The Motorcycle Show Calgary

Tim DuBois sat down one day and wrote a song that Jerry Reed took on and it became a huge hit for the now deceased superstar.  Personally I liked most of Jerry’s songs, and as an actor I thought he was a natural.  The song that Tim wrote was called “She got the Goldmine (I got the shaft)”, which is basically what happens to you when you get a divorce and your wife takes everything.  Poor Jerry got the shaft.  Living on food stamps, he was then jailed for contempt of court.  Oh how the mighty fall.  

1000 miles north of Jerry’s hometown of Atlanta sits Springfield Massachusetts.  Back in 1897 a couple of fellas named George M. Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom had a few beers and decided to make a motorcycle.  I guess they figured they could do better than everyone else back then so after some hits and misses they came up with the Dare Devil, had a few arguments, as you do, then one thing led to another Indian took hold of the American way of life.  

That was until Hitler came along.  Mr. Mein Camp saw it fit to the rid the world of pretty much everyone, but the Brits, Canadians and Americans, (along with most everyone else) decided it would be best if they make a lot of planes and tanks and send him packing.  So there was Indian making bikes for the government and when the war ended, Indian had built all these bikes that no one higher than a ranking senate wanted.  Jerry’s words seemed to ring true for the DuPont family.  It also didn't help that the Harley's at the time were bit more powerful.  So Indian got the shaft and by 1953 all the punch clocks in the Springfield factory started a new job title.  collecting dust.  

A few years go by and the general public were now more interested in what the Japanese were doing. Introduced at the TT races in the 50's, the Brits and Italians on their Norton's and MV Augusta's laughed at them.  By the 60's however, Honda, flashed their high beams and passed them by and have never looked back.  Both Honda and Yamaha along with Kawasaki and Suzuki, bounced the winning Tourist trophy back and forth for many years to come.  The Brits were no longer laughing.

Now, onto  Harley's .  When William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson got together, they created a brand so popular, the whole world not only knew who they were.  To say they have a cult following is putting it as mildly as ketchup on Freedom fries.  How many people work in appliance sales do you know with Maytag tattooed on their arm.  I didn’t think so.  Now Harley's are noted for being loud, slow, unreliable and the brakes so poor, you need to fit anchors and and a prayer book.  However, they once held the world speed record for a whopping 16 years blistering past the stop clock at a Flux capacitor braking 322.15 mph.  For those of us in Moose county or Finland,  that’s 518.45 km/h.  Try that on your Ninja or Super dream.  

The best part of this show wasn't the bikes or the stands.  Some of which are selling property in heckifiknow BC, (not sure what that has to do with bikes but anyway), no, the best thing was the people. Without us people there would be no coat check, (Thank you Honda) no Insurance agents selling you Insurance you already have and no pretty white fondue hair styled models trying to win your heart and minds with Italians version of there dream machines. The Ducatti

They’re people are from all walks of life.  Sure their were big Harley bikers with leather vests and ass-less chaps and chains hanging from there bellied waists.  To this 15 year old kid whose dreams of dirt biking trails and hitting 80 feet verticals in sponsored leathers and Oakley wraparounds.  Scaring parents is a given. 

Ladies of every age were clambering on big Triumphs, saying, "well if my husband can do this, I can too". 

47 year old newlyweds were walking side by side with there new online wives, dreaming of what life was like when they were still invincible.  Hopping on board Ninja's thinking, I still have what it takes.  But that paunch that sags over their 38 +inch waist is telling them otherwise.  

The RCMP , the sheriff and the Calgary Police were also on hand, not to assist in a texting take-down, but to show the paying public that they too “Live to Ride”.  Staff Sargent Paul Stacey a 27 year member of the Calgary Police force was also on hand.  We chatted for about 20 minutes remembering old faces and times when we didn’t require glasses.  This fellow has seen more collisions and fatalities than we care too, yet with a welcoming smile and fondness for his trusty Harley, he was more to happy to converse with us.

I don’t see this man hanging up his spurs just yet. Just remember, he may be a pleasant man to chat with, but cross his path and your going to be getting a yellow page out of his book.

Their were Helmet stands, with lids of every size and colour you could imagine.  Girls young and old, flirted with open face helmets, as they dream of summer.  Wait for it.  Here it comes ..., -- cut to slo mo.  the ever so sexy,  the long awaited. Hair flick.   With bright red lipstick and come to bed eyes, these girls know the routine.  Us Of the lessor species, melt like molten s'mores.  This is the sole reason why bikers love girls.   

If a standard run of the mill R3 wasn’t your cup of Joe, then look for Lucid Kustoms or precision frameworx, they can take your hard earned wad and create something just for you.  From a ground up custom billet Aluminum hard tailed roller coaster, to a 70’s style café racer, it was all at the Motorcycle show.  

Polaris even strutted their stuff with a Slingshot - a three-wheeled motorcycle that looks like it was made for moon landings and not cruising the streets of 17th ave.   Not sure what the attraction is,  but I have a sense that Batman would be driving this if his tumbler was in the shop.  

When the jumping showcase event began, we lumbered past an old Kawasaki.  All I could think of when I saw this old beast was going back in time to the late 70’s when Erik Estrada and The other guy came to life on Sunday night. For 6 seasons they showed us what life was like on the California highways.  Growing up in the UK, my brothers and I, Kick started our imagination, and began to serve and protect our street.  That was until mom called us in for supper. OK So I didn’t see the C Series bikes, but the memories were still there.

Did I mention Batman.  His Tumbler MUST have been in the shop Polaris made one for him too.

Many thanks to Indian for taking the time to chat, and to everyone else who did a marvelous job setting up a great show.  I hope the bikes that leave the showroom this weekend will bring many fond memories and for those of you who like to ride like Barry Sheene, Staff Sargent Paul Stacey and his fellow brothers will be watching.

Ride safe everyone.   Bring on the summer. 

Heath Cox - Editor InTouch.NEWS