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My 8 year old is a bit of a speed and stunt freak. Razor scooters, power wings, skates - he has, and avidly uses, them all - with the scars to prove it too! He had asked about the Huffy Green Machine in summer so we decided on Father Christmas bringing it on Xmas Day.
So what is it? Well its a low ride three wheel stunt trike designed with excitement, speed, stunts and looking cool in mind. The trike is pedal powered and it steered using two gear stick controllers as opposed to the normal handles. Key points are:-
* Adjustable seat fits a wide range of ages but would suggest 5yrs +
* Super wide rear slick tyres allow for spin-out through turns
* Strong steel construction
* Dual joysticks for steering with built-in front brake lever
* Freewheel front wheel.
* 16" Wide rubber tyre for superior traction
* Rear twin exhaust plate
* Bright green moulded seat, fender and body
* Steel Side Pull Brake.
* Steel 3-Pce Crank.
Putting it together wasnt too difficult, it took the husband about 20 mins, but please be mindful this is a big piece of outdoor kit, about 4 1/2 foot once constructed and not that easy to hide!
The huge front wheel, super wide rear tyres and bright green and black design definately make this item great eye candy for children and adults alike. Its strudy frame structure and size does not detract from the speed that the trike will reach when being used either.
My boy jumped straight on and within 10 minutes had mastered the gear stick steering and was demonstrating fantastic 180 spin outs in no time. He can ride the trike on both tarmac and gass (as long as not too long or wet) so he is not just restricted to riding about our close. We ensure that our boy wears a cycle hat whilst using the green machine and would suggest consideration of knee/elbow pads too if the child was younger.
Not really many negatives about use, although I think there are less tricks you can do with this than say the power wing. Also, the steering will be new to most children and can take some mastering.
On a construction front, the chassis and most of the fender/seat is of good strong constrcution but there are some brittle plastic exhaust type pipes at the rear which snapped off pretty soon after use. The seat has also slipped a number of times on our one but this seems to be just specific to us and not a known fault.
The Green Machine isnt cheap, we managed to get ours in a 1 day Amazon deal for £89 but prior to that they were all at £99.99 and above. I do think it was worth the £89 but would be slightly discouraged if I had paid £129 instead. The Green Machine IS great fun, its cool, fast and a great source of entertainment and exercise. Slightly more limited on stunts than the powerwing but then it is a trike and not a scooter. I am happy with our purchase because I know it will get used a huge amount and because our boy loves being outside it suits us brilliantly. Make sure you have plenty of safe space to use this is in if you are going to get it for your children and then make sure you get a go yourself, you will love it!!
My oldest son was desperate for one of these for nearly 2 years before finally getting one for his 5th Birthday. Of course he could not have ridden it before then anyway. With the seat adjusted as far forward as possible this will suit an average size 5 year old. A smaller child would not be able to reach the pedals without really stretching. It does adjust to suit much larger children as well, and I have seen many teenagers riding about on them. With a 180lb weight limit, most adults would be able to use this bike - although I do think most would feel a bit silly on it.
For the most part, the bike is well made. It does have one design flaw. The chrome coloured exhaust pipes at the back are made from a very thin and brittle plastic. While my son is very careful with his bikes, they have become chipped anyway. I think my husband is the one who has chipped them by piling stuff into the shed, but they are very fragile. As this was such a popular toy, half the estate has them, and every other one I have seen has these completely broken off. As they are only for decoration, this does to affect the use of the bike.
Another issue with this bike is safety. They Are very low to the ground, and do not have any reflective parts. They do have a flag which can be attached, but usually is not. This makes it very difficult for oncoming cars to see children riding these out from between parked cars or shooting out of alleys. Of course one could argue that sending small children out to play in traffic unsupervised is less than wise anyway, but even with teens parents do need to make sure some caution is used with this toy.
My own son was over the moon when he got this. It did take him awhile to master the steering, which is a bit awkward. You have to pull the bars, or joysticks as they call them to turn the back wheels. Once the child masters this though they can do nice spin-outs. He has had this toy for 7 months now and still loves it. It is also very fast which he likes.