Throttle control for younger riders. Easy to assemble and maintain. 200-pound weight limit, but enough engine power for heavier riders. Rear drum braking system. Four-stroke 196cc engine. No oil mix required.
Front and rear racks not included. Shipping damage is a common issue.
Two speed selections for younger and older riders. Full charge lasts 45 minutes. Powerful 250 watt electric motor. Rated up to 130 pounds. Training wheels available. Ideal for first time riders, but older riders can always turn up the speed control.
Electronic components not as durable as the bike itself. Brake pads can become stuck.
Minimal assembly required. 80cc gas engine offers a longer range than electric. Throttle has governor for young riders. Automatic no-shift clutch. Hand-operated rear disc brakes.
Limited power for off-road riding. Motor has several quality control issues, including poor starting.
Maximum speed of 14 mph. 350-watt motor. Shatter-resistant, lightweight polymer frame. Quiet operation. Minimal assembly required.
Not ideal for taller riders. Limited battery life, even after full charge.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
There’s something exciting about speeding down the highway on a motorcycle, but controlling a motorcycle isn’t that easy, and investing in a large bike can be very expensive. That’s why a mini bike is often the ideal alternative – you get all the fun of a motorcycle in a smaller, more manageable size.
But there are lots of mini bikes on the market, and if you’re not entirely sure what to look for, choosing one can definitely be confusing. We at BestReviews can simplify your shopping process.
If you’re ready to buy a mini bike, you can read more about our top picks. For general tips on choosing a mini bike, check out our shopping guide below.
A mini bike, also known as a pocket bike or mini moto, is essentially a miniature motorcycle. Its smaller size makes it lighter and easier to maintain and control than a full-size motorcycle. A mini bike is less expensive than a motorcycle, too.
Even though they’re smaller in size, mini bikes are still pretty fast and efficient. And the variety of styles and designs available should make it easy to find the perfect option for you.
Because of their smaller size and lightweight design, mini bikes are a good option for first-time riders who are interested in motorcycles. The maximum speed usually tops out at about 60 mph. Some mini bikes geared for children have lower maximum speeds of 25 mph or less.
A mini bike can also be a good option if you want to practice tricks on your bike or want a recreational vehicle you can ride over different terrain. (It’s important to keep in mind that mini bikes aren’t permitted on public roadways in many areas.)
There are different types of mini bikes for different riding styles and preferences.
Pocket bikes are essentially mini motorcycles. They’re usually one of the smallest options and are often used for pocket bike racing. Most pocket bikes have two-stroke engines, though you can also find four-stroke models.
Pit bikes resemble motocross motorcycles and are often used for pit bike racing or motocross competitions. They have a shorter wheelbase, so they’re more stable than other types of mini bikes, making them an ideal option for younger riders.
Midi motos have a design similar to pocket bikes but are slightly larger, which is why they’re sometimes known as “super pocket bikes.” These bikes are smaller than street bikes, but they typically provide the most speed and power of any mini bike.
Mini choppers are a miniature version of a traditional chopper or custom-built bike. You can find them in a wide array of materials and styles.
Quad bikes and ATVs are four-wheel vehicles that can cover many different types of terrain. They usually have the slowest speeds among mini bikes. The four wheels provide increased stability. If you’re nervous about your children riding a mini bike, this type can be a better option to start with.
Mini bikes are typically available in two sizes: youth and adult.
Youth bikes are smaller and can carry less weight, usually around 150 to 175 pounds. Depending on their weight, adults usually aren’t able to ride youth bikes.
Adult bikes are larger and can hold more weight, usually between 200 and 300 pounds. Choose a bike size based on the rider’s size. While children can technically ride an adult or standard-size mini bike, they may have a harder time controlling it.
Mini bikes are available with two-stroke engines, four-stroke engines, and electric engines.
Two-stroke: These engines run on gas. With fewer moving parts, they’re lighter and smaller than four-stroke engines. Two-stroke engines start quickly but don’t offer the fastest speeds. Most two-stroke engines top out at 30 to 40 mph, so they’re not a good option for racing. However, many parents prefer the slower speed of a two-stroke engine for younger riders.
Four-stroke: These engines are more powerful than two-stroke engines, with some models reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. They contain more moving parts, so the engines are heavier and bigger. A four-stroke bike runs on standard gasoline like a two-stroke model but tends to use fuel more quickly. This type of engine is a good option for anyone who plans to race or wants a particularly durable mini bike.
Electric: These engines run on a battery. There are no gasoline costs, but the battery must be recharged via an electric cord to an outlet. Electric engines run more quietly than gas-powered engines and are better for the environment. They aren’t as fast as gas engines, with most topping out at 20 mph.
A mini bike engine’s horsepower determines how fast and powerful it is. If you plan to race your mini bike, you’ll obviously want an engine with more horsepower. For a faster mini bike, look for an approximately 6.5hp engine. If you’re concerned about your child’s safety on a mini bike, you’ll likely prefer lower horsepower. For a slower mini bike, opt for a 2.5hp engine.
Ease of assembly
Most mini bikes involve some assembly, and some require more than others. If ease of assembly is important to you, look for a bike that involves as little assembly as possible and includes all the tools necessary to put the bike together.
The cost of a mini bike depends on whether it’s sized for adults or children and what type of engine it has. In general, you can expect to pay between $200 and $700 for a mini bike.
Youth-size mini bikes
Electric bikes for kids are usually the least-expensive option and typically run from $200 to $400. Youth-size mini bikes with a gas engine are slightly more expensive, ranging from $300 to $500.
Adult-size mini bikes
Mini bikes for adults generally cost between $400 and $600. Bikes with a gas engine can be more expensive, ranging from $500 to $700.
Q. What are the laws regarding riding mini bikes?
A. There are laws in many states and jurisdictions in the U.S. that prohibit riding mini bikes on public streets, roads, sidewalks, or trails. This is usually because mini bikes aren’t equipped with safety features like side mirrors or turn signals that would make them legal for street use. You could be hit with a fine if you operate a mini bike on a public roadway in these areas.
Before purchasing a mini bike, check the laws in your state or municipality. If mini bikes aren’t permitted on public streets and roads in your area, you’ll have to ride your bike exclusively on private property.
Q. Are mini bikes safe for children?
A. If a mini bike is operated properly, it can be fairly safe, though it’s important to recognize that there is the potential for serious injury. Make sure to purchase a youth-size bike for your child and abide by any age recommendations that the manufacturer provides. Never allow your child to ride a mini bike without supervision, and provide the appropriate safety gear, including a full-face helmet, goggles, and chest and shoulder pads.
Q. What features should I look for if I want to ride a mini bike on trails or other rugged terrain?
A. Choose a mini bike with low-pressure tires, which provide greater stability when you’re riding on uneven terrain. It’s also a good idea to choose a model that has rear brakes, so you can stop when necessary.
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