Ways to Make a Mini Pocket Rocket Go Faster

by Chris Gilliland

Packing an insatiable appetite for speed in a small package, a pocket bike can be deceptively fast. Although speeds nearing 60 mph aren't uncommon, the possibility of modifying your pocket to go even faster is within reach. Most modifications require only a few minor upgrades, while some may involve a bit more technical expertise.

Exhaust Upgrades

Like their full-size counterparts, pocket bikes can find considerable performance gains by upgrading their exhaust systems. Aftermarket exhaust manufacturers spend a great deal of time in the tuning process to develop their products. Factors such as pipe length, diameter and exhaust flow contribute to the total performance of the exhaust pipe. Two-stroke bikes can benefit from a properly tuned expansion chamber, which maximizes the volume of fuel and air that is combusted by the motor. Likewise, four-stroke bikes can also gain top-end performance by switching to a less restrictive pipe that flows as directly as possible.

Air and Fuel Upgrades

Although most bikes will function reasonably better with an aftermarket exhaust system, an additional amount of air and fuel is required to find the most efficient gains in power. The stock intake/exhaust setup provides the correct amount of fuel-to-air ratio to power the bike in its basic form. As you change the intake/exhaust layout, this ratio is thrown off balance as the improved exhaust and intake flow also allows more air into the engine, leaning out the mixture. Replacing the restrictive stock air filter with a high-performance aftermarket filter alleviates part of this problem and provides a better flow of air into the system. Installation of a high-performance carburetor will allow you to fine-tune the air-to-fuel ratio, feeding an increased amount of fuel into the air flow to provide a richer mixture and balance out the system.

Clutch Upgrades

Replacing your stock clutch with a racing clutch takes a bit more technical prowess, but has certain advantages. First, they are built to stronger specifications and can tolerate a higher degree of abuse. Second, most racing clutches are designed to engage at higher rpm, giving you an increased amount of acceleration off the line. Performance clutches are typically set to engage between 1,000 to 2,500 rpm.

Big Bore Kits

Big bore kits are designed to do one thing: Increase the displacement of your motor. Basically, a big bore kit requires you to disassemble your motor and replaces your piston and cylinder with a larger set. 50cc pocket bikes can be modified with a big bore kit to a full 70cc, instantly transforming the little motor into something a bit larger. Of course, installing a performance exhaust, intake and fuel system can enhance the gains of a big bore kit .

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.