Two Cents

Hot Bike - - Contents -

THANK THANKS YOU, A LOT MOTHER FOR THE NA­TURE. MON­SOONS AND HUR­RI­CANE WINDS TO KICK OFF THE 2018 HOT BIKE TOUR IN PHOENIX THIS PAST OC­TO­BER 2–6. YOU KNOW WHAT? BRING IT ON! IT’LL TAKE A LOT MORE THAN WIND AND RAIN TO KEEP THE HOT BIKE TOUR STAFF AND THE LON­GRID­ERS FROM AT­TEND­ING THE MO­TOR­CY­CLE RALLY THAT ROLLS. SO THERE.

It is pretty funny though that in one of the top five dri­est states in the na­tion (aver­age rain­fall of 4 to 8 inches per year), we were alerted to flash flood warn­ings the morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 2. We ral­lied the troops and headed over to the kick­off venue, the Road­run­ner Sa­loon, and pro­ceeded busi­ness as usual, stuff­ing 11 muddy cus­tom mo­tor­cy­cles from the 2018 Hot Bike Build-off in­side the bar. A huge thank you to the in­vited builders Justin Cole­man and Chris Staab, Bryan Schimke, Matt Frick, Lock Baker, Chris Moos, John Shope, Bran­don Hol­stein, Al Ra­poso, Danny Wil­son, Josh Rundlett, and Nick Trask. Th­ese gents only had a lit­tle over four weeks to build and bring a cus­tom bike for this year’s Hot Bike Tour, and they all de­liv­ered some stel­lar ma­chines.

The Hot Bike Build-off win­ner has al­ways been de­ter­mined by a cu­mu­la­tive score from the pop­u­lar vote of ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance over the course of five days. His­tor­i­cally, the builder with the most votes at the end of the five days was crowned Grand Cham­pion. We still kept the pop­u­lar vot­ing por­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion in­tact with a Peo­ple’s Choice award, which went to John Shope, of Dirty Bird Con­cepts, who was awarded the cov­eted Su­per Bowl-size ring from Speakeasy Orig­i­nal—his fourth ring to date. We also of­fered a Best in Show Award, which was judged by lo­cal Ari­zona bike builders: Paul Yaffe, Miguel Sa­maniego, Tony Mei, and Jesse Rooke. The judges all agreed that FXR Divi­sion’s Gp-in­spired Sof­tail racer was their fa­vorite, for which they were awarded a hand-tooled cus­tom leather wrestling-style belt from Red Beard Leather. A big thanks to the judges for their ef­forts. Con­grats to Dirty Bird Con­cepts and FXR Divi­sion for their wins.

Af­ter the Phoenix flood-fest, we hit the road to­ward Flagstaff, Ari­zona, with a stop at Buddy Stubbs Har­ley-david­son’s mu­seum to see the im­pec­ca­ble col­lec­tion of mo­tor­cy­cles the Stubbs fam­ily has col­lected over the years. Af­ter a stroll through the mu­seum, we hit the road to­ward Flagstaff via Prescott Val­ley up Route 89, then back to In­ter­state 40.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing at Grand Canyon Har­ley-david­son pretty soggy and cold, we warmed up from hos­pi­tal­ity of the gra­cious staff and then called it a day. The next morn­ing we hit the road to­ward Pine­top-lake­side to try our luck at the Hon-dah Re­sort and Casino. An­other epic day of rid­ing, we were treated to blue skies, and most im­por­tantly, no rain.

The next morn­ing we were ea­ger to head back to­ward Phoenix to the fi­nal lo­ca­tion at the Road­house Bar and Grill in Cave Creek. Owner Mark Bradshaw and his right-hand man, Kevin “KP” Price, were in­cred­i­bly hos­pitable and gra­cious hosts. Af­ter par­ty­ing Fri­day night, we hit the road Sat­ur­day morn­ing for some last-minute rid­ing un­til the fes­tiv­i­ties be­gan.

We were treated to Cole Free­man, from Ill Con­duct, jump­ing his Har­ley XG750 70 feet over 21,000 bot­tles of North­ern Chill wa­ter on pal­lets. There’s just some­thing about watch­ing a deathde­fy­ing jump live that you’ll never for­get. And thanks to Cole, North­ern Chill, and the Road­house, we were able to make this hap­pen, and Cole nailed the jump seam­lessly.

Af­ter the fes­tiv­i­ties closed and we said our good­byes to the Hot Bike Tour Lon­grid­ers, I was bummed to be leav­ing my Hot Bike Tour fam­ily. But I can’t wait to an­nounce where we’re go­ing in 2019. I think you’ll be stoked too! I hope to see you all out on next year’s Hot Bike Tour be­cause it truly is a blast! HB

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.