Memphis Easyriders Bike Show Story for In The Wind

 

Cold winds whipped between the buildings and bright beautiful sunlight glistened off the pyramid as droves of bikers made their way toward the Memphis Cook Convention Center to witness first hand the legendary masterpieces of the stars of Easyrider’s 2008 Bike Show Tour… from the outlandishly stylish centerfold bikes to the proud exhibitors, each and every machine stood fulfilled in chrome bedecked perfection. Crowds streamed in from the cold day, red nosed and leather clad, and audible gasps of awe were drowned beneath the heart thumping rock-n-roll of Jasmine Caine. Once again Memphis’s elite proved to be firm contenders in the competition for those gleaming trophies…

The centerfold bikes were obviously the prominent display, from Dotson’s freakishly futuristic cool concept to Jaxon Fyffe’s magnificent monster metric in heart attack red. There was an elite design from Jerry Burrow, Daytona’s 2007 Bike Builder of the year, a veteran to Easyrider shows who took a best of show in Columbus in 2006 and has been featured with a cover bike as well. He proved his skill yet again with a ruby slipper hued machine set atop a curling, snarling one of a kind frame. Shannon Davidson’s tried and true style of beauty that is not only lean and mean but also tough and durable enough to ride was a crowd pleaser, as was Shannon himself as he shook hands with admirers in the land of Blue Suede Shoes. Wendell Johnson held his own with a wild design which boasted all the tricks, from the massive belt drive to the humongous front wheel, springer forks, amazing sculpted tank and fat rear fender and an electric blue so vivid you want to swim in its depths. This year’s tour was an introduction of sorts for new ideas from some of the seasoned builders featured, as well… Paul Yaffe won the hearts of gliders with his new Bagger Nation accessories, and the Detroit Brothers displayed a gorgeous bobbed beast as an introduction to their latest line of mild priced and wild designed production bikes, at last making it possible to afford a magazine worthy bike on a working man’s dime.

The exhibitors in Memphis held their own as well, from introducing new ideas to throwing us back into nostalgic glee with newly perfected blasts from the past. The fat and fast and old reliable met in exquisiteness along the red carpet… a 2006 Harley painted with a Navy tribute to veterans from Mark Huetson brought tears to the eyes of many, people rushed to photograph the 1948 Service car that Chris Newlin morphed into a dragon-esque marvel, and the sparkling little Triumph Bonnie drew multitudes of admirers as it turned regally on its lighted pedestal, perhaps the belle of the ball, from the diamond painted frame to the down-to-the-bolt factory perfection.

Center stage boasted a different sort of entertainment, yet held the waves of people captive as well… from the Purrfect Angels with sexy choreographed moves to Jasmine’s little girl face and Janis Joplin voice, there was more than enough to keep people enthralled for hours on end.

The show climaxed with magazine mogul John Green and Biker editor Dean Shawler (sp?) handing out the coveted trophies and chances to compete in Columbus, Ohio. The triumphant winners of the day were an immense array of variations that showed beyond a doubt that the biased days of Milwaukee born scoots are a thing of the past… metrics, british, trikes all held their own in the best of the best that were chosen. Another surprisingly varied combination was the builders themselves… from as far away as Japan and as close as Arkansas… sweet little lady in hot pink converses, tattooed bad boys and computer generating experts all held court before thunderous applause.

Those who were still raring to go after all the excitement of the Bike Show crowded on the trolleys as night time fell, and made their way to the ass kicking, crowd pleasing, historically diverse thrills of Beale street, where the annual Blues festival falls on the same weekend. The bars filled to less than standing room only, beer flowed, mouth watering scents wafted from all the soul food centered cafes, and heart wrenching music filled the neon lighted street. Of all the wonder that makes up the stops on the bike show tour, its hard to choose one that is the best, but maybe, just maybe, it was Memphis.

Amy White

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