Parents are warned about buying a mini bike for their kids with the third safety recall in recent weeks from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
We asked the ACCC if this amounted to a crackdown or a special investigation, but they replied with a curt “no”.
However, it seems more than a coincidence that three mini bike companies have issued warnings in the past two weeks involving the Assassin Scorpion, DB1 and PB2 Mini Monkey Bike and the Monsterpro Z50 replica motorcycle.
All had failed to comply with Consumer Protection Notice No. 24 of 2011 and the recall advises owners “immediately stop” riding the bikes.
The notice for the Assassin Scorpion 80cc Mini Bike, sold online from April 2016 to May 2017 by Assassin Dirt Bikes of NSW says the braking system does not comply with the notice which requires a braking system capable of acting on the front and rear wheels.
“Bikes that do not have front and rear braking may pose an accident risk to riders,” it says.
“Consumers should stop using the bike immediately and contact Assassin Dirt Bikes at email@example.com or 1300 688 053, or go to 184 Taren Point Road, Taren Point, to organise for the correct braking system to be fitted.”
The steering on the DB1 and PB2 Mini Monkey Bikes, sold by xteen-lovers of NSW, also fails to meet the requirements of the same Consumer Protection Notice.
“When the front wheel of the motorbike is raised off the ground, the steering head system does not move freely under its own weight from right lock to left lock due to cabling routing and bodywork,” the recall notice says.
“This may increase the risk of an accident, posing an injury risk to the rider. Consumers should immediately stop using the monkey bike until the front bodywork has been removed.”
For further information consumers can contact xteen-lovers by calling 0425 428 777 or go to 3/23 Stennett Road Ingleburn NSW 2565.
These notices follow recent recalls for the Monsterpro Z50 replica motorcycle because it does not have a kill switch.
The official recall notice warned that the bike does not have a “functioning, thumb-operated supplemental engine stop” on the handlebar as required.
“In an emergency the engine cannot be stopped quickly, increasing the risk of injury to the rider,” the notice says.
Owners are advised to “immediately stop using the motorbike” and contact TDRMoto (Monsterpro) in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, on 03 9731 6391 or click here to send them an email to arrange for a kit with instructions to be posted.
They can also arrange for the kit to be installed by TDRMoto (Monsterpro) at their workshop.
The recall on follows several others on mini, pocket or novelty motorcycles in recent years, prompting a warning from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, especially about imported machines.
They point out that most countries categorise them as novelty toys, so they are not regulated by the same conditions as other vehicles and are “potentially dangerous”.
Mini bikes recalled
Last year, mini dirt bikes sold by Global Ringwood were recalled over non-compliant brakes and Mirza Miniature road and dirt style motorbikes, sold in Victoria by Domeit Pty Ltd, were deemed “unsafe” and refunds were offered.
In 2014, the Big Aussie Deals 49cc petrol-powered 2013 Petersea PB201 “Pocket Motorbike” was recalled for non-conformity in the brakes, footpegs and steering.
The FCAI has warned that many of these motorcycles are bought by parents as a cheap way to introduce their children to motorcycles.
They advise that it is safer to buy an approved mini bike from a respected manufacturer through an authorised dealer.
Pocket motorcycles are banned in some jurisdictions around the world, but those powered by electricity fall into a “grey area” where they can be ridden on the street under bicycle rules.
However, petrol-powered pocket motorcycles are usually restricted to private property.
It should be noted that shopping centre carparks may be private property, but they are also subject to the normal rules of the road, so pocket motorcycles are banned there as well.
Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.
Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory. All have been issued by the manufacturer.
While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.
If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.
To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:
• New Zealand