Brody Cox

Top Custom Motorcycles From Ride For Kids Los Angeles

Honda provides big support for small bikes and a great cause

This past Sunday, a multitude of motorcycles made its way to American Honda headquarters in Torrance, California, for the Ride for Kids Los Angeles. Each year, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation holds a police-escorted event to raise awareness and support for the work done by the nonprofit and its many volunteers.

This year Grom owners were invited to display their custom-built minibikes among the many hopped-up Metropolitan and Ruckus scooters in attendance. The level of detail applied to these small-wheeled machines was astounding. Each bike was individually modified to meet the owner's personal tastes, and the results drew a massive crowd.

I participated in the 35-mile ride on a 1982 Honda MB5 owned by Bonnier Motorcycle Group Testing Manager Ari Henning. The event raised more nearly $100,000 for the foundation, which funds research for pediatric brain tumors, which is the leading cause of cancer death in children. Here are some of the coolest bikes that I spotted along the route.

My day started on Ari Henning’s Honda MB5, a two-stroke, five-speed motorcycle that Honda briefly sold in the US in the early 1980s. Ari bought this bike in California and competed on it in a 24-hour endurance race. He has since added lights and turn signals so it can be ridden legally on the street.Brody Cox
Once the first wave of custom small-bore bikes began to roll in, I started to realize the level of detail that had gone into every one of these unique machines.Brody Cox
Everyone stopped at stared when this guy showed up on his two-stroke—yes, two-stroke—Ruckus. It sounded mean.Brody Cox
Here's a better shot of the two-stroke Ruckus. Just look at it. If there's one thing I love, it's an engine swap, and this is the coolest example that I've seen in a long time.Brody Cox
This Honda Grom has a ton of unique detail work, including hand-painted mufflers, an extended swingarm, custom distressed paint, and beefy billet triple clamps.Brody Cox
I have a soft spot for most small-bore motorcycles, including Honda’s CT90. This 1968 model is the last year of the leading-link fork and twin rear sprockets but the first year of the manually switchable dual high/low-range transmission. Check out the fork/handlebar-mounted rifle holder, a rare factory accessory that’s almost impossible to find.Brody Cox
I used to own a Honda Hobbit just like this one back in high school. This one has been modified with better suspension, a tuned exhaust, and a welded-in backbone, among other things. This moped uses a CVT transmission, just like what you’ll find in most scooters.Brody Cox
Wait a minute, that’s not a minibike. Who let in the guy with the stretched, turbocharged Kawasaki ZX-10R? Kidding, of course. This is BMG Social Media Specialist Brian Hatano’s personal bike. I had to throw it in here because he’s put so much work into this project, and I was jazzed to finally see it on the road.Brody Cox
The ride ended at Crafted, a large-scale handmade artisan marketplace and brewery located at the Port of Los Angeles. There were bikes as far as the eye could see.Brody Cox
After the 35-mile, police-escorted ride, the mood was light. Along the way, we picked up a few extra riders, like this proud Honda CT70 owner.Brody Cox
Long and low: This stretched Honda Grom’s stance was right on the money, and I really dug the Ruckus headlight treatment.Brody Cox
This Honda Chaly was imported from Japan and had every possible bolt-on accessory you can buy. It was truly out of this world.Brody Cox
After a crowd gathered around the minibike display, awards were handed out for the best Grom, Ruckus, scooter, and “WTF” bikes.Brody Cox
The winners from the four individual classes posed for a photo.Brody Cox
From left to right: Best Non-Ruckus Scooter, Best Grom, Best WTF, and Best Ruckus.Brody Cox
What beats a victory burnout from a two-stroke Ruckus? Very little. The Ruckout portion of the Ride for Kids event was a huge success. I’m already looking forward to next year. There’s no such thing as too many minibikes.Brody Cox