Mini Motorcycles: A Wide-Ranging Hobby


Mini motorcycles, also known as pocket bikes or minibikes, are a popular hobby for children and adults alike. Available in most of the same popular styles as full size motorcycles, from racing bikes to classic street cycles to motocross machines, mini motorcycles can be found to suit almost anyone’s taste . With further options such as a choice of power plant types, pre-assembled units or kits,  and a broad range of prices to suit any budget, mini motorcycles can provide fun and training for people of many ages and interests.

Why Get a Mini Motorcycle?
There are several obvious advantages to mini motorcycles. Perhaps the most obvious is price: mini motorcycles can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of  full-sized machines. It’s not impossible to find used mini motorcycles for 100 dollars. The low expense makes them an attractive alternative for young riders and even adults learning to ride and race motorcycles. But mini motorcycles are not always seen as a preparational  tool for full sized cycles, they are also a very popular hobby in and of themselves. And while it’s possible to find cheap mini motorcycles new or used, more sophisticated and higher-priced machines are also available for serious hobbyists and racing enthusiasts.

Choosing a Mini Motorcycle
The basic questions to ask when looking over the great variety of mini motorcycles for sale are:

  • Who will be riding the mini motorcycle?
  • Where and how will it be ridden?

For example, a child of 12 might be better suited with a different bike than an adult.  In the same way, a person with easy access to a paved track might choose a different bike than someone with only unpaved fields or dirt to ride on. The latter individual would probably be happiest with a motocross-style mini motorcycle, while the former might choose a racer or classic chopper style. Novice mechanically-minded buyers might like a bike that comes as a kit, while experienced builders might be interested in a design that allows for customization, or even building their own mini motorcycle from the ground up (which, incidentally, was how the hobby got started).

Electric Motors and Gas Engines
Another major decision will be between a bike with an electric motor or one driven by a gas combustion engine. Electric bikes are the most popular and tend to be the safest mini motorcycles for kids. The top speed of most electric mini motorcycles is seldom much in excess of 15mph. Another advantage is that the electric motor is significantly quieter than a normal small combustion engine. However, electric motors require significant recharging times for their batteries, with a 12-hour charge required for 30 minutes of continuous use, and they do not typically produce the same power and speed that combustion engines tend to. Gas combustion engines tend to run from about 38cc-50cc and will produce speeds from 30mph to over 50mph.  There is also a slightly larger class, usually called super pocket bikes, that have larger engines in the 90cc-110cc range. These are typically recommended for riders with a bit more experience.

Buyers and users of mini motorcycles should remember that, while it is easy to view them as toys, they are vehicles and should be used with care. All manufacturer guidelines and applicable laws should be followed by all who enjoy this hobby. Users should check into all local requirements for registration and street use and should wear protective clothing and headgear. With the proper precautions and preparations in place, and having carefully chosen a machine that fits the riders size, skill, and desired use, mini motorcycles can be a hobby for the whole family!

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