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A Bike At A Car Show?

Buzz Kanter Columns Harley Magazine Blog This Months Column

A Bike At A Car Show?

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter
Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I have met a lot of great people at car shows, many of them riders like you and me

I just got back from a car show. But, being the wild, rebellious biker that I am, I rode over on a motorcycle. I often find that motorcycles are of great interest to many of the showgoers.

This particular show was a free event held in a nearby town. And when I say it’s very high end, I do mean very high end. Many of the 
cars there are worth more than I paid for my first home! So why would I ride one of my funky old motorcycles to a high-end car show? The answer is simple, because most car people—young and old—seem to enjoy looking at and learning about cool motorcycles.

I usually spend some time cleaning and prepping the bike a day or two before the show. I ride my bikes, so they are seldom spotless. I ride over early to get a decent spot and spend at least half the time answering questions and letting them take photos.

I rode to this show on an original-paint, slightly crusty 1956 motorcycle. As usual, the old bike got at least as much attention as the perfectly pristine high-buck machines near it. I bring my bikes not to show off (they’re worth a fraction of what most of the other vehicles are worth) but to expose people to motorcycling in a positive and fun way.

I answer all questions and encourage people with info about the bike, and I let some of the kids sit on the bike for photos. Typically, I get the same few questions. What year is it? How long have you had it? Is it hard to get parts or work done on it? What’s it worth? How did you get it? One bonus was that I met a man interested in selling some old motorcycles he inherited from his father. They are not anything I am interested in, but you never know.

I am not the only one to do this, as I have met a lot of great people at car shows, many of them riders like you and me. So, you might consider taking your bike, new or old, stock or custom, to the local car shows or car nights and become an ambassador for motorcycling. It’s fun sharing info about your bike, and, who knows, you might make some new friends and riding buddies.

Show Your Home-Built
Along the lines of sharing our motorcycles with others, we in the American Iron family have a special fondness for home builds. Sure, new stock bikes are great. And so are the pro-built bikes that we all study and get customizing ideas from. But our favorites are your garage- or amateur-built customs—mild to wild.

To help celebrate and encourage that approach, we publish an all-tech and DIY magazine, American Iron Garage, six times a year. If you share our passion for this, please send us magazine-quality photos of your bike, either in its current condition or with before and after photos for us to publish. Email them to [email protected]. And you can subscribe at AIMag.com.

If you have a great homebuilt and you plan to ride it to Sturgis (it’s only a few months away), please consider this as my invite for you to enter the 2018 Sturgis Garage Build Show at the Iron Horse Saloon on Saturday, August 4. Registration is noon to 1 pm, and the judging starts right after that. Who knows, you might win a trophy or a feature in either American Iron Magazine or American Iron Garage! Dennis Kirk is also giving away hundreds of dollars of gift cards. This event is open only to amateur and garage builders, so no pro builders, please! More details at AIMag.com.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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