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The Ins and Outs of Bike Shows
by Stealth of TheCarolinaRider.com with Photos by Vicki
Easyriders Show on its way to Charlotte!
The bike show season is upon us and the Easyriders Bike Show Tour rolls into the Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday January 26! I always look forward to this tour. When the show comes to town it is like a taste of spring for a day even if the weather sucks outside. I have never missed an Easyriders bike show here in Charlotte.
I love bike shows and have been attending shows since the mid seventies. (I guess that is a clue to my age?) That is a lot of shows over the years. One thing about this tour is that no two are alike. No two are judged with the same judges' sheet. The criteria changes with the show. There are no set rules in place for bike shows. Some shows have numerous classes that I have never understood but that does not make it wrong, just different.
Bike Shows should be FUN!
One thing I have learned is that above all else bike shows should be FUN! I have seen people get so upset that they were ready to tear up the building, some have cussed and fussed and I have even seen some cry! Now if you are going into a bike show with the idea that "I definitely have this one, I am going to knock this out of the park!," you will be disappointed more times than not. Why? Because you never know who will show up with what bike and that is part of the bike show mystique, the unknown! When I was a lot younger and a lot dumber, it would bother me not to win an award and I have won my share but I grew out of that. Just because you don't win doesn't mean you have an inferior bike. It is all about taste and what people like that day, … again part of the mystique of the bike show.
How to get your Bike Show Ready
Now for some tips for getting your bike ready for the BIG show… Every bike show I have ever attended, I have learned something. I have attended shows on both the right coast and the left coast. One thing that is a constant at these shows is CLEAN! A dirty bike at a bike show will NEVER win! Clean your bike and when you are done, CLEAN IT AGAIN! When I enter my bike, I spend about 2 weeks just cleaning it! And when I say "clean your bikes," that includes what you don't see like under the frame and under the bottom of the rear fender. I have seen judges run their hand under the rear fender and see if there is dirt under there! Make sure to wax your paint, you want it to POP! One of the best things to polish a bike with, believe it or not is Lemon Pledge furniture polish. I have used it for years! If your bike has a lot of chrome, make sure that is polished and all the smudges and fingerprints are gone. Again after you clean and polish all the chrome, DO IT AGAIN! You want your chrome to dance! If you have a wrinkle black engine, use Harley's engine bright on it or Moto Black. They both spray on and you just wipe the excess off. This stuff makes that black wrinkle sparkle! Hit your seat with some conditioner and clean those tires with something like Armor All.
A Great Display
You are not done yet. If you are entering a show that is held inside, like the Easyriders show, most people set up displays to compliment their bikes. I have seen everything from your basic sign to a portable fish pond! You don't have to spend a lot to have a nice display. Some people use turn tables and they are nice but also kind of expensive. Have fun with your display, use your imagination.
What to Say, Who to Say it to
One thing to remember if you are asked questions about your bike by judges or spectators: take the time to listen and be polite. That pretty much goes for everywhere.
And now, for a few DON'TS for bike shows… Don't tell everyone how much you spent on this and that. Let your bike speak for itself. Don't stand by your bike and solicit votes if spectators are allowed to vote. You want your bike to win on its own merits.
See, it is a lot of work getting ready for a bike show but if you approach it the right way it can also be a lot of fun!
Hope to see all of you at THE EASYRIDERS SHOW! Good luck and remember a bike should be about fun!
Back to the bike features next month!
Until next time, RIDE!