We deemed it necessary to see what the V-Twin Expo had to offer this year. So “Heavy D” from Liquid Illusions and I hooked up with Gary Savill better known as “English Bobb” of Silver Wraith Choppers and we headed to Cincinnati, OH for three days and two long alcohol soaked nights. This is how it all went down.
“English Bobb” swooped “D” and I up early Friday morning in the Silver Wraith rig and we made a B-line for Cincinnati. Tearing up asphalt and only stopping for coffee and to relieve aforementioned coffee, we arrived in Cincy in record time. Upon arrival we did the usual checking in and scoping out the rooms, then of course headed down to the bar in the lobby for drinks. We ordered a few Jack and Cokes and bumped into two legends of the industry Matt Hotch and Dave Perewitz. These guys have been a part of the custom motorcycle culture for decades. If you don’t know who they are open a new tab in your browser and do your homework. Our industry has been guided through the years by guys like these two. After a few drinks we decided it was time to head across the street and see who else we could run into. Groggy from the drive and entirely to early to call it a night we switched back to coffee (spiced with some Jameson and Baileys of course) to jolt some life back into our travel stricken corpses. We where sitting there holding the fort down for awhile when we seen some familiar faces, Jerry and Tracy from Ride Hard Magazine joined the party. After some clowning around, a few pounds of wings, and finishing off a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s we decided to call it a night.
The next morning I woke up feeling like I had slept with a cinder block on my head, so we headed down to what was supposed to be a Starbucks (it tasted like you would expect toilette water to taste) for some coffee. Then we headed over to pick up our passes for the V-Twin Expo. After weaving our way through the mile long line of dealers and press we grabbed our passes and ran to the door like kids dashing to the candy store, only to be met with a wave of disappointment. Over the years I have seen pictures of this event and it has always been packed wall to wall with dealers, exhibitors, and press with hardly any room to move. This Expo is supposed to showcase all the new goodies coming out and new suppliers / manufacturers that are bringing said goodies to us. You should be able to get a feel for how the upcoming season is going be. Now the three of us stand here staring down four or five isles that we could easily ride down abreast one another on our bikes and not even bump into anyone. As we stroll through we stopped by Freedom Performance Exhaust company to talk about the new line of pipes they have coming out. They have a great bunch of guys putting out and promoting a great product line that is designed and built here in America, we need more companies like this and the buyers willing to spend a few extra bucks short term to support these companies. Continuing on we headed over to Mid-USA Motorcycle and talked to them about some of the new products they decided to carry, such as Led Sled Customs‘ fenders and front-end kits. Again, more American designed and made parts being distributed by a great supplier that has been around awhile and is really paying attention to what is being bought. Not only are they paying attention but they are offering us quality American made products. I hope they continue to expand their catalog to carry more products like this. Another company that fits this profile is Genuine James Gaskets, there is no better way to seal up an American made engine than with American made gaskets.
Walking past various helmet suppliers,Chinese L.E.D. light kit manufacturers, and gimmicky handlebar clamp on cup holder companies we stopped and took notice of several killer looking bikes. Feeling that this show has run its course in the industry and most likely will not be with us much longer (unless they make some serious changes) we pushed ourselves through it having as much fun as possible and saying hi to a few friends along the way.
Once we made it to the back side of the convention center and seen that there was a bar….. we decided to post up there. Five or six drinks in we were joined by none other than Pat, Kevin, and their Ol’ ladys from Led Sled Customs, I challenge you to find a group of people that are more down to earth and humble yet blessed with a level of talent that puts them on top of the motorcycle fabrication food chain. Guys like these two are what will guide the future of our industry and the culture that goes along with it. After squeezing what fun we could have out of the Expo and drinking the well dry at the dainty bar they had we decided to head over to El Coyote Urban Saloon for the Street Chopper after party!
This is an invite only party with food and drink payed for by Street Chopper Magazine… Finally time to relax! This is our kind of atmosphere. This place is teeming with talent, as I walk over to the bar to order a drink I am greeted with firm hand shakes and nods from top fabricators from across the US. Lowbrow Customs was one of the many companies there that night, represented by Kyle and his friend Jason who also works at Lowbrow. The three of us talked for awhile about bikes, parts, and the stellar website that they have laid out to supply our culture with cool shit of sound quality. Being able to put a face to the business was awesome. Supper friendly, laid back , and very humble. The night went by so fast sharing laughs and drinks with such cool people.
I would like to thank Jeff Holt of Street Chopper magazine for the putting on the after party. I would also like to thank Pat, Kevin (Led Sled Customs), Kyle, Jason (Lowbrow Customs), Daren Williams (Liquid Illusions), Gary Savill (Silver Wraith Choppers), Marshall Tucker ( St. Charles Harley-Davison), Rex, and anyone else that I may have been to drunk to remember for the good times and the scattered partial memories.
Early Sunday morning (or so we thought)……”Heavy D” and I spring out of our beds and cling to the near by walls when what appears to be MI-5 bursting into our room with bright flash lights and a British accent saying ” Time to get up sleepy heads. It’s nearly noon.”….. oh It’s just “English Bobb” all dressed, packed, and chipper. So “D” and I gather our stuff and crammed it into our bags and dragged ourselves down to the lobby to check out. When I was done getting raped by the vending machine ($2 for some aspirin) we threw our bags into the back of the Silver Wraith rig and hit the highway only stopping for coffee and to relieve aforementioned coffee, we arrived back in St. Louis, MO in record breaking time.
To sum it up. We will be on the look out for events to cover that have more to offer our culture than 97″ wheels and l.e.d. lights (that I did not care to take any pictures of). If it wasn’t for the after party put on by Street Chopper the weekend would have been a bust. Stay tuned… That’s the industry dirt as I see it.
A special thanks to Gary Savill and Daren Williams with out you two the trip would not have been possible or fun. Thanks a ton guys!