Baja Doodle Bug Mini Bike
I bought a Baja doodle bug mini bike of Craigslist for $100 less the motor. I had a 7 hp snow blower engine with a heavy duty clutch I was planning on putting on a go cart but decided to place it in the mini bike.
The doodle bug mini bike comes from the factory with a 2.8 hp 97cc engine and reaches top speeds of 15-18 mph from the reviews I’ve read. Which is great for a 10-14 year old but I was looking for a little more power and top speed and I weigh 170 pounds. Mounting the 7 horse was a pain because the engine mounting holes did not line up. My brother had to expand the holes it had to make it work.
The Baja doodle bug mini bike has a 24 inch seat height and weighs about a hundred pounds. There is no suspension so the ride is bumpy and there is a lot of vibration in the hand grips. Being that low to the ground makes it feel like your just flying even if your only going 15 mph.
As you can see from the video above we still need to do some tinkering with the chain and motor alignment. If you plan on buying a mini bike frame and installing a motor expect some hangups. My brother has about 40 hours into this project and is still working on it. We had to rebuild the carb and replace the rope on the recoil starter. Then we had to tune the motor so the bike didn’t take off when you started it.
If your child is interested in motors or mechanical things a mini bike would be an ultimate winter project. It’s so much easier these days to get the information you need to fix something. When my brother was fixing the carb he looked it up on YouTube and just followed along. When it comes to mini bikes and customizing the sky is the limit.
If your not mechanically inclined or don’t have the time to spend repairing an old bike I would recommend buying new. The Baja doodle bug mini bike retails for around $400 and is a decent first bike for somebody small.
What I don’t like about these types of mini bikes is the recoil starting. Most 10 year old’s are not going to be able to pull start a 2.8 or 5 hp engine and if the kid stalls 2 blocks away, you know who has to run down there and start it for the child.
The lack of suspension makes the ride bumpy and the vibration is pretty strong. I would imagine the 2.8 hp engine would have a lot less vibration then my 7 hp. One final thing regarding safety. These engines get extremely hot. The muffler and clutch can give nasty burns if your leg brushes up against it. Also make sure you have a safe chain guard installed because if the chain brakes and they do or even comes off it can rip your leg apart if you don’t have a guard.
Mini bikes are a great way to get your kids outdoors and away from the video games and cell phones. They can learn basic engine repair and learn how to use basic tools. This can come in handy down the road when your lawnmower or snow blower breaks down. You may have yourself a junior mechanic to work on it.
Always wear a helmet and make sure the kid knows where the kill switch and brakes are. When starting out I would recommend setting the govenor on the throttle to limit the speed to 10 mph while the kid gets comfortable with the controls on the doodle bug mini bike.