Honda’s minimoto lineup is one of the most popular collections of pocket-sized bikes on the market. The Monkey and Super Cub and CT 125 (which harks back to Honda’s 70s-era trail bikes) all play on senses of timelessness and nostalgia in equal measure.
The Grom, meanwhile, is a no-nonsense, modern take on a minibike. The fact that it’s been so successful worldwide proves that minibikes aren’t just about nostalgia.
Still, Honda isn’t the only company keeping the minibike alive in 2021. Take, for instance, the Phoenix Engineering Gunner 50. It sports a 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder mill that makes about 4.2 horsepower and approximately 2.95 pound-feet of torque. Of course, power is absolutely the last reason why you’d ever buy a minibike like this.
Gallery: Phoenix Engineering Gunner 50
No, you’d absolutely buy it because its unique styling appeals to you. Everyone who’s set eyes on the Gunner 50 inevitably asks whether it looks more like a flashlight or a bazooka. To be honest, it’s a difficult thing not to ask. The extremely abbreviated, basic saddle rests on a single big, fat tube, with a headlight mounted up front and a taillight tapered onto the back. A double-cradle frame holds the engine in place. Just about everything is visible, and accessibility if you wanted to work on (or perhaps tune) this bike looks like a snap.
The main tube also acts as your fuel tank, which holds about 4.5 liters of fuel. Single disc brakes stop you front and rear, and the Gunner 50 rolls on a pair of 12-inch wheels. The bike itself is available in your choice of 6 colors, and the LCD display can be changed to any one of 7 colors to suit your tastes.
Phoenix Engineering, which made this bike, is based in Thailand—but moto media across Asia have excitedly been posting about this little bike for several months now. MSRP works out to around $2,000, although as far as we know in October 2021, there are zero plans to sell this bike anywhere outside Asia.