Cobra Moto is a name that continues to pop up when parents look for high-performing mini dirt bikes. The Cobra 50cc dirt bike CX50 SRX King is the brand’s flagship model, and it’s a devastating performer. Young dirt riders have won 24 Loretta Lynn’s championships and over 300 national and international on this model. And it’s a serious challenger to the KTM 50 that also participates in those races.
With such a victorious history, it’s no surprise that Cobra is a top choice. Dirt bike parents with kids who race in the dirt seriously consider the brand and model. Capable of reaching a top speed of 45 miles per hour, this 2-stroke mini dirt bike is best handled by experienced young riders between the ages of 6 to 10. It has a seat height of 26.7 inches and a retail price of $4,815 USD.
The 2023 CX50SRX is the result of engineering that addresses many previous complaints. This year’s release promises to be lighter, stronger, and easier to handle than previous models.
Read the full review below to see how well the Cobra meets its promises.
Top features of the Cobra 50cc dirt bike
Spec sheets sometimes drown the important bits in a flood of information. If you want to know about the main improvements, here they are for this mini Cobra motorcycle:
- Redesigned frame and chassis
- Powerful 50cc engine
- Better (and smarter) suspension
- Better bike fit
Let’s tackle the frame and chassis first. Cobra strengthened and lightened the new CX50 frame for better performance and handling. It seems Cobra did this to do something about reports of its mini dirt bikes’ frame strength issues. With this new model, the CX50 might be able to leave anecdotes about frames cracking in its past.
Just like previous model years starting from 2017, the 2-stroke mini still has the same powerful and easy-to-maintain Venom series engine. It has plenty of power across the powerband. This means that your kid can manage rough terrain whether they have the throttle just slightly cracked or wide open.
Cobra Moto has continually prided itself in fitting premium components on its flagship model. This year, the Cobra 50 SR gets a better suspension system from CARD. Adding even more to the bike’s improved handling is better bike fit. Young racers will get a boost in confidence thanks to ⅝-inch Pro Taper handlebars, a slimmer body, and a flatter seat.
There are plenty more details to include. And we’ll discuss them later in the engineering and performance section.
Cobra 50 Specs
Still want the long list of features for comparisons? The CX50’s full spec sheet is right below.
Engine & Transmission
|Engine||50cc, 2-stroke engine, reed valve|
Starter & Gas Capacity
|Fuel capacity||0.75 US gallon (2.8 liters)|
Chassis, Suspension & Brakes
|Suspension Front||CARD Smart-Leg 32mm USD Fully Adjustable 210mm travel|
|Suspension Rear||CARD Fully Adjustable (High & Low Speed) 248mm travel|
|Brakes Front||CARD Hydraulic Disk|
|Brakes Rear||CARD Hydraulic Disk|
|Seat Height||26.7 in (680 mm)|
|Ground Clearance||9.6 in (245 mm)|
|Weight||89lbs (40 Kg)|
Price & Warranty
King Cobra Dirt Bike Review
How much has the CX50 SRX improved in its newest version? Read our review of the racing dirt bike below to get a better picture.
Compared to other race bikes, the CX50 is simple in its design. There aren’t any bold graphics on it — just a few Cobra Moto and CARD decals on the forks, tank, and tail section. The light yellow plastics of the front fender, shrouds, and tail let you know that this mini dirt bike is a Cobra.
On the yellow side covers, ”Champions Start Here” decals in block letters state plainly what this bike can deliver. After all, Cobra is a brand that can boast a reputation for breeding champions and show the track record for it. Its young riders have made a name for themselves in the motocross and supercross arena. The list includes Adam Cianciarulo and Cooper Webb.
Engineering and performance
The overall styling of the CX50 is simple. But look closer and you’ll see that the components on the bike can put some adult-sized bikes to shame. The mini dirt bike has gone through a thorough improvement process. And its features are a laundry list of high-performing parts.
The entire Cobra Team has been working incredibly hard and we have been laser focused to continue providing the finest youth competition vehicles in the world. The new and improved CX50SRX FWE is better from every angle.– Sean Hilbert, President at Cobra Moto via dirtbikemagazine.com
Cobra’s newer-is-better engineering covered a lot of ground. The wheels for this racing mini bike are made from aircraft-grade aluminum. They also have a new spoke pattern. This translates to tougher wheels, a lighter bike, and better handling.
