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    What kind of mini bike should I buy?

    A buyer’s guide to getting the best mini bike for you

    Are you looking for a mini bike? We see some fun in your future. Whether you’re zipping around a farm, tearing up a track, or enjoying some casual off-road adventures, few machines will bring out pure, childlike smiles like a mini bike. But what kind of mini bike is best if best for you? We’ll dive into what sets different mini bikes apart, looking at power style, suspension, brakes, warranty, and affordability.

    What is a mini bike?

    A mini bike is a relatively small, motorcycle-style vehicle designed for light, recreational riding. Mini bike riders value them for their affordability, simplicity, ease of use, light weight, and pure fun factor. Mini bikes usually have about 16-inch, low-pressure wheels and automatic transmissions for a 2 or 4-stroke, pull-start (or electric) lawn-mower-style engine. Mini bikes typically require some assembly.





    What is the difference between a mini bike, a dirt bike, a pit bike, a pocket bike, a mini chopper, and a scooter?

    Great question. While all of these are technically “mini” bikes or smaller motorcycles, there are some key differences. You’ll want to know what you’re looking for to make sure you cash in on your specific style of fun.

    • Mini bikes - defined and shown above, usually have the 16-inch wheels, the lawn-mower-style engine, and automatic transmission.
    • Dirt bikes are larger bikes with considerably more performance that are geared more for motocross and competition
    • Pit bikes are, at the most basic definition, smaller versions of dirt bikes
    • Pocket bikes are the smallest of all of these. Comically tiny bikes designed to look and perform like their full-sized counterparts.
    • Mini choppers are usually slightly larger than mini bikes, but smaller versions of the custom, spread out “chopper” style motorcycle. The bike pictured above is a mini bike closer to the spread-out chopper style, with the raised handlebars but it is not a full, custom, mini chopper.
    • Scooters are the most commonly street legal vehicles on this list, usually more powerful than a mini bike but less powerful than a motorcycle. The scooter is most defined by having a step through design.

    What should I consider when buying a mini bike?

    Mini bikes are simple machines, making a purchase decision fairly straightforward. Even so, there are a few factors to consider: safety, style, rider fit, performance, affordability, and warranty.

    • Safety - here you’re going to want to look at brakes and suspension, lighting, amount of power, tires, and maximum weight. You want a bike that can handle the intended use for the intended rider, safely. Of course, always wear proper safety equipment when riding.
    • Style - it’s the look, it’s the feel, it’s the color, the power, all of it. While mini bikes are relatively similar, the variances will make the difference. Do you want a retro look or something more modern? Are you looking for more power on inclines, or something easier to control? Typically, a higher CC bike will have more power for speed and climbing. Are you planning on going off road? Look for knobbier tires. Plan on riding for a while? Look for a larger fuel capacity, more comfortable seat, and quality suspension.
    • Rider fit - make sure your mini bike can hold the weight of the rider planning on riding it, and that the intended rider will be able to control the bike safely. Mini bikes are popular for children and new riders as their lower speeds creates a safer riding environment, but you still need to wear all appropriate protective gear and make sure the operator can handle the machine. Also make sure the bike is set up to do the kinds of things you (or the rider) wants to do with it.
    • Performance - here you’ll be looking at engine size for a gas-powered mini bike, or wattage for an electric mini bike. Also look at which type of engine is right for you. An electric mini bike will be heavier, but also a lot quieter, better for the environment, and come with a ton of unexpected features like speakers, a touch screen, and more. This is another area where you’ll want to look at the suspension, especially if you’re planning to ride off-road.
    • Affordability - as with any purchase, you’ll want to balance features within your budget.
    • Warranty - Mini bike warranties range from 90 days to six months, depending on the brand and product.

    Why would I want to buy a mini bike?

    Mini bikes are fun, low-cost bikes that can be helfulhelpful for beginners, or anyone as they learn or improve fundamental riding skills. Because of the bike’s lower power and lower speeds, riding them is usually safer than full motorcycles, although you should always wear proper safety gear when riding. These bikes are helpful for beginners, and popular for younger riders or anyone learning how to have fun on two wheels. Their versatility, ease-of-use and affordability make them a low risk, high reward machine to start on, or to add to a collection for a unique riding experience. Whether you’re looking to ride around tracks, short trips around the block, a zip around a campsite or a private farm or ranch, or public land or trails designated for riding, you’ll have fun on a mini bike.

    Are mini bikes street legal?

    The requirements for street legal vehicles vary wildly depending on where you live. This includes where you can ride a mini bike, and where you may need a license to operate one. Remember, legality has to do with more than just speed and engine size, visibility, lighting, tires, and safety equipment also play a part. It’s not advised to ride a mini bike on the highway. No matter where you ride, wearing a helmet and proper safety gear is a must.

    How fast can a mini bike go?

    Mini bikes can reach top speeds between 20 and 30 mph on flat or downhill, smooth terrain. The specific speed will depend on the engine size, bike ability and terrain.