Children’s Electric Trials Bikes
Motorcycle trials are popular in the UK. Even if you don’t follow it, you probably know who 12-times world title winner Dougie Lampkin is.
Trials bikes are instantly recognisable in design: boomerang shaped, with no seat to reduce weight and short suspension travel. It’s all about balance and throttle control, combined with extreme skill (and balls) to traverse almost impossible looking terrain - or in my case, an abandoned pallet or two in the back garden!
Trials bikes have traditionally been dominated by brands like Honda, GasGas and Beta, with two-stroke single cylinder engines being the machine of choice (from 80cc to +300cc), although you can also get larger capacity four-strokes. However, over the last few years, companies like UK based Oset have been making headway into this market with a new breed of electric trials bikes, initially aimed at children, but increasingly gaining interest amongst us oversized kids.
The electric option combines the joy and freedom of off-road riding, with the linear power and stealth like quality of battery powered motors - no noise to annoy dog walkers, ramblers or your next-door neighbours… Obviously they have limited top end, as do all trials machines, but an electric bike can put you on your arse as well as any two-stroke equivalent.
The day Santa brought two Osets to our house changed the way we played in the garden; football is still popular, but now the kids can muck around on dirt bikes after school without bothering anyone – bricks, ramps and pallets have replaced jumpers for goalposts – and there’s no hassle of packing up the van and travelling somewhere.
There is a range of Oset bike sizes and motor options for children aged 2-12;
- The tiny but impressive 12.5 Eco at £849 comes with a 24v motor (plenty for a 2-5 year old) and can be upgraded to a Racing spec for an extra £150 with lots of adjustable bits;
- The middle option for 5-7 year olds is the 16.0 Eco with 36v motor at £1,299 (also available in Racing spec for £1,499); or
- The big boy version 20.0 is supposedly for 6-12 year olds, depending on which version you choose, but the 48v option is great fun for adults (until the 24.0 comes into production soon). Prices range from £1,699 for the 36v Lite to £2,099 for the 48v Racing option.
We opted for the 16.0 (24v) for our five year old and a 20.0 (48v) for him to "grow into", i.e. for me, the largest of the kids bikes available at the time (hurry up with the 24.0 Oset). Thankfully, they are easy to maintain because I’m shite at spannering, and these have little in common with a combustion engine – it’s more akin to my Orange full-suspension mountain bike, with some simple suspension and disc brakes, coupled with an electric motor & motorcycle batteries connected in series (two 12v batteries in the 24v, three in the 36v and you guessed it, four in the 48v).
An Optimate is recommended for any longer term storage to maintain the batteries as they can deteriorate when unused or stored empty and aren’t cheap to replace – however battery life when being used is pretty good (I’ve never timed it).
Whilst I’m no expert and have never competed (our Osets are just for fun with the occasional friendly event for my son), the primary aim of trials events is to navigate an obstacle course - often a mixture of natural and man-made challenges - without touching the ground with your feet. An observer follows every move, knocking off a point each time your foot or body touches the ground. Assuming you get round the course without going out of the flagged boundaries or getting off the bike completely, then the aim is to get zero points – a clean run – with 5 points being a disaster…
Electric Trials Events
Other electric brands are available. Kuberg come to mind from the recent NEC bike show, and if you search, you will find an expensive Gas Gas electric full size bike, however Oset has seemingly managed to dominate the genre by showcasing what their bike can do - the owners son Oliver Smith makes a regular appearance in their promotional videos. They now have Oset Cup youth trials events all around the UK. Maybe the next generation of world champions will have grown up on these electric bikes?
How can BeMoto protect your electric trials bike?
We have a fire & theft policy especially for non-road bikes, including trials and electric trials bikes of all sizes, whilst they are locked to something permanent in a garage with a D-lock or chain (yours or a mates garage, doesn’t have to be at your house). Cover also extends to malicious damage as a result of attempted theft.
Call BeMoto on 01733 907000 if you have any questions.