July 26, 2014 the weather looks absolutely wonderful on this fine Saturday morning as Mrs. Psyco & I load up the world famous Suburban Assault Scrambler, slipped into our riding gear and hit the road for a little jaunt 3 hours to the northwest to a little town called Chesnee. The Carolina Rider a newsletter/ezine/website that I have been following since signing up for their email list a couple of years ago, was sponsoring a bike show for Japanese and European motorcycles so I thought that I’d go check it out. Plus I love old motorcycles of any make or country of origin so the whole sound of the days event sounded like a winner to me.
I plotted a backroads course into the GPS on my phone and we sailed up highway 903 through Lancaster, getting onto highway 9 & eventually 909 for a while. We did stop at Historic Brattonsville, but just long enough to take a few pictures, but we are making plans to return for one of their living history events. From there I treated 909 as my own private roller coaster rolling back & forth with the curves until we got onto Highway 5 in Spartanburg County for a while, until we merged onto I-85 for the ten mile run south to Chesnee
This was a decent route that gave us only about 2o miles or so on the super boring slabs, did I mention it was a fantastic day for a ride? Even the temperatures were mild for a South Carolina summer with highs only in the lower nineties in the hottest part of the afternoon, during our morning ride out & evening ride home it was actually very nice and comfortable in our gear.
Getting off of the slab & rolling into downtown Chesnee, my initial reaction was that I must have made the wrong turn somewhere, as I drove my 34 year old Honda rat bike into a veritable traffic jam of Twin Cams, and Yamaha Stars, awash with brand new shiny chrome and that new bike smell filled the air surrounding them. This spectacle really is more of a rally than an actual antique motorcycle meet. This is not really a bad thing but in all honesty me (& my fat wallet) usually avoid Harley rallies because I don’t feel like putting up with the bullshit from all of the part time fair weather road pirates who just don’t understand why I don’t ride what they think I should ride. I don’t encounter that problem when hanging out with the AMCA crowd on their ancient Pan Heads and Indians. Normally between antique meets, VJMC events, and the occasional Ton Up Club show I get my fill of bike show & rally entertainment. But I got to give credit where credit is due everyone that I encountered here was as nice as you could hope to meet and if that trend continues I may add a few more of these rallies to my weekend plans.
I found the Carolina Rider tour bus and parked my bike in line for the show, there were several nice Brit bikes that had been lovingly restored, nearly new Moto Guzzi V7, a pair of nice early sport bikes etc. Crossing main street and heading to the next block where the swap meet vendors were a few old bikes came into sight, and there were some very unique and interesting motorcycles and parts available. It was not a huge meet and there was plenty of room left in the swap area, so if you’ve got stuff to sell I am sure they can fit you in next year.
For entertainment they brought in 3 trials riders with the On the Edge Action Show, one on a bicycle & two on motorcycles and they put on a fantastic show for us that was worth the trip all by itself.
I did take some video that will be posted at the motopsyco.com youtube channel as soon as I get the chance to get it edited. For the rest of this post I’m going to dispense with the storytelling & just post a few pictures & comments for you to peruse.
Of course no rally is complete without at least one of these Thoroughbred Motorsports trikes and this one had a splendid real fire paint job.
The Shadow in the foreground below belongs to Shaggy, one of the writers for the Carolina Rider, it’s a 2007 with 180,000 miles on it.
Moto Guzzi V7 for sale at a decent price. I admit to being tempted by this one.
Cool swap meet items!
Restorable Harley Sprint
The only drawback to riding my motorcycle to an event like this is not being able to bring little things like this home when I find them…
This really neat old Indian was in the swap section as well.
How about some fine Vintage Italian Iron?
Signs, signs everywhere are signs…
Since I like bicycles too I felt this was a great find.
Of course there was a lot of other stuff to look at, Chesnee Classic Cycle, the main sponsor of the rally had this fantastic & extremely rare XR1000 on display in the showroom.
This Suzuki RE5 Rotary was ridden in.
This wooden Indian is also on display at Chesnee Classic Cycle
Here’s some Britsh machinery (& a rat KLR) lined up for the Kamikaze show.
A pair of good looking Harley baggers One excellent vintage restored, the other a great looking late model custom!
I like the opposites in this shot, a massive VTX1800 trike & a scooter passing each other while cruising down Main Street.
“Howl at the moon, shoot out the light, small town Saturday night!”
Last but not least, here are the results of the 2nd Annual Kamikaze Motorcycle Show, first up the winner for best custom was this stunning Triumph Chopper.
The award for best sportbike went to this immaculately preserved 84 Kawasaki GPZ750
and some guy’s rusty old p.o.s. commuter Honda CB650 was awarded the best vintage trophy, go figure…
Yes I had a blast, (and not just because I got a trophy either) and enjoyed meeting Shaggy, Bub & the rest of the crew from the Carolina Rider, plus anytime you can spend a warm summer day with a few hundred of your fellow motorcyclists, you’re bound to have a good time. I am going to recommend that my fellow enthusiasts of Japanese, British, & European motorcycles stage a mass invasion of this event next year, & all you people with the Flatheads, Knuckles & Pans should show up too. Then it really could be Antique Bikes on Main.