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(motors buzz) – [Announcer] What are those? – They’re low, slow, and apparently super duper fun, but W-T-F, what the (beep) are these things? And more importantly, Why? So hold onto your buns, my
future rascalling friends, because we’re going “Bumper 2 Bumper,” fender to tail, on a gang of scooters! (motors buzzing) (upbeat rock music) I’d like to thank Nos Energy Drink for partnering with “Bumper 2 Bumper.” I couldn’t be more thankful. And to show them my true appreciation, I wrote them a big thank you card. Thank you Nos Energy Drink. Dear Nos Energy Drink, Thanks for helping me not be so tired. Love, James. Now, back to the show. (laughs) (dramatic emphasis music) Ah. (retro dance music) Let’s start off by saying
this isn’t gonna be your typical “Bumper 2 Bumper,” obviously. I’m sitting next to a freaking scooter. We skipped over a car this week because when I saw
these guys on Instagram, I thought to myself these guys get it. These guys know what’s cool. And after meeting them,
I’m happy to report that I was right. This (beep) is right up my alley, and therefore I feel like
it’s my responsibility as your big bro to bring
this scene to the attention of you D-holes. (motors buzz) So first and foremost, what
are these colorful 2-wheelers you see beside and behind me? Well, the best way to describe them would be old Japanese scooters modified in a period-correct kind of way. I know, it’s catchy. Now if you look at them and think, “Hey, I’ve seen some of
these things on the internet. “Those are bosozoku scooters.” Now, hold your freaking
buff horses, bubba. That’s a bit misleading. Bosozoku literally means
violent running tribe. And back in the ’70s and ’80s, they were gangs of rebellious
working class teens that had gained a reputation
among other things for modifying their
motorcycles to the extreme with tall rear seats,
stretched out handlebars, and flashy paint jobs. The motorcycle scene also influenced cars. We did an episode on a
bosozoku Toyota Cressida. Go watch it after you’ve
finished this video because retention is very important to us. (retro dance music)
(motor buzzes) The boso scene inspired less gangy Japanese scooter enthusiast
to alter the appearance of their trusty bikes. And what you see here
are multiple examples of such creations. It all starts with a very
specific type of scooter built in the mid ’80s. The Honda Tact, the Yamaha
Jog, and the 1997 Honda Elite. ♪ Everybody’s Jog ♪ ♪ Yamaha Jog ♪ (retro dance music) (motor buzzes) We’ll start with the Honda Tact as it’s probably the most
common model in the scene. Called the Aero 50 in the states, it was Honda’s first
fully modern 50cc scooter sold in North America back in 1983. With a 50cc 2-stroke motor, you’ll be mixing gas and
slapping ass on this bad boy. 2-stroke motors need oil added to the fuel to lubricate the crank case and rings. Hence, that really, really funny pun I said like four seconds ago. (lightning thunders)
(screams) The Yamaha Job is
another model named after my least favorite gym activity, and was only offered from ’86 to ’87. And lastly, the Honda DJ-1
or the Elite as we called it. There are more scooters that are modified to match this style, but
these are the main ones that were exported at the
time and can be converted to the Japanese domestic market spec. These are the scooters that
get the special treatment, and that treatment boils
down to a few key things. (retro dance music) First, let’s talk about fairings. The Japanese models
have different fairings with different color waves. So if you’re interested in doing your own ’80s Japanese scooter build and can’t ship over a Japanese model, buy a U.S. version and go
source some OG fairings, baby. That’s what Nigel did
with his Marlboro-themed Honda Aero 50 with Tact fairings. So while this scooter has
all the Japanese fairings, what really makes it unique
aside from the paint, which we’ll get into, is the custom long rear
tail and belly cowl. These pieces were a common addition in the custom scooter scene in Japan. And this scoot’s coot kept faithful to the look of that time. It makes the scooter eye-catching, even racy if you can believe it. As if that big o’ tail is
gonna keep the backend down when you’re rolling down the street, going 35 miles per hour. Is it functional? No. Is it cool looking? Yes. Very, very yes. The second thing is the
stance of the scooter, if you will. These babies sit low,
and there’s a reason. The rear shock spring
is completely taken off. What happens when you leave the shock in and take the spring out? Well, you essentially
only have the dampening from the shock and no
spring to support the weight of you or the scooter. So the seat and the tires
act as your suspension. Apparently, there’s enough
cushion in the push’n, i.e., the seat, and flex in the tires that they’re still pretty comfortable. Now the backend is low. The most obvious next step
would be to lower the front end. How do you do that? Take the springs out of the forks. Why do you do this? Well, because they’re keeping
it true to the OG ’80s. Take the springs out. Throw some skateboard
truck bushings on the ends of the internal fork shafts and bada-bing, scooter-boom, you’re
rolling around low, baby. You got that low lifestyle. For all you performance junkies out there, and scooter build wouldn’t be complete unless you modded the power plant of will. The stock expansion chamber is swapped out for an after market pipe. These scooters have around four HRSPRS. So anything to get an
extra boost is welcome, even if it just makes it sound faster. (motors buzz) (retro dance music) The final piece of the
puzzle is the paint job. Now back in the dis-a,
scooters rolling off the assembly line would sport
liveries of special edition tie-ins with fashion lines like Courreges. Courreges was a French fashion brand that had a partnership with Honda, providing baby blue and pink accessories for both Honda scooters and cars. Was there ever a Gucci
or a Fendi partnership with a Japanese scooter? Not that I’m aware of, but hey, maybe this is
the next best thing. (retro dance music) Other scooters like this pink
polka dotted 1987 Honda Elite are a throwback to when Honda
would advertise their scooters with bows and polka dots as a
way for women to get a taste for the male-dominated motorcycle scene. The assembly line that
build these scooters even had all female workers. Honda wanted to dominate the market, and do that they needed to entice the other 50% of the world’s population. (retro dance music) ♪ Yeah ♪ So what kind of person takes
a scooter from the mid ’80s, customizes it to match the look of time, a time specific to a country
half way around the world, and then drive them around the streets of Southern California in a flock? – Flock!
– A flock of scooters? The majority are part of
Beautiful Boy Racing Car Club. They started off in the drift scene, but drifting is an expensive
and competitive hobby. So putting their love
for Japanese car culture to good use, they got into Kaido Racers. (retro dance music) Sprouting off from their
Kaido racing builds are the scooters. The same DIY aspects that the
group loves about Kaido Racers they applied to these
relatively cheap scooters. But just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s worth doing. So why on earth would you wanna spend your time and money building this? (balloon wheezes) In Japan, the scooter is an
essential form of transportation that is generally regarded as
the standard alongside cars. Whereas, in the West, they’re still kind of
toys and hobby vehicles. When you first look at these
scooters, you might think, is this a joke? I mean, there’s no denying
these things are ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter what
vehicle you tool with. There’s always a community who
will also join in on the fun. And the bottom lime (laughs), (clicks) is these things are fun. So if you can go out and
design a unique vehicle that’s cheap and fun all
while building a community, why not? (retro dance music)
(motors buzz)

