Article and photos by Panhead Jim
I can almost guarantee that if you are reading this article, that you probably grew up hitting bikes shows at local Harley dealerships and independent shops. You remember the ones, where two dozen bikes show up in some parking lot on a Saturday morning, and if you were lucky, there was one cool motorcycle worth checking out. The thing was that one cool bike made the whole event worthwhile, and you probably spent the rest of the weekend talking about it. Now try to wrap your head around an event where there are over 100 motorcycles spread out in a century-old Ford factory, and every single bike is badass. I’m talking row upon row of hand-built choppers, vintage race bikes, and even some all original classics. That’s what the Congregation Show located in Charlotte, NC is all about, real machines built and ridden by real riders.
As is my standard operating procedure, I started getting my Panhead ready to ride down to Charlotte about two days before the show. I had completely put off checking out that horrible sound the bike started making last fall on my way back from PA and was trying to decide if I should pull the rear cylinder when I noticed a broken muffler bracket. I quick tug on the exhaust system showed that the unsupported muffler shaking down the highway for three states had loosened up pretty much every bolt that held the exhaust in place. I’m not sure why the whole thing hadn’t just fallen off somewhere on I-95, but with the help of a hose clamp and a wrench, I had everything tightened back up and ready to hit the road for Charlotte in no time.