Gilbert resident Doug Hall’s female relatives joked about his midlife crisis as he signed the paperwork and forked over $499 for a minichopper.
The black leather and chrome motorcycle was about a third of the size of a regular chopper.
"Maybe I am having one," Hall said, of the midlife crisis comment, but he grinned at his newest toy. "I’ll probably ride it around the neighborhood some."
Hall made his purchase at the Speedway Scooters booth at the Orange County Choppers in Tempe event.
Speedway Scooters owner Ron Moussa said Hall is typical of the people who buy the minichoppers. Moussa started selling them at his Phoenix store about a year ago.
Though the choppers’ seats are less than two feet off the ground and they only go about 35 mph at top speed, most of Moussa’s sales aren’t going to end up under the Christmas tree, he said.
"They start out wanting to get it for their kids, and then they buy it for themselves," he said.
Moussa’s minichoppers range in price from $450 to $650. Many attending the event at Tempe Beach Park on Saturday stopped at his booth to look at the tiny motorcycles.
"I think they’re darling," said Annie Shaffer, who came from California with her husband, Frank, to attend the event headlined by the stars of the reality TV show "American Chopper."
"Every little munchkin should have one," Frank Shaffer added.
As the adult interest proved, you don’t have to be a munchkin to ride a minichopper, but Moussa says you can be too big. There’s a weight limit of 250 pounds on the customizable bikes.
What: Orange County Choppers in Tempe
Where: Tempe Beach Park, 620 N. Mill Ave.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today
Cost: Tickets at the gate, $31; Children 12 and younger free when accompanied by an adult
Parking: Lot at Rio Salado Parkway and Hardy Drive, $10 per vehicle. Additional motorcycle parking available at labeled spots along Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe