WOW..… I would have never seen that coming. A Top 10 Vintage Motorcycle Blog award? I do not think of the blog as about vintage motorcycles. I don’t intentionally post about vintage motorcycles or the old school bike life but looking though the blog I do so more than I thought. Here are a few:
In Part 1 I wrote about our trip to Timonium for the annual motorcycle show. That was on a Saturday, on Sunday we attended the International Motorcycle Show, Washington, DC.
As I noted with the Timonium show the crowds were smaller then in previous years. Having the shows on the same weekend definitely impacted attendance IMHO.
As always with the IMS all the major vendors were on site with their latest products. Ducati had a couple new Scramblers, Indian had their new FXR but the one that caught my eye was the new Suzuki Katana. Last produced in 2006 this new Suzuki motorcycle look clean, sleek and ready to run! I would love to get a test ride on this bike.
There were also a bunch of vendors, but not quite as many as in the past (again same weekend). Two of the vendors really caught my eye, the Moto Power Puck and Silent Beacon. This is not an endorsement or recommendation, I just liked their concept. Check them out for yourself.
There was some confusion on if this motorcycle show would even be held. The original promoter bowed out due to health issues and almost at the last moment the mantle was picked up by Jam-On Productions.
As things worked out, due to the change of promoters, the Timonium Motorcycle Show ended up on the same weekend as another major bike show was in the area. Not the best of worlds for either. As it was obvious to me that they cut into each other’s attendance.
We hit the Timonium Motorcycle Show on Saturday, driving the car to the Maryland State Fairgrounds (it is about 90 minutes from home). This show had everything from RV toy haulers, typical show vendors, vintage motorcycles and all the major motorcycle manufacturers represented by their local dealers. But, just as with attendance, there were slightly less vendor spots then previous years, I bet many had to chose between the two events.
Even so, there was still a lot to look as there were quite a few motorcycles entered the show! We enjoyed looking at all the work the folks had put into their bikes and display space. Turns out there is a trophy for best displayed bike.
All said and done I think the Timonium Motorcycle Show came off well. With an entire year to plan the next one I am sure things will be much better in 2020.
The basic plot of this motorcycle movie is that the owner is riding his motorcycle to every bar in the western United States in order to write a book about the best bar in America. Along the way he loses his wife, drinks too much, makes a new best friend, loses the best friend, loses the book deal, finds new love and rides his motorcycle.
From the opening scene to near the end of movie the motorcycle has a place. Called worthless, a stinking machine and a NAZI PoS as well as other terms of endearment, it is a central plot device that helps hold the movie together. I am not sure that this film would be as good as it is if it were not for the vintage motorcycle.
There was one quick scene where the starting sequence was laid out, open petcock, little twist of throttle, a couple short strokes of the kicker, another twist of the throttle and then big kick…just like any kick start bike of that age, you have to know how to stroke it to lite it up. That one scene summed up both the leads relationship with the motorcycle and why he was struggling in life; both require a lot of work to keep running.
All in all this was an enjoyable movie. I recommend it as a good movie for lovers of motorcycles. I am giving it 4 Stars.
“My life lives inside me… that is what riding an old Harley teaches you.” A quote from the movie that is what “Easy Rider would had been if it were a motorcycle documentary.
The premise of “21 Days Under the Sky” is four friends riding old school Harley Davidson choppers across America and the fun, trouble and adventure they find. By old school I mean vintage Sportsters, Shovel and Knucklehead motorcycles. Their bikes have small tanks and more then a few break downs during their cross-country trip. This film interspaces vintage pictures and film clips from the 1960-70s with the travels and troubles of these friends as they ride US Route 40.
Broken frames, flat tires, running on empty and the age of their motorcycles plague the riders. But they also have some great times along the way. Deviating from their planed route they stop by the Bonneville Salt Flats only to find it under a few inches of water. They don’t allow the water to dampen the fun and the ensuing frolic makes for some beautiful and fun photography.
I have to say I loved the cinema photography of 21 Days Under the Sky. But that was offset by the pretentious of the narration. While much of the movie’s narration was perfectly fine there was just enough ostentatious, almost pompous, sections of the script to gag a goat.
At 70 minutes the movie highly compresses their 21 day trip from San Francisco to New York City. If you do the math they really did not ride that far each day, unless you count the time and distance they had to make up for each problem that put them to full stop. It would be very interesting to see what was left on the cutting room floor.
Currently on Netflix, 21 Days Under the Sky is worth your time. Vintage motorcycle, old school choppers, a motorcycle ride across America is a formula for success, right?! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and I will watch it again. Also, remember that this motorcycle movie claims “The next new thing is just ahead”!
