Top Ten Bikes at The Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer RunEvery first Sunday in May and first Sunday in October, southern Wisconsin is the site...
Every first Sunday in May and first Sunday in October, southern Wisconsin is the site of the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run. It's strictly a word-of-mouth organic event that has taken on a life of its own since being founded by the members of the Slimey Cruds back in the seventies.
The run is open to all makes and models notwithstanding the “Café Racer” part of the name, and it's an event open to the widest possible range of participant interpretation. There is no corporate sponsorship, there are no beer company signs, no oil company banners, there isn't even any motorcycle manufacturer and accessory manufacturer come-ons. It's all by the riders, for the riders.
There is no group ride, no start-finish time, no official route to follow, no entry fee, no fund-raising, no poker run, no membership required. Nothing is expected except to respect other riders, be safe, and have some fun. The ride meanders by any route of your choosing across the broad Wisconsin River Valley, from Pine Bluff in Dane County to Leland in Sauk County.
There were early reports of dry, warm weather with partly cloudy skies and the addition of a special remembrance ceremony at Leland to honor Junior Sprecher. He was the well-liked, affable proprietor of Sprecher’s Bar brought out (by many estimates) what was the largest crowd of riders ever. Some observers estimated about 4,000 participants, and my guess is that’s not far off.
The ride brings out the best of the best in motorcycling—from craven rat bikes and glittering customs, to vintage originals, adventure bikes, cruisers, street fighters, trikes and of course, café racers of infinite description.
We at RideApart are happy to share our picks for the top ten bikes at the spring 2015 running of the Slimey Crud Café Racer Run with you. The criteria used for making the picks are completely random, arbitrary, and bear no benefit to anyone. The categories are made up with no particular method of selection other than personal opinion and bias. Enjoy!
Best Café Racer: Whoever said size matters never saw this sweet little Honda Café Racer. In the case of this bike, less is more. This bike was so clean, I stayed three feet away for fear of grease dripping off my jacket on it.
Best Sportster Knock-off Radical: If this custom started out life as a Sportster, this has to be the best knock-off Sportster radical custom ever created! Turning an 883 Sporty V-twin into a UJM DOHC inline four has got to be the renovation of the century! I mean, you do identify motorcycles by what it says on the gas tank, don’t you? While the seat may not look that inviting with the latest version of a softail suspension system, it's probably all-day comfortable. Ok, maybe that mill is a Suzuki, but either way this is creative.
Best color-coordinated matched set: This matched set of Harleys belong to the same owner and got a lot of attention wherever they went. Equipped with some sort of behavior-modifying software in their ECM/stability control electronics, stunting, burnouts, and high speeds all mystically vanished whenever these bikes showed up. Amazing.
Best blacked-out bike: There were several bikes on hand that went with the flat black/blacked-out look, but none got it as right as the creator of this Honda CX500. Lean, clean, and well thought-out, this rig even makes that lumpy transverse V-twin look all business.
Best custom stretch cruiser: Boscobel, WI native Bill Becker hand-built this 9 foot long cruiser powered by a 221 cubic inch Ford flathead V-8. Even without mufflers, the bike has a mellow, low burble that never sounds bad, even under acceleration. The DOM steel tubing for the chassis Becker bent by hand, and every clever feature and dimension necessary to make this bike happen was conceived by Becker without a single drawing or even schematic. How did the crowd like it? There were people gathered around and talking to Becker about it from the time he rolled in.
Best, Blingiest British Classic: When it comes to taking on a shine, nothing among the mass of bikes at this edition of the Crud Run came close to this chromed up, mirror-finish BSA.
Best trike lean angle: This Kawasaki 1000-based Tremoto trike rig is clearly designed for the Marc Marquez in every trike rider. It's the first trike to warrant knee sliders on your leathers. For more info on Tremoto, see: http://tremoto.com/
Best Mad Max special: Dolls, deer skin, spikes, turtle shells, antlers and machine gun ammo among other esoteric details make this bike one that blends in out in the parking lot of Thunderdome.
Best pair of Anglo-American classics: These sixties vintage classics show the difference in design philosophy between two giants of the motorcycle business back in that day. The Triumph T100 has the classic British vertical twin while the H-D Sprint has a thumper, but mounted dual exhausts just for show.
Best dirt machine: While a fairly large contingent of adventure, enduro, and dirt bikes made the run, none of them could come close to this.
Want to see it all with your own eyes? Check it out in the fall running that starts in Pine Bluff, WI—just west of Madison on the morning of the first Sunday in October. See you there.