Category Archives: Museums & Collections

Mama Tried Show & Flat Out Friday 2017

Homegrown bike shows are the current thing: Handbuilt and Garage Brewed, for example. The early adopters of the concept are gatherings like the Brooklyn Invitational, the One Show and Born Free.

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Mama Tried in Milwaukee, held Feb. 17-19, is part of the more recent crop. Based on popularity and sheer numbers, it got traction fast in spite of changing venues three times in four years. Organizers added Flat Out Friday – a wild romp of sticky short track race action – the third year, and ice racing on Sunday (weather permitting), turning the show into a motorhead weekend.

Such an adrenaline-fueled weekend might only be possible in Milwaukee, a rust belt city with an industrial vibe that’s aided by the presence of Harley-Davidson, the H-D Museum and a solid brew-town heritage.

Mama Tried co-founder Warren Heir, Jr. was too busy to sit down and chat, but we stood and talked about the show as the crew set up. Read what he had to say then look at the pictures to see the bikes and get a feel for the show.

ITN: Who runs this show?
WHJ: Scott Johnson and I are partners in Mama Tried. Jeremy jumped on for Flat Out Friday as our partner for the racing last year. We also did a race in October. So this is our third race but fourth year.

ITN: So it was just the show the first two years then you added racing the third and fourth. Talk about the racing.
WHJ: It’s so much fun! We’re trying to bring racing back. Were trying to bring flattrack racing back in particular. I’m kind of new to flattrack and I really enjoy it. But it can be boring at some venues in the Midwest. It’s really made for the racers not the spectators, and it was stuck in the old school way of promoting. We wanted to turn it into a show. That’s why Flat Out Friday is a little flamboyant for a flattrack race but that’s what draws the crowd. And that’s what keeps the public interested. We can still stay true to racing but make it fun.

ITN: You have so many racers signed up!
WHJ: We had 140 in October. We have 240 this time.
It’s real racing, too. Some guy can come from California and not make the main because he wasn’t fast enough! You have to work hard, you have to be fast.

ITN: So how did Mama Tried get started?
WHJ: Scott Johnson, founder of the Rocker Box street event in Milwaukee, wanted to do something different. So he came to me, three, four times. I didn’t want to do a motorcycle show. I was jaded. I was raised going to motorcycle shows—my dad has a shop. They’re boring, it’s the same people, and I wasn’t into it.
And Scott talked me into it. He said let’s make it our own, let’s make it cool, let’s make it fun, let’s bring all our friends. Let’s make it a weekend thing, make it invitational. Let’s curate it and turn it into an artsy fartsy thing.

ITN: And what made it click?
WHJ: The reason why Mama Tried is such a success is because it’s in Milwaukee. It’s a community, a great city. Scott and I get the people here, but as soon as they get here and they experience the city they’re locked, they’re coming back. It’s a small town atmosphere with big city amenities.

ITN: You guys created a happening in four short years.
WHJ: It was insane! The first year we were expecting a thousand people and we got 10,000! It was a small place, too, really under the radar, super punk, in a construction zone in an old building downtown. Then it just snowballed.

ITN: So it was a perfect storm.
WHJ: Yeah. Scott was—and is—into racing quite a bit. He had that background and connections. I come from Harleys and choppers so I had connections there. When I met Scott I had just started racing.
So the idea beyond curating the show was to get like-minded individuals in the same room that wouldn’t necessarily hang out with each other, people who are not gonna cross paths unless you make them. I mix the bikes up (in the show display) so everybody has to hang out, not huddle together in their little scenes and cliques. I want the chopper kid to build a race bike and bring it next year. And I want the race bike guy to build a chopper.

ITN: Talk more about that.
WHJ: I want everybody to intermingle. I want the race guys to hang out w the chopper kids, the stock dudes to hang out w the weirdo guys. Then next year I want their conversations to spawn them to build the bike that’s different from what they came with last year. We all love motorcycles, but sometimes it takes a little push from the other side to get you to decide to try something else.

ITN: So it’s an invitational. Who do you invite? And how many?
WHJ: This year we said no more than 75. 120 later we’re still climbing. We have a problem with motorcycles.
We draw builders to the show based on personal connections and what we think is cool. We definitely need more female influence in this little world.

ITN: So just being invited is a nod of recognition for the builders, right?
WHJ: Yeah, we send invites and we made brass bottle openers for them this time. We rent the box at the Bradley Center and invite them for the races, make them feel special. Without them we wouldn’t have a show. We need them.

ITN: But no bike show winners, no trophies, right?
WHJ: We don’t like trophies. There are places for that, like with racing, but we’re not into it. Too many shows try too hard and do too much and it kills the vibe, it kills the vision. It’s gotta be natural.

