We took a quick ride across the beautiful state of Wisconsin from Viola to Milwaukee, to check out the “Milwaukee Rally” - the Anniversary celebration!
Working with two of our local S&S dealers, House of Harley-Davidson®, and Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson® - we set up not one, but two booths featuring our latest and greatest products. We brought out everything from our newest in exhaust, like our brand-new HD® Softail® slip on mufflers, to our Cam Plate and Oil Pump for M8 engines. The dealerships hosted a variety of brands, along with great music, refreshing drinks and delicious food. Each had a section of the road blocked off for motorcycle-only parking, which is definitely our favorite type of parking lot!
House Of Harley-Davidson®
Checking out all the goings-on was definitely a highlight of the weekend. From the stunt shows to the racing, the museums and motorcycle art, to the parade running through the heart of Milwaukee, there was more than enough to keep you busy and put some miles on your odometer!
Starting on Wednesday, we hit the Museum party - with live stunt shows by Cole Freeman, who runs an S&S engine in his stunt bagger - yes, you read that right, stunt BAGGER - and the Ives Brothers running the Ball of Steel - that’s not one, but two dirtbikes in a large steel ball. (We even have video from the INSIDE of the ball - be sure to watch it at the end of this post!)
Cole Frreeman's S&S powered stunt bagger
Kayla Inferno's Art
The museum also hosted a Motorcycle Art section - with photography by many noted moto-photo-journalists, and art from leather workers, Heyltje Rose who makes moto-related jewelry, and Kayla Inferno’s art (whose work our Teardrop often appears in!)
Heading over to the carnival area at Vet’s park - there’s more fun to be had. From a dyno-race - this is where two motos go head to head on the dyno, starting from a “Christmas tree” light - that’s a drag race light. Once the green hits, the bikes are “off” - well, strapped down to a dyno, and times are given for the imaginary ¼ mile!
Rhett on the Wall Of Death
Urias Family Globe of Death
The carnival also hosted more stunt shows - the Wall of Death, ridden by Rhett Rotten and his crew - Rhett now rides a 1949 WL 45” flathead on the wall - no easy feat! Just across the field from the Wall was the Urias Family “Ball of Death” - another large globe constructed from steel, this time ridden by 4th generation motorcycle stunt riders. They at one point get not one, not two, but THREE bikes running in the wall, the third piloted by a female rider from Russia!
Friday brought around the beginning of the races - starting with the drag strip. Great Lakes Dragaway just outside Milwaukee hosted a Run What Ya Brung Race - bringing out all sorts of bikes, from stock baggers, to sportbikes, and fully raced bikes. Our own S&S Race Dept employee, David L, brought out his race ready HD® Sportster®. He recently built it, including a stretched swingarm, tons of S&S internals and top end. He managed 11.082 on his first run down the ¼ mile, on straight pump gas!
David L on his race Sporty
Run Whatever ya brung!
Two baggers on the strip
Later that day came Flat Out Friday. Always an incredible time, Flat Out Friday is always a blast for us. We work with a ton of the Hooligan riders - from some of our own employees like Hunter K, from our exhaust department, to locals like JJ Flairty and Dave Kilkenny, to the infamous Rusty Butcher crew.
Fealy # 48 runs S&S
JJ Flairty catching air in the pull-start class
The "Purple One" - perhaps you're hearing Doves Cry..
Who let the Yeti in to race?
Hunter K fighting for the hole shot
Flat Out Friday is a basketball court sized concrete track covered with Dr. Pepper syrup for stickiness. The classes range from Hooligans, to pull start mini-bikes, to “inappropriate” class - which brings out choppers, trikes, baggers, and sometimes even snowmobiles!
Early the next morning brought the Hillclimb - taking place on a local ski hill, hooligans and hillclimbers hit the dirt and went wide-open trying to get up the hill. Sometimes this made for hilarity as a lot of the hooligans had flat track tires, rather than the standard knobbies one would want to get up a dirt hill!
Hillclimb action - photo by Ed Subias
And a jump! Photo by Ed Subias
JJ Flairty catching more air - on a hooligan Sporty - photo by Ed Subias
Next up came the beach racing. Bradford Beach hosted the first on-sand races in many years - this time, it was a sandy circle track. Bikes of all types - from unrestored classic 45’s to hooligans, and some of everything in between hit the sand. Some of the guys familiar to beach racing immediately got into the swing of things, while the Hooligans, used to packed dirt tracks or the concrete from the night prior, had a little harder time adjusting. Flying sand, and sometimes flying bikes or riders were the norm. The racing, set against the beautiful shallow waves of Bradford Beach was something not to miss. Spectators were allowed into the center of the track, where drinks and lunch were served, making for a great day of racing!
The soft sand makes for tough riding
Jeff L hits the sand
Hunter battles to get ahead
Unlike flat track, where you would sit up on the tank for the straights, you need to keep weight over the rear wheel to keep your front from digging in on the sand.
Kevin "Teach" Baas maintained incredible control on the sand.
After the races, it seemed everyone in town headed to Brady St for the party - Brady was about as crazy as Bourbon St in New Orleans, but with the street lined with motorcycles! The party continued late into the night, with the rumble of motorcycle exhaust capping the night as everyone rode off.
Sunday brought the Parade - starting at Miller Park, the parade wrapped through Downtown Milwaukee up to Bradford Beach. We rode along, with some of the ladies from the Milwaukee Rivets, Kalen Thorien (who you may recognize just got our V111” in her FXR) - Staci Wilt, and more! As you rode along the route, children and adults alike stood along the road, reaching out to the riders for high fives, and often requesting you rev your engine (something that, OF COURSE, we will oblige to any time a small future rider requests it!)
All in all, it was an incredible weekend in Milwaukee. The city knows how to host an event - from the local businesses who were incredibly welcoming of a bunch of loud motorcycles to the Milwaukee Police Department, who were all incredible and all have a great sense of humor!
We’ll see you at the next rally!