The Cobra 50cc’s frame and chassis are new, too. The brand stiffened the twin spar frame and made the aluminum subframe detachable. Both features take more weight off the bike while improving handling.
The 2023 Cobra 50cc Dirt Bike with Enhanced Engine Performance
A racing dirt bike isn’t much if it can’t perform. The CX50 still comes with a Venom series engine. It’s the engine the company upgraded to in 2017, and it has been present in this model ever since. It allows the bike to use 50cc’s of power to generate plenty of torque at the lower end. At the same time, the tuning doesn’t sacrifice the top speed that breaks the bike away from the competition on straightaways.
For 2023, the mini Cobra 50 gets upgrades to its intake and exhaust as well. The intake end of things improves thanks to a new airbox design. The new airbox contains more air in between the air filter and the engine.
The doubled volume of air in this space guarantees more engine performance. It means a 10% increase in the engine’s torque output low in the powerband. Out on the track, that means more power to climb hills.
For the exhaust section, the CX50 gets a new pipe and silencer. Both exhaust parts make sure that the gains created with the new airbox design won’t get lost. They’re laid out and designed to move air away from the engine as efficiently as possible, so the bike produces consistent power.
Safety and convenience
Safe and convenient features look a bit different on racing bikes. In beginner trail bikes, you’re looking for (and want to see) throttle limiters, keyed ignitions, and low seat heights. For race bikes, the focus on safety shifts to tough, premium components. They’re designed to withstand the stress that racing dishes out, and that’s what makes them safe.
The improved ergonomics, or bike fit, of the CX50 counts as an important safety feature for young racers. The simple act of making a bike fit to smaller hands and bodies makes the bike more comfortable to ride. This naturally increases safety, even when the race is at its toughest.
The Cobra 50cc isn’t the easiest bike to own. It has to be kick started and needs regular maintenance. Fortunately, it’s easy to work on. Because of the 2017 redesign, the Cobra’s Venom engine is easy to maintain.
There’s a clutch milk drain located low on the right side of the engine, and it allows old oil to completely drain out. Underneath the engine, there’s a coolant drain that loosens with any 10mm hex key. It makes it easier to check the coolant for oil and other contaminants, which can point to a serious engine problem. Another useful feature for fuss-free maintenance is the oil fill. This small hole above the clutch milk drain lets you check the clutch adjustment without removing the clutch cover.
A bike’s raw performance has to be harnessed to be useful. Before, common complaints from Cobra 50 owners were that smaller kids had a hard time conforming to the shape of the bike. The new CX50 plans to solve this issue.
The 2023 version is a better overall rider fit. The bike’s body is thinner because of a redesigned rear shock. Micro Handlebars come standard to improve grip for riders with smaller hands. And weight has been cut everywhere in the bike to make it lighter. (Even the wheel axles are made of lightweight titanium!)
Key component upgrades also make this bike handle better than before.
The factory aluminum wheels are mounted with high-performance Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires. And the wheels are also set up like adult motocross bikes. There’s a large front wheel for going over obstacles and a smaller rear wheel for traction and power. In the CX50 SR, this translates to a 12-inch front wheel and a 10-inch rear wheel.
The bike also has a single-speed automatic transmission for easy speed control. It’s powered by a freewheel clutch, which lets daring racers take corners at speed and start the bike with less kicks.
The Cobra 50cc Dirt Bike’s Advanced CARD Suspension System
A bike this powerful benefits from a solid suspension system. The Cobra 50cc gets this through a unique CARD system.
The CARD front forks are fully adjustable and give roughly 8.27 inches of travel. The left fork uses “Smart Leg” technology so that the mini dirt bike can soak up the rough tracks that bigger bikes leave. It does this by automatically adjusting how the suspension reacts to the ground. Paired with a normal right fork, the setup gives the rider better control and feel. But it does it without making the feedback from the track too harsh.
The single rear shock has about 9.76 inches of travel. It’s fully adjustable, so it can be tuned depending on rider weight and track terrain. With the right setting in the front and rear suspension, this bike can tackle a wide range of dirt, from loose sand to thick mud.
Almost every single amateur national championship at Loretta Lynn’s has been won on somebody riding a Cobra.– Sean Hilbert, President at Cobra Moto
Other Models and brands
Cobra Moto’s main competition on the MX track is KTM. Both brands are giants in the mini moto scene. Nearly every 50cc championship in the US has a lineup littered with Cobra and KTM 50cc bikes.
