There’s something immediately approachable about mini bikes. In fact they might be the only motorcycle genre that almost all motorcyclists like. The mini racing bike you see here started life as a bare 1969 Z50A Magnum frame, it was sourced from a local legend in Denton, Texas nicknamed “Minibike George”.
The build is the work of David Morales, a custom bike builder with a dozen years of experience under his belt – and many of his creations are mini bikes. He’s based out of Denton Moto, a hub for the local motorcycle community providing repair services, gear, art, and accessories – as well as advice.
The Magnum frame was in such poor condition that George refused payment for it, after it had been cleaned up it was stretched 4 inches longer, and 2 inches higher, with some additional gusseting added to common breakage points. The original engine was long gone but this wasn’t a problem, as the plans for the build called for a much larger capacity motor than the original 49cc unit.
The engine chosen for the build started life as a Honda CRF50, but it was rebuilt and bored out, and fitted with a high-performance 4-valve Takegawa Superhead, a stroker crank (for 124cc capacity), a Takegawa Hyper ignition was installed and paired with a Kitaco Supercoil, and a Takegawa 5-speed gearbox with a high-performance clutch sends power to the rear wheel. A Keihin 28mm carburettor was added up top with a chrome-plated air filter, and the exhaust was custom made, then fitted with a Supertrapp muffler.
The original suspension was never going to be adequate for the new engine, so the forks were swapped out for a pair of more modern Honda NSR50 forks. The Brembo 4-pot calliper on the front wheel is paired with a CRF450 master, and the wheels are Honda NSR50 replicas, shod in Dunlop TT92 tires. David made the front fairing from fibreglass after getting the shape right using a wire form, and he paired it with a Ducati visor.
The finished bike is one of the quickest mini bikes in Texas, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg – If you’d like to see more of David’s work or commission your own custom build you can click here to find him on Instagram.
Photo Credits: Peter J. Salisbury
Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.