Monday, September 12, 2016

Vashon Island TT - 2016

Big turnout this year but probably not as big a turnout as the first year I went. I had a great time hanging out with some good friends. I also met a couple of new guys with interesting motorcycle histories. I'll have to see I can follow up with them later when the smoke clears. All-in-all I found myself a little disappointed. The weather was fantastic but there were WAY too many modern bikes. Events like this have a communal cost. If you just go to SEE old bikes but can't be bothered to participate by actually BRINGING your old bike pretty soon the event becomes Sturgis, a big gathering of motorcycles about as interesting as toasters. I think I could almost count the number of 1900-1959 bikes on two hands. That is a huge change from just a couple of years ago. There is a bigger turnout of younger riders that in most cases can't afford the 1900-1959 bikes and are on 70's and 80's bikes. I'm cool with that and am glad to see them showing an interest in the hobby. The photos on the ferry are pretty representative of the collective in attendance as a whole. I think you'll see what I mean.

I've mentioned it before I think secretive nature of the Vashon TT is it's own demise. I'm told originally the date of the TT is always keep a secret to keep crowd sizes manageable and to keep the island from being overrun by hoards of sport bikes or the vanilla "dentists on Harleys" toy run type crowds. Fine except the formally invited are no longer bother to bring old bikes. Meanwhile A LOT of vintage guys just don't know about it or find out about it after the fact. I suspect in some cases the "if you want know when it happens you must join the club" comes across as oddly cliquish and draconian. Not to bash the VME because I love 'em. I just wonder if it's time to rethink the approach.

In any case here were my highlights. Sometimes I find taking photos at events to be a little too distracting and so admittedly, the photos are a little sparse.

Emma's first outing in a while, bright and early
Flathead Rob's Chief and "Uncle Wally's" ST165 we restored a few years ago. The ST stole the show. It got twice as much attention as the Chief did

Ferry to Vashon
Our coffee deprived hoard

BSA B20 - Check out that sidestand/ski pole/pontoon
1948 Triumph Speed Twin - Damn I wish I'd found this guy to meet him
Every show requires an obsessed machinists life work 1914 Indian powered "dirt bike" One cylinder capped off to make it a 500cc. Hand made OHV conversion. Loads of other stuff handmade or picked from a motorcycle salvage yard
Chuck, the owner of this bike is a super cool guy. He raced for Clif Majhor the legendary "The Sandy Bandit" in the 50's and 60's. Cliff owned Cycle Hub in Portland. I've posted tons of stuff about the shop over the years. Awesome
1928 HD JD Cutdown - Probably my favorite bike of the day. I love those damn JD's
absolutely 1936 Indian Chief


r50us68 said...

Totally agree. I want to go to the meetings, but the middle of the Week, early evenings, south of downtown are almost impossible to get to.
I Like to ride my 1953 R51/3 (pictured with my yellow helmet)
but don't always get the word through the grape vine. This year I woke up early to check the Ferry dock cameras, and when I saw a long line of bikes for the first ferry, I guessed it was happening and headed over
Luckily there were no other conflicting obligations like previous years
If it were to become a registered event, and you limited the entrances to Vintage, then lots of the Dentist might look for another event.

BitMonkey said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I spent quite a bit of time looking your bike over. It's super cool. You'll have to give me the background story on it some day.

Anonymous said...

Regarding younger riders with a desire to ride an older bike.
I am 69 years old and ride a hopped up 1935 VD.. But, being
on my 3rd childhood, I just acquired and modified a 1978 Yamaha
single cylinder.. I'll have about $3,000 total in the bike
and I'm now waiting for my registration title.. It was purchased
with a 'bill o sale". A bike like this should be totally do-able
for a younger enthusiast on a budget.. It is reliable, parts are
available, it's blast to ride and has that classic big single bark.

I'm thinkin' this bike would be perfect club rides and events.

Blind Melon

BitMonkey said...

Thanks for the comment. I would LOVE to post some photos of your 1935 VD. Please email me though the contact form on the right side of the page.

Mr.Douglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr.Douglas said...

Who's BSA M20 is that. I believe this particular one was mine. Just curious what happened to it after I sold it in '93-'94.

BitMonkey said...

I wish I knew. The M20 came with the guy on the Speed Twin. I was never able to chase them down.