call the small (or big) dirt hills on trails and tracks.

Speeding off a dirt bike jump may seem obvious thing to avoid. But, eager to experience a 2-wheeler flight some kids insist on trying too early in the game.

Beginner and novice riders should avoid such race tracks and challenging trails, because jumps require solid skills to overcome. These skills need time to develop, and if a rider isn’t advanced enough, they simply increase the chances of a fall.

Falling because of whiskey throttle or jumps can be minimized with proper coaching. As the twist to an old saying goes: Perfect practice makes perfect.

Safe Riding Practices

Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, beginner and novice riders should always familiarize themselves with dirt bikes in comfortable and low-risk riding trails. 

Here are some more ways to develop your child’s riding skills, apart from coaching them yourself:

  • Talk to them about safety before each ride
  • Set some ground rules early on, such as:
    • Stay on first and second gear while riding (if the bike has gears)
    • Ride only under adult supervision
    • Don’t go faster than your skill allows
    • Keep both wheels on the ground
    • Always wear complete safety gear
    • Use a throttle limiter to control the speed for Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda bikes
  • Use a power reduction kit to control speed for KTM and Husqvarna
  • Enroll them in a hands-on dirt bike training program (beginner to advanced levels)
  • Gradually practice them on trails with obstacles to avoid whisky throttle
  • Delay riding on motocross race tracks with jumps until kids reach advanced riding levels

By using these guidelines, you will form safe habits which will lessen your kid’s chance of getting injured badly. At the same time, you also establish yourself as an important support system for your child.

How to make a 50cc dirt bike go faster

Yamaha 50, Honda 50, and Suzuki 50 bikes are trail bikes, so top speed usually isn’t the priority. Yes, you can make them go a bit faster, but for 50cc MX racing, it’s better to invest in a high performance dirt bike. They are especially built for race competitions.

Have a trail bike that you want to go faster? Here are general guidelines:

  • Clean the exhaust and muffler
  • Keep spark plugs gapped and fresh
  • Use high quality fluids
  • Change fluids and filters often
  • Clean or replace air filter
  • Use high-octane gasoline
  • Check that tires still have big knobs for traction in dirt
  • Lubricate the throttle cable for better response

Below is speed test of Honda CRF50 with a non-stock carburetor. It reaches whopping speed of 38 mph! The iOS app used is Speedometer Simpl‪e‬ – Accurate GPS speed tracker.

If your kid is ready to race and has reached advanced levels on trail bikes, signing them up for a motocross training program will help them progress quickly and, at the same time, introduce them to other kids with the same interest.

“It’s like any sport, if you want to get good at it quickly, you get advice and help.”

— Chris Birch, off-road coach and eight-time New Zealand Enduro National Champion, RidersWest magazine

Fastest 50cc dirt bikes

Some dirt bikes for kids are designed for motocross racing, while others are designed for trail riding. The fastest 50cc dirt bike is the American built Cobra 50 King. It has repeatedly won many competitions.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the fastest 50cc mini dirt bikes:

  • Cobra CX50SRX KING Top speed: 45 MPH
  • Husqvarna TC 50 Top speed: 42 MPH
  • KTM 50 SX: 42MPH

These motocross mini bikes use the same level of technology found on the full-size motocross race bikes. They are 2-strokes with instant response, so riders can reach top speeds sooner.

Husqvarna TC50 speed test

2-stroke 50cc engines have an aggressive power curve compared to milder 4-stroke. These mini mx competition bikes also have the best suspension in the class to tackle the jumps.

Final Thoughts

A 50cc dirt bike can mean a lot of fun for kids getting into dirt riding. Top racing models can reach speeds past 40 miles per hour, while most trail bikes will max out at around 33 miles per hour or less.

Speed is a concern for parents of new riders, but this worry can be reduced by getting a bike with a throttle limiter and by teaching a child to ride at low speeds. Most kids will be happy with speeds between 10 to 15 miles per hour, since everything feels new and amazing.

As long as you pay attention to your child’s interest level, safety gear, and riding challenges, you create a safe and positive learning environment. Riding dirt bikes done right is low-risk, fun, and exciting for the whole family.