What is a Pocket Bike? [Explained]

Pocket bikes are small-scaled replicas of full-size sport bikes. Most of them are powered by 40-50cc single engines, but some models have 90, 110, and 125cc engines. These tiny and extremely lightweight bikes are intended for kids, but surprisingly they can even be ridden by bigger adult riders!

If you want to find out more about these mini street bikes, you’ve come to the right place.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

What is a Pocket Bike?

What is a Pocket Bike?

Pocket bikes are basically miniaturized street bikes intended for racing and fun riding. The key features of the most common, 40-50cc pocket bikes are as follows:

  • Engine: 40-50cc, single-cylinder, air or water-cooled
  • Power: 2-17 HP
  • Top speed: 15-50 mph
  • Length: 40-41 in.
  • Width: 21-24 in.
  • Ground clearance: 3.5-4.5 in.
  • Weight: 45-80 lbs
  • Fuel capacity: 0.3.-0.4 gal.
  • Fuel economy: 20-40 MPG

Pocket bikes started their career in Japan but quickly become popular all over the world. Today you can find many pocket bike manufacturers from Italy to China.

What are the Different Types of Pocket Bikes?

Based on their quality and features, we can distinguish between recreational and racing pocket bikes.

Consumer models typically only produce 3-6 HP and lack many advanced components like suspensions, a manual transmission, and gauges. On the other hand, they come with much lower price tags.

In contrast, race-intended pocket bikes crank out 15-17 HP and are equipped with real suspensions, a manual transmission, and many advanced features.

Are you wondering what the point of having a pocket bike is?

Keep reading!

What is the Point of a Having Pocket Bike?

Pocket bikes are typically used for four purposes, including:

  • Fun riding
  • Kids’ competitions
  • Adult competitions (yes, really!)
  • Transportation in closed areas (e.g. around the pits)

Let’s take a closer look at each!

Fun riding: Recreational pocket bikes are intended to be toys, and they offer a ton of fun for kids and even adult riders. Unfortunately, they can only be ridden in closed areas since they are not street legal.

Kids’ competitions: Riding racing pocket bikes are a great opportunity for children to enter the world of motorcycle competitions. Many iconic motorcycle racers started their career on a pocket bike, but the most well-known of them is arguably Valentino Rossi!

Adult competitions: Believe it or not, there are even pocket bike competitions for adult riders! These machines are much cheaper and safer than full-size racing motorcycles, so they are more appealing and accessible to a lot more people. They can be raced on purpose-built pocket bike race tracks, or even in a closed parking lot (with proper permissions, of course).

Transportation in closed areas: Due to their features, pocket bikes can also be used for transportation in closed areas. They are commonly used by car and motorcycle racers to move around the pits. The key advantage of these bikes is their small dimensions and light weight, which makes them easy to put into a trailer beside a “real” sport machine.

What is a Super Pocket Bike?

Super pocket bikes are the most advanced pocket bikes designed for racing purposes. Unlike their cheap toy-like siblings, these machines offer real suspension systems, sequential manual shifting, a tuned exhaust system, gauges, and many other components that can also be found on full-size sport bikes.

Super pocket bikes are powered by high-performance engines, which ensure amazing top speeds of 70-75 mph!

What is a Pocket Dirt Bike?

Although the name “pocket bike” is reserved for mini street bikes, scaled kid-size dirt bikes are also often referred to as pocket dirt bikes. They are often called “pit bikes” since they are commonly used for riding in the pit areas of motocross tracks.

Like their full-scaled equivalents, pocket dirt bikes also feature off-road tires, long-travel suspensions, and lightweight but durable frames.

What’s the Difference Between a Mini Bike and a Pocket Bike?

Contrary to popular belief, mini bikes and pocket bikes are two completely different breeds. Pocket bikes are scaled replicas of sport bikes that can only be used on closed courses. In contrast, mini bikes are street-legal motorcycles that are suitable for daily use. They are equipped with lights, controls, mirrors, and other required components.

One of the most well-known mini bikes is the iconic Honda Monkey.

What Age Rider is a Pocket Bike for?

