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2009 Yamaha TT-R50E


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As long as kids are still allowed to ride motorcycles (you’ve probably red the news in which the Massachusetts Senate are proposing a bill that will forbid anyone under the age of 14 to ride a dirtbike), you’ll be hearing about these bikes from us.

Being among the most important motorcycles in Yamaha’s off-road lineup, the 2009 TT-R50 deserves our complete attention.

Introduction

Immediately recognized as one of the best 50cc beginner dirt bikes and a small blast on the trails, the 2009 Yamaha Yamaha TT-R50E won’t start disappointing. It is still being powered by the 49cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves engine which in communion with the constant-mesh 3-speed transmission and automatic clutch becomes a model of user-friendliness.

Your kid won’t be finding himself needed to kick start the thing until you get to it, but simply push-start and go on learning. I mean, what could you ask more? It has a decent ground clearance of 5.3 inches and a seat height of 21.8 inches, more than suitable for five-year-olds and more.

History

Yamaha TT-R50E

The Yamaha TT-R50E had entered the scene in 2006 as an alternative for the long-present Honda CRF50 (previously known under the name of XR50) and short after its introduction it proved to have accomplished the goal of its creation successfully.

Riders now had not only a direct competitor for the CRF50, but also a Yamaha bike that addresses to the most courageous and the smallest of them out there.

As you can remember, it was introduced featuring all the present goodies from the specs sheet: electric start, inverted fork and monocross rear suspension. But what is nicer is that it looked just like the CRF50, something that made Honda people very intrigued.

Even more, with its wide range of accessories, Yamaha became the public’s favorite. The bolt-on pieces either get more power out of it or make it stronger in order to sustain those who shouldn’t quite really ride such a small bike. You, that is!

Competition

Yamaha TT-R50E

Honda continues producing the CRF50, now as a 2009 model year, seeming unbothered by its equally-potent competitor. Its engine is the same 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke, SOHC; two-valve as well as the three-speed with automatic clutch transmission, which makes us look at the small things that usually make a difference. But not in this case as the seat height is 21.6 inches (0.2 inches smaller than on the TT-R) and the front fork is also inverted. A Honda advantage would be weight (110 pounds instead of 125), but being that close to the ground, it doesn’t quite feel the difference. Both bikes are being fitted with drum brakes.

As Suzuki and Kawasaki didn’t bother building 50cc off-roaders, this class is being disputed only by Honda and Yamaha. Let’s call it a draw for the moment.

Exterior

Yamaha TT-R50E

Designing the TT-R50E, Yamaha has also inspired on the already successful Honda CRF50, ending up creating a very similar trail bike. This gives riders an even harder decision to make, but what’s easy in the wonderful world of motorcycles?

Small, but still capable of showing its aggressive side, the small Yamaha features YZ genes all over the place. Practically a miniature race bike, there is no wonder it managed to have a strong word against the Honda.

Even though a 50cc, it has spoked wheels, the fenders are way up and it is being fitted number plates and mudguards. Also, featuring a pair of unique side panels surrounding the nicely-shaped tank, it has success written all over it.

The exhaust contours nicely around the engine. Not an easy task for engineers, considering that the exhaust valve is underneath the engine’s block.

With new decals on the Blue and White color combination, this TT-R is ready for 2009.


Test Ride

Yamaha TT-R50E

Nowadays, kids don’t even need to learn how to ride a bicycle before jumping on a pair of motorized wheels as 50cc four-stroke minibikes stand as more tempting alternatives with infinite more excitement to them. And if those bikes happen to ride on dirt too, it is very likely that half of them bear the Yamaha TT-R50E name.

Riding on the minibike track is clearly destined to miniature people as well as the motorcycle model in question so for this review, I consulted some fairly demanding first timers before getting my own impressions from the bike. They all agreed on the fact that push button starting is a time saving feature in the process of learning and that the engine feels torquey, but not at all intimidating. The first gear is also considered to be fairly short and the majority of kids prefer riding in second gear as it allows them to seriously work the throttle before initiating the third gear of the semi automatic transmission. All gears go up and the clutch is smooth, just as should.

Also, the little fellows made sure to mention that the TT-R50E is very playful and comfy (for them, I guess), but from what I can understand, they’ve all had enough of the throttle limiter.

It was now my turn to torture the old bones and noticed how accurate my consultants actually were. The engine is indeed potent even for those who have late outgrown 50cc bikes and the bike doesn’t jerk at all. It doesn’t manage to get you bored and the constant fear of scrapping the knees keeps a rider alert at all times.

