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How Fast Is A 49cc Pocket Bike? (And Why People Over Estimate Speeds)

By Edited May 31, 2016 0 3

How fast is a 49cc pocket bike? That's a little tough to answer without knowing the exact model you have, but I can tell you that it's substantially less than most people report. In fact, most will not break the 40 mile per hour barrier unless modified. Having said that, many of them, even the Chinese scooters, will go a solid 30 miles per hour without too much trouble. Now that you know the answer, you can either choose to leave, or stick around and learn a little more about how fast a 49cc pocket bike is and why it seems like you're going so much faster.

Why It Seems Faster

Inexperienced riders will often hop on a motor scooter, moped, ATV, and even a boat and believe they are going substantially quicker than they really are. I have witnessed many adults believe they have broke 50 miles per hour on an ATV when they were only going 25 miles per hour. Why is this? How can adults be so far off on their guesses? How fast a 49cc pocket bike will go is surprising to many. Here are the main reasons people are thrown off when they try to guess their speed when riding a 49cc pocket bike or scooter.

Open Space: Unlike a car, you are out in the open. You are surrounded by nothing but air, the seat under your rear end, and the ground under you. The open space and full force of the wind makes it feel faster. In fact, if you go into a moderate wind, even an experienced rider can over guess how fast they are going on a 49cc pocket bike.

Lack of Suspension: Again, you are not in a car. You will feel virtually every bump and hump. The bumps jostle you around and make you feel like you are speeding right along.

Off Road Riding: On smooth hard surfaces, you can more accurately guess how fast you are going with your 49cc pocket bike. Add bumps and grooves and it makes you guess higher speeds.

Close to the ground: When you look at things nearby, it appears like they are going by faster. Look at the trees directly out of your car window, perfectly to your right if you are the passenger and you'll see what I mean. When you look ahead, it seems slower. The ground is very close. You cannot help but see it and it makes you feel like you are going really fast in your 49cc pocket bike or even a 50cc motor scooter or pit cycle. It really makes a huge difference.

Falsifications by Manufacturers: Many manufacturers simply inflate the speed of their units. This is common in the ATV industry as well. Some will claim speeds of 70 miles per hour or more on a 50cc unit. This is ridiculous. This contributes to feeling like you are moving faster, since you are expecting to achieve a certain speed with your cycle. In theory, if you were to prop the pocket bike up, so it was suspended in the air with no resistance, you could achieve speeds of over 50 miles per hour. Under load, with someone on it, it would never go that fast.



Jul 13, 2010 2:59pm
Thanks for the article, Jason! Great job! :)
Jul 13, 2010 3:14pm
Thank you, Howie.
Feb 3, 2011 6:45am
Thes little pocket rockets can be real dangerous for adults and kids. My son came off one (he's an adult) on the driveway of a friend. Bike hit small rock and he went straight over the top. Because he landed on the roadside he was charged with reckless and dangerous driving, no helmet, no gloves, they through the book at him just because he ended up on the road. If he had stayed on the driveway he would have been ok.
Parents need to watch the kids on these little bikes.
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