Who's ridden a minibike?

When I was five my dad bought me a used Taco 44 minibike. (Here is a Taco 22.) Four horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. The first time I rode it I realised I didn’t know how to turn it and hit a brick retaining wall, landing in some rose bushes. Five years later I was riding dad’s ancient 1964 Yamaha 80. Two years after that I had my own motorcycle, a new Yamaha LT2 100 Enduro. And so on. But my first ‘bike’ was the Taco 44.

Who else rode a minibike when he or she was a child? How many still do? (I’m talking about the ‘classic’ style here, as seen in the link; not the ones that look like miniature motorcycles.)

Oh, wait… I found a photo of a Taco 44. Mine had a blue frame and a metal-flake gold vinyl seat. (Blue and gold. Dad was in the Navy, after all! :wink: )

I rode one a few times when I was 17. But mostly I rode on the back. It belonged to my BF.

I had a bike when I was 13. I bought the frame, and powered it with an old Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine. I unloaded it at the end of the summer for $25, a Case knife, and a hardcore pr0no.

We have pocket rockets all over the place out here. Little miniture versions of crotch rockets standing about 2’ tall. My neighbor let me ride his when he first got it. These things are insane and you can really trick them out. His version was a 49cc I believe. The governor is removeable and he claims 40 mph.

When I was a kid I used to go to stay at my cousins house for a week or so every summer. They had three, similar to the ones in the OP’s pics. We used to chase each other around for hours. Great memories!

We’d be flyin’ around thier big wooded yard, barefoot, wearing shorts and of course helmetless! Those were the days!

Worst injury I remember was a big burn from the muffler.

I still remember the ding-ding-ding of the centrifugal clutch.

Just got back from a ride (on the motorcycle). Shorts and T-shirt. Only I wore a helmet and shoes. (I’m so going to get a lecture now!) That R1 gets a little warm when your bare skin touches the frame.

When I was five I had a mini bike (home built.) First time I rode it I got confused about the throttle grip and couldn’t slow down. I ended up using an electric fence as an arrestor cable, with my mouth as the “hook.” It took me a while to get back on it, and I never did become comfortable riding a motorbike, I would be fine now except that I don’t have the money to get one.

Hey, if you don’t want your skin anymore, no skin off my nose. You’re a big boy. :stuck_out_tongue:
I had one back when I was … 10? A Honda, of all things, iirc (they did do minis, right?) Got 5 people on it once. Barely got it to move! Crashed it into a friend’s house, throttle problems after that, sold in a garage sale before school started up again (Dad bought it off a co-worker for chump change that winter).

Aaah, the memories.

My moto-career started on a knock-off of the Taco we got in around 1968. Graduated to a Yamaha 60cc Mini Enduro (the model number isn’t coming back to me now), then on to a succession of bigger & better dirt bkes.

Ended up racing amateur motocross at age 15 on a Kawa 250. Quit after a couple of hefty injuries & when the unbreakable 12 year olds started going berserk on the next generation of bikes. Weird to think of yourself as a fogey at 16, but there I was.
So Cal in the late 60s/early 70s; what a time & place to be a teen.

The Taco 44 had a leaky fuel tank. One day as I was riding, it caught fire. (The short muffler was right above the tank.) I ran home to get a fire extinguisher (being too young to know that I could have tossed sand on it) and by the time I got back it had burned beyond repair.

After that I rode a Bonanza. It had a 5 hp Tecumseh engine. I didn’t like it as much as the Taco, but it was still fun to ride.

My best friend had a Honda Trail 90. We used to sneak out of the house buzz all around town late at nite - it was almost like traveling in a ghost town. Those were the days !

My story is completely reminiscent of the OP.

My parents had some friends whose kids had a minibike. After giving all of us littler kids rides, I managed to wheedle them into letting me try it on my own.

This, of course, was entirely without adult supervision and safety gear. We were tougher when I was a kid, I tell you.

Not really knowing how to work the centrifugal clutch, I just opened it up, went straight out of the driveway, straight across the straight, and straight into a five foot diameter oak tree.

When I came to, they were carrying both of us back to the house. Me, and the minibike, whose forks had been bent back into the main frame and was totalled. I had flipped over the handlebars and gone head first into the tree.

Hey, hospital visit? No way. Give the kid some ice cream and let’s go play some football!

I’ve always felt this explained quitre a few things about me.

Hey, the final part of the story is that when I finally bought a Yamaha as an adult, I always wore my helmet.

I sold that bike several years ago, but stil have the two wheel bug and am currently scheming the acquisition of a Fat Boy.

Ah, the nuclear option.

I started around the age of 5 with a lawnmower engined bike, don’t remember the model. I remember having a Rupp Black Widow for a while, then a Yamaha 125cc Enduro, then a Kawasaki 250cc Green Streak that I raced for a season.

I remember my father bought me a go-cart at the age of 6 or 7 with the idea of me racing it. I was too short to reach the pedals, so he built up some wood blocks for them. It had two chainsaw engines, and the first time I drove it he took me to a track and only started one engine to see how I’d do.

I still had to slide way down in the seat to give it gas, which I did, and off I went. There was a cowling over the steering column that tapered down at the bottom. Unfortunately my knee ended up so far down the column that the cowling and my practically laying down position prevented me from removing my foot from the gas.

I drove off the end of the track at full throttle, through a stack of hay bales, and under a barbed wire fence. The fence rode up the cowling and caught the steering wheel and bent it over in half. If my head hadn’t been so low I’d have lost it :smiley: I only had minor cuts and bruises, but my mother refused to let me try again and the cart was sold. My NASCAR career died early :frowning:

I had the pleasure of working at Indian Dunes motorcross track in the late 70’s/early 80’s. (this would be near Valencia/Saugus/Magic Mountain/Val Verde)

Remember that bitchy girl in the hamburger trailer?

Yep, that was me. :smiley: