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Minimotos are a small-scale version of racing motorcycles. They've been around for about 12 years and in the UK for about 10 years
They can be used on indoor karting tracks; 'tight' outdoor circuits or any expanse of hard standing, such as a car park, once a track has been marked out with tyres etc.
Minimotos are also known as minibikes or pocketbikes. They originate from Italy. There are currently nine established manufacturers; Pasini, Stamas, Polini, GRC, Blata, GEM, DM, ZPF, Vittorazi & ATM.

Most models use engines made by Polini. Polini produce air and water cooled engines. The 'base' engine produces 4.2 horsepower (hp). The 'production' engine produces 6.2hp that, with tuning accessories, can produce more power. The 'super' engine is capable of producing in the region of 12hp.
At race meetings, these engine types are split into their own classes. If you want to race in a championship there are strict rules governing what 'modifications' you can make depending on the class you enter.
The bikes also come in (slightly) different sizes, mini and midi. This is not immediately obvious to the untrained eye and there is no 'official' definition between the two. Both sizes are referred to as minimoto.
They are not toys and not just for kids. I've taught a four-year-old to ride and know of at least one Granddad that rides. Without proper guidance all minimotos can be dangerous. The supers are powerful racing machines that require skill and experience to handle safely. Even the 4.2hp quickly accelerates to 40mph. Top speed depends on track and gearing.
On first impression they appear cute or comical depending on the age and size of the rider. It's not until you spend some time riding a minimoto that you realise 'what it's all about'. Minimotos replicate everything that a full-scale bike can do on a racetrack. The thrill of being leant over in a corner, 'getting your knee down', and winding on the throttle is the same.
Minimotos give you the opportunity to learn and experience motorcycle racing in a (relatively) safe environment and, compared with other forms of motorsport, it is probably the most affordable too.
Story by Jaz Bartlett (



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