Going Off-Road the Quiet Way
Electric motorcycles are a great way to introduce a child to off-road riding. Without hot parts or chemicals to worry about, they offer a less intimidating sound and unique safety features not available on traditional gasoline options. Motor characteristics are digitally controlled and adjustable, meaning you can start off with a bike that barely crawls along at a walking pace and increase performance as your rider progresses.
Quiet enough for the backyard while still competitive at the track, these five electric motocrossers will get any little racer charged up.
Oset – MX-10
Oset is one of the best-known names in youth electric motorcycles. Invented by a father looking for a safer, smaller alternative for his young son, they have become a standard for young trials riders.
The MX-10 is Oset’s first entry into the electric enduro/motocross market. A 1400-watt (W), 48-volt motor is controlled with three-way adjustable power, speed and response settings. Power comes from a 20-amp-hour (Ah) lithium-ion (li-ion) battery with a 3-amp charging system. Suspension is handled with an air fork and oil shock. Disc brakes come standard on alloy 10-inch wheels. It weighs in at 82 pounds (lb.)
you’re looking to start your child with a trials bike, Oset also offers 12-inch
to 24-inch wheeled models for ages three to adult. See your local Oset dealer
GasGas – Enduro One/Two
Spanish trials and enduro manufacturer GasGas provides safety features you won’t find on other brands. A feature we’d love to see on other brands is a “Parental Control” app that includes an emergency shut off that lets you cut the power remotely. It even has adjustments for maximum speed, maximum power, throttle response and engine braking.
For younger riders just starting out, the Enduro One model offers a milder 1050W motor fed by a 48V 6.6Ah lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese (LiNiCoMn) removable battery. Oil forks and gas shocks are mated to 10-inch wheels with disc brakes. At 62 lb. it can still be loaded easily by mom and dad.
The Enduro Two is geared more towards kids with some peg time under their belts. The motor is bumped up to 1500W and the battery capacity increases to 8.8Ah, while only gaining an extra eight lb. A 54.6V, its A battery charger takes about four hours to recharge.
The GasGas kids range also offers supermoto and trials models. See your local GasGas dealer for pricing and availability.
Beta – Minicross-E
Based in Italy, Beta has a long history in both enduro and trials. Now in its second generation, the Minicross-E is a sign of its commitment to the future of off-road riding.
Power comes from a 750W motor and a 36W, 13AH li-ion battery. A three-position switch controls the performance output. Up front is an oil fork and 12-inch wheel with an air shock and 10-inch in the rear. Disc brakes provide a lot of stopping for little effort from small fingers.
A smaller motor and its 83-lb. weight could make this the softer performing model of the bunch, which could be great for certain riders.
A MiniTrial model is also available. See your local Beta dealer for pricing and availability.
KTM – SX-E 5
KTM is a leader in kids motocross bikes. Its 50 and 65cc models have been a platform upon which many championship careers were created. Anyone watching the mini races before Supercross, has seen the wave of tiny orange bikes devour the oversized course.
With its sights now set on creating revolutionary electric motorcycles, KTM dedicated the kind of resources a smaller brand could only dream of. Developers spent more than two years designing the SX-E 5 from the ground up; a frame, battery and motor were created specially for this project.
Its 2000W rated motor is competitive with the 50cc gas version of the SX. A 21Ah li-ion battery pack recharges in just 70 minutes at 240V. The components are the same quality you will find on the big bikes—Suspension by WP, 12-inch front and 10-inch rear alloy wheels, disc brakes and tapered aluminum bars make this machine truly “ready to race.” A lowering kit helps riders as young as three years old sit with confidence. A roll-over sensor and tether kill-switch can shut off the power in case of a fall, although at 89 lb. the smaller ones might need a hand picking it up.
Available in the last quarter of 2019, see your local KTM dealer for pricing and pre-order information.
Husqvarna – EE 5
Not a fan of orange? Husky has you covered. The beloved Swedish enduro brand is now produced in the same Austrian factory as its parent company, KTM.
Although light on the details, we expect the EE 5 to see a similar machine to the KTM SX-E 5. Parents can expect the same adaptability as your little one grows thanks to the available lowering kit as well as safety features like roll-over sensor and adjustable power mapping. Being able to ride the same bike from three to 10 years old is a cost savings any privateer team manager (mom and dad) will appreciate. A kid-specific gear set is available so your little rider can look good while staying protected.
See your local Husqvarna dealer for more information on pricing and availability.
Starting out right
Kids can start riding earlier, and do so more safely, than ever before. Each of these manufacturers build a great bike. Find a local dealer and go check them out in person to see what fits best. Be safe and keep it fun and you’ll have many years with your soon-to-be best riding buddy.