Generally speaking, a pocket bike is intended for children between 5 and 10 years old. Age requirements for competitions vary based on the class, but the minimum limit usually varies between 6 and 7 years in the more advanced classes. 10-12-year-old children typically move on to higher classes like a mid-sized 125cc bike.

Besides the age of the kids, their height and skills are no less important. Some of them can ride safely even at the age of 5 while others are too irresponsible for their first ride even when they reach 6-7 years old.

If you are looking for a recreational pocket bike for your kids, you can find the minimum age requirement in each bike’s manual. Since the features and top speed of these bikes vary widely, their safety standards may also vary by model.

Also, don’t forget that proper safety gear and parental supervision are also required!

Can Adults Ride Pocket Bikes?

Yes! It may surprise you, but pocket bikes can be ridden by adult riders over 6’ tall.

Adults use pocket bikes for various purposes like fun riding, getting around race pits, or even racing. You can find many pocket bike competitions for adults nationwide, often without any upper age limit.

Are Pocket Bikes Street Legal?

Most pocket bikes are not street legal since they don’t meet the requirements for a motorcycle or a moped. Therefore, they can’t be used on public roads.

Although you can find some models that are equipped with lights, a horn, and other features, they are often not legal either on public roads due to the lack of regulations.

Consequently, most pocket bikes can run only on closed courses.

What is Pocket Bike Racing?

Pocket bike racing (a.k.a. Minimoto) is a professional competition for pocket bike racers of any age.

The Minimoto racing series was established in Japan in the late ‘60s, but it became widely popular in the ‘90s. The first pocket bikes arrived in the US just after the Millennium and quickly found their way to the race tracks.

Today, MiniMoto USA offers competitions for many different pocket bike classes.

Pocket Bike Specs

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the specifications of pocket bikes in detail!

How Much Does a Pocket Bike Weigh?

A pocket bike can weigh anywhere from 50 to 260 pounds depending on its size and engine option.  The average weight in the various categories is as follows:

  • 40-50cc pocket bikes: 45-80 lbs
  • 90-100cc pocket bikes: 90-110 lbs
  • 110-120cc pocket bikes: 100-150 lbs
  • 125cc pocket bikes: 200-260 lbs

How Much Weight Can a Pocket Bike Hold?

The weight limit of pocket bikes varies from 80 pounds up to 250 pounds.

Entry-level models can only hold 80-150 pounds while the weight limit of race-indented pocket bikes goes up to 250 pounds.

How Big is a Pocket Bike?

Based on our research, the average pocket bike dimensions by category are as follows:

40-50cc pocket bikes:

  • Length: 40-41″
  • Width:  21-24″
  • Height: 22-24”
  • Ground Clearance:  3,5-4,5”

100-125cc pocket bikes:

  • Length: 50-70”
  • Width: 25-27”
  • Height: 34-37”
  • Ground clearance: 6-7”

Which pocket bike is the biggest?

The biggest pocket bikes are the 125cc machines, measuring about 55-70 inches in length, 25-27 inches in width, and 35-37 inches in height.

What Kind of Engine Does a Pocket Bike Have?

Pocket bikes are typically powered by single-cylinder 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines that displace anywhere from 40cc up to 125cc. The most well-known categories are the 40, 50, 80, 90, 110, and 125cc classes, but most of these bikes come with 40-50cc engines.

Regarding the cooling system, these engines can be either water-cooled or air-cooled depending on the purpose of the bike.

Cheaper recreation models feature air-cooled engines, while high-performance race models have water cooling.

How Much HP Does a Pocket Bike Have?

The performance of pocket bikes starts at 3 HP and goes up to a whopping 17 HP. You can expect about 3-6 HP on a 40-50cc recreational model while the performance of racing pocket bikes varies between 15 and 17 HP.

What Kind of Transmission Does a Pocket Bike Have?

Recreational pocket bikes are typically designed with centrifugal automatic transmissions, and racing models feature manual transmissions.

How many gears does a pocket bike have?

Race-intended pocket bikes have a manual transmission featuring 3 or 4 gears depending on the model.

