3. Suzuki DR-Z70, $1849
The Suzuki DR-Z70 might not be one of the first models that comes to mind when seeking out a dirt bike for kids, but Suzuki’s smallest four-stroke off-roader has proven itself to be reliable and affordable. The DR-Z’s air-cooled, 67cc, SOHC, four-stroke engine is tough as nails while delivering controllable power for youngsters, and its automatic clutch and three-speed transmission teach good shifting skills without requiring newbies to learn the intricacies of operating a manual clutch. Starting the DR-Z70 is easy too: Simply push the electric start button, and the little Suzuki hums to life. There’s also a kickstarter for backup in case the battery runs low on juice. An adjustable throttle limiter allows Mom and Dad to dial up the DR-Z70’s power to match the skills of their beginner offspring. A low, 22-inch seat height and a claimed curb weight of 121 lbs. make the Suzuki DR-Z70 an attractive model for kids.