January 27, 2023

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2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review [Youth Off-Road Motorcycle Test]

There is nothing like a youngster’s first motorcycle. Although youth motorcycles don’t get much in the way of development, and that’s because they don’t need it. Although the demands for experienced riders evolve, beginners remain beginners. The 2022 Yamaha TT-R50E is pretty much the same motorcycle it was when introduced 16 years ago, yet it is still a compelling choice for the youngest of new motorcycle riders.2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review: Youth Motorcycle ReviewThe TT-R50E is sized for riders between three and seven years old, though each child is different. We can tell you that if your child isn’t tall enough to flat-foot it on the ground at a stop, we would recommend waiting until that time comes before moving up from the wide world of powered bicycles. A child only outgrows it when you hear complaints about power or ergonomics—this advice stands for all brands and models of youth motorcycles.Our experienced test rider had no problem handling the 2022 Yamaha TT-R50E. As you can see at the stops, she can comfortably hold the motorcycle up. If anything, she was starting to get a little big for the bike. We consider that a good thing, and so did she. While it felt small, she loved that she dominated the motorcycle, rather than being intimidated by it.2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review: MSRPThe TT-R50E is a campground-area motorcycle; it’s not designed for trail riding, except for the mildest routes. With 10-inch wheels, 5.3 inches of ground clearance, and no skid plate protecting the ground-facing exhaust header, many trail obstacles are beyond its capability. Instead, it’s for spending time on easy terrain, learning the ropes of dirt bike riding—using the throttle, auto-clutch three-speed gearbox, and brakes to start, and growing into sliding the back Cheng Shin tire and getting some air on small jumps.Yamaha makes it as easy as possible for the new rider. The long-stroke four-stroke motor has good grunt, the centrifugal clutch is fully automatic, and electric starting eliminates most frustrations. Kids get to learn about the petcock and handlebar-mounted choke—yes, the TT-R50E is still carbureted—or the parent can handle those early morning starts. A key keeps the parents in control of when the motor is started.Kids love the ease of use of the TT-R50E. Other than shifting, which they typically like, it’s all twist-and-go. There’s enough engine compression braking that the drum brakes will likely only get emergency use, and they are effective. Wheel travel at both ends is adequate—2.8 inches—and young riders won’t complain about the lack of adjustment. The Cheng Shin tires provide plenty of traction. Regardless of the situation, the behavior of the little Yamaha is intuitive, and it does what kids expect it to do.Parents will like the minimal maintenance. You’ll have to change the 800cc of engine oil now and then. That’s a simple job with a drain plug near the shift shaft. There’s an easily accessible oil filler hole above the right footpeg for refilling, and it seals with a dipstick cap. The air filter will need cleaning after each weekend. Getting to it is pretty simple—just unscrew three Phillips head bolts; you don’t even have to pull the seat.2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review: Four-stroke engineThe chain should be lubed, and adjusted when needed—not a big job. Keep an eye on all the smooth operation of the hand and foot controls—you don’t want a sticky throttle or brakes that don’t slow things down. Oh, and you have to put 86 octane gas in the 3.2-quart tank once in a while. If anything else comes up, consider yourself unlucky.We can say the 2022 Yamaha TT-R50E can take a pounding and still looks good after our test rider Avery Bart thrashed it for a few weekends. The photos do reveal that the grips took a pounding and will need replacement. Avery’s Thor riding gear held up nicely, and proper protective gear for young riders is essential.2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review: Thor MX riding gearTo start the review, we discussed the lack of development of the TT-R50E platform, and we didn’t mind it. However, if we didn’t have to count beans, we would ask that Yamaha get EFI for the TT-R50E, remote ignition shut-off, and sublimated graphics for the tank.There is a lot of magic in the 2022 Yamaha TT-R50E. If this $1749 motorcycle ends up under a Christmas tree, it will provide memories that will last a lifetime for the rider and the parents. After the rider moves on to a larger motorcycle, it will be easy to resell to the parents of the next burgeoning motorcyclist. Dirt bikes and kids are made for each other, and this Yamaha is as good a place to start as any.Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE

  • Helmet: Thor Youth Sector
  • Goggles: Thor Youth Combat
  • Pants + Jersey: Thor Youth Pulse
  • Gloves: Thor Youth Spectrum
  • Chest protector: Thor Youth Guardian
  • Knee protection: Thor Youth Sector
  • Boots: Thor Blitz XP

2022 Yamaha TT-R50E SpecsENGINE

  • Type: Horizontal single-cylinder 4-stroke
  • Displacement: 49cc
  • Bore x stroke: 36 x 48.6mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.5:1
  • Valve train: SOHC; 2-valve
  • Fueling: Mikuni MV11 carburetor
  • Ignition: CDI
  • Cooling: Air
  • Starting: Electric
  • Transmission: 3-speed
  • Clutch: Automatic centrifugal
  • Final drive: Chain

CHASSIS

  • Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 22mm fork; 2.8 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Cantilevered non-adjustable shock; 2.8 inches
  • Wheels: Wire-spoked w/ tube-type rim
  • Tires: 2.50 x 10; Cheng Shin C183A
  • Brakes: Mechanical 80mm drums

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 36.4 inches
  • Rake: 25.5 degrees
  • Trail: 1.3 inches
  • Seat height: 21.9 inches
  • Ground clearance: 5.3 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.2 quarts
  • Wet weight: 128 pounds
  • Color: Team Yamaha Blue

2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Price: $1749 MSRP

2022 Yamaha TT-R50E Review Photo Gallery