ITN: How did you get Harley-Davidson involved in Mama Tried?
WHJ: It was a case of right place, right time. We went to see them and told them what we were gonna do. It’s been really easy, they’re great partners and it’s hometown. It’s not like: you sell your soul to the corporate partner. We can pretty much do whatever we want—except fly an Indian flag. That wouldn’t be respectful. Even with the racing, they jumped on in October with Facebook live and caught 500,000 views. So onward and upward! Let’s see if we can grow the sport more.

ITN: Anything else you want to say?
WHJ: I want to get across it’s a community thing. You come and hang out, we want you to experience Milwaukee. We make sure that there are multiple parties and pre-parties for people to go and have fun. It’s a weekend event. Milwaukee is coming along. It’s not quite Portland, but its cool to see it grow.

ITN: A lot of rust belt cities are being revived by younger people.
WHJ: I think it’s up to us. It’s our time. There are a whole bunch of rules now compared to when I was growing up, about what you can say and do. I like to find ways around them—and break them.

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Seeks Hall Of Fame Nominations

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the 2015 Hall of Fame and the 2015 Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame. Individuals, organizations and businesses considered for induction into the Hall of Fame will have made a positive and significant impact on motorcycling. Individuals considered for the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame will have made a significant impact through their work in grassroots rights efforts.

A comprehensive overview of their accomplishments is necessary to make an informed and educated decision. Please keep in mind that while his or her achievements may be outstanding, not everyone knows it. Biographical info, newspaper articles, historical documents, etc. may be submitted. Submissions should include the nomination form and any supporting materials, and must be received by the Museum no later than January 9, 2015.

Individuals chosen for induction into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame and the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame will be honored at the annual induction breakfast ceremony on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, taking place during the 75th Rally. This event is open to the public and tickets will go on sale beginning January 5, 2015.

Anyone interested in submitting a nomination form can download the Hall of Fame Nomination form online at www.sturgismuseum.com/assets/docs/uploads/15-nomination-form.doc. The Freedom Fighters nomination form is available at www.sturgismuseum.com/assets/docs/uploads/ffhof-nomination-form.doc or you can request a nomination form by phoning the Museum 605.347.2001 or emailing info@sturgismuseum.com.

Source: Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Posted by Sam Kanish

MotorWeek Visits Wheels Through Time

On Tuesday, August 26th MotorWeek, television’s original automotive magazine, will be taking a trip to and through the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The MotorWeek cast and crew will give viewers a glimpse inside the museum and talk history with curator and founder Dale Walksler for one of their upcoming episodes on Velocity TV.

MotorWeek, hosted by Emmy Award winner and show creator John Davis, is one of the most reliable sources of automotive news on television on the web. Each year, MotorWeek tests over 150 cars and trucks, offering consumer oriented reviews on performance, technology, practicality, and dollar value. Presented in magazine-type format, episodes include vehicle reviews, comparisons, news, and also special features, which is why they cast and crew are headed to Wheels Through Time next week.

Now in its 30th season, MotorWeek can be seen on PBS and Velocity channels. The show primarily focuses on what’s new in the automotive world, but they couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share one of the world’s premier collections of rare and historic American motorcycles and automobiles. Wheels Through Time houses over 350 unique machines in its 38,000 square foot facility, including numerous experimental, racing, and one-of-a-kind examples. Although the machines they’ll be viewing aren’t new, they represent their era’s cutting edge of technology and performance on both road and track.

For more information on MotorWeek’s visit to Wheels Through Time, visit www.WheelsThroughTime.com or call (828) 926-6266.

Source: Wheels Through Time
Posted by Sam Kanish

UPDATED WEBSITE FOR STURGIS MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM

If you’re interested in getting tickets to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast you’ll be happy to know that they have just launched a newly re-designed website to better serve browsers. The new website, www.sturgismuseum.com ,was launched on July 18th, just in time for the 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum worked with Robert Sharp & Associates in Rapid City in developing the content and design elements of the new website.

“We’re excited to have the new website online,” said Executive Director Christine Paige Diers. “Visitors to www.sturgismuseum.com will find updated photos of many of the motorcycles we have in the museum. You’ll also find information about upcoming events, and about our expansion project,” said Paige Diers. “We know how important it is to have interactive elements and up-to-date information in this virtual age. Our goal is to be more appealing and valuable to users, and I think this new website will realize that goal.”

In addition to information about the museum, the site features an online shopping cart where visitors can purchase museum and Sturgis related gift items, raffle tickets, and tickets to the annual Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast.

Source: Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame
Posted by Sam Kanish

Mystery of the Traub Motorcycle

In 1967, a plumber doing renovations of an apartment building

outside Chicago tore down a brick wall and found what would prove

to be a baffling mystery to vintage motorcycle enthusiasts – a one-of-

a-kind motorcycle bearing 1917 plates and the name “Traub”.

The building’s elderly owner admitted that his son had stolen

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