What do many top motocross and supercross racers have in common? Riding a Yamaha PW50.
This Yamaha 50cc motorcycle first entered the world in 1981. At that time, it had a different name, YZinger. Since then, Yamaha has sold more than 380,000 units of this 2-stroke trail bike all over the world. It has been so successful that there haven’t been major changes to the design.
Today, Yamaha PW50 goes for $1,699 brand new. It’s still a popular bike with parents and new young riders. The main reason is its low seat and other beginner-friendly features we’ll talk about below. This bike is perfect for kids in the age range of 4 to 6. Some parents have also put kids as young as 3 years old on the PW50.
There’s no difference between the 2023 Yamaha PW50 and from 2022 model for the price, features, and styles. It competes with other brand models such as the Honda CRF50 and Suzuki DRZ50. But PeeWee wins people over with how easy it is to ride and maintain. True to Yamaha’s original goal, it has gotten many kids into dirt riding quickly.
“I started riding on a PW50.”Chad Reed, multi-time motocross champion, via 2016 MotoSport interview
Top Features of PW50
These top features make the Yamaha Peewee 50 reputation for being a great learner bike:
- Fully automatic transmission (twist-and-go throttle is easy to use and lets your kid worry about shifting much later)
- 2-stroke motor (extremely light with a controlled punch of power)
- Ultra-Low seat height (the lowest among beginner trail bikes at 18.7 inches)
- Throttle stop screw (lowers top speed with a turn of the screw)
- Shaft drive instead of a chain for cleaner, low maintenance final drive
Yamaha PW50 Specs
Here are the specifications of features for this PW dirt bike:
|PW 50 Engine & Transmission|
|Engine||49cc, 2-stroke, Air-cooled, Single cylinder, SOHC|
|Transmission||2-speed automatic, wet centrifugal|
|Clutch||Automatic clutch (no clutch)|
|Final drive||Shaft drive (no chain)|
|Power reduction||Adjustable throttle stop screw|
|PW50 Starter & Gas Capacity|
|Starter||Kick starter only|
|Fuel capacity||0.5 US Gallon (1.89 Liters)|
“I started at 5 years old. My dad was a big motocross fan, and we’ve been to a local motocross race…. So after that I asked my parents a bike all day long, and I had to wait until Christmas to get a PW50.”Khoun-Sith Vongsana, French supermoto rider, via a 2020 Gatedrop.com interview
|PW50 Suspension, Brakes & Tires|
|Suspension, front||Telescopic fork|
|Suspension, rear||Dual shocks|
|Brakes, front||Drum brake|
|Brakes, rear||Drum brake|
|Tires, front||2.50 -10 4PR|
|Tires, rear||2.50 -10 4PR|
|Seat Height||18.7 inches||475 mm|
|Ground clearance||3.7 inches||94 mm|
|Weight||90 pounds||40.8 kg|
|Overall length||49.0 inches||1245 mm|
|Overall width||24.0 inches||610 mm|
|Overall height||27.8 inches||706 mm|
|PW50 Price & Warranty|
|Warranty||90 days limited factory warranty|
|Extended Warranty||Dealers may offer extended warranty|
Yamaha PW50 Review
Curious about how the PW50 performs? Continue reading for a full review, from looks to resale value.
Team Yamaha Styling
When it first came out in the 80s, this bike was a bright yellow motorcycle disguised as a toy. The PeeWee was manageable and friendly in name and looks.
Today, it still makes the same impression, except in Yamaha’s trademark blue. And it still puts both riders and their parents at ease, which makes fear and worry less of an issue.
The overall character of this Yamaha 50’s engine is smooth. It has just enough power and pulls to make things exciting for your kid. The engine does this by producing 2.6 pound-feet of torque.
Safe features are important for young riders at the beginning. And there are great ones in the PW 50. The throttle stop screw allows you to control the bike’s max speed.
This is useful at the beginning, where there is more danger of going too fast. With the throttle limiter, your kid can learn how to control the throttle safely.
The bike has no electric start. Instead, it has a kickstarter on the left side of the bike. Since kick starting is hard at the beginning, your permission becomes important when it comes to riding.
The 18.7-inch seat height and low bike weight also give your kid confidence while figuring out the balance.
