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Pocketbikes getting popular around here

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by jthuang, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Recently I've noticed a surge in the number of pocketbikes around here (Philadelphia). Seems like a lot of people are using them to zoom around the city.

    I'm not too familiar with pocketbikes ... what is the most (mph wise) you can squeeze out of one of those little buggers?

    The reason why I ask is unless otherwise posted, the speed limit in Center City Philadelphia is around 25 mph. Of course there are a lot of people that ignore that speed limit and drive a lot faster. If these pocketbikes can do around 35 mph then they can hold their own with most city traffic, but if they can't break 25 mph then I wonder why someone would get a pocketbike when they could get a Vespa or similar scooter for about the same amount of money.

    Anyway I think they look cool, I just don't know a lot about them.
  2. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Ok, I've done some research ... some manufacturers claim their ~50cc bikes can get up to 37 mph. That's enough to get you through Philly city traffic.

    Plus, they're going for around $300-500 per bike ... much cheaper than a Vespa.

    However, I don't know if pocketbikes are street legal. I guess that wouldn't stop many people around here. I see people violating traffic laws (and the new helmet law) all the time.

  3. Researcher


    Apr 19, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    You can find lower end pocketbikes on ebay for $200. They will run 35 mph.
  4. rustychev


    Sep 22, 2002
    I just have to ask why? For the track sure might be fun for a bit but after that why. But to each there own right.

  5. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

    Jun 24, 2002
    San Diego
    they run 35 with a 60 pound child riding maybe....definitly not street legal.
  6. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Yeah that is one thing that is puzzling me. None of the pocketbikes I've seen in Philly have been ridden by kids (or even teenagers). We are talking full-grown adults riding these bikes in the same streets as regular traffic. I doubt they are getting up to 35 mph with a 200lb guy riding them.
  7. Rule10b5


    May 11, 2004
    Landenberg, PA
    Yep, I see them all the time out on the main line, too.

    Do any of you guys remember the Yamaha YSR 80 or YSR 125 (I think it was the YSR). Those were about the same size but got up to 60+ or so.

    Personally, I can't stand the pocket bike thing. They're a whole hell of a lot more dangerous than a full size bike, and the people riding them probably have not taken a safety course, don't have a bike license...

    In terms of "small" bikes, I've ridden a moped/scooter a grand total of once, in the past 25 years (started at 4 :p) of riding motorcycles -- and it scared the hell out of me. I won't get on them under any circumstances -- and this is coming from a guy who used to regularly get up into the 170s on sport bikes.
  8. kf4zra

    kf4zra I miss ya Murph

    Aug 15, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    people that have lost their licenses have been driving those around here since you do not need a license for anything under 50cc's
  9. huntnshoot


    Feb 28, 2001
    I said the same thing, till i rode one. Then ordered my own, the grin factor is very high.

    If you like to work on things like cars and full size bikes...than pocketbikes are for you. I can work on this in my apartment with minimal space and all i need is a basic set of hand tools.

    But you are each his own ;f ;f
  10. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    To sum these up:

    Ugly. Uncomfortable. Dangerous.

    Those tiny front tires are just accidents waiting to happen; looking for even a small pothole to dive into, and then your nuts are going to separate from your groin at 25+MPH when the 'windshield' slams into you!

    That's the same problem any scooter driver faces, but these goofy little things are just....wrong.

    I know a mechanic who dropped a big Husky chainsaw motor into one (sort-of-standard MoPed upgrade), and got it up to about 60MPH but gawd, what a racket.

    I wouldn't ride it, but he stated that it was totally unstable. Wanted to veer with the slightest crossbreeze when you went over 40MHP. Also got about 20 MPG!!!

    Plus, what do you suppose happens when you get too ambitious on the front brake? That's right! Instant cartwheel - right into traffic. What fun.

  11. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

    Oct 11, 2003
    SW Virginia
    I stopped a guy on one tonight, but I let him off with a warning. They are little more than a rolling speed bump. They look like fun but I wouldn't want to be on the street with one.