Gophers And Cheese

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.


Content Posted by Gophers And Cheese

Full Tilt Boogie 2016 - Part 1

Last year, the Full Tilt Boogie Chopper Show did NOT disappoint (it never does).  It was the sixth year and there was a great crowd, beautiful weather, a parking lot full of choppers (that were actually ridden there), awesome live bands, and... for the first time at Full Tilt... arm wrestling.  Yes, there even was an Over-the-Top-inspired arm wrestling tournament!!!  It was an incredible day and I took tons of photos.  I'll post over 250 by the time I'm done.  If this doesn't get you ready for this year's show (July 8th at Cabooze), nothing will.

Come back tomorrow for more photos!... and the next day and the next day and the next day...

Heavy Thursdays - May 2017

Heavy Thursdays started last year.  On the first Thursday of a few months of the year, Heavy hosts a bike night at The Joint / Cabooze for a mix of choppers and music (DJ and live).  It tends to be a very different crowd than the bike night at Dulono's in uptown that happens at the same time.  Here are some photos from the first Heavy Thursday of the 2017 (May 4th).  Zig Zag Wanderer played the patio.  Don't miss the very Minnesotan bike with boat-themed sidecar. Also featured are bikes by Brett, Jake, Zack, a few Kevins, and more.

The next Heavy Thursday is this Thursday, June 1st.  Don't miss it!

Mama Tried 2017 Feature on Chop Cult

In case you missed it, my photos were featured for the 4th time on Chop Cult last month.

This most recent feature was for Mama Tried / Flat Out Friday / Slippery Sunday 2017.  Here's the link:
Mama Tried 2017

Here's just a small sampling of photos.  Check out the feature for lots more.

Thanks Lisa!

2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show - Part 3

Here are a few more photos from the 2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis.

More photos of Pete's panhead:

Jordan's knuckle:

Jordan's panhead:

Bob's Evo:

Evel Twin:

Flat-track Sportster:

Gilby's Green Onion:

Retro futuristic:

Just plain retro:

Just plain futuristic:

Really nice panshovel:

More of the Indian Scout flat tracker:

This Scout had a retro-modern blend that is really interesting.

Another custom Scout:

What's cool about this BMW is that it's a factory model, not a custom.

I'll end on a few more photos of the bike I'm calling the triple hummer.

Due to the Super Bowl being hosted in Minneapolis, the 2018 show will actually be at the end of 2017.  Mark your calendar as the show returns December 8-10, 2017!

2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show - Part 2

The stunt show at the 2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show was really fun to watch.  The fact they were doing these stunts indoors was nuts.  Here are some of the highlights from the 6:30pm show:

Photos from the show wrap up tomorrow.  Come on back!!!

2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show - Part 1

I attended the 2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Saturday.  Here's a bunch of photos from the show starting with the Evel Twin.

Jordan's panhead and knucklehead:

Pete's panhead:

Bob's Evo:

As if Vincents weren't fast enough...

This bike looked like fun:

1948, 1949, & 1950 Harley Hummers in one bike.  I'm not sure if the bike has a name but I'm calling it the triple hummer.

Custom Victory:

Flat track Sporty:

Indian's flat trackin' Scout:


The satin finish on the Geico bike was so weird.  It didn't look like it was made of metal.  It almost looked 3D printed.

Speaking of 3D printing, there was a really cool 3D printed prototype of Harley's new Milwaukee Eight motor.

Here's a cutaway of the real thing.

Here's another example of 3D printing (not from Harley):

Roland Sands BMW:

The swingarm mounted fender was nicely done.

Another BMW.  This one has a scrambler feel.

Scramblers are popular right now.  Here's Ducati's:

...and here is scrambler art by Makoto Endo:

You know what else is popular?  Mini bikes... or maybe I'm just obsessed with them, I can't tell.

More photos from the show tomorrow!!!

Mama Tried 2016

Who's excited for Mama Tried next month?

I know I am excited!  It'll be my third year attending.  Last year was particularly awesome since I got to take photos for Chop Cult (feature here).  I just looked back at the photos from last year and here's a bunch of my favorites.  Some were shared in the Chop Cult feature and others are new.  Enjoy!

Flat Out Friday:

Pre-Party at the Museum:

Mama Tried:

[Unofficial] Ice Riding (aka Slippery Sunday):

See ya in Milwaukee!!!

2017 Calendar Updated!

I should have known better than to start an ambitious 10-part retrospective cover the last 10 years...  I've only finished part 1 and that was over a month ago.  Anyway, if you've been following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you know I've been busy trying to fit a snowmobile ski on my little Honda Z50.  It should be awesome.  I've just been terrible at blogging lately (pretty much the case all year).  That said, I'm not giving up on the blog and I still want to maintain my Event Calendar as even I use it to keep track of when everything is.

The 2017 Event Calendar kicks off as always with the I-Cycle Derby on New Years Day.  Yes, people ride on 2 and 3 wheels through the streets of Minneapolis on January 1st and have every year since 1949!

