Writer's Ramblings

Steve Bucaro - Getting Back on the Horse

Written by  September 30, 2008

Anyone who has ever met Steve 'Wheels' Bucaro will tell you he’s an outgoing, friendly kind of guy, whose energy fills the room. His story of hard work and determination is truly amazing.

In 1998, at the age of 20, Steve was involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered a thoracic vertebral incomplete spinal injury leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. His dreams of joining the service and entering law enforcement were quickly shattered, but at the same time he was given a new outlook on life. After a seven-month hospital stay, including rehabilitation, Steve learned to overcome his limitations. With grueling effort and a supportive family, Steve was able to transfer himself from his wheelchair to the driver’s seat of a car and was once again able to drive. In his words “The ultimate freedom of being in my chair is driving!”

With his strong will and zest for life, Steve began taking on new challenges, and quickly became involved in the auto show industry. His work is well known within the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) community, and his modified trucks have won numerous Best of Show events nationwide. His latest project, the same make/model Kawasaki ZX7 that he was riding when his accident occurred, has given him back one of his greatest joys. “It’s been my passion to finally get back on and ride; it's just taken me 10 years to do so,” he says. Thanks to Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, Steve’s bike debuted at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis along with placement at Daytona bike week this year, and was also featured on the June 10, 2008, episode of Super Bikes on the Speed Channel.

Because of the injuries sustained in his accident, Steve has had to work hard to build and maintain his upper body strength and sense of balance. The bike is equipped with landing gear to give its rider added security. Everything is controlled by buttons underneath the left handlebar grip with a device called the Grip Ace, designed by his good friend Tim Ledford. The bike’s landing gear goes up and down at the push of a button, and is controlled by the left index finger. It also has a 6 inch linear actuator welded to the landing gear, thanks to Lee Beaver who created it and made it possible for Steve to ride again.

Shifting is by an electric shifter controlled by the left thumb. Eddy McCoy of Eye Candy Cycles single-handedly tore down and rebuilt the bike. Steve took care of getting all the parts that were needed as well as getting it painted, and is able to do minor adjustments to the bike.” I've had a lot of help from my sponsors on this project. Without them, it wouldn’t have gotten done!” he says.

His story is truly amazing and can inspire us all. I asked Steve what his motivation behind it all was, and he responded, “I want people to see that there is more out there for us than just wheelchair sports!!” No matter what life throws his way, he learns to overcome his obstacles and live his dreams.

Steve would like to thank everyone involved in making this possible for him.

Sponsors: Lockhart Phillips, House of Kolor, Works Shocks, Ask Patty, Icon Motorsports, Royal Purple Synthetics, Specialized Powder Coatings, EBC Brakes, Bruce Fabrications, Cycle Gear, Eye Candy Bikes, Michelin Tires, Meguiars, Randy’s Custom Autobody, X Dot Racing, Yuasa Batteries, NGK Spark plugs, Web Cams, MSD Ignitions, K&N Filters, Wiseco Pistons, VP Racing Gas, PIAA, Grip Ace, Stomp Grip, Directed Electronics, ROK (Riders of Kawasaki), Kendon Trailers, and of course Mom.

By Cassandra Chavez