Pocket Bikes

Pete Rojas Katie Fehrenbacher just posted on Engadget about Pocket Bikes and is disputing a claim that they are the “new thing.” He says:

1128247581413347.jpg” The bikes canít ride on public streets and†can only get up to 35 miles per hour.†They cost anywhere from†$200 to $500, which is a bit of a†difference from the $6,000 to $7,000 for a†normal motorscycle†ó but then again†a regular motorcycle is actually good for something besides scraping up your knees.††Also†you might†not want to ride†around in just any old neighborhood, weíre thinking the mini-motorcycle might not have too much street cred.†”

While in theory I agree with him, the leigons of gangbangers, hoods and street toughes who are diving these things all over by my house in silverlake and the gallery downtown might disagree. These things are lined up in front of the stores that sell those spinny chrome rims and “Mad Bass.” Maybe this hasn’t hit NYC where Pete where Katie is yet, but in LA they are everywhere.

But that hasn’t stopped me from pointing and laughing every time I see them.

17 Replies to “Pocket Bikes”

  1. Around USC the pocket bikes seemed to be the in-thing for football players at the end of the year. Those bikes are small no matter what scale you’re using, but they’re a whole lot smaller beneath someone who’s massive to begin with.

    I think that crowd can give street cred to whatever they want around campus.

    e;

  2. I just saw some of these in North Hollywood yesterday. I had never seen one before in my life (moved here from Brooklyn a few weeks ago).

  3. These little bikes have been around for many, many years but were only sold at motorcycle shops for $1000.00-$2000.00 The reason they are the “in” thing is that the price is much more reasonable since they are now mass produced overseas. i also seem to remember that pit crews at the race tracks rode these artounf years ago also.

  4. These things are everywhere in Hollywood. I see a couple of them a day. I don’t like the crotch-rocket-looking ones, but I did see some other, cooler variations that I might consider tooling around on. Also, I don’t know where Katie is writing from, but here in California, they ARE street legal. It’s the same thing as a motorized bicycle or those electric scooters that started popping up last year. You just have ride as far to the right as you can.

    As Michael suggests, they really have been around for a LONG time. I remember seeing them at least 10 years ago.

  5. Gang members tooling up and down my street at 11 pm where I live.

    They like them because it gives them something to do while selling drugs, rather than just standing around in a huddle.

    Yesterday, I saw a six foot 300 pound mexican drug dealer driving one down the street.

    He looked os happy.

  6. First, BB, just wondering, but were these drug dealers that are loitering in your neighborhood wearing t-shirts or uniforms or something that announced their occupation as drug dealers? or was it just that they were mexican and your tiny little undeveloped brain cannot comprehend a mexican that isnt doing something illegal?

    Echoing E, yeah the ‘SC football team gave the bikes mad cred on campus, but they’ve beeing selling them in the ‘car stereo’ disctrict off of central for about a year and a half.

    I would definitely rather have a 35mph bike for $250 than a beach cruiser or some other rubbish. Sure they look goofy, but it beats walking to class

  7. They’ve started to hit EPA (East Palo Alto), as well … I saw a guy on University Boulevard driving one during rush hour a couple of weeks ago.

    No telling if/when they’ll hit Oakland/SF’s Mission/etc.

    Also, no sign of them yet at The Farm (i.e. Stanford University).

  8. 5000!: The LA Times ran an article a couple days ago talking about how the bikes are most definitely not street legal, and how officers could ticket and cite drivers for any number of a dozen safety violations (not having turn signals, etc). They aren’t classified as bikes, scooters, etc, but as motorcycles.

    From an article titled “Small-Scale Motorcycles Worry Safety Officials”:

    The California Highway Patrol classifies them as motorcycles under the Vehicle Code, and they are subject to ordinary rules of the road. But unlike full-size motorcycles, the mini-cycles usually are sold without required safety features, including brake lights, red rear reflectors, mirrors, turn signals, a horn and approved tires. They cannot be registered and licensed.

    For now the story’s at:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cycles14jun14,1,6050027.story

    e;

  9. Thanks for the pointer, E. I can’t read the article because I’m not a registered user, but I appreciate the heads up. It seems like you’d be better off buying an electric scooter or one of those stand up gas-powered scooters.

    And speaking of electrics, I was at Sport Chalet yesterday and saw that Razor is making an electric version of the pocket bikes. I wonder what kind of top speed those things have?

  10. The Razor pocket bikes are $200 and have a top speed of 12 mph. The $300 ones are bigger, can go 30 miles on a tank, and have a top speed of 24mph.

    I just saw an ad for them in the Sunday Times

  11. you should get a 47cc-49cc like me do not waste your money on an electric pocket bikes get a gas one because they could go as fast as mine 40-45 mph you have to be old enough to drive one.

  12. you should get a 47cc-49cc like me do not waste your money on an electric pocket bikes get a gas one because they could go as fast as mine 40-45 mph you have to be old enough to drive one.

  13. you should get a 47cc-49cc like me do not waste your money on an electric pocket bikes get a gas one because they could go as fast as mine 40-45 mph you have to be old enough to drive one.

  14. Pocket bikes have a new official name: “Trailer trash bitch bikes”. This moniker is more representative of the demographic that rides them.

  15. Whats the point of haveing A F*ckin pocket rocket if there not legal on public roads,and the police will catch u anyways

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