Seldom will you find a Chinese-made motorcycle that can impress the North American market. But this 196-cc two-wheeler did just that. With its classic look, rugged appeal, and propensity for fun and adventure, no wonder it has earned the trust of many American consumers. So, what else can be said on the TrailMaster MB200-2 Mini Bike?
Arguably one of the best mini bikes ever made, the TrailMaster MB200-2 features a nostalgic design and impressive suspension and brake system. This custom-friendly bike provides thrills, brings together function and fun, and is considered by many to be among their top purchases.
Some skilled riders and off-roading enthusiasts do find the appearance of the MB200 a bit dainty. However, do not let its looks or size deceive you, as the TrailMaster handles like a full-size motorcycle more than a minibike. Not quite convinced? Read on and learn more about the MB200 in this article.
The TrailMaster MB200-2
It has not been a decade since the TrailMaster MB200-2 launch, but it is already proving to be a crowd favorite among smart, mechanically savvy consumers. The growing clamor for the Chinese two-wheeler is due to many reasons:
- It is custom-friendly.
- It sports that classic ’20s motorbike look.
- And it is no stranger to both beginner and advanced riders.
Like other motorsport and off-roading vehicles manufactured overseas, the stigma around owning a bike like the TrailMaster cannot be helped. For one, the motorcycle is not perfect. Buyers are also not safe from being that one unlucky person who could get a lemon. Plus, its parts do have room for improvement. Despite these setbacks, the TrailMaster continues to grow popular with the off-roading community because of its handling, adaptability, and overall good-natured mannerisms.
Watch this video by Red Beard’s Garage as the presenter does the unboxing and gives his first impressions on his red TrailMaster MB200-2:
TrailMaster MB200-2 Mini Bike Specs & Features
In stock form, the mini bike’s Honda-clone power mill is torquey and rides well on hardpack, dirt road, wooded trails, and pavement. Top speed is advertised at 24 mph, but enthusiasts share in forums that it can hit up to 80 mph – with the right gearing, engine, and other mods (of course!). That said, many TrailMaster mini bike owners go for either a 22-mm or 24-mm carb when doing upgrades on the minibike. A popular go-to alternative is the Honda GX200 clone with an auxiliary water trap (optional).
|Engine Type||4-Stroke, Single-cylinder OHV (JF168FLH-8B.09)|
|Carburetion System||Carburetion, 19-mm Honda-clone carb w/ 24-mm air intake x 1|
|Engine Cooling||Air cooling|
|Engine Fuel||Unleaded gasoline of at least PON 90, containing < 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol; E15/E20/E85 fuels are prohibited|
|Fuel Capacity||3.6 L (0.95 US gal)|
|Bore x Stroke Ratio||68×54 mm (2.68×2.13 in)|
|Valve Clearance (Int/Ex)||0.15 ± 0.02 mm / 0.20 ± 0.02 mm|
|Displacement||196 cm³ / 11.96 in³|
|Horsepower||6 hp (3.8 – 4.47 kW) @ 3,600 RPM|
|Rated Torque||10 Nm (1.02 kgf-m, 7.38 ft-lb) @ 2,500 RPM|
|Top Speed||24 – 42 mph (39 – 67 km/h) – owner’s claim|
45 mph (72 km/h) – downhill
|Engine Oil & Quantity||0.5 L (0.53 US quart) SAE 15W-40, SJ or higher API grade|
Alternatives: SAE 10W-30, 10W-50, 20W-40 based on ambient temp
The stock gearing would already work perfectly for riders who are not a speedster or after monstrous engine power. Otherwise, it may be necessary to change the rear sprocket to 60T. Doing this will give you a 6:1 gear ratio, allow more low-end power, and reduce stress on the torque converter (view on Amazon).
Tips when inspecting the drivetrain: Throttle grip free play should be within 0.078 ± 0.24 in (2 ± 6 mm). Similarly, the drive chain should not have more than 15-20 mm (0.5-0.75 in) slack.
|Clutch||Centrifugal, counterclockwise PTO shaft rotation|
|Sprocket||(46T rear sprocket, 10T Jackshaft sprocket)|
|Final Drive||Chain drive, 420 O-ring chain, 102 links|
|Gear Ratio||30-series torque converter|
It has a Transistor Controlled Igniter (TCI) and no battery – this explains the bike’s headlight consistently dimming and losing light when you go higher up the RPMs. A proven-and-tested remedy is to weld a battery box under the seat and equip your TrailMaster with a 12V 4Ah/(10 Hr) maintenance-free, YB4L-A or YB4L-B battery (view on Amazon). Assembled dimensions are 120 x 70 x 92 mm (4.75 x 2.75 x 3.62 inches) sans attachments and mounting accessories.
