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YCF 50E: Test | Bike Reviews | Kids' Corner

Less moving parts, less maintenance and less weight. Electric minibikes have their place and the youngsters aren't complaining.

French manufacturer YCF has come to the table with its electric 50E for riders aged three to seven and positioned it not as a replacement but an alternative to petrol 50s.

The YCF50E is based on the YCF50A petrol machine but where the petrol-burning 50cc four-stroke should be, there’s a 1200W electric motor, which still burns fossil fuels but in a different way.

The power for the electric motor comes from a 10,000mAh lithium battery that is good for 800 cycles and, with roughly 1-1.5 hours of run time per charge, that’s a long time between ‘rebuilds’.

Turn on the ignition and the only thing indicating that it’s ready to go is a green light on the charge meter. It’s eerily silent when the YCF50E is being flogged around the track. Just the chain slapping up and down as the bike goes over jumps and the unmistakeable sound of the rear locking up on corner entry remind you there’s a kid out there.YCF 50E

It’s important to mention the impact noise has on the riding experience of kids versus adults. For papa bears who have grown up riding rattly old two-smokers and then progressed onto thumpers, most associate noise with enjoyment and speed.

On the flip side we have three seven-year-old kids. Most are scared of the dark, get grumpy when they’re tired and are terrified of loud noises! We took a survey of our three test pilots and they all felt less intimidated and more relaxed sitting on the YCF50E compared to its petrol powered counterpart.
They agreed that if you were a first timer the lack of noise would make the learning process slightly less stressful and more enjoyable.

But don’t be fooled, twist the throttle on the YCF and it’ll take off quicker than any 50cc petrol bike your kids have ridden. Because of the instant torque from an electric motor it can be too much for a learner, so YCF has wisely installed a ‘potentiometer’ below the seat which can easily be adjusted with a screwdriver to limit the power output. Our fastest rider, Matthew, noticed a trait associated with petrol bikes that didn’t hit the YCF50E.
When coming into a corner and trying to slide the rear wheel on a semi-automatic petrol bike the inertia of the crankshaft and piston makes it hard to lock the rear, you really need to stamp on the brake, because the clutch doesn’t disengage until the revs drop.

On the YCF, Matthew said he could come charging into a corner and lock the rear wheel to slide the back a lot easier. Now, we know this isn’t best practice when it comes to speed, but when you’re lighting it up for the camera there is nothing wrong with backing it into the corner with the rear locked up!

ADB’s two other test pilots, Lawson and Ashleigh, couldn’t get enough of the YCF50E. While not as quick as Matthew, they found the unintimidating bike a lot of fun. Lawson, six, was happy sliding the rear into corners that he normally wouldn’t on a bigger, heavier 50cc four-stroke.

Lawson said he found the 50E was great off the line and had good top speed, but the really boggy, sandy sections zapped power from the electric motor. The chain did stretch throughout the day, but five minutes on the tools and it was sorted.

The YCF50E doesn’t claim to be the cure to your minibike wows. It has positioned itself as a viable alternative for parents and kids who might have different needs or circumstances. It has got a lot of things going for it; less noise, light weight, less maintenance, less intimidating and can be ridden in a suburban backyard without starting a neighbourhood war.

Check out the full story in issue #445 of ADB Magazine.


Type 1200W electric
Fuel source 48 volt, 10,000mAh lithium battery
Battery life 800 cycles
Charge time Six hours
Run time 1.5 hours
Transmission Single speed
Weight 36kg (claimed)

Price $2499
Warranty Six months