The smallest TT-R handles very easy due to a low center of gravity and the 10-inch wheels deal properly with harsh bumps thanks to 3.8 inches of travel front and 2.8 inches of travel rear. It feels just like a miniature YZ model a stronger twist of the throttle won’t result into a wheelie, your feet can always help.

This bike is guaranteed to suffer out on the track so Yamaha made it basically bulletproof and it shows. It withstood a severe treatment of jumps and the implicit hard landings without complains and wheels were still on so that’s got to say something good about it.

Braking performance comes from the 80 mm drum brakes and is more than sufficient even for adult riders so the parents surely won’t complain about this aspect and agree to remove the throttle limiter after their children would have gathered enough experience. Nice bike, although my back doesn’t recommend it to old timers.

Price

A very small advantage in the highly-disputed 50cc class is the $1,299 suggested retail price of the Yamaha TT-R50E. Why an advantage? Simply because Honda will sell the CRF50F for $1,349 and the Yamaha is still a relatively new introduction. And we all know that people are keen on having the latest especially in this domain.

Conclusion

Yamaha knew how to choose its moment very well and by the time the public was bored of their only choice, there was the TT-R50E to make an awesome impression. Things have stood the same ever since and now, for 2009 both bikes feature the same technologically performances, looks, seating positions, making you thing they’re the same, only that colored differently. It’s a good thing that they have logos though!


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

 

Displacement: 49cc
Type: air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves
Bore x Stroke: 36.0mm x 48.6mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Carburetion: Mikuni® VM11
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Constant-mesh 3-speed; automatic clutch
Final Drive: Chain

 

Chassis and Dimensions

 

Suspension/Front: Inverted telescopic fork; 3.8-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; 2.8-in travel
Brakes/Front: 80mm drum
Brakes/Rear: 80mm drum
Tires/Front: 2.50-10-4PR
Tires/Rear: 2.50-10-4PR
Length: 51.4 in
Width: 23.4 in
Height: 30.5 in
Seat Height: 21.8 in
Wheelbase: 36.4 in
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in
Fuel Capacity: .82 gal
Wet Weight: 125 lb

Features

 

Key Features:

 

  • The TT-R50E gets the same pushbutton electric starting feature as our full line of electric-start TT-Rs.

  • Great for learning and/or playing, complete with 49cc of four-stroke fun feeding power through a three-speed automatic-clutch transmission.

  • Big YZ styling meets little people’s stature; the seat’s only 21.8 inches from the dirt.

  • Inverted fork and Monocross® rear end provide great handling.

  • Large chain cover for maximum protection and minimal maintenance.
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    Engine:

     

  • 49cc air-cooled, SOHC powerplant puts out smooth, reliable four-stroke power perfect for kids and small novices.

  • Three-speed gearbox with automatic centrifugal clutch makes learning to shift gears a breeze.

  • Convenient electric starter for effortless starting.

  • Compact-design cases keep overall engine width down to 296mm, for a narrow feel and great handling.

  • 11mm Mikuni® VM-type carburetor with automatic on/off electric heater ensures crisp, dependable throttle response.

  • Automatic cam chain tensioner reduces maintenance.

  • CDI ignition system delivers hot, reliable spark and requires minimal maintenance.

  • Lightweight, upswept exhaust system contains a quiet, WR-type USFS-approved spark arrestor.
  •  

    Chassis/Suspension:

     

  • Curved steel backbone frame keeps the TT-R50E narrow and has three engine-mounting points for excellent rigidity and handling.

  • Inverted fork with 22mm sliders provides 3.8 inches of smooth front wheel travel for a great ride and handling.

  • Monocross-style rear suspension is controlled by a single coil-over shock and provides 2.8 inches of bump-smothering rear wheel travel.

  • Front and rear 80mm drum brakes deliver strong, dependable stopping power, and the rear’s activated by a right foot pedal just like the big YZs.

  • 10-inch front and rear wheels with knobby tires offer great grip and exceptional wear.

  • Low, 21.8-inch seat height allows most kids to put both feet down for inhanced handling and added confidence.
  •  

    Additional Features:

     

  • Key-type ignition switch deters unauthorized riding.

  • Throttle stop screw lets the adult supervisor restrict speed while beginners are learning.

  • Cool-looking YZ bodywork includes an integrated front fender/ number plate.

  • Standard sidestand tucks up out of the way when not in use.

  • Handy choke lever is located right in front of the main switch.

  • Large, folding, cleated footpegs provide excellent footing.



  • 3 comments:

    Yamaha has a real winner on their hands largely due to the electric starter on a perfect kid bike.

    of course, just look at it. It’s a small bike in the first place.

    I think the seat is a little bit smaller.

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