Off-road motorbikes, including dirt bikes, trail bikes, mopeds, motor-scooters, off-road motorcycles, and mini-bikes, have become increasingly popular as families continue to seek exciting ways to explore the outdoors.
But while taking to the trails on a dirt bike or other off-road motorbike can be a lot of fun, it’s also dangerous. In fact, research suggests that anyone who rides regularly will be injured at some point. The danger only increases when a bike or its components are defectively designed or manufactured. And while these injuries are often minor, a significant percentage of victims suffer severe injuries including paralysis or traumatic brain injury. In some cases, a serious crash can lead to death. Supercross and Motocross racing are more likely to result in fatal injury and death due to the high level of competition, jumping stunts, and collisions on crowded racetracks.
As a leading Child Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Killino believes kids harmed or killed by defective off-road motorbikes deserve compensation for their pain and suffering. If your child or teenager sustained a severe or fatal injury while riding a dirt bike, trail bike, moped, motor-scooter, off-road motorcycle, or mini-bike, please call our law firm toll-free at 877-875-2927 to speak with a top personal injury attorney and learn more about your legal rights.
Off-Road Motorbike Injury Statistics
In nearly all states, a license is not required to operate a dirt bike or other motorbike offroad. According to the American Motorcycle Association, only 19 states require off-road motorcyclists under the age of 18 to wear helmets. Only eight have set minimum ages (range: 8 to 14 years) to operate off-road motorcycles. As a result, many parents and caregivers mistakenly believe that dirt biking and other off-road motorsports are safe for kids.
But according to the most recent study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, at least 245 people died riding off-road motorbikes and dirt bikes in 2003, and nearly 59,000 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained while riding offroad. The highest rate of nonfatal accidents involved children between 12 and 15 years old. More than 70% of all incidents occurred in a natural environment, while just 20% occurred on a closed motocross track.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 not be permitted to ride dirt bikes and other off-road motorbikes. This is because trail riding requires skills and a level of judgment most young kids have yet to develop.
Most Common Dirt Bike Injuries
In many cases, dirt bike and other off-road motorbike accidents result in abrasions, sprains, and fractures, while the body parts most often affected include the head, neck, or arm.
Some of the most prevalent injuries in a dirt bike accident include:
- Acromioclavicular Joint:Also known as the A.C. joint, the acromioclavicular joint is one of four joints that comprise the shoulder. If the A.C. joint is directly impacted, the ligaments could separate.
- ACL Rupture: The ACL links the shinbone and the thigh. A dirt bike rider’s ACL might rupture when they jump with their knee in a bent position. An ACL rupture can take up to a year to heal, and many patients will need surgery and physiotherapy before they recover completely.
- Broken Ankle:A fractured ankle is most likely to occur when a dirt bike rider falls or collides with fellow riders. Even a minor fracture won’t heal correctly unless a physician has reset the ankle bones. In severe cases, victims might require surgery, followed by casting and physical rehabilitation.
- Broken Wrist:Broken wrists occur when a rider falls during a dirt bike accident. Complicated fractures may require surgery, followed by 8 weeks of casting, then physiotherapy.
- Shoulder Dislocation:Shoulder dislocations generally occur when a dirt bike rider tries to break a fall with their hands. In this situation, the collarbone stays unaffected. Recovery time will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Rehab can only begin once the patient is free of pain.
- Broken Collarbone:Broken collar bones also typically occur as a rider attempts to break a fall. The speed of the fall will largely govern the extent of the injury. At very high speeds, a broken collar bone could be fatal. A mild fracture may only require a splint and a sling for 4-to-8 weeks. However, in cases of severe trauma, the victim may need surgery and physical therapy to fully recover the range of motion in their shoulder.
Recent Dirt Bike and Off-Road Motorbike Recall
Unfortunately, off-offroad motorbike recalls are announced fairly regularly. Some of the most recent recalls include:
Husqvarna and GASGAS Off-Road Motorcycle Recall
In December 2021, KTM North America recalled more than 3,200 Husqvarna and GASGAS off-road motorcycles because of a faulty “R” clip on the front brake calipers that could cause the brakes to fail and cause a crash.
The recall includes the following model year 2021 and 2022 Husqvarna and GASGAS off-road closed course/competition motorcycles: Husqvarna 2022 TE 150i, 2022 TE 250i, 2022 TE 300i, 2022 FE 350, 2022 FE 501; and GASGAS 2021 EC 300 and 2022 EC 250 and 2022 EC 300. They were sold at authorized dealers nationwide from May 2021 through August 2021 for between $9,500 and $11,500.
The model number sticker for Husqvarna motorcycles is located on its side panels; on GASGAS motorcycles, the sticker is located on the side of the rear fender. The Husqvarna motorcycles are white, blue, and yellow, with the blue Husqvarna logo on both sides of the shrouds. The GASGAS motorcycles are red with a white GASGAS logo on both sides of the shrouds. The model year 2021 motorcycles will have the letter M in the 10th position of the vehicle identification number (VIN). The VIN is located on the right side of the steering head. The model year 2022 motorcycles will have the letter N in the 10th position of the VIN.
