In the world of underground motorcycle drag racing, the undefeated racer known as Smoke (Laurence Fishburne) is the undisputed "King of Cali." But Smoke's dominance of the set is about to be threatened by a young motorcycle racing prodigy called Kid (Derek Luke), who is determined to win Smoke's crown and earn the coveted title. Kid says that the difference between men and boys are the lessons they learn - and that his father, Slick Will, taught him plenty.
The film starts with Kid, a novice rider and motorcycle club "prospect," assisting his father, Slick Will, as they prepare Smoke's bike for the evening's drag races. A biker issues a challenge to Smoke, who accepts, and the race begins. In the midst of the race, the other biker suffers a hydraulics malfunction and spins out of control, sending his bike flying from under him into a row of parked bikes, one of which heads right into Slick Will, throwing him through a store window and killing him instantly. At the funeral, dozens of bikers from the "Black Knights" (to whom Slick Will was the mechanic) show up with Smoke, who drops a rose and a signed Black Knights flag into his grave.
Six months later, Kid is now a familiar racer with his custom-powered bike, and he shows up at the events. His first "race" was when he interfered with Stuntman's race with Donny. As he interrupts the race, he pulls off several stunts, notably standing on top of the motorcycle while it is still moving. He wins the race and the crowd seem to like his stunts, much to the dissatisfaction of Smoke. Kid demands to race with Smoke but Smoke says he is too inexperienced and should get experience first.
Kid then goes to a diner where he meets Stuntman, and it is revealed that the two were hustling in the previous race. Fellow biker Primo tells them to create a bike club; after a bit of persuasion they agree, and Kid goes to the biker jury consisting of 8 leaders of the most powerful biker gangs, where Smoke is the chairman. He apologizes for his disrespect towards Smoke and they all agree to verify the club, calling themselves the "Biker Boyz."
Kid is set to race Motherland to prove himself to Smoke. However he has showed up late to "make an entrance" after Smoke has already beaten his long-time rival Dogg, who is continually after Smoke's helmet. Kid is arrested when racing Motherland, and the rest of the bikers manage to escape. Anita confronts Kid, saying that if he ever races again, she will kick him out of the house.
One night at a Black Knights dance, Kid is challenged to race Dogg and accepts in a fit of rage. Having overheard, Anita finds Smoke before the race, and demands that he stop the race. Angry, Smoke confronts her and demands a reason, and she tells him that Kid is actually his son, not Slick Will's. Smoke successfully stops the race by punching out Kid and stealing his keys, but this only leads to a fight between the two, from which Kid comes off considerably worse than Smoke. Smoke then tells him that he is his son, to which Kid angrily goes home and confronts Anita, who confesses that it's the truth. In a rage, he leaves home and moves in with his girlfriend Tina.
Kid decides to turn renegade and after gaining quite a few more followers for his club, announces that "we're gonna win more lids than any crew on the set and we're gonna out hustle every crew off the set" and indicates that from that point on, "Biker Boyz set their own rules." The Biker Boyz get their own hangout and begin hustling several races, but when Stuntman successfully hustles the nephew of a dangerous biker, he and Primo are ambushed at a party. Kid comes to the rescue but is quickly overpowered as the leader of the other club pulls a gun on him; Smoke and some of the other Black Knights intervene and convince the other bikers to stand down. Smoke takes Kid inside and sits down to give him a stern talking-to, but Kid shrugs it off angrily. Aggravated, Smoke finally agrees to race Kid, under the condition that whoever loses will never race again. But first Kid has to race Dogg - this time, at the track.
On the race track, everybody shows up, including the Black Knights. At the race, Dogg and Kid race down, and Kid is going to win, but Dogg plays dirty and causes him to crash; although Kid survives, his bike is wrecked. Later that day, Smoke talks to Kid, and informs him that the authorities are going to close the track, due to many crashes, but he managed to rent a local farm outside of town to race on it. Kid agrees to arrive the next day. Later that night, Kid, Primo, and Stuntman are trying unsuccessfully to fix Kid's bike until Dogg's crew arrives to confront them, but Dogg's mechanic admits that the damage is too severe to be fixed in time for the race. Dogg informs Kid; "There are only 2 bikes as strong and fast as Smoke's: yours, and mine." As a peace offering, Dogg offers Kid his bike, but only if Kid promises him that he will beat Smoke tomorrow.
On the day of the race, both the crew of the Black Knights and the Biker Boyz arrive. Smoke wants it to be a fair race, with no N20 system, and Kid wants Tina to start the race. Smoke and Kid are racing on a farm with open fields. With the finish line in sight, it is obvious that Smoke will win - however, filled with emotions, he decides to slow down and let his son win the race, becoming the new "King of Cali." Kid tells Smoke to hang onto his crown for a while, and that he'll come and get it someday.
Kid rides off, repeating his sentiment that the difference between men and boys are the lessons they learn, and that his father taught him plenty.Laurence Fishburne as Smoke
Derek Luke as Kid
Orlando Jones as Soul Train
Djimon Hounsou as Motherland
Nicholas Sheriff as Kidd Chaos
Lisa Bonet as Queenie
Brendan Fehr as Stuntman
Larenz Tate as Wood
Terrence Howard as Chu Chu (as Terrence Dashon Howard)
Kid Rock as Dogg
Rick Gonzalez as Primo
Meagan Good as Tina
Salli Richardson as Half & Half (as Salli Richardson-Whitfield)
Vanessa Bell Calloway as Anita
Dante Basco as Philly
Kadeem Hardison as J.T.
Dion Basco as Flip
Tyson Beckford as Donny
Eriq La Salle as Slick Will
Wren T. Brown as Reverend Maxwell
Silver and Magenta 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R: Smoke
Yellow and silver 2001 Suzuki GSX-R750: Kid
Black 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R: Dogg
Red and silver Ducati 996S: Primo
Silver 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R: Kidd Chaos
Orange 1998 Yamaha R1: Chu Chu
Silver 2000 Yamaha R1: Stuntman
Green 1999 Suzuki TL1000R: 1/2 & 1/2
1982 Kawasaki KZ1000: Soul Train
2001 Honda CBR1100XX: Motherland
T-Rex (automobile): T.J.
Biker Boyz is based loosely on Manuel "Pokey" Galloway the president of Valiant Riders of Pasadena, Ca.
Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke, Orlando Jones, Djimon Hounsou and Nicholas Sheriff, Lisa Bonet, Breadan Fehr, Larenz Tate, Terrence Howard, Kid Rock, Rick Gonzalez, Meagan Good are all avid bikers in real life.
The real "King Of Cali" made a cameo appearance in the film, in the scene where Kid is in a meeting with the set.
Slick Will really doesn't blink as the bike hits him, as Soul Train states.
Actual motorcycle clubs were on the set as technical advisors, and performed some of the tricks, stunts, and racing. They include Valiant Riders, The Mighty Black Sabbath Motorcycle Club Nation, G-Zer Tribe, Ruff Ryders, Soul Brothers, Total Package, Chosen Few MC, Rare Breed, Brothers of the Sun, Sisters of the Sun, Deuces, and Black Sabbath New Breed.
The Biker Boyz jackets were in part inspired by Nexxunlimited Entertainment (as shown in the end credits).
A soundtrack containing hip hop, rock and R&B music was released on January 23, 2003 by DreamWorks Records. It peaked at #98 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
The movie received generally negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 23% based on reviews from 91 critics. Metacritic gives the film a score of 36% based on reviews from 27 critics.
The film earned a worldwide total of $23.5 million.
The film was released on DVD & VHS on June 10, 2003 in North America, and on DVD in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2004.