Focus: Inaugural Kentucky KickDown


Without a hitch! The inaugural 2013 Kentucky Kick Down was a huge success. Weather was perfect, people came in droves, bikes showed up from all over the east coast – from Philly to Florida, St. Louis, Indiana, Nashville, the Carolinas and so on, with over 100 show bikes lining the streets. There were some pristine restorations, creative rat bikes, crazy customs, mint race bikes – the quality and variety far exceeded expectations.


The Monkey Wrench and The Barret Bar co-hosted the event put on by promoters Scott Halbleib and Scott Shuffitt. Friday night people were welcomed to town with a meet and greet at the two bars just across the street from one another. Live music filled the Monkey Wrench while The Barret Bar provided an atmosphere for socializing with all the folks who rolled in from out of town. Late night festivities on Friday included a helmet show just a few miles away at the Art sanctuary, complete with vendors and more rousing music.


Photos by Nicholas Karem


Saturday morning, if so inclined, you could wake up riding along the river on the Big Sid Memorial Ride which rolled out around 8am along some of Sid's favorite backroads and culminated at The Barret for a brunch before the gates opened and the crowd filed in. And they did just that. Staff was provided by Louisville Vintage Motorworks group, the ever-growing group of local vintage two-wheeled enthusiasts that are partially responsible for spawning the idea of a regional class bike show. They stayed on top of things coordinating vendors and bike show contestants into place along the closed streets of the historic neighborhood before the gates opened at noon, and the spectators and fellow bikers began to file in. We estimate well over 1000 attendees made their way through the gates and stayed for the better part of the day and into the evening.



There was plenty to do. The Barret Bar hosted a pool tournament on their competition level tables with Crosley Radio providing some exceptional prizes to the winners. Shortly after the first bands began to play, and you could once again see that things had been well thought out. Louisville has a host of musical talent, but promoters also reached outside of the city to bring a variety of styles to the show, seemingly ramping up as the day went on. Early in the day you could sit back and enjoy a bourbon on The Barret Bar patio while listening to some soulful blues by Screamin John Hawkins and Tyrone Cotton, mid day the Vice Tricks entertained the audience from the stage or on top of the bar with rowdy rockabilly, while later in the evening you could step inside the Monkey Wrench and catch some rowdy punk by Mangrenade out of Cincinnati. There was also the Miss Kentucky Kick Down contest to add a little feminine flavor. The ladies strutted around throughout the day to gather votes and try and take home the crown. Food was provided not only by the two hosting bars, but also three local food trucks with a variety of cuisines to choose from. 



The organizers gathered everyone together around 6pm using an assortment of remaining raffle prizes by various sponsors to herd the attendees in, thank so many of the people who had helped put on the show and announce the winners of the day. They were as follows:


Best Japanese: #66 - 1984 Harris Kawasaki, Owned by Steve Miles of Crestwood, KY
Best European: #70 - 1964 Norton Atlas, Owned by Barry Schonberger of Evansville, IN
Best American: #35 - 1942 Harley Model E Knucklehead, Owned by Mark Clore of Shepherdsville, KY
Best Chopper: #6 - 1967 BSA, Owned by Tim Sallee
          Best Café: #60 - 1978 Seeley F1, Owned by Michael Huby of Nashville, TN
Best Café: #60 - 1978 Seeley F1, Owned by Michael Huby of Nashville, TN
Best Bobber / Brat: #51 - 1947 BSA, Owned by Emmanuel Dumigron, of Louisville, KY
Best Garage Build: #75 - 1976 Harley Davidson FLM Shovelhead, Owned by Seth Easley of Evansville, IN
People’s Choice: #35 - 1942 Harley Model E Knucklehead, Owned by Mark Clore of Shepherdsville, KY
Best Scooter / Moped: #84 - 1967 Vespa Sprit, Owned by Lewis Meyer of Louisville, KY
Best in Show: #51 - 1947 BSA, Owned by Emmanuel Dumigron, of Louisville, KY


Some folks headed out after awards were given to make the trek back home. Others spent the next few hours cutting loose, and bouncing back and forth between the bars discussing the day's events. Music went on well past midnight and the bars didn't close their doors until 2am. All and all I'd say it was a definite success and something worth checking out this year. This grassroots event is sure to continue to grow while keeping that southern charm and hospitality at the forefront. Mark your calendars for September 20th this year, and make your way to Louisville, KY for the show. If it's anything like last year, you won't be disappointed.



If you would like to get involved with the Kentucky KickDown, please check out their website, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram. ChopCult is proud to be an ongoing sponsor.

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Commented on 5-27-2014 At 07:03 pm

It was indeed a great show in a two wheel friendless city! Check it out.

Commented on 5-28-2014 At 11:38 am

LOL the Yamaha mx have licences plates of my country, hell yeah... chilean style!!

Commented on 5-28-2014 At 11:01 pm

Ummm, that should read Louisville, Ky IS a two wheel FRIENDLY city! Spellcheck sucks. This is a hyper organized, very cool event. Thx

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