Looking to get your youngster onto two wheels?
Minikhana could be just what your looking for!
Story and Photoghraphy Matt Bernard
“Mum, Dad – I want to ride a motorbike!” Those words can spell absolute elation for some parents out there – or horror. If you do come to the party, you want your child to have fun, learn and be safe when starting out in this great sport. So where do you head after your little tacker gets sick of sitting on their new bike in the garage?
Minikhana could be the perfect option to get the ball rolling.
What its all about
Perhaps you’ve heard of Minikhana, but aren’t quite sure whats it’s all about. It’s basically a smooth entry into motorcycling. The idea of minikhana is to train and teach children how to handle a bike in a safe manner, controlled environment. Using a number of skill – based events, performed in specific areas using witches hats, tyres and ropes, riders can compete in a range of riding challenges.
Participants weave their way in and out of the set course following a different route, depending on the event they are participating in. Events range from negotiating their way through the hats as fast as possible, to following the shape of a clover around tyres, and even a slow race. Riders compete against each other from one end of the marked area to the other,
staying between two ropes 500mm apart. The slowest rider is the winner. Combined with a minicross race, the events teach children technical skills and how to ride safer and be in more control of a motorcycle. There is only ever a maximum of four riders competing at any one time, in both minicross and the skilled events. This makes riding are less intimidating when starting out – compared to fighting it out with a big class of young guns when you are still learning.
In minicross, riders must stay within their marked lanes at the start, before venting out onto the track to complete their laps. If you hit a rope at the start, its game over, the black flag comes out and you must return to the waiting area.
Off In All Directions
Minikhana places a big importance on family fun, Pop, Granny, little brother, Mum and Dad all get involved, loving every minute of it. Whenever you rock up at a club, friendly faces – even if they are unknown – great you with a smile. The juniors must have a club licence to compete, and there’s also scrutineering to go through. After that the riders leave their bikes in the pits and wait for riders briefing. Once the boring bits are over, the kids end up in a sprint race to the pits, ready to jump on their bikes, itching to be told which area to head to. Depending on the club and what the officials decide, the groups will split into their event areas. The 65cc riders will head to one event area, 85cc might jump on the minicross track, while the miniwheel riders could also take their 4 – stroke fun bikes to an event area. Meanwhile, 50cc riders will split into Nippers and 50cc auto grade, utilising either the minicross track or event areas, separate to the larger bikes. After a few events, lunch is served. You will find the majority of clubs have a canteen to buy your lunch – which is a great way to put some money back into the club you ride at. After the lunch break it’s back to business, if your grade hasn’t finished all the events, otherwise it’s freetime – woo hoo! All the kids have a blast riding around with their riding buddies. Minikhana clubs have a mixture of event days, some counting towards the final years points, others are pennants days which reward the top three riders on the day for their efforts. There are also encouragement awards. So if you are thinking of getting your youngster into motocross, check out your nearest Minikhana Club to see what it’s all about.
There are plenty of different events to keep you busy. Some have funny names, but they all involve a huge range of skills.
Keeping Fresh / Orange / Clover / Bending / Looping / Slow / Ring Return / Minicross / Accelerate And Brake
WHERE WOULD YOU FIT INTO THE MIX AT MINIKHANA?
WHAT YOU NEED!
Once you have a bike and are ready to ride, you’ll need to wear some appropriate clothing.
Please Note: Elbow and Knee pads are advised but are optional.