I’ve been dying for some downtime ever since wrapping up the 2015 FITTED event season! Well, that finally arrived last weekend at Canibeat’s annual First Class Fitment event in Princeton, New Jersey. The event was an amazing experience to see beautiful cars executed with utmost care. Quality over everything they say, and I have to strongly agree. Besides the content, 99% of my attendance was driven by news that my good friend, Ryo Kaneta, USDM Freax magazine, would be visiting from Tokyo, Japan. Not just that, but he would have new friends in tow, including Shunsuke (Boozeridez) and the man himself, Munekazu Takayama from Hotlap Japan! For the uninitiated, Munekazu is the founder and sole-fabricator behind the JDM exhaust brand – Hotlap. For the last two years, he has been making waves in the Ruckus/Grom community with his hand-assembled product, straight out of Japan. You might say I’m partial to the brand since my own Ruck has a custom, one of one, bespoke exhaust fabricated by Munekazu himself 😛 I’ve aptly named the pipe #theDESTROYER for all you Marvel and Thor fans. If you look at the welds, you’ll see why.
I haven’t had a chance to officially show off my Ruck so I figured #FCF15 would be the perfect playground to share. The talented shop responsible for the build, Mini Moto Lab, would be hosting our Japanese visitors so I decided to join them on the weekend trip. Along for the ride was my good friend, and FITTED events director, Arthur Chiang. His bike, “Cashmere Love“, also needed a proper debut so we were all in.
Arthur’s bike features a slew of custom parts, including this rear-carbon fender with the extreme tire “clearance”. Just perfect. He’s also rocking MML x ZDF BD16 2-piece concave wheels in a smooth gold finish. Wheel choice is pretty template-driven in the Ruck community so its quite refreshing to see a set of high-quality rollers different and more rare than the rest. You may have seen a couple of builds rocking this wheel but Art’s bike was the first set off the Mini Moto Lab CNC.
Munekazu brought along a special surprise. His second custom, one of one, bespoke exhaust. The plan was to debut it on Cashmere Love but due to unforeseen fitment issues, we decided to mount it onto my bike – Special Ops. Sorry Art. The exchange went down, v1 bespoke pipe for v2 🙂
Before I could get all excited, I was told the exhaust was destined for another customer. But it was an honor to have Munekazu personally install and display the pipe. I told the crew that the exhaust perfectly matched my 13×8 Limmer (pre-BBS) 3-piece wheel but they wouldn’t let me keep it 🙁 Here’s a group shot of Cashmere Love with Special Ops.
We met some new friends along the way, including Siva, a contributing photographer to USDM Freax, and Kenny, who took home the Ruckus award.