Pocket rockets are hitting the street - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pocket rockets are hitting the street

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August 16, 2004

Moultrie - Have you heard of the latest craze? They are smaller than dirt bikes, but act more like motorcycles.

They're called pocket bikes or pocket rockets, and they've started zooming towards Georgia from the west coast. Which brings up questions, like, are they legal to drive on the streets?

They're fast and tiny, but potentially dangerous. Moultrie Police Seargent Sam Smith says, "Some of these are classified as motorcycles, because their top speed maxes out at greater than 30 miles an hour."

Pocket rockets may make grown men slouch down, but sales are up at American Pawn and Jewelry in Moultrie. Manager Jamey Hopkins smiles, "Yeah, we sell a pretty good bit of them."

If the speed doesn't reach 30 miles an hour, it's a moped. It doesn't need a tag or insurance. 

But, the smallest pocket rocket, which is only 18 to 19 inches tall, goes up to 45 miles per hour. It's considered a motorcycle, but it's missing a lot of safety gear. Smith explains, "It doesn't have the required headlights, tail lights, turn signals."

The little bike needs a lot more, like a motorcycle driver's license, insurance and tag, that's only if you want to take it to the public streets. Hopkins adds, "It don't have brake lights, so it's not street legal. You couldn't ride it on the road, it's mainly for riding around the yard and stuff like that."

They're so new to the Moultrie scene that Smith says, "We have not reported the first injury or accident yet. It's coming."

And probably coming to a town near you.

Officers remind you to wear a helmet, no matter if it's considered a moped or motorcycle. It's the law.

You also must be at least 15 years old and have a valid learner's permit or driver's license to drive a moped or motorcycle.

The cost for the pocket rockets are in the 300 to 500 dollar range. 

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com