While the I-Cycle Derby is the exception, the first few months are dominated by big shows, not rides.
Hope to see you out there!

10 Years on 2 Wheels - 2006 to 2007

I've been neglecting the blog but I've still been busy riding, wrenching, and taking tons of photos this year.  I couldn't let October go by without acknowledging a very significant milestone.  I bought my first motorcycle almost exactly 10 years ago today and, yes, it is the same exact same bike that has the black and red lace rattlecan paintjob that I still ride today.

I took this photo yesterday while riding through Wisconsin.  Yes, I swear it's the same bike.  I've just changed a few things and put a lot more miles on it.

I thought it might be fun to take a look back and post some photos from the last 10 years, one year at a time.  While you may have seen some, I'll try to post a bunch you haven't seen before.  Some will be a little embarrassing, but that's half the fun of old photos.

This is my 2004 XL1200C when it was brand new to me in October 2006.

I considered starting with a smaller bike but am so glad I didn't as I never grew out of it.  I found the bike on the website Car Soup.  It was at a car dealer and it was apparently used as a trade-in.  It was pretty much stock with 8,000 miles on it.   The trick was that the dealer was down in Burnsville and I live 30 minutes north.  My only experience riding motorcycles was at the weekend MSF course and I never made it past 2nd gear on the 250cc loaner bike in the community college parking lot.  I will never forget how nervous I was just trying to start the thing at the dealer and not look like a total dumbass.  The ride home was insane.  I had to work my way up to 5th gear and the wind felt ridiculously strong, I felt like I was going to get blown off the back of the bike.

Right away, I made my first modification.  I can laugh about this now, but I added this Willie G skull to the sissy bar.  I thought it was pretty cool at the time.  Obviously, I was born to customize motorcycles.

As Christmas approached, my wife and I immersed ourselves in all things Harley-Davidson including getting photos with Santa at not one but two dealerships.  I look so young without a beard.

With only a little bit of fall riding under my belt, I spent the winter making modifications to the bike to make it more comfortable 2-up and easily convertible for solo riding.  I added a cushy 2-piece Mustang seat and a removable windshield.  I swapped the sissybar for a removable one with a luggage rack.  For looks, I removed the tank trim and gas cap and added a Mustang tank bib and, of course, Willie G skull gas cap.  I swapped the derby cover, I added trim rings to the headlight and turn signals, and got a curved laydown license plate holder.

In February, I started taking photos at motorcycle shows, which I continue to do to this day.  This is the International Motorcycle Show (I don't think it was branded "Progressive" back then) where the Nightster debuted.  Remember the Nightster?  'Member??

My wife and I were back out riding in late March and performance modifications were next.  I ditched the stock muffler and air cleaner for a set of Python3 slip-ons and an Arlen Ness Big Sucker.  The air cleaner swap and carb jetting would end up being the only modifications to this bike that I didn't do myself.  My wife and I rode all over the place on the bike.

In June, we took our first multi-day motorcycle-only trip to the Minnesota HOG Rally in Duluth.  Yes, I was briefly a HOG member.  Again, I can laugh about this now.  It was hot when we left Minneapolis but it was freezing up around Lake Superior.  We had to buy extra layers and gloves.  We had fun riding around the north shore and into Superior National Forest.  We even took part in the giant HOG parade through town, which was very cheesy but kinda cool.

The culmination of my first year on two wheels was Sturgis 2007.  I rode the Sportster and my wife followed in our CR-V but we rode around 2-up once we got there.  We stayed in Rapid City and attended the back-half of the rally.  Seeing the Black Hills on a motorcycle was amazing.  Being surrounded by so many other bikes was incredible.  Here are some photos from the trip.  The craziest moment was definitely riding through the middle of a buffalo herd.  It was stupid, but awesome.

I commemorated the trip with my first (and still only) tattoo at Buddha's on Main Street.  I remember thinking that it might hurt at first but I assumed it would numb up as the endorphins kicked in.  Nope, I was wrong.  It hurt the whole damn time.  After he was done, the artist told be to put A+E ointment on it.  I had no idea what that was.  My wife and I rode out of town to a Wal-Mart where an employee rolled his eyes and took me to the baby aisle.  I am a little surprised I haven't gotten more tattoos over the last 10 years but I have no regrets about this one as it's deeply meaningful to me.

After it healed:

While we took 2 days to get out there, we came back in one.  The 600-mile ride back in a single day remains the longest day trip I ever had on my Sportster and my ass and back hurt so bad by the time I got home.  I could barely walk.  I covered 2,000 miles on that trip alone.

I put about 8,000 miles on the bike in the first full year of ownership.  It is still the most I have ridden in a single year.  I had so many good times, both solo and with my wife on the back.  We went out riding all the time - in the evening after work and on weekends.  We always enjoyed road trips together and the bike gave us a brand new way to experience them.

Be sure to check back soon for more old photos and stories.


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