This action was a continuation of an earlier recall that involved 300 off-road motorcycles. Consumers should immediately stop riding the recalled motorcycles and contact an authorized Husqvarna or GASGAS Motorcycles dealer to schedule a free repair.
Honda CRF450R Off-Road Motorcycle Recall
In April 2021, American Honda recalled around 536 CRF450R Off-Road Motorcycles because of a defective drive chain that could break while the bike was in use. This could cause the motorcycle to lose power and crash. American Honda received two reports of broken drive chains, but no injuries were sustained in either incident.
This recall involves 2021 model year CRF450R off-road motorcycle sold in red. The model name CRF450R is printed on a label located on both sides of the bike, and Honda is printed on the front and both sides of the bike. Motorcycles with the last six digits of the VIN between 400223 and 401056 are included in this recall. The VIN is stamped on the frame at the head tube behind the front suspension fork. They were sold at authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from August 2020 through March 2021 for about $9,600.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled off-road motorcycles and contact an authorized Honda Powersports dealer to schedule an appointment for a free repair.
SSR Motorsports Competition Off-Road Motorcycle Recall
In August 2019, SSR Motorsports recalled around 420 competition off-road motorcycles because the vehicle’s front fork assembly could fail during use, causing the rider to lose control and crash. SSR Motorsports received three reports of the front fork assembly failing, including two incidents that resulted in bruising.
This recall involved two-wheeled 2019 SSR Motorsports competition off-road motorcycles with model numbers SR70Auto, SR70C, SR110Semi/DX, and SR125Auto. They were sold at authorized SSR Motorsports dealers nationwide from February 2019 through June 2019 for $800 and $1,200.
Only vehicles with the 2019 model year have the letter K in the 10th position of the 17-digit VIN stamped on the right side of the steering stem were affected. The SSR Motorsports logo is printed on the motorcycles’ left and right side panels. The motorcycles are black, white, red, orange, green, or blue. These motorcycles are fitted with traditional-style front forks. Their engine displacements were stamped on the right side of the engine cylinder wall in respect to their model numbers: 72cc, 107cc, and 124cc. VINs can be verified through SSR dealers or SSR Motorsports.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the recalled off-road motorcycles and contact their local SSR Motorsports dealer to schedule a free repair. SSR Motorsports is contacting registered owners directly.
Monster Moto Classic 212cc Mini-bike Recall
In February 2018, Monster Moto recalled around 1,800 Classic 212cc mini-bikes because the fuel tank venting system could leak, posing a fire hazard. The firm has received 38 reports of gasoline leaks due to this defect, but no injuries or fires were reported.
This recall involves model “MM-B212” off-road mini-bikes. They were sold at Mills Fleet Farm, True Value, and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and MonsterMoto.com from October 2017 through January 2018 for between $800 and $850.
The recalled bikes had a black powder-coated, gusset-reinforced, welded tube steel frame. Attached to the frame were two pneumatic tires with steel rims that measure 19 inches by 7 inches, a front fork with shocks, front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, and head light. The bikes were powered by a pull start self-contained 212cc, 7.5 hp gas engine and had a retractable kickstand. The mini-bikes weighed 164 pounds and measured 64 inches long by 32.5 inches wide by 36 inches tall. There were two circular “MM 212” decals on the pull start and the transmission cover located on the left and right side of the bikes, a “Monster Moto” decal on the left and right shock absorbers, and an “MM 212” and Monster Moto logo on the left and right frame gussets.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the mini-bikes and contact Monster Moto for a free repair kit or arrange a free repair at an authorized repair center.
Baja Motorsport Warrior 200 Mini-bike Recall
In September 2015, Baja Motorsport recalled around 4,600 Warrior 200 Mini-bikes because the front fork could separate from the wheel, posing fall and crash hazards to riders. The company received 22 reports of the front forks separating from the wheel, including 11 reports of minor injuries.
This recall involved Baja Motorsports gas-powered mini-bikes manufactured between November 2014 and December 2014. They were sold at Tractor Supply Company stores from February 2015 through August 2015 for about $650.
The recalled mini-bikes had a black frame with a black padded seat, a storage tank and fenders that were camouflage, side reflectors, a headlight, and tail light. A decal with model number “Baja Warrior 200” inside a circle with wings attached was located on both sides of the storage tank. The date of manufacture was printed on the bottom right of the Vehicle Emissions Control Information label in the MM/YY format. The label was attached to the front side of the engine.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the recalled mini-bikes and contact Baja Motorsports to schedule a free repair.
