MCIA urges caution over minimotos

Cheap minimotos, a risky Christmas gift?

The Motorcycle Industry Association, that august body of fine and upstanding motorcycling professionals, adjacent to the railway station in lovely Coventry, are urging caution this Christmas. And who could possibly ignore the MCIA?

No, it's not a mince pie pig-out risk or even the chance of a Christmas tree light fire - it's mini motos. Burberry baseball cap and sports casual clothing wearers please take note.

With some interweb traders flogging Chinese 'motos for as little as £100 the appeal is easy to understand. However, as most of us know, most of these cheap piles of tawdry nonsense aren't even worth the paper they'll be wrapped in.

With an estimated 176,000 of these horrible tin-foil nightmares being sold in 2006 (!) it's easy to see why their irresponsible use has led to so many problems all over the country. And the MCI,

Craig Carey-Clinch MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, in between prison-sized roll ups: "Price is a clear indicator to help guide people with their purchase. Products being sold well-under the market value must be considered with caution. Even if the bike is safe, you will not have the benefit of after-sales service and you are unlikely to be able to buy spare parts.

"It is also important to remember that these off-road bikes are only for use on private property, with the permission of the landowner. In short, in an urban area, ride an unlicensed and uninsured mini bike out of your garden gate and you're breaking the law. Parks, playing fields and grassy areas can not be used by people on these bikes, as they are public rights of way. Anyone caught using them illegally risks their bike being seized, fines or worse.

"Mini-bikes are designed for young people to enjoy their first experiences of motorcycling and it is imperative the machines are safe and used in the correct environment. The misuse of mini-bikes is creating a negative image of motorcycling and having a detrimental effect on responsible, committed riders, and parents must help to keep their children safe and legal."

So there you go. Log on to and check out some of the fantastic tracks dotted around the UK and go and use them there. Most clubs even run race classes for Chinese minimotos which begs the question: from a full grid how many make it to the finish?

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