A motorbike stolen from the front yard of a North End Tacoma home means more than its $400 price tag.
For 15-year-old Nick Menza, the bike was one of the last gifts his father — also named Nick Menza — gave to him.
The elder Menza died May 21.
Nick’s dad, who lived in Los Angeles, bought the bike as a Christmas gift two years ago. It also served to distract the boy from tinkering with his stepfather’s car in Tacoma.
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“I was always messing with my stepdad’s engine on his car,” he said.
Nick has heavily customized the Monster Moto minibike. He’s replaced the engine nine times. And he’s gone through at least eight rear tires.
“I love to do burnouts on it,” he said.
About once a year, Dad would stay with Nick and his younger brother, Donte, 10, at the home the boys share with mother Terri Evans, stepfather John Evans and their 4-year-old twin daughters.
“We were a very unconventional family,” Terri Evans said. “The neighbors next door were like, ‘Why do you have your husband and your ex in the same house?’ We were all friends.”
Tuesday evening, Nick went to help a neighbor move some furniture. While the pair were wrestling couches from a truck into the house, the bike disappeared. Nick figures it either was walked away or loaded into a truck.
The bike wasn’t the only thing Nick got from his father. He also inherited his passion for music.
Nick has multigenerational musical lineage. His father was a drummer for the thrash metal band Megadeth in the 1980s and 1990s.
The elder Menza continued with his music career until the moment he died during a performance with his then-band Ohm. A heart attack claimed him at age 51.
Nick’s grandfather, Don Menza, 80, played saxophone with jazz bandleader Buddy Rich and was a member of Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” band.
Nick’s father left him a drum kit and bass guitar. The teen also is in possession of his father’s gold and platinum records.
Since his father’s death, Nick has picked up the bass guitar. Though Nick has had a lifelong fascination with motors and wheels, he thinks he might turn to drums like his father.
“At the time he got (the bike) for me, I don’t think he knew I wanted to do music that much,” he said.
Not that the boy’s love of motors is going away anytime soon. He planned to hold on to the now missing bike forever.
“I’ve told anyone who ever said, ‘Hey, dude, will you ever sell it?’ No, I’m never going to sell it.”
Nick doesn’t want to think ill of his fellow citizens.
“I don’t think they understand the significance of what they are stealing,” Nick said. “They say, ‘It’s just a thing. You can get over it.’ ”
But no one can know what the motorbike means to him, he said.
“I just hope I get my bike back.”
Information on stolen bike