Even before the first pwee 50 came off the production line, Yamaha wanted this dirt bike to be easy to maintain. The wheels are mag-style instead of spoked, so there’s no need to worry about wheel tension. And with mag wheels, you also get a lighter bike.
The teeny Yamaha’s shaft drive knocks another chore off your checklist. It lasts much longer than a chain and is very low maintenance.
Yet another advantage of this bike is parts that fit well across model years. Because the PW50 specs haven’t changed much over the years, you can buy parts for a new model and fit it on another model that’s 15 years old.
The PW50 boils riding down to the basics and makes these four things easy to do:
- Speed control with the throttle
How? The bike is only 90 pounds with a full tank. So, a child won’t struggle to hold it up. The seat is a low 18.7 inches, which makes sure the rider can reach the ground with both feet. And if balance is a problem, training wheels are available.
Another great riding feature is the fully automatic two-speed transmission. There’s no shifting necessary. Your kid only needs to twist the throttle to go.
This way they can just focus on staying balanced and controlling the speed of their PW50 dirt bike. For more on top speeds, you can read our other post on How fast is a 50cc Dirt Bike.
The controls are also best for beginners. The layout is clear, and there are no foot controls. The left lever controls the rear brake, and the right one controls the front brake. Adding to the easy ride is the soft suspension. It has two inches of travel that soaks up rough dirt surfaces.
The Yamaha Pewee 50 was engineered to be as simple and convenient as possible. It has an oil injector, which skips premixing fuel. It’s fitted with durable plastics that won’t shatter in a fall. And its 2-stroke engine delivers power in a tamed way. It feels lively, but not out-of-control.
Rival Brands of Yamaha PW50
Its bigger brother the TTR50, Honda 50cc Dirt bike – CRF50, and Suzuki’s DRZ50 are the main challengers to its continued popularity. The PW50 is still hard to beat when you look at its overall package. It’s lighter than the other three by 20 to 36 pounds. It has the lowest seat, and it’s the only one that doesn’t need shifting.
There are some cons to the Pee Wee 50 though. Because the controls’ layout is different from the other three, it might take your kid longer to adjust to a bigger bike. The wheels, while easy to maintain, aren’t as tough as spoked wheels. Spoked wheels handle bumps and jump better than mag-style wheels, even if they need to be checked more often.
This Yamaha 50cc holds its resale value well because it’s popular. It sells out quickly at dealerships and sometimes has a waiting list.
This is great news if you want to sell this Yamaha mini dirt bike after a few years. It means you’ve got a potential group of buyers always eager to score one. Based on the Kelley Blue Book, 2020 and newer models can be traded in at dealerships for around $845. Dealerships can sell that same range of models around 1,330.
Final Thoughts on the Yamaha PW50 Dirt Bike
Want your kid to build their confidence fast and have an easy time learning? Get this Yamaha 50 cc. It’s a great bike for very young and small beginner riders. It’s light, has a low seat, and comes with a fully automatic transmission.
Since it’s a go-to model for youth dirt riding, the PW50 has plenty of OEM and aftermarket parts. It’s also easy to maintain and cheap to repair if something breaks. It’s no surprise, Yamaha PW50 is one of the top picks for Best 50cc Dirt Bike.
Don’t expect to keep it in use for several years. The same features that make it an ideal learner bike also shorten the time your kid can use it. Once your kid can balance or control the bike easily, it’s probably time for an upgrade. The good thing? You won’t have a hard time selling it.
Here’s a helpful link to the 2023 Yamaha PW50 on Yamaha’s website.
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
What age is a PW50 for?
The Yamaha PW50 bike is best for 4-6 years old kids. Some parents put their kids on this bike as early as 3 years old.
How much is a PW 50 Yamaha?
The mini dirt bike costs $1,699 new and can be bought in good used condition for about $1,330 (2020 model).
How much weight can a PW50 hold?
This tiny Yamaha can hold as much as 55 pounds (25 kilos).
What is the top speed of the Pee Wee 50?
It can reach a top speed of 30 mph (48 kph).
What is the seat height of the PW50?
The Pwee 50 has a seat that’s 18.7 inches tall.
Are there Yamaha PW50 training wheels?
Yes, there are several aftermarket options from other companies, and you can mount dirt bike training wheels under the foot pegs or under the frame. You can find more information