For a long time in America and Europe go karts have been the most popular motor based child’s sport, starting out with the pedal powered Kettler and other Karts and progressing all the way up to the petrol powered go karts you see driving fast around your local go kart track. But the latest trend see’s the introduction of a two wheeled equivalent – the Pit Bike. With the internet helping pit bike popularity rocket and ever decreasing prices pushed down by the larger quantities purchased, will the dwarf motorbikes overtake the 4 wheeled traditional go kart in popularity?
As early as there was cars in production there have been children wanting to make their own version, little was as popular in America with young wannabe racing drivers as the soap box derby, famed for bringing fathers and son’s together and for producing some great racing, great karts and ultimately leading to the careers of some fantastic racing drivers. But why choose a car to recreate – why not a motorbike? well at these early times there was likely to be an increasing number of cars being produced as well as it being a brand new invention which probably created a large buzz around it. Whats more a 4 wheeled kart appears much safer and easier to build than a two wheeled motorbike or moped.
So go kart’s had deep roots within American culture and were being improved and more massly produced by Japanese motor companies like Honda and Suzuki. Really little has competed with the go karts these companies produced up until the production of the first few micro bikes – the first generation of pit bikes. They started out really as “monkey bikes” – a title awarded after they were often used as entertainment with specially trained monkeys riding them, but they were quickly picked up as great fun by smaller humans, despite their price tag being somewhat inhibitive.
From the first few monkey bikes created a slow idea was spawned, creating replica’s of real life motorbikes in miniture. This first went from the companies producing scooters and mopeds creating lower cc bikes that looked like their full blown counterparts, scooters that looked like superbikes! This idea caught on fast with the youth who were keen to feel like they were riding a bike much beyond their years. Pit bikes was an extension of this – Trails bikes were miniturised to provide a younger audience with a new type of excitement. With hints of the monkey bike and the style and design of a full size trials bike these pit bikes were a huge success and sales have grown ever since.
In fact today some major retailers are still not sure which is more popular – the go kart or the pit bike, some London resellers are swinging towards the pit bike while another major american reseller continues to promote the go kart, perhaps for now they are on an even plane, but with pit bikes getting ever cheaper it could change at any time!