The Mama Tried Custom Motorcycle Show in Milwaukee, WI has earned a reputation as an impressive collection of diverse custom motorcycles mixed with an atmosphere of fun-loving moto junkies. On top of that, they kick off the weekend with an indoor flat track race called Flat Out Friday that pulls some of the fastest on the track. That sounded like an experience we couldn’t pass up, so we hitched a ride with the Go Fast Don’t Die crew to take you inside the event that goes down right in Harley-Davidson’s own backyard.
On Friday night the pits were packed with hungry racers eager to rip around the short track at the UMW Panther Arena. Riders of all skill levels were led onto the track by Shaun Guardado and Kristen Lassen proudly flying colors for the opening ceremony.
Once things got going, the races ran quick and the action was high. Some of the highlights of the night saw pro racers Sammy Halbert and Jared Vanderkooi on the track, a competitive Women’s Class Main, and little groms on bicycles. Of course, the Goofball Class was one of our favorites.
Everyone woke up to a brisk Milwaukee morning, but that didn’t stop throngs of people from flooding in the doors of The Eagles Ballroom. The venue itself is beautiful with a high glass dome ceiling, artistic molding and a whole mezzanine filled with rad custom shops and parts fabricators. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly as people zig zagged through rows of bikes, stopping to point out their favorite details.
The Vibe Room was where you could find CAMP ZERO hanging with Go Fast Don’t Die and J&P Cycles, handing out fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and getting everybody stoked on the PB&J Ride that launches from CAMP ZERO to take riders on a rip around the Black Hills on Aug. 2, 2019. Some pretty cool people stopped by for a snack.
People spent a lot of time cruising the halls talking motorcycles. The selection of custom and restored bikes was diverse in brand and style. One favorite was George Smith’s “Tramp”, the original S&S “proven performance” concept bike.
A totally one-off creation by Zon of Japan was one that caught everyone’s eye, with a prototype boxer engine from BMW Motorad. It had the long, sleek look of a boardtracker and the futuristic, yet carburated engine gave the whole build a real steampunk feel.
On Sunday, the show started winding down but there was no shortage of good times to be had. There was a hot tip that some ice racing was going down at a local marina. So naturally, we had to load up and go check it out. A loose assembly of riders were ripping around a freshly blowed track on the ice even with sub-zero temps and snow falling.
The whole weekend was widely acknowledged as good times for all, with friendships forged, ideas inspired and lots of smiles. You can check out all of the good times and motorcycles on Instagram @campzerosturgis. We can’t wait for next year’s show, but we look forward to seeing all of our new found friends at CAMP ZERO this August.
Did you go to Mama Tried or Flat Out Friday this year? Tell us about your favorite part
Forget everything you think you know about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and start from ZERO.
CAMP ZERO is the launch site for raising hell and rallying like the old days—a place where you can party like it’s 1981 with other cheapskates who love rad bikes, dirtbag friends and wild parties.
At CAMP ZERO you’ll have everything you need to party, rinse and repeat, without all the fancy red carpet stuff you gotta pay more for somewhere else.
As long as you’re down with a little dirt and debauchery, you’re invited. (Grumpy old bikers need not apply.)