August 4 – Weird and Wonderful Machines
Jen needed to do her laundry today, and I had to do mine no later than the next day, so I decided to get mine done today, too. Jen tried the machines at the campground, but the dryers didn’t work well so we ended up with her jeans hanging from the bunks. I thought I’d go find somewhere that had a little better facility, so I used MapQuest to find a laundromat in downtown Sturgis. (You know, that town that has the five-mile-long motorcycle traffic jam all day long? Yeah, that one.)
Since Jen and Paula had already left the campground for town, Tony and I decided to ride in together. We finally found the laundromat’s location (on Main Street, where it’s single-file in each direction for the bikes, and cars are flat-out banned because of all the parked bikes) and then started looking for a place to park.
After riding a couple of blocks and not finding a single space, let alone two, I told Tony to go find himself someplace to park and we’d meet back at the laundromat. I didn’t see him for the rest of the day.
I got lucky. I found a spot not *too* far away from everything, and then I hiked back to the laundromat – only to find out they had MOVED! Their new location was still on Main Street, but it was over a mile away. Rather than try to find a *second* parking spot, I decided to walk it. Being the gearhead that I am, I took pictures of some of the unique bikes and trikes I saw. I also took pix as I walked back to the Honda after finishing my laundry, and again while I was wandering around looking at all the souvenirs and kitsch and bars and people and kiosks and stuff.
There are way too many for this post, but I’ll upload them to Flickr or something (eventually…) and then you’ll get to see them all. In the meantime, enjoy these.
In addition to the weird ones, I saw a boatload of bikes and trikes with awesome paint jobs. I had sensory overload – again.
I also visited the Motorcycle Museum, which has a collection of old bikes (along with other items). I especially liked this one done for the 50th-Anniversary Rally:
And just to show you that there is seldom anything new, here’s a photo of a 1910 Indian Tri-Car:
Indian Motorcycles went out of business in 1953, and several attempts to resurrect the name failed. In 2011, though, Polaris brought it back and is now making new Indians. There was one in the rider-proficiency course I took last June, and it sounds and looks delightful – it burbles like a big V-8. I’ve also seen others, and there’s a dealership in Sturgis (go figure).
I noticed a bit of gamesmanship among the Big Three American manufacturers. Each marque (Harley-Davidson, Victory and Indian) proudly and prominently shows the displacement of its big engines on one of the cover plates. Harleys are 103 cubic inches; Victorys are 106, and Indians are 111. I wonder how long it’ll be before either H-D or Victory ups the ante with a larger-than-111-cubic-inch engine?
So that was my (first) day of wandering around Sturgis. I finally got back to the cabin about 7:30 PM, only to find out that I was the last one back! Tony had overdosed on the crowds and left town about 2:30, while Jen and Paula got back around mid-afternoon. I think we were all tired that evening; in any event, I don’t remember any of us going out and partying. (You’ll note that there are two possible explanations for that lack – one is we didn’t go; the other is we went but I don’t remember any of it.)