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Pocket bikes are very small versions of motorcycles that feature smaller engines, lighter bodies, and lower speeds than their full-sized counterparts. These types of bikes are designed for young children, though some are stout enough to support the weight of a full-sized adult. Pocket bikes generally come in two varieties: gas powered or electric. The design of the body, however, can come in a wider variety of styles and shapes that almost always mimic the body styles and structures of full-sized motorcycles. Racing street bike models, chopper models, and even dirt bike models are available as pocket bikes.
The most common pocket bikes mimic the style of sport bikes such as Grand Prix racing bikes. The name "pocket bikes," in fact, initially referred only to this body style, though the term now refers to a wider range of styles. Such bikes are usually gas powered and are designed for racing. The engine is quite small, though significant speeds can be reached with these bikes, making safety equipment necessary. These pocket bikes were initially designed for racing, though they are now popular among children.
The first pocket bikes were built for easy, quick transportation around the pits at races. The small size made the bikes easy to transport and store, and the small wheelbase made the bikes easy to maneuver through crowds and around equipment. Early versions were quite simple, very often built from scrap parts lying around a garage. As the popularity of the tiny bikes grew among children, the first production models became available, and pocket bike racing became popular. The bodies of the mini bikes became sleeker, and the production models began to contain many of the same features as the full-sized versions, such as headlights and mirrors.
More recently, mini choppers have become popular among children and adults alike. These small bikes mimic the chopper style of full-sized road cruisers. They are popular in campgrounds and other areas where street legality is not an issue. Other popular versions of the pit bike include mini motocross bikes, which are used increasingly in competition as well as for fun around a dirt pit or track. Mini quads are four-wheeled versions of pocket bikes that are slightly more stable due to more contact with the ground through four wheels instead of two. These quads look very similar to full-sized quads and even feature many of the same suspension units and drivetrains, but on a much smaller scale.