Pocket bikes - tips!

Perfectly Tuned Pocket Bike Parts and Components
bring Maximum Fun and Performance

Properly tuned and adjusted Pocket Bike Parts and components can get you the "Checked Flag" ahead of everyone else and cross the finish line first. Or if you're just leasurely cruising around and not racing your buddies for the bragging rights (or a six pack), you'll have much more fun because your minimoto now performs like a super rocket pocket bike.

Common sense tells us that well maintained and tuned pocket bike parts and components can bring much more enjoyment, as well as longevity for your investment. Remember, you're putting a lot of stress and strain on that little two-stroker, and the rest of the supporting cast. If you want to spend more time on the tracks riding instead of in the shops fixing/rebuilding, you must take good care of the critical pocket bike parts and components on your pocket bike.

Now let's discuss the major pocket bike parts and components that make up the core of your pocket mini bike. These core "organs" need regular maintenance, adjustment, and general "care and feeding" much like our human bodies. I have selected three of the most crucial Pocket Bike Parts and organs as my initial focus:

Major Pocket Bike Parts and Components:

 

1. Engine and Fuel
2. Brakes
3. Clutch Assembly



Do you remember bring home your new car (or a scooter, bicycle, or go cart) for the very first time, and how proud you felt about this new toy and can't wait to show it off to your family or friends. You meticulously baby sat that car and drove it gingerly at 55 MPH on the highways. Well, all of your new pocket bike parts and components need to be treated the same way, by slowly breaking them in to ensure you get the maximum life out of them.

Obviously the best place to get replacement or upgraded parts for your pocket bike is from the original manufacturer. 

New Engine Break-in
I have seen various recommendations on how to properly break-in a new engine, and have concluded that it's best to take it slow and easy. You want to exercise the new engine at different speeds, loads, accelerations, and gas/oil mixtures. Some of the Italian pocket bike manufacturers recommend running the brand new engine at or above idle for 10 minutes and then let it cool down completely; do this again 3 times to make sure all inner engine pieces have an opportunity to set in. After this warm-up and cool-down cycle, you can take it out onto the tracks for an easy spin at various engine loads and RPMs. Whatever you do, just remember to change the engine speed gradually, don't accelerate too aggressively and don't stay at the same speed for very long. Try to use up your first tank of gas using this "slow and easy" approach to breaking in your new engine.

Fuel Mixture
As for the fuel mixture, I recommend following what ever the engine manufacturer says. However, I highly stress (this is more than just recommend) that you invest in the highest quality gasoline, (91 octane is as high as it goes in the US) and quality two-stroke oil. This fuel is the "blood and oxygen" for your pocket bike. I don't know about you, but if I eat too much greasy burgers and fries, my system tend to go out of whack and I'd feel down right sick. Cheap fuel does the same thing to your minimoto, so why pinch pennies and be pound foolish.
Most Chinese-made pocket bikes and European minimotos specify the gas to oil ratio of 50:1, after the break-in period. Some engine manufacturers specify a 25:1 ratio for the initial engine break-in first tank of fuel. I think this is too lean of a mix and can foul up the spark plug, if used continuously. 50:1 ratio should work for most mini bikes and conditions.

Brakes
Disc brakes work wonders if properly adjusted. Since most of the disc brakes are of the mechanical cable type, we can adjust the them relatively easily without having to deal with hydralic fluids. The best bet is to disassemble the brake unit to get a thorough inspection. You need to visually inspect the rotors for un-even wear and scratches, inspect the pads to make sure it's not warped or worn too thin, inspect the cable and housing, the brake levers and the cable adjustment barrels. Fine tunning disc brakes is not complex, repetition is the key to perfection. This is actually the simplest pocket bike parts maintenance task.

Clutch Assembly
The vast majority of Pocket Bikes use the centrifugal clutch, because it is so easy and simple to use, even for a 4-yr old rider. When the engine revs up the two opposing shoes inside the assembly start to move outwards toward the clutch drum. When the drum starts rotating, it drives the front chain sprocket, which in turn drives the rear wheel via the chain.

One important factor of the clutch assembly is the inner springs that dictate the relationship between engine revolution speed, and when the clutch engages to drive the rear wheel. Ideally, these two springs are selected depending on the weight of the bike, the rider, the race track surface type, and rider preferences. Beefier springs take more engine rev to get the pocket bike moving, while the lighter springs are suited for kids and lighter bikes to engage at lower revs. If you are really ambitious and mechanically inclined, you can take apart the clutch assembly and customize the springs and/or make adjustments on the spring compression point to your liking.

Clutch assembly adjustment and custimization takes time and energy, but when properly tuned, it will yield the most towards bottom line performance, fun, and satisfaction on the tracks. If you are serious about tuning the clutch to perfection, you will need a rev counter as a reference to track and log the rev versus clutch relationship.

One last general comment on component maintenance is that you need to clean and lubricate all moving parts with the appropriate lubricant on a consistent basis. For example, if you own a Blata Origami or Blata 2.5 pocket mini bike, the owner's manual specifically says to lubricate the inside portions of the chain before each ride, and after each 10 minutes of use, using only chain oil, not chain wax or grease.

I have not seen any pocket bike malfunction due to "over lubricating", only the opposite.