Mini replica bikes get young Canterbury riders into MotoGP

It'll involve many twists and turns, but would-be MotoGP stars will at least look the part when they embark on the path to greatness at Ruapuna.

Motorcycle Canterbury has purchased three Kayo MiniGP MR150s, pint-sized replicas of MotoGP machines, for budding Christchurch riders to hone their skills at the circuit.

Bede Cordes (left) steadies the Kayo MiniGP bike, Motorcycling Canterbury rider trainer Shannon...
Bede Cordes (left) steadies the Kayo MiniGP bike, Motorcycling Canterbury rider trainer Shannon Guthrie explains how the clutch works to Cordes’ son Ben, 9, while Lucas Guthrie, 11, (right) looks on at Ruapuna. Photo: John Cosgrove
While discovering a rider to emulate the legendary Valentino Rossi is a stretch, the bikes should at least boost the number of junior members – aged seven to 13-years-old – at the club.

“You can probably count the juniors on two hands really. That’s something the club wants to grow so that’s why the Kayo’s have been looked at,” Motorcycling Canterbury committee member Duncan Shanks said.

“They’ve been introduced to try and get the younger kids on board. The stars and people they look up to started out like this.

“It’s exciting because junior riders can really get the bug to ride on a race track, then follow through the training schedules, go on the bigger bikes, become great riders and then represent New Zealand on the world stage,” Shanks said.

“That’s the whole hope of this, that we attract more riders, uncover some great talent and go from there.”

Hunter Charlett, 11, gets to grips with a Kayo MiniGP bike among senior racers for the first time...
Hunter Charlett, 11, gets to grips with a Kayo MiniGP bike among senior racers for the first time during a Motorcycling Canterbury race at Ruapuna on Sunday. Photo: John Cosgrove
The bikes succeed outdated “old school” 50cc and 150cc Suzukis and an Aprilia.

About 20 of the Chinese-made MiniGP 150s, which cost around $4000, were imported about a month ago by Dunedin-based RaceSupplies.

The bikes can reach 100km/h but speed limits will be enforced by club members and officials, with Shanks confident the juniors are in safe hands.

“The bikes have 12-inch wheels, they’ve got really good, grippy well-sized tyres. That makes it quite safe because there’s loads of grip,” he said.

  • More information on hiring the Kayo MiniGP bikes can be found here.

 

 

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