Getting started has never been more fun than on the new Yamaha TT-R50E. Hop on, hit the electric start button and away they go: The three-speed automatic clutch gearbox gives new riders the confidence to learn and grow.
Aimed at children aged between 4 and 7 years, the compact four-stroke TT-R50E junior bike is styled along the lines of a Grand Prix winning YZ race bike. Powered gutsy electric-start 50cc 4-stroke engine with automatic transmission and a centrifugal clutch, the TT-R50E offers the best of both worlds for the new rider – 3 gears and no clutch! For a comfortable ride this mini four-stroke is equipped with upside-down long-travel forks and Monocross rear suspension, while the chunky 2.50 x 10 off road tires deliver good traction in the dirt. And for added security and convenience the TT-R50E is fitted with a main ignition key.
Just when Honda gotten used to dominate the entry level segment with its XR50 which meanwhile became CRF50, another Japanese manufacturer entered the scene and required its share of the huge market.
In 2006 Yamaha considered that the successful Honda CRF50 has had enough and their share of the cake would be obtained with a similar motorcycle featuring important advantages, the TT-R50E.
It was created to fill the gap between the PW50 (addressed to rider 4-6 years old) and the PW80 (8 to 10 years old) but we all knew that its clear and defined task was to beat the Honda. How? The beauty of it is that it planned to beat it with its own weapons and at its own game.
If you take a look at it, quite frankly, it looks like a blue CRF50 but this is how Yamaha planed to sell its new TT-R. The magic formula involved the same looks but what set this bike apart were the user-friendly electric start, the retail price of $1149 and the long accessories catalog.
Mini races had become by that time very popular and Yamaha knew that their 50s will be probably ridden by teenagers and adults in the backyards or on race tracks. This is why it opened the doors of fun to this new category by introducing bolt-on accessories designed by GYTR. These would increase power, performance while making the mini bike fit bigger riders.
2008 Yamaha TT-R50E and Honda CRF50F
Obviously, the Yamaha TT-R50E competes with the bike that leaded to its creation, the Honda CRF50F. This super-popular machine has launched countless careers proof positive there’s a good place for a young rider to start dirt-riding, exactly like the Yamaha.
Rugged, reliable and beginner-friendly, with smooth four-stroke power, an automatic clutch and low seat height, the Honda CRF50F is a true entry-level wonder.
Customers begin to orientate more towards Yamaha since it entered production because it is $150 cheaper and features electric starting. Although this feature adds some extra weight, no significant difference is felt when riding and this is a major advantage heading towards Yamaha.
2008 Yamaha TT-R50E
What really characterized the small Yamaha right from the beginning was its low seat which was ready to receive those courageous little riders in complete comfort. Once this issue was covered, the Japanese manufacturer focused on creating its own version of the machine that initiated Honda’s champions, the CRF50.
As a result of that, the TT-R50E is very similar looking with the red mini racer. Yamaha still had to give it its unique YZ styling and Team Yamaha Blue/White paintjob together with graphics. It did and there are two colors that dominate the racing tracks around the world when it comes to mini racers: red and blue.
Also nice looking on the 2008 Yamaha TT-R50E are the front and side white number plates that also remind us of the bigger YZ machine and the success that they have. Mudguards are very nice and I also very much like the shape of that black exhaust system.
It is no secret that the Yamaha TT-R50E is a real blast for any kid who dreams to become a racer one day and the bike manages to accommodate children of different ages, as long as they easily touch the ground from its seat. I have talked with a few kids who have spend more than a few hours on this bike and they were able to provide me with all the necessary information on how the TT-R feels underneath them.
I have to say that they really appreciate the electric start and the benefits that it brings. Even parents love the fact that they don’t have to kick start the bike and their youngsters manage to do everything on their own. This leads to more fun on the track and the children won’t wait for dad to come and start the bike each and every time.
Another discussed issue was the throttle stop screw. It somehow came in discussion and very soon two general arguments rose up: children claimed that the full thing will determine them to learn riding better and faster while parents talked about safety and things taken step by step. But we know how children are and we also know that nothing changed as the result of that small dispute.
Riders agreed on the fact that the 49cc air-cooled, SOHC powerplant delivers smooth power, and reliability is another plus. This way kids and small novices will encounter a user-friendly behavior and enough power when needed. This is proof of the balance that Yamaha managed to obtain when developing the small motor.
That smooth-delivering power is send to the rear wheel through a three-speed automatic-clutch transmission that is great for learning, playing, and any combination between the both. The kids made the right noises concerning this unit also, and this ensures the basis being set on the TT-R.
By that time I felt like I needed a ride with the bike but I just couldn’t fit. My luck was a GYTR accessorized mini racer that proved a lot of fun and very reliable, also. This kind of bike is used by adults all over the country for fun races that don’t involve falling or other risky situations. I was now facing the opportunity to ride one and I didn’t refuse.
In order to receive the fully-sized rider, Yamaha allows for personalization of the TT-R in any way that you could dream of. Mine had an 84cc big-bore kit, tall handlebar kit and seat, heavy-duty fork and shock springs, glide plate, kick-start kits, brake and shift levers, engine covers, and YZ-style chain guide.
I had a really good time testing it and the results were awesome. The engine doubles its power with the big-bore kit and the bike is even capable to pop-up wheelies. Its frame sustained my weight without any negative feedback and the heavy duty fork springs together with the heavy duty shock spring proved efficient and suitable for the upgraded bike.
Either way, the Yamaha TT-R50E won’t disappoint anyone, all the contrary. If you wish to ride a fun accessorized bike against your pals, there’s no better choice, and if your kid asks you for the same feeling, you will also know where to head for a standard torque monster.
With its retail price of $1,199, the Yamaha TT-R50 vanish any form of competition and manages to get on top of the sales charts. It also comes with a 90 day period of limited factory warranty which will most likely not be used.
It is very important for manufacturers to attract customers from the very beginning if they desire life-long customers and good overall sails, and Yamaha manages to succeed that.
It is very hard to find a weak point at the 2008 Yamaha TT-R50E as the manufacturer took care to cover all the aspects and present and awesome motorcycle that effectively fills the gap between the PW models and also realizes a smooth pass towards the bigger TT-R machines so the start couldn’t have been better.