Yamaha Off-Road Motorcycle Recall
In December 2014, Yamaha recalled around 875 off-road motorcycles because the engine could lock up during operation, causing a rider to lose control of the vehicle and crash, resulting in injuries and death.
This recall involved model year 2015 Yamaha competition off-road motorcycles with model numbers YZ250FFL and YZ250FFW. They were sold at Yamaha motorcycle dealers nationwide from May 2014 through November 2014 for about $7,600.
The recalled motorcycles were blue and white, and white and red. The model number was on the left and right sides of the fuel tank cowling. The VIN was stamped on the frame near the steering stem. A letter F in the 10th position of the VIN indicates that the unit was made in the 2015 model year.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the recalled motorcycles and contact their local Yamaha dealer to schedule a free repair.
Kawasaki Off-Road Motorcycle Recall
In February 2014, Kawasaki USA recalled around 10,000 off-road motorcycles because of potential fuel leaks that posed a fire hazard.
This recall involved model years 2010, 2011, and 2012 KLX110 and KLX110L off-road motorcycles. The motorcycles had a 110 cubic centimeter engine, a green fuel tank, shroud cover and fenders, a black seat, and white side covers. “Kawasaki” was on both sides of the shroud cover. Model names and numbers were located directly beneath the seat on both sides. KLX110 models had an automatic clutch, a shift pedal, and no clutch lever on the handlebars. The seat height for these models was about 27 inches. KLX110L models had a manual clutch, a shift pedal, and a clutch lever on the handlebars. The seat height for these models was about 29 inches.
They were sold at Kawasaki dealers nationwide from November 2009 to January 2014 for about $2,100 to $2,350. Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the recalled off-road motorcycles and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair.
Baja Motorsports MB200 Mini-Bike Recall
In November 2013, Baja Motorsports recalled around 23,000 MB200 mini-bikes with a front fork that could separate from the wheel, posing fall and crash hazards to riders. The firm had received 13 reports of front forks separating from the wheel. Minor injuries were also reported.
This recall involves Baja Motorsports MB200 gas-powered mini-bikes manufactured from August 2010 through August 2012. They were sold at Northern Tool Equipment, Pep Boys, and Tractor Supply Company from February 2010 to September 2013 for about $650.
The recalled mini-bikes had a black frame with a black padded seat, a gas tank, fenders that were black, red, or yellow, side reflectors, and a headlight. A decal with the words “Baja” and “Warrior” and the number 200 inside a circle with wings attached was located on both sides of the gas tank. “Baja 200cc” was located on the engine cover on the right side of the bike. This mini-bike may also be known as WR96, WR200, Baja Heat, Baja Carbon, and Mini Baja. The date of manufacture was on the bottom right of the Vehicle Emissions Control Information label in the MM/YY format. The label was attached to the front side of the engine.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the recalled mini-bikes and contact Baja Motorsports to schedule a free repair.
Less than one year later, Baja Motorsport agreed to pay a record $4.3 million civil penalty to settle a CPSC complaint that it had delayed reporting safety defects on its go-karts and mini-bikes. The company did not admit any wrongdoing.
Dirt Bike Safety Tips
In addition to limiting the use of dirt bikes and other off-road motorbikes to adults and teenagers over the age of 16, there are some additional precautions you can take if you decide to allow your kids to enjoy the trials:
- Choose the Right Size Bike: Kids can’t control a dirt bike that doesn’t suit their height. Arrange a test ride for your child before you buy to ensure the bike is the right size.
- Never Ride on Paved Roads: Mini-bikes, dirt bikes, and other off-road motorbikes aren’t street legal or safe for paved roads. It’s best to stick to trails designed for off-road motorbiking. If your kids are new to the sport, look for beginner-level tracks.
- Use Appropriate Safety Equipment: No one – adult or teen – should ever go off-roading without the appropriate safety gear. Spend some money and invest in a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. This is not an area to look for bargains.
- Always Ride at the Posted Speed Limit: Traveling at high speed makes a motorbike more difficult to control and more likely to crash. Make sure your kids know to only ride at the posted speed limit, and ensure that an adult is always along to make certain they do so.
- Never Ride in the Rain: Wet weather significantly increases the odds of a crash. Never allow anyone, especially children, to ride in the rain or when it’s been raining a lot, and the tracks are still extremely slippery.
- Always Check the Motorbike Before Riding: Dirt bikes and other off-road motorbikes sustain a lot of wear and tear in the course of normal use. Make sure that the tires aren’t worn, that the breaks are in good condition, and that the bike is in good shape overall before every ride.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Lawyer
Child Injury Lawyer Jeffrey Killino and his law firm have extensive experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases involving defective vehicles and other dangerous products, earning national recognition for his aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of injured kids and their families. If your son or daughter was hurt or tragically killed while riding a dirt bike, off-road motorbike, trail bike, moped, motor-scooter, off-road motorcycle, or mini-bike, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-875- 2927.