2018 Yamaha TT-R50E

Yamaha’s little blue “orange”.

2018 Yamaha TT-R50EYamaha

Costing just $50 more than Yamaha’s PW50, the TT-R50E is light-years ahead in technology and thus value. Instead of the PW50’s kickstarter, the TT-R50E has electric starting (hence the “E” in the model name). It also has a 49cc four-stroke engine instead of the PW50’s 49cc two-stroke mill, a 3-speed gearbox rather than the PW’s single-speed transmission, wire-spoke wheels instead of one-piece cast units, more suspension travel at both ends, and 60 percent greater fuel capacity.

Given the above advantages, you’d think the TT-R50E would totally bury the PW50, right? Not so fast. The TT-R50E is actually for slightly bigger kids, owing to its 21.9-inch seat height (a significant 3.2 inches higher than the PW’s seat), a longer wheelbase, and larger dimensions. So, in their own way, the TT-R50E and PW50 are like oranges and apples. But which is which? With its removable peel and neat segments, we’ll match the orange to the sophisticated TT-R50E, and let the simpler PW50 be the apple. Now, that said, enough about fruit!

Likes: Weighs just 126 pounds, electric starting, reasonably quiet, protective chain guards

Dislikes: No backup kickstarter; rear grab rails or a lift strap would be nice

Verdict: Big-bike features scaled down for kids

2018 Yamaha TT-R50E Specs and Pricing

MSRP $1,549