This was far too much fun to watch. A quick pocket bike race at the Kawaguchi circuit in Japan, where 8 riders take on 8 laps in the Japanese Autorace series to see who comes out on top – things can change in an instant!
I won’t spoil it, but it’s a thrilling finale.
The minibikes are split into two groups to start, with the front group of 4 starting simultaneously with the second group positioned around 100 metres behind – I’m going to guess as a result of some qualifying heats.
Who are you backing in the Japanese pocket bike race?
The minuscule size of these bikes throws off your ability to figure the comparative size of the riders, but they are literally riding around with their knees up to their ears.
As the pack gets closer, the collective drone of these machines grows as the commentator excitedly announces in their native Japanese – I don’t speak Japanese so I have no idea what they’re saying, but it certainly adds to the charm.
After a bit of Googling, it appears these machines are typically 50-125cc with an auto gearbox, no brakes, and absolutely tiny dimensions. That makes it easy to get involved, and top fun.
It’s kind of akin to flat track racing, but instead of dirt and slides, the riders and fully tucked (literally) and committing to a lean – you’ll see similar pocket bike races where MotoGP stars get involved, and the Ohvale GP machines which are a bit bigger but offer the same fun.
In any case, this could make a superb Saturday evening drinking game with your mates. Get a few drinks, place your bets and be prepared to shout and scream at the screen.
I want a go!