Inside the 2012 Yamaha TT-R50E and PW50 - Dirt Rider Magazine

Chris Denison

Without going into a long-winded rant about government regulations, let's just say that Yamaha recently had the great pleasure of re-releasing two of their most popular models, the TT-R50E and PW50. Together, these bikes represent the ultimate entry-level two-wheelers, and both air-cooled powerplants are reliable and tough steeds for any aspiring young rider. In fact, if you were to poll today's top pro racers about which bike they learned to ride on, the majority would undoubtedly cite the PW50 as their first-ever bike. That trend may still be the standard, although the inclusion of the four-stroke TT-R50 does give you riders another option in pint-sized performance.In person, these bikes may not look that different; they are both little, blue and super fun looking. But on paper, the differences are vast and the distinctive character of each bike can really be seen. We're still waiting to get our hands on these fifties for a full test of each, but the following chart can really give you an idea of where each blue fifty shines:

TT-R50E

Seat height: 21.8 in.

Ground clearance: 5.3 in.

Wet weight: 125 lb.

Dirt Rider's opinion: No matter how big you are, this fun four-stroke is a blast for both kids and adults to play on. The electric starter is awesome, and although the stock bars aren't the best things on earth the entire bike is actually pretty durable. If you're buying this bike for junior, we suggest you keep it around after he out-grows it and make a playbike for yourself!Engine:

  • 49cc air-cooled, SOHC powerplant puts out smooth, reliable four-stroke power perfect for kids and small novices.

  • Three-speed gearbox with automatic centrifugal clutch makes learning to shift gears a breeze.

  • Convenient electric starter for effortless starting.

  • Compact-design cases keep overall engine width down to 296mm, for a narrow feel and great handling.

  • 11mm Mikuni(R) VM-type carburetor with automatic on/off electric heater ensures crisp, dependable throttle response.

  • Automatic cam chain tensioner reduces maintenance.

  • CDI ignition system delivers hot, reliable spark and requires minimal maintenance.

  • Lightweight, upswept exhaust system contains a quiet, WR-type USFS-approved spark arrestor.

Chassis/Suspension:

  • Curved steel backbone frame keeps the TT-R50E narrow and has three engine-mounting points for excellent rigidity and handling.

  • Inverted fork with 22mm sliders provides 3.8 inches of smooth front wheel travel for a great ride and handling.

  • Monocross-style rear suspension is controlled by a single coil-over shock and provides 2.8 inches of bump smothering rear wheel travel.

  • Front and rear 80mm drum brakes deliver strong, dependable stopping power, and the rear's activated by a right foot pedal just like the big YZs.

  • 10-inch front and rear wheels with knobby tires offer great grip and exceptional wear.

  • Low, 21.8-inch seat height allows most kids to put both feet down for enhanced handling and added confidence. Additional Features:

  • Key-type ignition switch deters unauthorized riding.

  • Throttle stop screw lets the adult supervisor restrict speed while beginners are learning.

  • Cool-looking YZ bodywork includes an integrated front fender/number plate.

  • Standard sidestand tucks up out of the way when not in use.

  • Handy choke lever is located right in front of the main switch.

  • Large, folding, cleated foot pegs provide excellent footing.

PW50

Seat height: 19.1 in.

Ground clearance: 4.1 in.

Wet weight: 85 lb.

Dirt Rider's opinion: The quietest two-stroke you'll ever see, the PW50 is a great learner bike with safe, easy handling traits. This isn't the type of thing you'd mod out for adult use, but the simplicity of the machine makes it an excellent choice for newbies and little rippers. Plus, how cool are those indestructible mag wheels?Engine:

  • 49cc air-cooled case-reed-inducted two-stroke single is tuned to deliver predictable power that gently eases the new rider up the off-road learning curve.

  • Single-speed automatic transmission means the rider simply twists the throttle and goes, allowing him/her to concentrate on the ride ahead.

  • Class-exclusive shaft drive system is virtually maintenance-free and comes fully enclosed for added durability.

  • Exclusive autolube oil injection system eliminates the need for fuel/oil premixing.

Chassis/Suspension:

  • 19.1-inch seat height allows most kids to put both feet down for handling-enhancing and added confidence.

  • 22mm telescopic front fork with 2.4 inches of travel smoothes out the bumps for responsive handling.

  • Mag-style wheels mean there's no need to tighten or replace spokes.

  • Dual rear shocks with 2.0 inches of travel smooth the trail to deliver confidence-inspiring ride quality.

  • Front and rear drum brakes provide smooth, predictable stopping power.

  • 10-inch front and rear knobby tires provide excellent traction and superior wear.

  • Quiet exhaust pipe, complete with removable baffle, is routed away from the rider.

  • Rear fender, seat and side panel unit removes quickly for ease of maintenance. Additional Features:

  • A thick seat cushions the trail's blows and allows maximum rider movement.

  • Team Yamaha-inspired colors, graphics and front and side number plates create styling just like the bigger off-roaders.

  • Large, folding foot pegs with rubber grips provide excellent footing.

  • An adjustable throttle stop screw lets the adult in charge gradually increase speed as skills improve. Want to learn more about these minis? Go to www.yamaha-motor.com for specifications, features, accessories and contact info. And as usually, keep your eyes on Dirt Rider and www.dirtrider.com for tests and info. Ride safe!