100 thoughts on “The Bizarre Japanese Scooter Gang You Never Knew Existed | Bumper 2 Bumper

  1. They are fun to see and play that is day time in the holiday, but you definitely don’t want to have any of those people live near your house, imagine they drive those slowly and loudly near your house after 10PM.

  2. A coworker once told me he could fit a dozen classic scooters in his garage or one classic car. That’s why he collects scooters and not cars :p

  3. Love this. I ride an evo 2 uber scooter to work and people always wanna talk about it. 49cc, 2 speed, does 35 and need no registration. Comes with knobby ties which can put your feet to sleep but help on gnarly sidewalks.

  4. James since you’ve done this video on scooters modified with fairings, paint and only 4 BUFF HRSES then you gotta do a video of MINI BIKES with way MO POWWA BABY!!! Mini bikes have been around forever and never gets old!

  5. off topic but Have you guys done a video yet on Suzuki? and the rise and fall of them in North America? Example the Suzuki Grand Vitara. They made solid vehicles from what I was told GMC ruin their reputation in North America I don't know anyting about vehicle marketing I just drive one but I heard that they had a huge part in Suzuki failing here. I had a 2001 limited Grand Vitara and I drove the piss out of that thing and it was solid untiil the end I drove it till it fell apart and I got 297000 kilometres out of it before I started having major issues.

  6. the Yamaha jog is still one of the most common and popular scooters in Denmark, and you can get any part for them almost everywhere

  7. "So what kind of person takes a scooter form the min '80s, customizes it to match the look of the time, A time specific to a country half way around the world and then drive them around the streets of Southern California in a flock?…"

    …Hipsters. Hipsters do.

  8. do a bumper to bumper for the european scooter scene … in europe people made scooters that beat lambos and kawasakis and ducatis …

  9. This show is almost over. No more topics that interest people means CANCELLED !!!!! Congratulations on killing an entire segment.

  10. Following them for some time on Instagram and saw one shot of this video in the making. Writing this before watching it and can hardly wait to press play!!!

  11. 🤮🤮🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤮🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤢🤢🤮🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤮🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮

  12. Scooter gang? You've never been to Malaysia there are street racer using scooter and Malaysians are crazy about this bike —> 150yzr

  13. WTF is kaido culture? Only if you hosted another show where you talked about stuff like this. You would probably call it "up to speed" but whatever.

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