Minimotos are now one of the fastest growing categories in motor sport, because of the low running costs involved and closeness of the racing. Whether its just a quick thrash around the local airfield (with permission of course) or a full on assault on the track the sense of excitement and fun you can get from minimotos is awe inspiring.
Origin of the minimoto
The first series of minimotos originated from Japan, with modest power outputs these were quickly superseded by the superior performance of the European models, particularly the Italian Polini engined variety which is one of the quickest accelerating minimotos. The Chinese have now jumped on the bandwagon and have produced a series of easily affordable minimotos priced below £200, with all the features and capable of speeds upto 40 miles an hour in standard trim.
Minimotos or as the Chinese call them gas scooters are scaled down versions of true GP racing motorcycles. The latest minimotos run cutting edge technology with a floating disk brake at the front and a single disc at the rear, running on racing compound slick tires. The bodywork is beautifully styled with both full fairing versions and half fairing models. Not to be out done by their big brothers these miniature racing bikes come with a hi-tech polished aluminium/magnesium alloy cast frame with integral swinging arm.
Most common engine sizes for minimotos are 47cc to 49cc, generally a two stroke air cooled motor requiring unleaded fuel premixed with fully synthetic two stroke oil. The higher performance minimotos are notably water cooled.
Minimotos are available in two sizes: a mini with a 27″ wheelbase and a midi with a 30″ wheelbase. Engine horsepower choices are available from a 4.2 HP model up to the 15+ HP race machines that can actually reach speeds of upto 75 miles an hour which feels more like 150 miles an hour when you are so low to the ground Transporting your minimoto also represents very few problems due to there compactness 1m – 1.3m long and weighing in at only 23kg., if you have a spare suitcase it will not be a problem
Minimotos are suitable for children aged 7 and upwards but only under the strict supervision of a responsible adult. Even though these machines are small miniature works of art most will carry a 250lb adult.
Most successful stars of today in World Superbike and MotoGP started there racing in the minimoto category many moons ago. The best example is Valentino Rossi. He was Italian pocketbike Champ twice before becoming 125, 250,500 and MotoGP World Champion. So give it a go and who knows!
David Welton is the Director of Minimotos4u.com
With over 20 years of motorcycle experience and a clear passion for minimotos. We often get asked why my minimoto won’t start or I can’t start my minimoto, we are here to help you with your minimoto problems.