For those who were too small or too young to grip the handles of a motorcycle, minibikes were a worthy alternative. Minibikes were about 4 feet tall, weighed as little as 65 pounds, and had wheels about 10 inches in diameter. With a frame like that, they didn't go very fast - but no one seemed to care.
As minibikes progressed, they soon came available with engines, brakes, suspension and headlights. They became more popular for off-roading than to race. Minibikes managed well in rough terrain and were not damaged with a fall.
Because of the small size of the bikes and the young age of the drivers, minibikes were outlawed on main roads. Children began seriously injuring themselves by driving on streets where cars could not see them. By 1973, with the law was much stricter with minibikes and with the first generation of enthusiasts graduating to real motorcycles, minibikes purchases slowly started to fade.
Now however, there is a whole new generation that has discovered the fun-factor of the mini bike or pocket bike. The latest trend is to get a minibike and then totally customize it into a super pocket bike. All kinds of accessories are available to facilitate this. Think custom saddles, headlights, chrome -everything- and of course engine kits to increase the power of the mini motor bike.
With these fun mini bikes getting more and more faster and more popular then ever, some cities have banned the mini motor bikes on city streets and sidewalks. Others have adopted strict safety rules. For instance, California requires riders of motorized scooters be at least 16 years old and wear helmets, and the state does not allow riding after sunset.
Although there has been an increased number of complaints about the motorized “pocket rockets", for instance the pocket bikes would be “low to the ground and hard to see around cars and trucks", and “they're noisy", the new pocket rockets and super mini bikes have never been more popular, and probably will be for some time. . .
Copyright 2004 Gisbert Oskam
About The Author
Gisbert Oskam is webmaster and editor of About Minibikes: