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.
Immediately recognized as one of the best 50cc beginner dirt bikes and a small blast on the trails, the 2009 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Engine and Transmission
Type: air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves
Bore x Stroke: 36.0mm x 48.6mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Carburetion: Mikuni® VM11
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
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