On the heels of the polar vortex that took over the country the first week of February, the 2019 Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show & Swap took our minds off the mess. For the fourth year in a row, Walter, of Kickstart Cycle Supply, and his buddy Dusty pulled together some of the finest bikes around and lined them up in the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. Located on the actual boardwalk, the convention hall has a rich history of rock concerts and events that make it a great place to host this event.
The weekend started with a few bikes rolling in on Friday night; all stoked to get the party started. Bright and early Saturday morning, the majority of the bikes filed into the main area, checking in at the registration booth in the middle of the convention hall. While that was going on, swap vendors were unloading their goods to be set up in the concert theater of the building. As always, there were a ton of parts and supplies that moved quickly during the day. While the building was jamming downstairs, other vendors were setting up on the second floor, designated for more merchandise types of sales. Mike and Travis, organizers of the first Monochrome Photography Show, were also upstairs, putting the final touches on all of the displays. The photography show, the first to be held at Cheap Thrills, was a collaborative look at motorcycle culture through black and white photography. I was fortunate enough to be one of the eight photographers invited to submit my work.
In addition to the photography show, the Flake & Film presentation of custom painted tanks donated by our friends at Lowbrow Customs was set up near the Monochrome hallway. As if that wasn't enough to squeeze into Cheap Thrills, there was also the Sissy Bar Art Show, a presentation of 12 custom made sissy bars by invited builders from across the country. By 10 am, everything was ready to go, and the gate opened.
The line of people waiting to get in zig-zagged the inside of the convention hall, with fans coming from all over. Quickly, the bike area, swap meet, and upstairs filled with a massive, steady stream of visitors. All of the vendors I spoke to said they did very well for the day, making it worth all the work it took to get there and set up. Promptly at 5 pm, Walter started announcing the winners of the many bike build awards, as well as the "Big Deal" raffle of the Harley 45" motor, which tickets were sold for before and during the event.
The ChopCult award went to Kris Dial for his badass 1941 knucklehead. Along with the award, Kris received some ChopCult gear, a full feature on ChopCult.com, and a signed Darren McKeag Two Wheel Death Trap 12" x 36" screen printed, limited-edition poster.
After the awards were handed out, everyone packed up, headed for some food, and got some time to recover from the long day. The Best in Show award winner went home with $1,000 cash thanks to Old Bike Barn. Next up was the Cheap Thrills After Party, featuring Gods and Sun Voyager at the nearby Bond Street Complex. The party was extended later at Cheap Thrills' favorite The Saint bar. The next morning was heading-home-time for the many out-of-towners, and it was a wrap until next time.
AND THAT NEXT TIME IS UPON US!! The 2020 Cheap Thrills Show & Swap is coming up on Saturday, February 1st, 2020. Don't miss it! Follow @cheapthrillsnj and @kickstartcycle on Instagram for more information and updates. Follow me - @dv8sport - for photographs from this year's event. Here's a look back at last year's event. Enoy!
Daniel / @dv8sport / Website