I've wanted a motorcycle since I was a kid, and I've always been a fan of the Ninja sportbikes, primarily becuase of the name. In April of 2013, I finally bought my first sportbike, a used green Kawasaki Ninja 650R. Like all my rides, I just have to customize it to make it stand out. Well, what comes to mind when you think of a green ninja??
Duh, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!
At first, I just shopped around and bought some vinyl decals, and slapped them on the bike. That alone got quite a bit of attention while riding, but my life changed forever during the fall season... I discovered a guy attempting to raise money to reunite Vanilla Ice with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in my own hometown, through Crowd Tilt. I immediately bought 2 VIP tickets and watched the epicness begin. Turns out, the amount of money needed to make it happen was highly exceeded, so the list of party details continued to grow over several months. Once I found out that certain celebrities were confirmed to be attending what would be known as Jared's EPIC Party, I knew I had to go all out on a TMNT themed bike build, and try to get it into the party/concert/show.
I found a limited edition TMNT belt buckle on eBay for $30, and thought it would be the perfect size to cover my unsightly gas cap. Only problem was, I had one hell of a time trying to locate a machine shop who could make it happen. As I continued my search, my list of modifications that I needed continued to grow. Eventually, I found one guy who could make it all happen, Big Rick, of Big Rick Customs. I called him up, shot him some pictures of what I wanted done, and things took off from there.
A long list of parts, modifications, thousands of dollars and 4 months later, and the Kawasaki Ninja Turtle was completed just in time for the EPIC Party. I decided the bike needed to be stylized after Michalengelo, my namesake and the Ninja Turtle I relate the most to. So the bike was stripped to the frame, the body fairings were refinished and resprayed in Kawasaki green, and the list of mods to date include:
- orange powdercoated wheels, and misc. pieces
- custom Texas license plate in green, that reads: CWBNGA (Cowabunga)
- green LED's
- green HID headlights
- carbon fiber mirrors w/ integrated turn signals
- green active side lighting wheel lights
- TMNT limited edition belt buckle gas cap
- orange grips
- Arrow racing full exhaust/headers combo
- hand painted TMNT logos on the fender
- multiple hand drawn, airbrushed renderings of Michelangelo on the gas tank, and each fairing
During the EPIC Party, I managed to obtain not one, but FOUR autographs from TMNT related celebrities, including:
- Vanilla Ice (Ninja Rap, TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze)
- Ernie Reyes Jr. (world famous martial artist/actor who played Keno in TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze)
- Partners In Kryme "Golden Voice" (Hip Hop artist responsible for music in the original TMNT movies, cartoons, video games, etc, including the original hit, Turtle Power)
- Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the TMNT's), along with a personalized drawing
Several months later, I was personally invited by Partners In Kryme to attend the TMNT 5K Fun Run in Wylie, TX, to have the bike filmed to be in a music video for their new song, "Rock The Halfshell".
In August, the TMNT Cycle won first place and was declared the "Hottest Motorcycle" at Hot Import Nights in DFW.
Who knows what's next for the TMNT Cycle? There have been faint rumors that Jared's EPIC Party may be going on tour, and an EPIC Party 2.0 may be in the works...
In the meantime, more modifications are planned, so stay tuned...