Rice Burner Cars: Are These Vehicles Worth The Hype?

Rice burner cars have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, and it leaves many wondering if these vehicles are really worth the hype. Before even going that far, many people don’t know exactly what these cars stand for. This has led to a lot more questions about these vehicles and their functionality.

Rice Burner Cars ~ Ran When Parked

In this complete guide, we do a deep dive into these cars and what makes them special.

What Are Rice Burner Cars?

Rice burner cars are vehicles that have been tremendously modified. Although there are many reasons people consider making their car a rice burner, the top of the list is to improve its aesthetics in such a way that it looks like a Japanese street car.

There is no limit to the modifications allowed for rice burner cars. In many cases, the cars are modified up to a point where it is almost impossible to know the original brand of the car. While this practice first started in the 70s, it was not until the 90s and the advent of the internet that the term “rice burner” really gained popularity.

This surge in the popularity of rice burner cars can be attributed to the ease at which vehicle parts could be imported and obtained in the 90s. Also, the internet made it much easier to order these parts, as well as gain inspiration for other designs.

Originally, the target of rice burner cars was to look like Japanese street cars. Although that still applies today, the term has been generalized to describe any vehicle that has been heavily modified.

Other Names

The other names for rice burner cars include ricer cars, rice rockets, rice machine, rice boy, rice cooker, and rice grinder. These are only the common ones, and there is no saying how many nicknames have really been assigned to these vehicles.

The common denominator in all of the different name variations for rice burner cars is the term “rice.” The origin of this vehicle is actually because rice is a common dish cultivated and consumed in Japan and other Asian countries.

Since the original rice burner vehicles were modified to look like Japanese street and race cars, the name rice burners stuck.

What Are the Modifications That Make a Car a Rice Burner?

The modifications that make a car a rice burner include exterior and interior aesthetic features, spoilers, revamping the exhaust pipes, negative camber, and incorporating large wheels and rims. These modifications are typically done with the aim of improving the aesthetics and, potentially, functionality of the vehicles.

Exterior Aesthetic Features

The most important modifications of rice burner vehicles are undoubtedly their aesthetics. Basically, if the car looks the part, it can be very well regarded as a ricer even without other modifications. The aesthetics modifications can be done to both the car’s exterior and interior.

Exterior Aesthetic Features ~ Ran When Parked

With exterior aesthetic modifications, the aim is to make the car as flashy as possible. This is usually achieved by painting the car in bright and contrasting colors in such a way that it draws a lot of attention to itself. Stripes are also commonly added to give the illusion that the car is moving faster than it actually is.

Aside from painting, some rice burner car owners change the design and material of their car body. They usually replace the body with materials that will make it look more aggressive on the road, like fiber-reinforced glass.

Furthermore, these cars may add stickers to different points of the car’s body. A common practice that many have cultivated is adding badges that are found on other high-performing cars. Another aesthetic practice that is common is the use of large wheels and rims.

Interior Aesthetic Features

The car’s interior is not excluded in the “ricing” process. Usually, large sound systems are added to the vehicle, with a high emphasis on the bass of the speakers. This gives a feeling that the car is heavy-duty while driving. Some may also install speakers in the underside of the vehicle to make the car sound like one with a heavy engine.

Interior Features of Rice Burner ~ Ran When Parked

Interior modifications are not restricted to just speakers, though, and modders (people who modify) often change the steering wheel and seat covers. Ideally, the flashier, the better. This means bright colors like red and neon may actually be sprayed inside the vehicle.


In the automotive industry, spoilers are often used to alter the aerodynamics of the car and reduce drag. They were originally designed for race cars and similarly high-performance vehicles to make them faster, but on ricer cars, they don’t have nearly the same effect.

Rice burner cars typically have front-wheel drive, and the spoilers attached to the back only cause uneven weight distribution in the vehicle. This ultimately reduces the performance of the vehicle.

Also, ricer burner cars don’t go nearly fast enough to actually reap the benefits of using a spoiler. In simple terms, the spoiler is more of a fashion statement than it is a functional accessory, irrespective of what modders may believe.

Revamped Exhaust Systems

Modders usually revamp their exhaust system with the sole aim of making their car sound louder.

Revamped Exhaust Systems ~ Ran When Parked

There are actually functional reasons why some may make alterations to their car’s exhaust, but with rice burner cars, modders are more concerned with the perception that their car is heavy-duty than the actual functional reasons for altering exhaust systems.

Negative Camber

A negative camber describes wheels that have their uppermost parts tilted inside, which causes the car to be lower on the floor. Typically, a negative camber is preferred for high tire grips, especially when cornering. This is not unfamiliar with race cars.

However, with rice burner cars, the negative camber can unnecessarily alter the load distribution of the vehicle. Also, rice burner cars still have to travel over regular roads and not racing roads, and these regular roads may have bumps or holes. This can cause difficult driving conditions.

Are There Functional Benefits of Having a Rice Burner Car?

No, there are little to no functional benefits of having a rice burner car. While the picture in the minds of modders is Japanese racecars or just “cool” fast cars, the modifications are not in-depth enough to actually cause any significant improvement in driving performance.

Functional Benefits of Rice Burner ~ Ran When Parked

On many occasions, the modifications actually make the vehicles perform worse and may result in them having to spend more money on maintenance. Also, the fuel efficiency of the vehicle is typically affected as there may be extra load and increased drag on the vehicle, which means the engine has to do more work.

Among people with ricer cars, there is almost a consensus that the car is more aesthetic than functional. Many people actually embrace this fact and take their cars to car shows and exhibitions. These rice burner cars may get beauty points but rarely functionality points.

Are Blue Point Tools Comparable to the Quality of Rice Burner Cars?

When it comes to quality, blue point tools worth buying are generally comparable to the performance of rice burner cars. Both are known for their durability and reliability, making them highly sought after by professionals and enthusiasts alike. Whether it’s fixing a car or tackling a DIY project, blue point tools are up to the task.

Is it Legal to Modify Your Car Into a Rice Burner?

Yes, it is legal to modify your car into a rice burner in the United States. The US is very tolerant of modders and rice burner cars. You will get away with most modifications, except those that may endanger the lives of other drivers on the road.

Modify Car Into a Rice Burner ~ Ran When Parked

However, in other countries, especially in Europe, the restrictions against ricer modifications are much more stringent. You will need to confirm with state and federal authorities that you can modify your car into a rice burner and the degree to which modifications are permitted.

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