Minibikes, often treated as such, are not toys. Even the tiniest, cheapest, petrol-powered bikes can achieve speeds of at least 40 km/h. Their electric counterparts however typically can not exceed 10-25 km/h. Road laws vary by country and sometimes by state. For the most part minibikes do not meet the requirements to be deemed road-legal. The ones made by hobbyists typically tend to be the culprits here: no indicator lights, no rear view mirror, no horn, sometimes even no headlight.
Small bikes, big dangers
You could be deceived by its cute looks but these small pocket bikes have big dangers. These bikes have it all to fascinate kids, teens and even adults. However, to police, safety experts and doctors, minibikes are nothing more than a mess! Here’s why.
Because of their petite demeanor, these super fast tiny bikes become difficult to notice by huge trucks and giant Suvs. Although these tiny monsters are way too noisy and make their presence known, they could be missed by people playing loud music or by those driving with their mirrors rolled up. Owing to fatal accidents and the overall danger caused by these, sale of minibikes sagged quite a bit during the early 2000s. Mini bike sale, however, was revived in the last few years when a road friendly and safer version of minibike began to be made. Some popular manufacturers like Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and others have been making road-legal minibikes for enthusiasts at modes pricing schemes. The Honda Grom was perhaps the first entrant in the segment that was fully-featured and not to mention road-legal.These bikes have headlights, turn signals, tail/brake lights, a horn, and speedometer and also have speed limit in most scenarios (typically 4 stroke bikes with manual 4 speed transmissions can reach speeds of 55mph). In some cases, if the bike requires minor modification to meet requirements, one may be able to register it as a “unique/home-built.”
Like real full-size motorcycles, the rider of a modified super pocket bike must carry insurance, have a current inspection, and wear a helmet if local laws require it. Depending on if the state classifies a pocket bike as a “moped” or full “motorcycle”, the rider may or may not need a special motorcycle license. If not, a regular driver’s license may suffice.
Safety should be a major concern for anyone interested in riding these small wonders. Riding gas pocket bikes can provide miles of fun and enjoyment if one adheres to safety measures. Follow basic safety rules like wearing helmets, knee pads and shin guards to stay protected!