Gophers And Cheese

Gophers And Cheese

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Demon's Death Ride - October 31st

Ton-Up Minneapolis announced the 2014 Demon's Death Ride and it will happen Halloween night, 10/31.  It starts at Town Hall Lanes and ends at Club Jager.  I went last year and it was fun (but very cold).  You can see my blog posts from the 2013 ride by clicking HERE.

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 3

Here's a handful of Harleys from First Thursday bike night at Dulono's Pizza.

First up is this cafe racer-style Sportster.  The custom shift linkage is really cool.

Performance-oriented Sporty:

This Sportster appears to be designed to carry a wheelchair.  That's pretty awesome if that's the case.  I wish I had taken a closer look at the hand and foot controls to see if/how they were modified.

Yellow Sporty with a springer.

I wrap up this month's coverage with a blacked out big twin in the grass.

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 2

There was a great turnout for First Thursday at Dulono's Pizza earlier this month.

As usual, there was a wide variety of bikes - something for everyone...

Japanese chops:

A stripped down Beemer:

A motorcycle-vacuum-cleaner combo:

Honda with plumbing parts:

Classic Triumph:

Creative combinations:

Cartoon characters & Muppets:

...and this Venom SS.

Harleys (mostly Sportsters) are up next.

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 1

Look what showed up at First Thursday at Dulono's Pizza this month... the new Indian Scout.  I saw photos online when it launched but was happy to finally see it in person.

As a HUGE fan of Sportsters, I was eagerly anticipating a re-launch of the Scout as a similar model from a rival brand, but I'm disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, you get a lot of bike for the money in a new Scout (100hp, 6-speeds, etc.) but I am having a difficult time with the styling, especially that damn radiator.  I understand the desire to make a modern machine with modern parts and performance, but (I know this is an odd question) is that really what people want?  To me, this odd-looking, fin-less, liquid-cooled engine makes more sense in a sport bike.  It is especially disappointing after seeing the beautiful air-cooled Thunder Stroke 111 motor used in all the other new Indian models.

I think the motor in the Harley Street looks better than this and I am not a fan of the Street.

The view from the top looks like any old boring metric cruiser and the colors in the speedometer faceplate strangely don't match anything else on the bike.

Overall, I find the bike too chunky-looking for my taste.  The angle of the rear shocks is particularly bizarre.  They said it was to be reminiscent of the lines of the frame of vintage Scouts.  To me, it's just weird and doesn't look like it would function properly.

It's difficult to see in the photo, but I thought the Indian logo in the taillight was a nice detail.

I believe most people ride Harleys because they love Harleys.  I've watched enough American Pickers to know many people feel the same about Indians.

Love is an irrational thing.

I don't think people choose Harley for modern performance and innovation.  Maybe they did in the past, but those days are long gone (with the possible exception of Project Livewire).  I see Harley and Indian as brands with amazing histories whose newer bikes strive for classic, timeless style mixed with modern reliability.  When you abandon the focus on style and pursue performance, there's simply no way to catch up to what the Ducatis, Yamahas, Suzukis, and Hondas of the world are doing (among others).  It's not to say that I wouldn't like some better shocks or brakes on my Sporty, but leave the motor alone.  It's the heart and soul of the bike and, when you really think about it, that's what you fall in love with.

More photos (and fewer ramblings) from First Thursday are up next.

Moto Mania - September 2014

Once again, I parked over at the VFW for First Thursday / Moto Mania.

Dan's Royal Enfield looks a little different every month.  I thought the "Wait Up" sticker was perfect.

Here are some of the other bikes:

Honestly, the real treat this month was seeing this beautifully restored Jeep.  It was in rough shape when the owner got it and it took him years to restore it.

He made the mistake of telling these guys that they could drive it if they could figure out how to start it. Who in their right mind would give these guys a Jeep and a 50 cal?

Photos from Dulono's Pizza are next.

The End of the 2014 Event Calendar is Nigh

There are a few events left over the next couple of weeks.  The end of events is NOT the end of riding season.  Riding among the beautiful fall colors is awesome and there's no good reason to stop riding until MnDOT salts the roads.

This Saturday, Scooter Trash 4 will be held at Venue 13 in Burnsville, MN from noon to 6pm.

Next Thursday is First Thursday so get down to Dulono's Pizza and the VFW for Bike Night / Moto Mania.

On October 11, there are two events going on:
Frankensteiners Ball 9 is primarily a car show in Anoka, MN but there is a small section for bikes.

On the other side of the river, the Frost Your Nuts Run departs from the Mallalieu Inn in North Hudson, WI.

Spare Arts Motorcycle Show - Part 3

I'll wrap up the inaugural Spare Arts Motorcycle Show with two Sportsters.  First up is this XL1200 with fantastic paint.  I'm not sure if Tony is the name of the owner or the girl on the tank.  Regardless, it's epic.

This ironhead won Best in Show.  As far as I can tell, it's missing a few parts so it's not even a running bike, but that doesn't keep it from being awesome.

What you should be asking yourself at this point is, "was that a handpainted sign featuring a manatee drinking a can of Duff beer?"  Yes, yes it was.  I regret not going in that bar.

On the way home, I decided to do something I've wanted to do for years - see Eve of Destruction at Elko Speedway.  I kept the kids out late for a night of racing.  They loved it but both were really tired by the time we got home.

At one point, three guys on motorcycles put on a stunt show.  This guy did a big burnout.  I'm sure they advertise the tire as producing red smoke, but it looked pink from where I sat.

Highlights included Flag Pole races, figure-8 school bus racing, and a big (deliberate) bus crash at the end of the night.  Note the school bus stood up on its end.  It was the target of the final crash.

Here's a short video that I took of the grand finale. Enjoy!

Spare Arts Motorcycle Show - Part 2

A couple of guys I know made the trip down to Austin but I never ran across them, just their bikes.

The Sushi Glide looks very similar to the way it did back in March.  I'm looking forward to seeing this bike done.

Triumph and sidecar:

While it wasn't a huge show (after all, it was the first year and it rained all morning), there was a good turnout and the bikes were really diverse.

Two Sportsters remain...


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