Greg Castillo is the right-hand man / jack-of-all-trades guy at Skidmark Garage in Cleveland, Ohio, but his unofficial title has become the “Mini Bike King of Cleveland.” That might just be an informal nickname… but he does build a badass mini bike. In fact, he’s been doing it for years.
Skidmark serves the Cleveland community as an innovative shared garage space for riders to wrench on their motorcycles. Not everybody has a comprehensive garage with a motorcycle lift, assortment of power tools, vapor blaster, or tire changer. For a membership fee, Skidmark provides all of these services and more to customers.
Castillo can be found at the garage and out on Cleveland streets often, but on a smaller sort of vehicle. We first met him during this year’s Piston Powered Auto-Rama, where he showed us two of his super cool mini bikes.
The 2-in-1 combo sees a go-kart-esque 4-wheeler up front pulling a small Honda-powered mini bike in back, all inspired by Hot Rod cartoon character “Rat Fink.”
“The mini bike has a little 50cc automatic that puts really good at about 20 mph,” Castillo says. “We don’t want to go too fast because your center of gravity is a little high.”
Castillo built that piece a few years ago and sat it in his living room. It wasn’t until he found a friend selling the 4-wheeler that he had the idea to combine the two. Originally, the Western Flyer wagon bed was attached to the top of the 4-wheeler, but Castillo had seen that done one too many times. Instead, he wanted to find something more interesting for the body.
“I was looking for a vintage pedal car body, something really cool,” he told us. “This is a 1968 AMF Probe three-pedal car that I found, and the wheels were completely mangled when I bought it. There was no chance at restoring it, so I straightened the body out a bit and put it on top.”
Aside from adjustments made to the pedal car frame, the body required minimal work from Castillo when he purchased it. The sissy bar attached to the back of the 4-wheeler came off of a Honda CB350, and the handlebars are simple bicycle handlebars that he fit into the steering stem. Castillo also had to build a custom mount for the gas tank.
Other aesthetic additions like the Rat Fink doll and headpiece from a trophy bring the go-kart alive and give it a very distinctive look, as well as a personality all its own.
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected]