Picture Intermission – 2019 Los Angeles Ride for Kids

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It’s been a few years since I went to Ride for Kids, but I stopped by this year because Honda’s partnering with my new auction site to sell a couple of donated motorcycles – all the proceeds will go straight to Ride for Kids! Here are some of my favorite images from the day.

The first bike will be this 1-mile Honda RC51 done up in Jurassic Park III livery as part of a promotion with Universal Studios.

I rode out with my auction partners at Iconic Motorbikes. Seeing as Honda is such a big part of Ride for Kids, we figured we had to show up on some of our favorite offerings from Big Red. Adam was on the first RC30, Danny was on the NSR250SP (the same bike I took to the Alpinestars track day last week, photos coming soon), Mario was on a RC30 he just bought from us, I rode the RC45, and Patrick was on the CBR929RR Erion. Not a bad way to show up!

I kept checking back throughout the day, and it looked like the NSR250SP two-stroker got the most attention of the five bikes throughout the day.

There’s lots of special bikes at Ride for Kids, but the most important ones are the sidecars and the Polaris Slingshots that give rides to kids with brain tumors at the event. The kids wear shirts that let you know they’re the stars of the day!

One sidecar caught my eye for many reasons. It’s got a Honda motor but there are parts from other manufacturers all over the place.

The craziest Slingshot of the group was also orange. Back when I went to a launch event for the Slingshot, Polaris said that they categorized their owners as “adrenaline junkies” and “attention junkies”. Today was all about the latter.

Another distinctive-looking bike is the Honda NM4. I’ve only seen one other in the wild, and it was the unit I took to Vegas and back.

I didn’t know there was a costume competition, but my buddy Rick ended up winning with his hot dog entry.

Seasonally appropriate!

Seasonally appropriate, part 2.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s been several years since I was last at Ride for Kids. One thing that’s changed is the staggering number of minibikes that now participate – Groms, Monkeys, Z125s, etc. There was even a Trail 70 that had some work done:

What’s also staggering is the amount people are spending on customizing these things.

The custom header dumps into an Akrapovic slipon for a Yamaha R6

But stock-ish is nice, too!

Tyga sells fully bodywork for the Grom if you want the race replica work. Which do you prefer, the Repsol livery or the mini-RC213V?

On the flip side, here’s a Grom that’s been completely stripped of bodywork. I’ve never seen that before.

One of the coolest small bikes was this Suzuki Raider 150, a 2-stroke underbone scooter sold in the Philippines. Underbones are usually cheap transportation, which means the Raider stands out just by having a rear disc brake. Suzuki says it puts you “one step closer to riding a true Suzuki GSX-R“, which seems…optimistic.

Want to ride something that California’s DMV won’t put a plate on? Just look to the great state of Vermont!

I love the minibikes, but I heard from friends that went on the ride (I stayed back to get work done) that some of the little bike riders turn the group ride into a bit of a stunt show, breaking formation to goof around with some wheelies. I’m not as sold on that in a big group when other riders aren’t expecting it. But that’s just what I heard, I didn’t have the chance to see any shenanigans for myself – besides this guy’s shirt.

Of course, there was also the custom RC51/CB that I featured in more detail yesterday.

As you may remember from my review, I really like the Honda Monkey. Once this year’s press fleet gets decommissioned, I’m buying one for Vy. Problem is, first year Monkeys are only available in Red or Yellow, and I’m in love with the Pearl Glittering Blue that was rolled out for the 2020 model.

Eventually, the ride kicked off. Bill Savino, Senior Manager – Dealer Development for Honda led the route in the new Acura NSX.

Then it was time for the sidecars and the Slingshots to take the stars out! This was done to much fanfare, with riders honking their horns and non-riders cheering and clapping.

Lastly, it was time for all the regular riders. Danny on the NSR250 decided to smoke out Mario on the RC30, which several people found amusing. The people next to Mario? Probably not so much.

On a serious note, I found the event to be very touching. Helping out these children is a great excuse to get together for a ride, and it’s extremely rewarding to hear them talking about their favorite parts of the ride on stage afterwards. Ride for Kids has been supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation since 1984, and one of the emcees mentioned that the priority had simply been raising money for treatment research for decades. It wasn’t until recently that they looked at other ways to spend money (such as academic scholarships) because afflicted children weren’t surviving long enough for things like college to matter. That’s enough to put everything in perspective.

Corey Eastman of REVER talks to the crowd about his motorcycle-focused phone app.

The fundraising goal for the Los Angeles event was $100k – looks like they brought in $125,000 this year – plus whatever we’re able to bring on the two donated bikes on the auction site! I’d highly encourage you to join me in donating. Or let your friends know if they want to get in on the Jurassic Park III-themed RC51 with 1 mile or 1981 Honda CBX with 3 miles that we’re going to be auctioning off in the next 2 weeks! Thanks to Honda for working with us, and we hope to help raise more money for Ride for Kids!

This 3 mile CBX will go up for auction on 10/30!

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