The influx of pocket bikes has taken the world by storm and most of the people consider this miniature motorbike to be a completely new concept. But you will be surprised to know that pocket bikes have been around since the 50's. The splendid looking pocket bikes came into existence just after the introduction of go karts and since then, the pocket bike market has been growing exponentially.
Now, pocket bikes have become a new normal for everyone as it has become one of the most admired and unique looking rides for both kids and adults. Nowadays, pocket bikes are available in a wide range of designs, power, and style. From 50cc to 150cc, you have many options to choose from.
But when it comes to the street legality of pocket bikes, then different states have different rules. Some states allow pocket bikes on the road while others don’t. If you are a pocket bike fan and want to know about the history of pocket bikes, then you have come to the right place.
It all started with Doodle Bug Scooter, which was a popular choice among consumers but its popularity lasted for only two years (1946 to 1948). These special motor scooters were very compact in size, and small tiers were used in it. During its two years of fame, a total of 40,000 Doodle Bug Scooters were made. Beam Manufacturing Company made these compact motor scooters and the Gamble Store chain sold them.
All the Doodle Bug Scooters were sold under the brand name ‘Hiwatha’. These scooters come with 1.5 HP and they were made with the motive of giving competition to Cushman scooters which were sold under the brand name of Allstate. The manufacturing of these compact motor scooters acted as a base for the design of street legal pocket bike.
Introduction of pocket bikes
Taking inspiration from the Doodle Bug scooters which were almost like a miniature scooter, some of the automobile admirers made the first minibike in 1950 by using spare parts from the garage. The story behind the first minibike is similar to the introduction of go-carts which was also made by some enthusiasts. But mini bikes didn’t become a household name as during its initial phase of introduction in the market.
It was used in racing events in the form of pit bikes.
Most of the people felt that these mini bikes were perfect for drag racing events because they could be easily handled in tight pit roads and were easy to carry as well. During the ’70s, mini bikes racing became a very popular event in Japan. But all the mini bikes used in such racing events were made from low quality parts which were inexpensive. Soon, Italians took these racing events to their country. However, instead of using inexpensive mini bikes, they used premium quality parts for building good quality mini bikes.
Till the end of the 90's, the street legal pocket bike racing event became very popular all over Europe and the first Swiss pocket bike championship was organized. And when these racing events were televised, they became popular all around the world. But when racers started bringing these mini bikes to their home, it became a center of attraction among children as well. And soon by taking an idea from these miniature bikes, children started making their own pocket bikes.
How pocket bikes manufacturing become a business?
Due to the increasing popularity of mini bikes racing event and pocket bikes becoming a center of attraction among children, the market for mini bikes developed. There were lots of mini bike racing events fans who were looking to buy their own mini bike. During the 1960s, various industries developed to meet the growing demand for pocket bikes. And it was during this phase when many lawn mower shops started keeping mini bikes in the front line of their shops.
Many go-kart manufacturing companies like Taco, Gilson, and Fox realized the potential of mini bike market and they soon started manufacturing a wide range of pocket bikes for common people and children. The mini bike became quite a popular choice of the ride in America during the late 1960s and since then, pocket bikes market has been growing at a very fast pace.
You will be dumbfounded to know that many world-class motorcycle racers first learned their sports on a street legal mini bike. Top motorcycle racers like Valentino Rossi, Nobuatsu Aoki, and Daijiro Kato first started with Pocket bikes. The current pocket bikes haven’t been souped-up because of the safety issues. Also, many pocket bike manufacturers focus on low powered pocket bikes for kids only.
Nowadays, pocket bike racing events have become popular all around the world and there is a wide array of options of pocket bikes available in the market. From gas powered pocket bikes to electric pocket bikes, you have many options to choose from.