|Ignition||Transistor Controlled Igniter (TCI)|
|Starting System||Recoil pull start|
|Idle Speed||1500 ± 100 RPM or 1440 ± 150 RPM|
|Spark Plug||Torch – F7RTC or NGK BP6ES, 0.6-0.7 mm (0.024-0.028 in) gap|
Torque specs: 1/2 turn past finger tight (new); 1/4 turn past finger tight (old)
Tires & Brakes
The front and rear wheels equip 19-inch all-terrain tires. The disc brake system consists of front and rear sealed mechanical drums that the manufacturer later changed to hydraulic discs, putting the minibike above its competition in terms of stopping power. The brakes operate via handlebar-mounted brake levers.
|Front Tire||Low-pressure AT19 x 7-8|
|Off-road/road air pressure (F/R)||34.5 – 69 kPa (0.35 ± 0.70 kgf-cm2, 5 psi ± 10 psi)|
|Front Brake Type||Drum, later upgraded to hydraulic discs|
|Rear Brake Type|
Better ride quality is naturally expected from the MB200-2 – thanks to its long wheelbase and ground clearance. Frame enhancements done after the bike’s first production year improved its overall aesthetics and ground clearance – from 124.5 mm (4.9 inches) to 170 mm (6.7 inches). Furthermore, its rear shocks work beautifully on any terrain type. However, they are best replaced with slightly taller chrome shocks for riders weighing over 200 lbs. TrailMaster owners typically go from 10-inch to 12-inch two-way adjustable shocks.
|Ground Clearance||124.5 mm (4.9 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,150 mm (45.3 in)|
|Front Suspension Type||Fork shocks|
|Rear Suspension Type||Swingarm with 10-inch hydraulic shocks|
Minor changes were made to the minibike’s overall dimensions since its inception. If anything, the only noticeable difference is in its dry weight – due to the changes made to the bike’s frame intended to lift the chassis a little bit higher from the ground. Factoring in the TrailMaster MB200’s curb and maximum rider weights, it is safe to assume its GVWR to be at approximately 171 Kg (377 lbs).
|Length||1,680 mm (66.14 in)|
|Width||769.6 mm (30.3 in)|
|Height||1,016 mm (40 in)|
|Seat Height (Unloaded)||624.8 mm (24.6 in)|
|Dry Weight||70 – 76 Kg (154.3 – 167.5 lbs)|
|Maximum Weight Limit||91 Kg (200 lbs)|
Reminiscent of an old Harley, the MB200 is composed of a steel frame that is strong, durable, and easy to clean. It also comes standard with a rear tail rack, front and rear fenders, padded seat, hand grips, and a circular headlight. Color options for its half-naked chassis include blue, red, and black. Buy custom decal stickers if you want to spice up the exterior of this vintage-looking two-wheeler.
How Much Is It Worth?
The list price for this 200-class wheeler falls between $949 and $1,245 (sans shipping or destination charges), depending on where you buy it. Big dealers like Family Go Karts and Go Power Sports do not charge for shipping, although not everyone takes the said fee off your tab. If you are seriously planning on getting this minibike (and have the money to buy one), do it now, as most of the distributors selling the TrailMaster for less than $1,000 are already out of stock.
TrailMaster MB200-2: Pros and Cons
Here are some of its praiseworthy characteristics and pitfalls that will help you get to know the bike better:
- Those who have purchased the bike could not be happier with its overall build and weld quality.
- It works excellently – both in the dirt and on pavement, in the woods, or on backcountry trails.
- For a bike that is half-assembled overseas, its aftersales support is one of the most reliable.
- The bike wakes up after a few tweaks with the throttle screw, carb, and idle – plus some minor chain adjustments.
- It has no problems going up steep inclines and absorbing bumps like candy.
- The stock brake setup of the motorcycle outperforms competing mini bikes.
- Arguably, for custom-crazed bikers, it is the ideal platform to build from.
- Its torque converter, front and rear shocks, and comfortable seat make it ideal for trail riding.
- There are rubber mounts and insulators between the seat and the frame, adding to rider comfort.
- Versus the Coleman CT200U, the TrailMaster MB200 mini bike comes with better features right out of the crate, not to mention free shipping by some dealerships.
- The TrailMaster MB200 comes with a speed governor – making it a safe training vehicle for youngsters (provided there is adult supervision).
- The chain feels way too tight from the factory and tends to slip once in a while.
