I’m not sure what makes a great motorcycle show exactly. Is it the bikes? The people? The scenery? The beer?
The 2016 Mama Tried Show had a pretty good sampling of all of the above. Set in a new location for this year, and supposedly booked at the same location for the next 2 years as well, the show had the celebrity who’s-who of the custom motorcycle scene, a great, classic-Milwaukee vibe, and a selection of some of the country’s top builds. The Mama Tried Show is a bit different than the other shows we go to in that it has a heavy Harley Davidson presence. After all, they do sponsor the show. But, it’s not just the Harleys – it’s the vintage, barn-find, hasn’t been running, decayed Harley that I think is actually cool to look at. A lot of the brand hasn’t changed in the 100+ years it’s been around and I think some of the coolest bikes they’ve built are the classic ‘knuckleheads’ from the 30’s and 40’s.
This year we got to unveil two new builds at the show. The Thursday before we actually released our Royal Scrambler at Royal Enfield North American HQ, which is down the street from the Mama Tried venue. The turn out for that event was impressive – all those people to see a new Analog build was awesome. In addition to the Royal Scrambler we also released our AMA BMW R75GS – a bike we built for the AMA to raffle off over the next year and give away to some lucky contestant at the 2017 Mama Tried Show. The beginning of 2016 was extremely busy with most of our time spent prepping these two bikes to be released at this show, so the show was a kind of culmination of the hard work and long nights that started off our year. For this reason it was nice to be able to bask in the glow of two freshly completed builds at one of our favorite shows.
So there’s the show, but I’m purposely dodging talking about the other aspect of the Mama Tried Show… The racing. This year, we got indoor flat track racing in the form of Flat Out Friday, and while we typically go out on the ice of McKinley Harbor on Sunday – that we missed this year because the weather was far too warm to sustain ride-able ice. It was worth the exchange if you ask me. The indoor flat track event was epic. With a selection of divisions including a vintage class, modern pro class, and the ‘Goofball/Inappropriate’ class, there was enough to please everyone. The highlight of this for me was standing in the center of the track photographing a dude dressed as Prince absolutely dominating the Goofball class with a purple, full windjammer fared, automatic Honda. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
Other than the things I’ve already talked about, the Mama Tried Show is a pretty standard custom motorcycle show. There’s $3 PBR and Schlitz tallboys, plenty of greasy and tatoo’d people and a ton of square footage of great bikes. People complained about the lighting on the bikes to the point that some builders went and bought “tap lights.” It didn’t deter anyone though, as the show was absolutely packed on Saturday. So if you plan on wearing your sunglasses inside, I would probably bring a pretty strong flashlight next year.
And of course there’s the people we get to see and talk with. There’s regulars and there’s new fans. I always get a kick out of hanging out with people who share the love for the hobby, and Mama Tried is no exception. After we loaded out from the show Jun Song and the boys from Good Spark Garage, Corey and Casey, plus our good friends from Croig.co got to take their bikes out and do a mini photo shoot of our Royal Scrambler. It’s a unique passion that brings in people across the country for a weekend show just to see some bikes, take some pictures, chat with friends and leave. I hope that passion continues for next year’s show – if it does, it will be even better than this one…