Gophers and Cheese is a motorcycle blog focused on Minnesota and Wisconsin near the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Since 2010, Gophers and Cheese has featured original photos and write-ups of motorcycles, great places to ride, and local events in the area.
This was the first year at the new venue, Red Stag Supper Club in downtown Minneapolis. I've had dinner there quite a few times but was skeptical what it would be like for a motorcycle show. As it turns out, the location worked out well and the weather was fantastic. Billy got sunburn but I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to talk about that as he kept telling everyone over the loud speaker that he was aware.
I rode my '04 Sportster and parked across the street, but there was plenty of parking for both spectators and show bikes down the blocked-off side streets.
Food, beer, and live music are staples of the Spring Social and Crankshaft was outside doing his bluesy one-man-band thing. I've seen him play quite a few motorcycle and car shows over the years and he's great.
I got there late but lucked out to see the elusive "First Thursday" himself just as Dan was about to take off. It was a little surprising to see him on his Sporty and not his Royal Enfield, given it's a cafe racer show, but it was good to see him since he dropped off social media to focus on raising his 10-20 children. Maybe he doesn't have that many but I can't keep track and I doubt he can either. That's why he numbers instead of names them.
Nate has a killer van.
There were tons of cool bikes but I'll just focus on a few.
You probably know I love mini bikes so I'm a sucker for Harley Shortsters (X90). This one was entered in the Italian category since it was made by Aermacchi..
Blue Cat had this sweet looking Suzuki. It looks like it could go anywhere and be so much fun.
Brett's Sporty is always a favorite of mine.
Zack's pan is beautiful.
My favorite bike in the show was this Triumph. It was awesome.
If you've been following me over on Instagram you know I recently picked up two more late-70s Honda Z50s to add to my Evil Monkey (aka Snow Monkey in the winter). One clearly caught fire so I call it the Toasted Monkey. I'm rebuilding that one for my kids (and they're helping!). The other was pretty much just a frame so it's a blank canvas for me that I'm calling the Monkey Chop.
It won't look exactly like this but here's a quick mock-up of the direction the Monkey Chop is going:
Now I just need to crank up this song in my garage to get motivated. It's classic disco from 1979 and it's perfect!!!
To provide a little contrast, here's their new Himalayan adventure bike:
Here are some photos of the stunt show on Sunday.
After the stunt show, I took my kids to hear Lisa Brouwer talk about her cross-country motorcycle trip, following the trail of the Avis & Effie Hotchkiss, mother and daughter, who did it on a Harley Silent Gray Fellow (with sidecar) about 100 years earlier. My daughter thought Lisa's talk was the best part of the whole show.
While I tend to take photos of custom and vintage bikes, the show is really about featuring new bikes from all the big manufacturers. There were new two bikes I was interested in. First is the new Fat Bob 114. I really want to test ride one of these as I've heard nothing but good things.
The other is a Honda Grom, which I somehow failed to take a photo of so here's a similar Suzuki. I love mini bikes.
Here a few more bikes from around the show...
I think engine cutaways are cool and I don't recall seeing a suspension cutaway before.
BMW had this setup... and I'm just going to leave this right here.
Photos from the 2018 Progressive International Motorcycle Show... posted in 2017??? I've fallen so far behind blogging that I'm now time traveling to get ahead. In reality, the show just moved up due to Minneapolis hosting the Super Bowl this year. The bike that caught my eye when I first walked in was this Indian with airplane sidecar.
Yes, it's ridiculous, but the craftsmanship is outstanding... some might say riveting.
Speaking of Indian, they had their drool-worthy FTR1200 on display. Social media was quick to point out how I had confused this bike with their FTR750 and/or their actual race bike. Oh well, I deleted the post. Next time they should just put a sign on it.
Speaking of flat track, here's Harley's bike next to an Indian for green screen photos. Was the Indian deliberately placed in front of the Harley for realism or was it just my camera angle? Hmmmmm.
When I think flat track, I don't think BMW but check this out:
To wrap up the Indian bikes, here's a polished Scout (I appreciate the work, but still think this motor is ugly).
Keino does incredible metalwork and this is his take on a Scout. To me it looks like a superhero or a robot.
Live music was playing, beer was flowing, and the scene was set for another day of partying but for me the road was calling. I had such an awesome ride down that I wanted more so I slipped away and headed back on the road... directly into more rain.
Thankfully, it passed quickly and I headed toward Anamosa.
I had been meaning to get down to the National Motorcycle Museum and it definitely did not disappoint. I took a bunch of photos there that I'll have to post another time.
The ride home was good. I don't remember all the roads I took but it was a much more direct route than what I took to get down there.
By the time I got home, I covered 1,044 miles and smashed just about as many bugs with my face.
I hope to make a lot more memories this year as Hell On Wheels 2017 is tomorrow!!!
Once everyone was awake and managed to get their bikes started, we headed off for a scenic ride to the show. I can only imagine that my 2008 Road King stuck out a bit, nestled in a pack of choppers. It would be in the eye of the beholder to determine which was the anachronism.