As a result, the CX50 is most commonly compared against the KTM 50SX and the friendlier Cobra 50 JR. As you’ll see, the Cobra dirt bikes have better components from the factory.
Check out the table below for an overview of the main features on the three models.
|Features||Cobra 50 JR||Cobra 50 SR||KTM 50SX|
|Price||$4,599.00 USD||$4,815 USD||$4,699USD|
|Engine||50cc, 2-stroke||50cc, 2-stroke||50cc, 2-stroke|
|Seat height||23.9 in (607 mm)||26.7 in (680 mm)||26.2 in (665 mm)|
|Transmission||Automatic with freewheeling clutch||Automatic with freewheeling clutch||Automatic with centrifugal clutch|
|Tires||Dunlop Geomax MX33||Dunlop Geomax MX33||Maxxis MX-ST tires|
|Fuel capacity||0.70 US gal(2.6 liters)||0.75 US gal(2.8 liters)||0.61 US gal(2.3 liters)|
Looking at performance, the Cobra 50 SR tops the list on a spec-to-spec comparison. It has the bike fit of a larger bike — which makes transitions easier — and components that will hold up well in races.
As racing dirt bikes, all three models require more maintenance than trail dirt bikes. Pay special attention to the clutch. Change the clutch oil regularly to avoid most of the issues that make a dent in these bikes’ reputations.
Related Article KTM 50 SX vs Mini – Which is better for you?
Related Article KTM 50 SX Seat Height and More – An Inside Look
The CX50 SRX’s used market is small. On Facebook Marketplace, you will find private sellers who list fair to good condition bikes in the range of $2,200 to $3,500 for the 2015 and 2016 models. Dealers will ask around $2,999 for a very good condition bike with the same model year (2016) in. Based on these numbers, the resale value for this Cobra 50 dirt bike is decent. As long as you pay attention to maintenance, you should be able to sell the mini dirt bike for a good price down the road.
Final Thoughts on the King Cobra 50cc
The Cobra CX50 SR is a 50cc dirt bike designed for experienced young riders. It doesn’t lend itself to beginner riders because of its engine power, lack of a throttle limiter, and tall seat height. It’s a bike that best shows its value if your kid really wants to race or is already racing.
The secondhand market for the bike is limited at best. If you can find a used bike in your area, expect to pay anywhere from 30% to nearly 50% off retail for a model that’s a few years old. And because the company is small compared to bigger brands like KTM, Honda, and Yamaha, there are less aftermarket options for parts. Most of the parts you will need for the bike will probably come directly from Cobra Moto.
Like many 50cc racing dirt bikes, the CX50 requires frequent maintenance to keep performing at its peak. Focus your maintenance on the clutch, engine, and air filter to get the most reliability of this mini dirt bike.
Related Article Best 50cc dirt bike for kids [Top Picks] – 2023 Buyers Guide
FAQs — Frequently Asked Questions
Read this section for the most burning questions about the King Cobra 50.
1. How fast does a Cobra 50cc go?
A Cobra 50cc can top at a speed of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h). This makes the Cobra one of the fastest mini dirt bikes on the market. It’s a serious racing dirt bike, and should only be considered if your kid already knows how to handle a dirt bike.
2. Are Cobra dirt bikes good?
“Good” is a subjective word, and your experience will vary based on your kid’s size, skill, and riding attitude. What’s definite is that Cobra has produced mini dirt bikes that have won national and international titles. For the most part, these 50cc dirt bikes are strong on performance, though they sometimes suffer from quality issues.
3. Where are Cobra dirt bikes made?
When the company got its start in the 1990s, Cobra was producing mini dirt bikes from Youngstown, Ohio. It wasn’t until 2006 when the company’s operation moved. Today, Cobra dirt bikes are made in the Cobra Moto factory in Hillsdale, Michigan.
4. What is the seat height of a Cobra King dirt bike?
The Cobra 50cc dirt bike has a seat height of 26.7 inches. This seat height is in the ballpark of most 50cc racing dirt bikes. For example, the KTM 50SX is only slightly shorterat a seat height of 26.2 inches. The tall seat heights of these racing dirt bikes also helps them handle better on challenging dirt terrain. They achieve this with more suspension travel and larger tires, and both contribute to the additional seat height.