This TrailMaster MB200-2 review by BWX captures the chain slack issue beginning at 4:35 minutes. The clanking noise happens multiple times throughout the video:
- The converter belt tends to wear out fast, even faster, if you have ridden the mini bike hard.
- The pull cord can be challenging to spool out or retract and breaks relatively easily.
- The headlight is constantly dim and dies out when engine rev increases.
- Bolts and handlebars are sometimes loose and definitely require inspection, probably even some Loctite and replacement.
- The TrailMaster is road-legal in 48 states, except California (it is not CARB and EPA-compliant).
Regarding the chain slack issue, make sure to bring your tools with you all the time. You may also replace the stock chain with a compatible, race-quality type like an X-ring or a 525 gold chain and add a chain tensioner. A DID or gold-on-gold chain drive setup works best, paired with increasing the rear sprocket.
Trail Bike Improvements
While it is impossible for the TrailMaster MB200-2 to rival the likes of the 224-hp 2020 Ducati Superleggera V4 (who are we kidding, right?), here are a few noteworthy enhancements that you can do on your mini bike to give it more brawn and make it more fun to ride:
- A 2-inch lift in the back, yellow-driven spring, auxiliary 2-liter fuel tank under the pseudo tank cover, Emgo 23-92400 handlebars trimmed on each side, added chain tensioner, niche X-ring gold chain, CRF-type footpegs, custom paint, Juggernaut driver, and Evel Knievel graphics are guaranteed to turn the mini bike into a stylish wheeler perfect for a 250-lb, 6’0″ adventurer.
- A performance kit (a.k.a. Stage 1 kit) – inclusive of a bigger carb jet, air filter, and header pipe – will give you a gain of 2-3 hp. Conversely, the following mods translate to a top-end speed of 78.5 mph (125.5 mph) @ 6,500 RPM, a new gear ratio of 5.2:1, and approximately 8-12 hp:
- 60T rear sprocket
- BSP Race Engine Level 5
- 24-mm Mikuni Jetted Carb
- 290/260 CAM
- Champion Rockers
- 37-lb Springs
- 22-cc Full Race Port Head Milled
- SS Valve 27-mm Intake Exhaust
- Billet Molly Push Rods
- ARC Billet Rod .020
- Flat Top Piston
- ARC Billet Race Flywheel
- When taking out the speed governor, factory 10.8# valve springs would need to be replaced with 18# springs to ensure you do not float your valves.
- Swap out the stock 19-mm carb with a 22-mm OEM Mikuni carburetor. Typically, it is sold as a kit, which includes a 48-mm adapter and a 52-inch Mikuni cable.
- If you need at least a 10-hp increase, I recommend getting a Stage 2 kit complete with a 6619 Flywheel, Hot .265 Cams with 26-lb springs, connecting rods, gaskets, and a 3910X spark plug. The new flywheel will have taller fins that create more drag but keep that engine cooler, while the hot cams will widen the mini bike’s powerband.
- Installing a Tillotson Electric Start Racing Engine (usually a 10-hp engine) will permanently resolve recoil pull-start issues. You may have to run a longer crankshaft bolt or get a fully adjustable motor mount and weld a battery box to the frame to turn your TrailMaster MB200 into an electrically powered motorbike.
Watch these two videos by CarsandCameras (out of a 7-part video series) as the presenters perform a number of the above mods on their TrailMaster MB200-2 to turn it into the ultimate off-road mini bike:
Feeling a little ambitious? Put in an Ecotron turbo for the GY6 power mill and an EFI kit or a quad-turbo, supercharger, and nitrous, and you will surely get this bad boy moving.
ChinaTop King Motorcycles Co., Ltd. or CKM is one of the largest motorsport companies in China and is the maker of the TrailMaster MB200. Established in 1997, the Chinese firm traces its humble beginnings to being a parts supplier before producing its own line of motorcycles. CKM has grown exponentially since then, now with over 100 models and 500,000 engines comprising its product offerings. These offerings range from dirt bikes, street bikes, cubs, choppers, and tricycles to ATVs, UTVs, and core motorcycle parts. Additionally, CKM owns the brands Kainuo, DYK, and Kamax.
Conclusion – TrailMaster MB200-2 Review
Indeed, the TrailMaster MB200-2 Mini Bike is one motorcycle that’s easy to fall in love with. It is the kind of motorbike that can entice even people who are not into trail rides or off-roading, one that shatters the notion that you cannot have a dirt bike and a minibike in one. Its classic, nostalgic design and sweet features serve as a reminder to many adventurers – that a free spirit, a vast stretch of road, and a pair of wheels are all it takes to genuinely have a good time.