How Many Gallons of Gas Does a Pocket Bike Hold?

The fuel tank capacity of pocket bikes is about 0.3-0.6 gallons.

The 40-50cc models can hold only 0.3-0.4 gallons, while you can expect the fuel capacity of the 90-125cc bikes to be in the ballpark of 0.5-0.6 gallons.

How Much Gas Does a Pocket Bike Use?

Generally speaking, a pocket bike gets about 20-40 MPG.

The fuel consumption of a pocket bike depends on many factors like its displacement, engine type (2- or 4-stroke), and type of cooling system.

What’s more, the riding style and the weight of the rider can also heavily influence the MPG figures.

How Far Can a Pocket Bike Go on One Tank of Gas?

Due to their tiny gas tanks, the fuel range of pocket bikes is only 25-50 miles.

You can go around 23-35 miles on a 40-50cc model, while 100-125cc bikes usually have a cruising range of 40-50 miles, thanks to their significantly larger fuel capacity.

What Kind of Gas Does a Pocket Bike Take?

Pocket bikes can take both pure gas or premix depending on their engine type and features.

As one may expect, 4-stroke pocket bikes require pure gas, just like any other 4-stroke machine.

When it comes to 2-stroke pocket bikes, if the model features a separate oil system you have to put pure gasoline into its tank and the 2-stroke oil into a separate oil tank. If the bike lacks an oil system, it’s a sign that it runs on premix.

When it comes to octane rates, they are always clearly stated in the owner’s manual.

How Fast Does a Pocket Bike Go?

The top speed of pocket bikes varies between 15 and 80 mph. The slowest machines are the cheapest 40-50cc machines with a top speed of 15-25 mph, while their racing siblings can reach 40-50 mph with ease. The fastest pocket bikes are the 110-125cc models with a claimed top speed of 50-80 mph.

 The available speed in each category is as follows:

  • How fast is a 50cc pocket bike? 15-50 mph
  • How fast is a 90cc pocket bike? 35-50 mph
  • How fast is a 110cc pocket bike? 50-70 mph
  • How fast is a 125cc pocket bike? 50-80 mph

Which Manufacturers Make the Best Pocket Bikes?  

When it comes to pocket bikes, we can distinguish the quality European machines from their Chinese replicas.

You can find some reputable pocket bike manufacturers in Italy, and the most well-known is arguably Polini. The company sells complete pocket bikes and crate engines as well.

Other manufacturers like GRC Moto builds pocket bike chassis and uses BZM (Bi-Zeta Motor) engines in them.

Another well-known name in this market is the European Blata. Based in the Czech Republic, this manufacturer has been producing a lot of great pocket bikes since the early 1990s.

Unlike the aforementioned companies that offer high-quality products, Chinese pocket bike manufacturers produce nothing but low-quality replicas.

These machines are extremely cheap, and many of them come with a price tag of $300-$400. In return, they are very unreliable and prone to overheating.

Durability is also an issue with these bikes since their parts are prone to breaking or wearing out quickly.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you stay away from these cheap deals!

Does Honda make pocket bikes?

To the greatest regret of many fans, Honda doesn’t offer pocket bikes, only mini motorcycles like the Monkey, Grom, and Navi.

How Much Does a Pocket Bike Cost?

The price of a pocket bikes starts at $300 and goes up to $2,000.

A cheap and low-quality pocket bike may cost you $300-$400 while a racing model usually costs around $1,000-$2,000 depending on its engine size, features, and manufacturer.

Conclusion – What is Considered a Pocket Bike?

Pocket bikes are miniature replicas of full-sized sport bikes. Most of them are powered by a 40-50cc single engine, but some larger models come with a 90-125cc power mill.

Despite their small size, some of these tiny motorcycles can reach a top speed up to 80 mph!

The main idea behind pocket bikes is to introduce kids to the world of motorsports. Besides kids’ competitions, pocket bikes can be used for fun riding or moving around the pits on race tracks.

Due to the lack of regulations, these machines are not street legal in most states, so they can only be ridden legally on closed courses.

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