Mini bikes are small motorised vehicles, because these are propelled by an engine they are classed as motor vehicles. It is because of this they must comply with regulations if they are to be ridden on the road.
If you are to ride a 49cc mini bike on the road, firstly you must have the appropriate license, in the UK you will need to be 16 years old and hold a provisional license. This allows you to ride registered vehicles on the road as a learner.
You will also need to undergo a compulsory bike test (CBT) which then allows you to ride legally on the road.
If you have all this you need to ensure the mini bike is road legal. 99% of mini bikes are not road legal and are nowhere near high enough standard to be classed as road legal. Therefore it is quite a task in order to get a mini bike road registered and legal, and thus most people do not attempt to do it.
The mini bike will need to pass an SVA test, this is probably going to cost more than what you paid for the mini bike itself. But if you still want to get it legal, then your mini bike will need to be fitted with front and rear lights, indicators, speedo and also must undergo tests to ensure the mini bike is built to a high enough standard (which no mini bike is).
The bike must also be restricted to a certain speed if you are 16, and noise regulations etc. must also be taken into account. As you can see this is a lot of hassle, hence why people rarely bother to do it.
If you do not follow this route to get your bike on the road, then it is not allowed to be ridden in any public place, this includes public parks, pavements, or roads. The only place which these are allowed to be ridden is therefore private land.
If these bikes are ridden illegally on the road then police have the power to seize and crush your mini bike, and if you were caught riding it you could face having points on your license or could face a prison sentence.
Not really worth riding the bike illegally is it? These days however people are still not getting the message and still ride bikes illegally which gives other mini bike riders, such as myself a bad name. There are a growing number of incidents of bikes being seized and crushed in the UK every year.
So the next time you think about riding your mini bike illegally, make sure you know what the dangers of doing this is, or you could be in with a huge shock!