The market for mini bikes has grown into a profitable industry; buoyed mainly by the increasing number of extreme sports enthusiasts and off-road racers. These bikes are only two feet in height, but they are packed with tremendous engine power that allows them to travel on rough roads and race in extreme venues.
Minibikes first came into the United States in 1969 heralded by the Gemini SST 50/80 cc and Maverick which were imported from Taiwan. But legal and licensing issues with Yamaha stopped the production of these products in the U.S. in 1972. Today, these vehicles are offered widely under several names including Honda Fiddy, Ninja Super Racer, and Mini Chopper.
The popularity of these mini vehicles has spawned pocket bike clubs and associations across several countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. These clubs serve as channels of communication for minibike owners, riders and enthusiasts. Members of the associations share the latest news about their favorite ride, talk about styles and most recent models and compare notes on what exhibition moves and riding strategies are best. The organizations also give attention to safety issues on riding pocket bikes and to finding appropriate venues where fun riding activities can be held.
The commercial success of pocket bikes has made these vehicles more accessible to consumers through mass merchants and online retailers. The growth of the business also paved the way for support materials and related products such as protective gear and bike parts to expand their consumer base. Some of the better-known names in mini-bike retailing are Neoscooters and Urbanscooters. High performance and stock replacement parts can also be purchased from these sellers. In terms of accessories; helmets, knee and elbow pads and other protective gear have also been made available to minibike users.
Minibikes have come a long way from being designed as break-in rides for kids to becoming a trend unto itself. These bikes are now part of extreme sports and adventure racing worlds. And why not? Who can resist these cute, high-powered machines anyway? Not the 21st-century generation of extreme adventurers.
The Versatility of the Minibike
The minibike is a miniature version of the regular motorbike. It is about two feet tall but can perform a lot of functions. This mini ride, also called a pocket bike, has been originally designed for kids who want to ease into motorcycle riding. But the versatility of this vehicle has attracted not only kids but also adults. Now, the pocket bike is used more like a racing bike and work vehicle rather than kiddie rides.
The function of the minibike has evolved over the years. From being designed as a ride for kids, it is now a racing bike, an off-road vehicle, and a farm motor equipment. But no matter what purpose this vehicle is built for, the tough, high power performance is always present in every single one.
Some minibikes, particularly the Baja brand, are built for ranch and farm work. These types of minis are usually equipped with heavy duty shocks to allow them to take on more load and provide ease and comfort to the rider. The minis for ranches and farms have wide, thick and low air-pressured tires. The tires are built this way to avoid blow-outs and to last longer in rough roads. The engines of the bikes for farm work are also larger than those found in other pocket bikes to keep up with the demanding work on the farm and the ranch.
Some pocket bikes are designed particularly for racing and extreme sports. Bikes in this category are usually flashier and more stylish in design. They are also lighter, and the tires are not as thick as the ones used in farms and ranches. Despite being quite light, mini bikes for racing are tough and constructed to last in rough terrains. The lighter weight given to these models is primarily to allow the rider to execute backflips, wheelies and freestyle exhibition moves. The racing pocket bike also has a tough engine to make it last in rough terrains and allow it to perform in uphill roads.
The minibike, a vehicle originally designed for kids who are just starting their foray into two-wheel riding and racing, has evolved in design and construction to allow it to function in other environments. Be it in a ranch or a farm or the racing track; the pocket bike can be relied on to provide reliable performance and a highly entertaining ride.