Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pit Bike Racing: Great Miniature Thrills

Having recently seen a pre-pubescent kid speed away like a professional motocross racer in a circuit on his pit bike, many people would easily switch from viewing the miniature motorcycles as kids’ toys to just really smaller versions of the originals—not to mention what they’d think of the kid driver.

A pit bike is easily as fun as its larger counterpart, maybe even more. They really were not meant to be toys for children when they were made. Like go-carts, pit bikes came to life in enthusiasts’ garages from spare parts they could muster and put together. Having found a practical and effective use as a pit bike in the 1950’s drag racing pits, minibikes soon were making their way into local neighborhoods. Gaining popularity and market demand, companies began producing pit bikes among other power toys. The pit bike era soon saw its height from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Of course, practicality would dictate that men with larger built physiques would require normal sized motorcycles, but even when it comes to normally built men, there would still be some difficulty in comfortably sitting on a pit bike, controlling it and maneuvering it, but it somehow seems more fun that way. In fact rallies and races similar to motocross competitions have been set up for these mini speedsters, so aside from their original use as an efficient pit bike, they are being used for racing and stunts. They can also be encountered on a normal day, if you’re in a country where they are legitimate. Different governments have different positions when it comes to the legality of the little bikes. Maybe they took into consideration that the minibikes, though obviously miniscule compared to normal motorcycles, could pack enough horsepower to be able to kill in case of a crash—and then there’s the image of such a small vehicle whirling through freeways. That would tend to cause alarm among other motorists, maybe adding to the potential danger of accidents. Indeed, a small 30-50cc pit bike could have as much as 15 horsepower or possibly more, enabling the machine to go anywhere from 30 to 70 kilometers per hour. Safety precautions—virtually the same as those taken when driving regular motorcycles—are very important when it comes to minibike racing or even menial use. So in racing competitions or stunts, pit bikes can give as much a performance as a real motorcycle, and as much danger too.

Keeping these in mind and watching that 12 year old kid round the circuit corners and tackle skids like they were second nature really was a sight. Pit bikes driven by kids seem more natural than when adults use them—they seem like crude, fallible toys when a fully grown man squats on them and tries to ride (and even race) around. It may be a bit out of the norm, but even now kids compete in dangerous competitions and races using minibikes, and this may possibly be soon become trend.

1 comment:

  1. People around the world are modifying pit bikes to make them as loud and powerful as possible.

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