This year September 11th, in addition to being a national day of tragedy here in the US, it was also the day the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball Run leg 2 began in York, PA. York is only about 90 minutes from my home so it was a no brainer to go and check it out.
For those of you unfamiliar with this the Cannonball Run it is a timed cross county event of 100 year or older vintage motorcycles. So this year the run is with motorcycles built before 1917. Starting on
Every motorcycle over 100 years old
the 10th of September The Cannonball Run is going from Atlantic City to San Diego. If you go to their website you can get a lot more detail, in case you are interested in running the next event in 2018.
Phil, from the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, and I arose early (3AM for him 4AM for me LOL) in order to be there before the motorcycles began departing. BOY am I glad we went to the event. We got to see vintage bikes that you might only see in a museum, if ever. For example, I saw two motorcycles that I had not seen in person before a Shaw and a JAP.
By 10AM all the bikes that were going to make the start were on the road. Attrition on this ride is high. In talking to some of the participates we learned that about 90 of these vintage motorcycles departed Atlantic City the day before but nearly 30 were unable to make the time hack in York. That group included one bike that burned to a crisp shortly after the start.
You can also tell by the pictures below that there is a lot of maintenance that occurs. One of the motorcycle mechanics said that they begin the preparations for the next day as soon as the bikes are cool enough to touch. He also said that while the vintage motorcycles in the Cannonball Run might be easy to work on, there is not really that much in spare parts and a lot of creativity is required to keep them running.
It was a wonderful morning walking around looking at these 100+ year old vintage motorcycles and seeing what goes into them to keep them running. I have a new respect for all those folks that participate in this event!
2016 Cannonball Run of Vintage Motorcycles Leg 2 Start - YouTube
Premiering September the 5th on the Discovery Channel this three part mini-series is a creative vision of the early years of the Harley Davidson Motor Company. From the Discovery Channels website they state
“Based on a true story, Harley and the Davidsons charts the birth of this iconic bike during a time of great social and technological change beginning at the turn of the 20th century. Walter, Arthur and Bill risked their entire fortune and livelihood to launch the budding enterprise. Each of these men faced very different challenges, but it was the motorcycle that united their dreams and ambitions.”
The mini-series stars Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones) as Bill Harley, Michiel Huisman (also from Game of Thrones) as Walter Davidson and Bug Hall (American Pie) as Arthur Davidson. Based on the trailer the trailer (see below) it looks like there is some chemistry between the actors. I am looking forward to watching the show!
Not sure why but I ran across two pictures of Gorman Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership (Shreveport, LA) on two different websites within 10 minutes of each other. A quick web search revealed that in opened in 1946 and that was about it.
I wrote this article a few days ago.. and it is now out of date!!!! The Harley Davidson “Captain America” bike from Easy Rider is now the most expensive motorcycle sold at auction. Going for $1.35 million US this is reportable the bike that was destroyed at the end of the movie and rebuilt a few years later. The “other” Captain America bike was stolen before the movie was finished and has never been seen again except for the fact that the man who authenticated this motorcycle as also authenticated another one as well….. hummmm. Here is a link to help explain this crazy story.
I ran across a couple interesting articles on motorcycles at Gizmag.com on this subject. I was quite surprised at what I found as I read about the results of motorcycle auctions. I will not go in a lot of details, you can use the links below to read that and you should. The link also discusses the content of the top 100 bikes sold at auction.
What surprised me the most was the fact that the number one most expensive bike was one of which I have never heard. The top ten are:
1 – US$580,000 – 1910 Winchester
2 – US$551,200 – 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer
3 – US$480,000 – 1939 BMW RS255 Kompressor
4 – US$463,847 – 1922 Brough Superior SS80
5 – US$452,234 – 1926 Brough Superior SS100
6 – US$450,000 – 1958 Ariel 650 Cyclone
7 – US$448,156 – 1929 Brough Superior SS100
8 – US425,943 – 1939 Brough Superior SS100
9 – US$394,101 – 1934 Brough Superior SS100
10 – US$383,317 – 1949 Vincent Black Lightning
Turns out that the person who bought the bike was a gun collector. I am very aware of the collector’s value of the name Winchester as several folks that I know collect Winchester. According to what I read only about 200 were made and only a few survived.
Winchester attempted to “diversify” and move into motorcycling along the lines of BSA and Royal Enfield which were also gun makers. Winchester had the bikes built and badged by another company and only stayed in the bike business for a few years. You can learn more about at the links below.
Now if you look at all of the top 100 most expensive bikes sold you would find that: