Author: Simon Mykolajenko
Well here we are only a few weeks away from another Christmas. I’m sure on Christmas morning there will be squeals of delight all over Western Australia as kids unwrap Pee Wee 50s, JR80s, CRF100s, KLX110s, and the like. I can only imagine the excitement of getting a new “mini bike” for Christmas as a kid. Wow!
Unfortunately for many kids the enjoyment will be short lived. Because of a lack of knowledge and some unscrupulous sellers out there a lot of parents will be sold cheap copies of the quality kid’s bikes that the Japanese manufacturers make. I’ll state right now that in the past I have worked in the motorcycle industry and sold all of the brands mentioned above at one time or another. Time to be blunt – There is a lot of crap out there that “looks” like a good little bike. Don’t be fooled, I don’t believe there is anyone who manufactures kid’s bikes to the same standard as the Japanese. I’m not talking competition bikes here like the awesome little KTMs etc, but little kids fun bikes. Take a look at them and then consider you can buy a new bike for around $3,000 that will give you trouble free riding fun until your kids outgrow it. You can then sell it and recoup most of your money. It’s a VERY cheap investment in your kids riding fun. The only problem you’ll have is that five of your mates will want to buy it for their kids and you’ll upset four of your mates when they miss out.
The other alternative is to buy a cheap copy, probably spoil your kid’s Christmas, and burn $1,500 in the process. I don’t think sitting back with a beer on Christmas day with little Johnny crying because his bike won’t go will make you feel good about saving $1,500. Think about the time you bought a cheap screwdriver, socket, drill, etc, etc, and it failed as soon as you tried to use it on anything substantial. It’s the same thing.
Years ago I sold my daughter’s used LT80 to someone who bought a cheap “Copy Bike” for his daughter. He told me it only lasted three hours before it died. I suggested that he meant three days, but no, three hours was all she got out of a brand new kid’s ATV before it was dead, and he couldn’t buy parts for it.
Don’t even start me on the safety aspects of poor brakes, failing suspension units, breaking chains, plastic wheel bearings, breaking frames, no spark arrestors, and so on.
So, please do everyone a favour. Buy quality and buy once. You’ll be happy that you did. And don’t forget some good, protective riding gear, a helmet and boots as a minimum.
Santa, if you’re reading this, all I want is a trails system from Perth to Albany that can be enjoyed by all, just like the hikers and mountain bike riders already have, or another couple of thousand RTRA members so we can pull some more weight with the pollies.
Have a great Christmas and ride safe people.