MiniMoto makes Man­feild a class­room


Young mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts will get a chance to open the throt­tle on the race track at Man­feild.

For some keen teens at Frey­berg High School and St Peter’s Col­lege, the first three days of term, Oc­to­ber 16 to 18, will be spent at Man­feild rac­ing bikes they have made in the an­nual MiniMoto Grand Prix.

Frey­berg engi­neer­ing teacher Paul Em­mer­son, son of Roger Em­mer­son, the Feild­ing High School teacher who in­tro­duced MiniMoto to Manawatū, said his school had 28 bikes en­tered – 20 50cc bikes, six 70ccs and two side­cars.

‘‘It’s our third year. We started at Frey­berg in 2015 with seven 50cc ma­chines. There was no engi­neer­ing cur­ricu­lum and the bikes were built dur­ing af­ter­school tech club.’’

Em­mer­son said although there was still plenty of friendly fa­ther­son MiniMoto ri­valry, his fa­ther had been ‘‘a fan­tas­tic men­tor’’ to him and to the Frey­berg pro­gramme.

The two Palmer­ston North schools will be join­ing engi­neer­ing teams from Feild­ing High School, Tai­hape Area School and Pahiatua’s Tararua Col­lege, as well as bikes from Whanganui High School, Spotswood Col­lege in New Ply­mouth and two Pov-

‘‘We still have 176 com­peti­tors from nine schools com­ing for the event.’’

Robert Heath, NZ Na­tional Se­condary Schools Minibike Rac­ing Club

erty Bay Schools, Lyt­ton High and Gis­borne Boys’.

Robert Heath from the New Zealand Na­tional Se­condary Schools MiniBike Rac­ing Club said it will be the 11th time the small mo­tor­cy­cles get to let rip around the cir­cuit.

‘‘They have built their mini bike frames, forks and rear sus­pen­sion in their school engi­neer­ing work­shops dur­ing the year.’’

In past years, Heath said the three-day event had at­tracted schools from Bay of Plenty and Whangārei, while Ti­maru Boys’ High was a late with­drawal this year.

‘‘We still have 176 com­peti­tors from nine schools com­ing for the event.’’

The rac­ing takes place across sev­eral classes and weight di­vi­sions, in­clud­ing 50cc 2-stroke pow­ered bikes; two styles of 70cc 4-stroke sin­gle cylin­der bikes; two classes of 110cc, 4-stroke pow­ered side­cars; and a new Suzuki Gixxer Cup 150cc rac­ing bike class.

This year will in­tro­duce live com­men­tated video.


Makayla Ste­wart, left, and Jemma McQuillan-McKee work on their 50cc bike at Frey­berg High School.

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