Street Legal Bumper Rides

bumpercar1bumpercar2bumpercar3bumpercar4Times of “carpocalypse” and “motocalypse” may stimulate your creativity. Tom Wright, a loose builder on the outskirts of San Diego just figured out that the bumper cars of the Long Beach Pike amusement park deserve a more dignified end than the crush treatment.

These little monsters -at this date 7 of them are on the road – are street legal (yes, in California) and are powered by either Kawasaki or Honda motorcycle engines. They were originally powered by Harley-Davidson engines but were vibrating too much for a pleasant ride. They could theoretically run up to 160 mph (don’t try, they have been measured, not run at this speed) and you will agree that for urban use they look a lot more fun than electric motorcycles. Could also be raced on the track. When Ronald McDonald reads my post, he will want to order one. Can it be a business? (thanks David)

Zipper's

20 Responses to “Street Legal Bumper Rides”


  1. 1 Doug Cahn Oct 30th, 2009 at 8:06 am

    These are awsome!!!!!!!
    How much?????
    I think I gotta have one.
    Thanx
    Doug

  2. 2 Art Welch Oct 30th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    How is it that they are street legal? seatbelt come on them? Price?

  3. 3 bgbfotog Oct 30th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    How do I get one!!!!!!

  4. 4 David Oct 30th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Here we go again into “Street Legal” there is no way these are street legal. All they seem to be are off road four wheelers with a bumper car stuck on top and the guys tag or my be a repro tag attached to the front. Where are the lights ,mirrors, seatbelts, backup cameras, gps and so on and on!!!!! Oh I left the turn signals, If California allows this stuff on the street they should be going bellyup, bankrupt and fall off in the ocean. I guess I can wat until 2012 for that last one. You guys out there better move to Texas while you can still get out. I think the kighways are still realitively clear!!!
    OVER AND OVER; David

  5. 5 nicker Oct 30th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Hell…. put em on a USAC midget setup with a full role cage and ya get both the protection and a much better CG …….. not to mention a much more aggressive stance.

    Sure is a cool idea.
    And what a great way to preserve a classic toy.
    What Kid didn’t love a bumper-car ride.

    -nicker-

  6. 6 Conrad Nicklus Oct 30th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Doug,

    My dad has been researching these for a few months now and finally got a hold of the builder/owner. He said they start at 27k and you can get all sorts of engines including a Busa 1300r or a Vtwin..

    Cool deals and a good deal
    Conrad Nicklus

  7. 7 Conrad Nicklus Oct 30th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    David,

    They are perfectly legal. They meet every requirement. Headlamps, taillights, turn signals, mirrors, seatbelt, windscreen, DOT tires, horn….they are perfectly legal and as long as he makes less than 10 a year he can get away without having to do any “crash testing”.

    Conrad

  8. 8 jatinder pal Oct 31st, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Truely amazing work……nice to see something different.

  9. 9 Duane Ballard Oct 31st, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I’ve seen them on the road here in Lake Elsinore. Strange looking going down the road.

  10. 10 Vette Oct 31st, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Yes, we all loved the bumper cars! Why not make a business out of these sweet little creatures. It would be much more fun to rent when on vacation than the normal choices like scooters or electric cars! I say we start customizing them right now. Possibilities are endless . . .

  11. 11 David Oct 31st, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Conrad , Like I said only the fools in California. Would you really spend upwards of 30K for this I’d rather have a new bike or a new BMW or Audi. the 30K would also make a hell of a down payment on a HOUSE.

  12. 12 Woody Oct 31st, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Love the art deco cars themselves, but they don’t look right stuck up in the air on quad runner chassis. They really need to be set down into a better looking position.

  13. 13 Conrad Nicklus Oct 31st, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    David,

    The people who buy these already have the homes, BMWs, Audis, Benzs, and Ferraris. This is a toy just like most bikes, boats, atvs, etc.

    Conrad

  14. 14 Gina Woods Nov 2nd, 2009 at 5:59 am

    I want one…no – maybe two!

  15. 15 nitrobil Nov 2nd, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Looking at these Bumper cars reminds me of a cool time in my life when i was 5 years old. My father got me an electric car to ride around in on our sidewalk in front of our new house in Southern California.One morning i was awaken to the sound of a mac 10 chain saw motor twisting 10000 rpm ripping down our street and the sight of my electric car out in the street. I knew my mom is going to be pissed if she catches me driving that thing out on the road. The wrench that put that motor in my car is my Uncle Tom Wright. The same person who got me involved in motorcycles since i was 4.That same passion that all of us have today gets passed along in different ways and flavors. Some of us that don’t understand this passion might ask Why? some of us that get that passion say Bitchin’. In closing this short note i must say Thanks, Tom for giving me “the Passion” and yes thats Priceless.

    Bill McCahill

    Spyke Inc.

  16. 16 Martin Bishop ( England ) Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:04 am

    They look great, and what fun it must be driving one of these on the road, I converted a dodgem with Honda power for my daughter to use around the pit area of our local drag strip. Everyone loves it. Take a look at the youtube link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTbwrMN6uEk

  17. 17 Rotten Rodney Nov 3rd, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Tom (the owner of the bumper car fleet) sent me. Perhaps I can clarify things…

    Tom’s fleet consists of eight street legal bumper cars, gathered up from different places ’round the globe. They are not simply plopped on top of quads — far from it. Each chassis is custom built by Tom and friends. Some are 500-CC and others are 750-CC — no Hondas, no ‘Busas, and contrary to the rumors, none are for sale or being built for sale. This is just something that Tom likes to do for fun, puttin’ smiles on the faces of strangers everywhere they go. Tom also enjoys sharin’ his toys — I’d know. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in some great rides.

    Now accordin’ to the ‘Terms O’ Service’ here, I’m not s’posed to post a link to the ‘real story’. Would it be okay if I just beat around the bush?

    Those of ya who’re interested in knowin’ more about Tom’s fleet might appreciate this. I won’t post a link, but if ya google up BENCHRACE Speed E-zine, you’ll find a three-part story (including road-testing and a dyno run) on Tom’s fleet. Past Issues are available at the top right corner of the index page. Tom’s story is in issues 8, 9, and 10.

    Cyril, is that okay? I don’t mean to take advantage of your blog for promotional purposes. Truth be told: BENCHRACE is a free read, put together by volunteers. Judging from the interest and speculations generatin’ here, I’m thinkin’ y’all might git a kick out of the ‘real story’. We sure enjoyed our opportunity to tell it.

    Thanks, bitchin blog — I’ll be back…

    Rotten Rodney

  18. 18 Rotten Rodney Nov 5th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Woo-Hooo! We just got the green light to post a link to the bumper car story, dyno run and all!

    http://www.benchrace.com

    Once again, it’s a three-parter in Issues 8, 9, and 10. Just click on the Past Issues arrow at the top right corner of the index page — they’re all right there.

    Thanks for allowin’ us this exception, Cyril.

    RR

  19. 19 Eric Feb 15th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Will Tom share his Chasis blueprints or build diamensions, facinated to build one for myself?

  20. 20 Susie Davenport Aug 19th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    How do you get ahold of this Tom Wright?

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