Big Fun: Small Bikes Rule at the Barber Small Bore Event

Johnny Cintron's Honda Monkey
Get your small
bike ready. We’re already looking forward to the Barber Small Bore event this summer, an annual event dedicated to very small street and dirt bikes. And we’re not the only ones.

The rules of the Small Bore event are simple: if it’s bigger than 200cc, it stays home. Small Bore event regular Johnny Cintron of Athens, Georgia, is prepping his converted 150cc Honda Ruckus and a few other bikes for the event. But for Cintron, it’s not just about the bikes but the community of little bike enthusiasts.

Johnny Cintron and his Honda Ruckus, converted to a 150cc bike.“Everybody is super friendly and you just want to talk and hang out,” he said. “In any state you’ll find clubs but Barber Small Bore is where everybody goes.” This year, Cintron will bring his Honda Ruckus scooter and 125cc Honda Monkey, a CRF 110 dirt bike, and his 49cc Honda Elite.

Cintron has a caféd yellow-and-black Honda Monkey that became a fan favorite in 2022. It’s stretched and lowered with aftermarket shocks front and rear, a race cam, and pipe. “There’s endless possibilities to these little bikes. You can look at 20 to 30 bikes, and none will be identical,” Cintron said.

Minibikes on the track at Barber Motorsports
This event is more than a meet-and-greet, though; Barber organizes several competitive events at the Small Bore. Experienced racers can join the two-hour endurance race on the full Barber race track, while amateurs can try their hand at the 20-minute street race. There’s a hill climb, drag races, an off-road trail race, and this year a technical pit-bike race.

The Small Bore is a chance for lovers of little bikes like the Honda Grom, the Kawasaki Z125, Honda Super Cub, and vintage bikes like the Yamaha Chappy, or CT 70, or even the Aprilia RS50 to find like-minded souls who are into riding slow bikes fast. Also, it’s on the grounds of the Barber race track and the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum in Birmingham Alabama, which means it’s in the shadows of the world’s largest motorcycle museum.

A row of minibikes parked in the paddock.
Cintron, though, doesn’t wait for Small Bore to ride his bikes. His yellow Monkey is a daily commuter bike in the summer. “People ask, what is it? Is it street-legal? How fast is it? Any minibike I’m on, that’s what I get.” Monkey bikes are street legal, and while a stock Monkey can hit 55 mph, Cintron says his will hit 80 mph, thanks to his mods. And that’s on 12-inch tires, which sounds terrifying.

A vintage Honda at the Barber Small Bore event
The Small Bore event will be June 9 to 11 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Tickets are on sale now, with daily tickets starting at $30 and weekend passes for $50. Paddock Club passes are $120 Camping passes are also available. So, get to the Grom!

A custom Honda minibike at the Barber Small Bore event

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