Due to obvious reasons, riding Yamaha’s PW50 by adults is against all nature’s rules so we headed to the motorcycle training course to watch the little fellows enjoy their Yamahas and get a share of their impressions.
From where we were sitting, the Yamaha PW50 looked like the adequate beginner motorcycle for the average sized 4-year-old kid. The 19.1 inches seat allows them to touch the ground with the greatest ease while the handlebars, complete with the front and rear brake levers, are at quick reach.
The two stroke engine doesn’t require the owner to pre-mix the fuel, but only to fill the oil reservoir once the tank is filled up and the mixture will be done by the bike. It is recommended to get the engine up to running temperature before starting to ride, but due to the fact that the PW has an automatic transmission parents have to lift the bike on the stand so that the rear wheel could spin freely as the engine worms up.
Thanks to the throttle limiter which consists in a screw, parents adjust the throttle opening and junior will be allowed to exploit more and more of the engine’s capabilities as he gains experience. Unlike bigger two-stroke engines, this one doesn’t require a widely opened throttle as there is enough torque from the bottom of the rev range. Kids gain speed smoothly and there is no loud exhaust noise to intimidate them. Also, with the engine and exhaust being positioned with safety in mind, children can concentrate on riding rather than preventing from burning themselves.
Kids love the Pee Wee, as they like to call it. The find it great fun, very maneuverable and they are actually aware of the fact that the throttle limiter is one of the most important features of the bike even though most of them considered they were ready for the next level. The general answer to the question “What do you like most about your bike?” was “The wheels”. Riding on a pair of mag 2.50x10-inch wheels, the PW is indeed awesome looking and, backed up by the 2.4 inches of travel front and 2.0 inches of travel rear suspension, they actually deal with small bumps easily.
Parents consider it the best solution for junior trail riding initiation as they are more preoccupied of safety rather than performance. And the fact that they can even mount helping wheels and have no worries about small crashes is the best for their piece of mind. Should I even mention how they agreed with the throttle limiter? I thought so!
For a bike that has got no competition, I must say that the Yamaha PW50 is one cheap piece of machinery. It simply carries you all through a very important evolution period and it does it over and over again for only $1,199. Maintenance is also cheap and reliability is a first at Yamaha so all your kids will be riding it.
The 2009 Yamaha PW50 stands as the easiest thing to buy and ride, but not the easiest to leave as it proves offering a decent bang even after experience is being gained. There’s no wonder it sold successfully for 27 years and it still does. And, most importantly, it didn’t change too much, giving Yamaha engineers of the time a well deserved A.