Rockerbox Motofest 2016

Reader Contribution by Richard Backus
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Classic pairing: A beautiful 1972 Moto Guzzi Ambassador and a 1956 BMW R26 share the front row at the 2016 Rockerbox Motofest Bike Show.

It was another excellent weekend at the Road America race track outside Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, June 10-12, 2016, as thousands of vintage and custom bike fans gathered for three days of vintage racing and the Rockerbox Motofest Bike Show at Road America, a fantastic 4-mile road circuit slicing through the Wisconsin countryside. Race fans found their favorite track-side viewing spots as other attendees took to the air, making a run on the track’s 1,200-foot zip line for a unique view of the show.

Choppers, café racers, vintage originals, scooters and other customs filled the show area, providing ample eye candy for the crowd as they filtered through the show and checked out not only the bikes but the vendors and attendee bikes lining the access road to the Road America Center. Motorcycle Classics headed up judging for the show, with Tony Prust (Analog Motorcycles), Brady Ingelse (Retrospeed), Kevin Frank (Brewtown Rumble), vintage bike photographer Jeff Barger (Barger Photography) and Rockerbox co-founder Scott Johnson (Fuel Cafe) doing judging duties.

Trophies were awarded in five categories, plus we awarded the annual Motorcycle Classics Editor’s Choice and the event’s popular People’s Choice. Outside the show it was racing as usual, and a walk through the pits found us checking out one of Colorado Norton Works’ new Norton 850 Commando electric starter conversions. The hardware is absolutely first rate and beautifully executed and the starter is a beast, spinning the Norton lump with ease and lighting it up in a second.

It was, as always, a spectacular weekend, aided by spectacular weather during Saturday’s show, a welcome relief after the wind and rain that whipped through mid-evening on Friday, leaving racers and campers scurrying to tie down tents and bikes. Fortunately, the rain left almost as quickly as it came, leaving us to enjoy a great weekend of vintage and custom bikes. We’ll see you there again next year!

This rare 1986 Buell RR1000 Battle Twin ran as well as it looked.

Best Café Racer: Scott Blackford took top honors with his immaculate 1965 Suzuki T20 twin.

Best Rat Bike: Leland Wagner’s 1970 Harley-Davidson Sportster was beautiful in blue.

Best Scooter: Peter Lundgren’s 1955 Lambretta 150D is an original survivor and a fine-running scoot.

Best Race Bike: Louie Lauters’ 1969 Harley-Davidson Sprint sports a beautiful custom frame.

Peoples Choice: Tyler Stepp’s all-white 1975 Honda CB360 used a Honda CB900 gas tank.

Editor’s Choice: You saw this one coming. Editor Backus couldn’t resist Tom Pirie’s stunning 1981 Laverda Jota. It’s a runner, with some 35,000 miles on the clock and sporting all-original paint.

Colorado Norton Works had an 850 Norton Commando on hand outfitted with their proprietary electric starter conversion. It lit off like a firecracker with the slightest push of the starter button. Beautiful.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!