Mini Motorcycles: The Latest Colossal Thrill

Mini Motorcycles are nothing new. For most of their history, the demographic that favored mini-bikes was the ten-year-old bully. But the mini-bike has been given an overhaul and has taken off in popularity. Welcome to the Mini-Moto craze. Also called “Pocket Bikes,” Mini-Motos have truly become a global phenomenon.

There are a few factors that distinguish these chic new vehicles from the classic, old-school mini-bike.

Mini Motos are true miniatures of their larger cousins. All of the details that go into the high performance motorcycles of today are scaled down. The slick tires, the race replica bodywork and the “super bike” colors are all present. Although usually only 15 to 18 inches in height and weighing 35 to 55 pounds, it can be difficult to tell they’re not full size when looking at them on their own. The exactness of detail adds to their cache and is most certainly what has raised them to such heights of popularity.

Although beautiful, Mini-Motos go well beyond being mere exquisite scale models. Advanced engineering has catapulted them to high-performance levels at only slightly outrageous prices. European companies like Blata and Polini sell units for $1200-$2000 but less expensive and arguably less reliable ones are made by Chinese manufacturers and cost $400-$600. Most models have two-stroke, 40cc engines, which run on a combination of gas and oil. Despite the awkward-looking position it takes to mount one, they are a sheer joy to ride. The short wheelbase and overall low weight give them a lightning-fast turn and the thrill of riding so fast and so close to the terra firma is indeed intoxicating.

Safety measures are a must when riding Mini Motos. Gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, leather and a helmet should all be worn for each and every ride. Wi tho ut them, road rash is quite likely and worse injuries are possible. Because Mini Motos do not exceed the 50cc engine size, DMV registration and moped/scooter licenses are not necessary. However, most are not equipped with turn signals and DMV-approved tires, so they are not street legal either.

This new incarnation of mini-bike is not just for neighborhood bullies. Adults are getting them for their kids but more commonly, for themselves. Normal models can regularly go 35mph, al tho ugh parents can set them to max out at much slower speeds or … modify them to go faster. Moreover, models with more powerful engines are available. A GRC RX with 15hp 50cc engine by GRC Moto can be purchased for a mere $3,295.00.

The Mini Moto explosion shows no signs of ending anytime soon as MM racing leagues are popping up. The Northwest Mini Moto Racing Association and the Michigan Mini Moto Racing League have a full calendar of races and the US Mini Moto Grand Prix National Finals will be held in Florida this October.



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