Giovanni Velez of Lakewood, N.J., bought one ticket for this year’s Ride for Kids/Cycle World project bike drawing at the New York International Motorcycle Show five months ago. Luck was on his side on May 2, when his name was chosen at random from more than 20,000 entries.
The news was an early birthday gift for Velez, who turned 21 two days after the drawing. He was stunned to learn that he had won the Honda CBR1000RR, which custom builder Gregg DesJardins had transformed into a retro racer called the “Catalyst.”
“I have my motorcycle permit, but I’ve never had a bike before,” Velez said. “I decided to buy a ticket to help out the charity. This is too good to be true!”
This year’s drawing raised more than $53,000 to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). It has brought in over $612,000 in donations since 2000.
“We are so proud of everyone who pitched in to make the Catalyst such a big success,” said Kyle Clack, PBTF Ride for Kids marketing director. “Gregg DesJardins put together a very special CBR1000RR and each ticket purchased will continue to fuel our work well into the future. Once again, the kids are the winners and the motorcycling community has shown the world that we are the good guys.”
Cycle World facilitated the project, which began with American Honda’s donation of a stock 2010 CBR1000RR. Greggs Customs created the Catalyst with help from Sport Chrome, Performance Machine, Dunlop, Leo Vince, Drive Systems USA, Kyle Racing, Galfer, Corbin, EMI Group and Colorzone Designs. Honda transported the bike to the International Motorcycle Shows, where show producer Advanstar Communications displayed it in the welcome center. The Catalyst also appeared in Honda’s tent at Daytona.