Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Harleys & Offys

Cuzzin Ricky and I boomed out on Friday for a trip to Wisconsin. We hit the HD Museum for openers. I'd been to a tour of the engine plant in Milwaukee many years ago as well as visited the museum in York, PA, but this was the first time for the new museum experience. Pretty impressive. Good representation of all the different types and models of bikes they've made over the years, including the race bikes. 

They had a poster on the wall that had a photo of Jim Davis on it. The poster was for him winning the Dodge City race in 1920 or some such. I recognized the face and the name right away because I met him once at the AHRMA banquet. He was quite the guy. He was around 90 years old at the time - lived to be 103. Sort of the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon thing.

A big bonus for me was the Wall of Death that was set up outside the museum. I told Rick we definitely need to see that - and we did! They used to have one of these at the county fair when I was a kid and I always checked it out. At the fair they had a set of rollers and one of the guys would fire up a little 165 Harley and run it on the rollers while he stood on the seat and other things. Being a two-stroke without a muffler, it was loud, but that was the point. Bring the suckers in. They had a 165 at the museum as well. Same deal exactly. They put on a really good show and it was free as well. 

Wasn't much free in the gift shop, however. They had a jersey hanging in there that was like one Surly used to wear. I thought it would make a nice Christmas gift but the damn thing was $155.00. They had a nice pullover sweater that was $255.00, I think it was. I left empty handed but I was still pumped from the Wall of Death, so all was good.

We left there and went to the Royal Enfield dealership. This is corporate headquarters for North America. It's a nice showroom and the young lady who filled us in on the details of the new Himalayan model was very helpful. They had one in stock and I got a chance to sit on it and check it out. She said the pricing hasn't been established yet but I like the bike. She said there's a shop in Indy that's a dealership but I was in there not too long ago and the salesman said they weren't. Have to see about that if I decide to buy a small displacement adventure bike.

Saturday we went to the Millers at Milwaukee vintage Indy car event. I've been wanting to check that out for a couple of years ever since seeing a write up at Handverker. A bunch of Offy powered roadsters running and out on a real race track. Yeah, that's the ticket. I talked to an old duffer that had a car there that was just about finished up. The engine still needed a bit of work but it was all painted and looking good. I'll finish sorting out the photos and get a shot of that in a couple of days and finish the narrative.

Sunday was spent at Sun Prairie, Wisconsin to see the Pepsi Nationals at Angell Park. 30 lap midget feature with sprint and legend cars as well. Great racing with a fireworks finale to boot. Made it home yesterday afternoon. Great trip. We're already kicking some ideas around for our travels next year. Maybe the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa with a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska for the museum Speedy Bill Smith put together. Should have a bit more freedom for the logistics when I'm no longer working and I should be able to afford a few trips as long as I stay out of the Harley gift shop!


Surly said...

Good thing you saved your money on the jersey. I still have mine and having lost some weight, I'm sure it will fit. I do appreciate that you were thinking of me, however.

Frankie Flood said...

I'm so glad to see you made it all around Milwaukee...just wish I would have been there to see you. I really missed the Millers at the Mile event this year. Country living has me feeling pretty content though!

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Surly: Glad I didn't splurge on the jersey now. You'll have to take good care of yours knowing what the replacement cost is these days.

Frankie: We had a great time up there. I really dig those old roadsters. Glad you're enjoying the country life. It is beautiful country down there. You'll have to send me the info on the anodizing course you're going to be offering next summer. I'm retiring in December so maybe I can come down that way. Maybe even ride that Royal Enfield down!

Frankie Flood said...

That would be GREAT! I will keep you posted on the dates when they are finalized. I'm just so glad you got to see the old cars in action at the Mile. It was always such a treat for Noah and I to have a Dad/Son day there. I'll always remember the times there fondly! Glad you got the experience!