We pretty much sneak minibikes into as many conversations, stories, and videos as we can. In Roadkill episode 18, Freiburger and Finn raced them, and DF spent a whole HOT ROD Unlimited episode talking about the connection between car stuff and mini motorcycle stuff.
With our love of mini machines worn so blatantly on our sleeves, it should hardly surprise you that we got up early and headed to La Crescenta, California to attend Joe’s Minibike Reunion, an all minibike show.
Minibikes are funny, because big humans on small machines is always hilarious, but the minibike folks take their hobby seriously. There were custom bike stands, a line for the dyno (winner put down 29hp—more than the original VW bug!), and all kinds of prizes and cool swap meet displays. Joe Sebergandio is the organizer of the Reunion, and he was walking the rows, and working the mic all morning long. While giving away raffle prizes we heard him say, “Hey, if there are any little kids out there who ride without a helmet, you come see me. I’ll give you one.” That sort of sums up his attitude towards the event, he knows the adults have the money and bring the bikes out, but he really wants to do this to help bring new fans into the culture. Judging by how many kiddos were in attendance, it’s working.
Building a minibike is a great way to learn how to work on mechanical things, and most of the people we spoke to said they had first turned a wrench on a home-built kit bike, or a Taco 22 or if they were lucky, a Honda Mini Trail. There were examples of all kinds of small motorized transport being shown, including the charmingly ‘80s Honda Motocompo—it folds to fit in a trunk!
The most powerful engines were probably in the modern Groms, but there was a very cool McCulloch-powered bike. The McCulloch small engines are a perfect example of the cross-over between hot rodding and minibikes. The same person responsible for the McCulloch go-kart powerplants also started Paxton Superchargers.
We asked Joe which bike stood out most to him, and he said, “Oh! The mini mini mini one!” How much more mini can a bike get? Well, see for yourself. This little gem boasts 6hp, and top speed of 18mph, and it runs on nitro.
Joe’s Minibike Reunion is an annual event in Southern California, so put it on your calendar for 2017.