Collecting: Classic Motorcycles

Chuck West - June 6, 2012

"Classic Motorcycle Show at La Tienda features rare bikes, exhibits, food, microbrews, live music & more"

Article provided by Santa Fe Sun Monthly, now available on stands throughout the area. Read the full June issue.

"Let’s put on a classic motorcycle show,” my friend Erich Brock said to me a couple of years ago. It took a bit of pondering and discussio  but after some fits and starts, we put together a committee of ten dedicated folks, including Erich, my wife, Fabian, myself and a few other, mostly, residents of Eldorado to see if we could pull this off.

I started a motorcycle club here in Eldorado in 2007, as I had just bought a 2006 Triumph, and wanted to find some people to ride with. I posted a notice in the Eldorado Vistas newsletter announcing “a new motorcycle club.” Within a few months, the initial group of eight or 10 people who showed up at that first meeting grew to more than 70 members. The membership has now settled down to a more manageable 20 or so. The name of the club just had to be Motorado—the motorcycle club of Eldorado.

In January, a committee of 10 volunteers held our first meeting around my and Fabian’s dining room table. We were just throwing ideas out, talking about our experiences with such a project—woefully limited, as it turns out—but nothing said to us, “don’t do it!” In fact, the more we talked about having an event like this in Eldorado, the more excited we became. And, it seemed to be infectious. When we talked about our idea to other people, they became excited, too.

At one point, I got a little nervous, thinking reality would strike at any moment, and we would realize how unrealistic we were being. But no, as we worked through the process of laying out the show, the excitement grew. 

We would need a place to hold the event. We would need sponsors. And certainly, we would need interesting classic bikes to exhibit. Destiny Allison and Steve Ewers, owners of La Tienda, were our first supporters. They offered their upper parking lot for the event. And they wouldn’t charge us a dime.

We put out calls to everyone we knew who had connections in the motorcycling community, asking for exhibitors. We amassed a list of potential sponsors, each of us taking a chunk of the list and setting out to see if we could get funding. Early on, I had been in touch with a couple in South Florida who had produced a similar show for a few years. The wife, Louise Dutton, became a big cheerleader and advisor. Probably the most important piece of advice she gave me was to align ourselves with the local animal shelter. This gave us immediate legitimacy. Mention that The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society was our beneficiary sponsor, and out came the checkbooks!

We purposely kept the entry fees low—only$5 for exhibitors and $100for sponsors as we were a startup enterprise and didn’t want to price anyone out. Early sponsor signups were local businesses Quik Send, the Santa Fe Brewing Company Tap Room and the First National Bank of Santa Fe. We’re now at 20 or more sponsors.

And, the bikes! We have some rare bikes indeed. A 1934 Moto Guzzi GTS500 in pristine condition. A 1968 Maico GS125 dirt bike, also in pristine condition. There is a pair of Italian Parilla factory race bikes, Nortons, a Triumph Trident, Ducatis, BMWs, several interesting Japanese bikes, and what I think will be a real crowd pleaser, a display of three six cylinder road bikes—a ’76 Benelli 750sei, a ’76 Honda CBX and a ’79 Kawasaki K2-1300. Three bikes, six wheels, and 18 cylinders! 

We chose Father's Day for our event as we thought it would be a perfect place to take Dad on his special day. But, don’t think for a second that this is only for men. There are many female motorcycle enthusiasts at least one who will be exhibiting her Yamaha RD400 café racer in the show.

La Plancha Latin Grill will provide food and beverages and the Santa Fe Brewing Company Tap Room will provide their fine selection of microbrews, both adjoining the exhibit area. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter will have its pet adoption van on site, and Steve Rose’s Buffalo Nickel Band will provide live music.

Y’all come!

This is just one story in series of Men & Their Collections articles in the June 2012 issue of the Santa Fe Sun Monthly.

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