Mama Tried Motorcycle Show 2018

Mama Tried Motorcycle Show 2018 Covered By: Louise Krenciglova Some folks prefer expensive cruises and others prefer Walt Disney World...

Mama Tried Motorcycle Show 2018

Covered By: Louise Krenciglova

Some folks prefer expensive cruises and others prefer Walt Disney World. Then there are those who
head to America’s Dairy-land in the middle of February (where temps average between 19-25 degrees), for a motorcycle show.  Mama Tried, now in its 5th year, has turned out to be one of the premier invited builder’s shows, & it isn’t letting up on the throttle any time soon. The show has refined itself more every year with impressive talent and aesthetically satisfying venues. Though the pre-parties in town begin on Thursday, the real show starts on Friday night at Flat Out Friday- the indoor, Flat Track Race on a Dr. Pepper syrup-covered track. 11 classes competed this year, including an epic hooligan showdown between the mighty mulleted Larry Enticer on his Yamaha snowmobile and, well, everyone else.

We also witnessed a tribute to Evel Knievel go south real quick, ending in a righteous battle of clubs, axes, bloodletting and burnouts between a dozen Evel Knievel jumpsuit-clad racers and some wasteland Vikings.

Over 100 bikes were staged in the 25k sq ft ballroom of The Rave / Eagles Club. The balcony above the ballroom hosted a number of vendors, as well as allowed for a bird’s eye view of the event.
Two more floors of vendors, as well as a few cash bars were below the show floor, allowing guests to
meander between multiple spaces and floors within the venue. The facility, which can hold up to 6,000 people, was at capacity within an hour or two of opening; however, security was organized in getting folks in as quickly as possible.

The basement level of the complex housed the MTMS Motorcycle Film Fest, new this year, and an impressive addition to the Mama Tried experience. The highlight of the film fest was the screening of “Sugar & Spade” with live, raw and gritty blues guitar accompaniment by Rocco DeLuca. Entertaining story-telling of chopper life in 1960’s NYC. Following the screening, we had a lighthearted Q&A with the production staff, Spade George, and Austin “Brown Sugar”.

The invited builders this year presented not only some functional and well-ridden machines, but showcased their raw talent for the art of metal fabrication, paint, and innovative motorcycle design. There was an interesting mix of classic, street, and unusual designs this year presented by both amateur builders, and the industry’s best craftsmen.

One of my favorites, Chris Tope’s “Navajo’Daka”, is a little ripper Hodaka, built in a toy-hauler trailer, featuring a gorgeous set of grips made of turquoise and cholla cactus.
Cholla Cactus & Turquoise Grips
A Japanese-American motorcycle company in the 60's & 70's. 
“Navajo’Daka” at Mama Tried 2018

Denver’s Mike Neilsen brought two showstoppers to Milwaukee, exhibiting his meticulous craftsmanship and clean lines.

Another favorite was Wannabe Choppers’ Ricky de Haas’ 2017 “manufactured from scratch” bike. This stunner had us all circling around it in awe of the talent that went into this fabrication.

Mama Tried is an anticipated diversion from the monotony of winter, featuring a long weekend of parties, flat-track and ice racing, and innovative bike builders that continue to impress us with their honesty and ingenuity.  To learn more about 2018’s builders, vendors or the films, go to Mama Tried’s website,


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