A market for minibikes developed, and from the early 1960s many cottage and major industries developed to meet the demand. Most lawnmower shops began carrying a line of mini-bikes. Minibike companies include , , Taco, Heath, Gilson, and Fox, many of which also made other power toys such as go-karts, trikes and choppers. Traditional motorcycle manufacturers also began coming out with models like the , inspired by aspects of minibikes. In America the peak of the minibike/go-kart era was from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Many of the brands, foremost Rupp, have gained a cult-following of enthusiasts and owners.
These early minibikes usually had a power train with a small , horizontal , . The transmission usually was of a crank-mounted and chain drive to a rear sprocket. As the minibike and the mini-powersports field grew, Comet introduced a , much like a snowmobile's, called the Torque-a-Verter, which automatically adjusts gear ratios, resulting in better top speed and acceleration.
These look like and are used in on tracks. The usual height is less than 50 cm (20 in), and up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) length. Power usually comes from a 39–50 cc (2.4–3.1 cu in) two-stroke engine with a maximum of 4.5–6 horsepower (3.4–4.5 kW). Maximum speed varies between 30 to 64 km/h (19 to 40 mph). Pocketbikes are also made in both gasoline and electric versions. The four-stroke models are usually 110cc automatic or manual engines, and are referred to as Super Pocket Bikes. Common Super Pocket Bike models include the X7, X15, X18, X19, and X22. The popularity of these types of minibikes grew due to the influx of cheap pocket bikes imported from China.
DOT laws vary by state, but for the most part minibikes are illegal for use on public roadways because most do not carry the necessary equipment (and often size requirements) to be street legal. In many states the seat of a motorcycle must be at least 25 inches (64 cm) off the ground, which is often a limiting factor in registration. Usage on public roadways may result a number of offenses, including but not limited to: no indicator lights, no rearview mirror, no horn or signaling device, no headlight, too-small muffler (noise pollution), improper lane change (no blinkers), or reckless driving.