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Sam's Picks for the Week, August 11, 2020

Hot Bikes, Hot Babes and News from Sturgis

By Bandit with photos from Sam

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I'm just staining the deck...
I'm just staining the deck...

The adventure of riding and building custom bikes has never been better. That wasn’t always the case. Hell, before cars it was tough to get 30 miles at less than 4 miles an hour. Hell, if outlaws or Indians attacked, who could you call. That’s right, you couldn’t call. Then cars and motorcycles came along and they weren’t that reliable. You better know your machine or don’t leave town.

And now we’re rocking into an era of super technology and the choice to do almost anything you dream of perfectly. Just this week during the Sturgis Rally, my grandson wanted to come to the badlands bad. He fought with his girlfriend over the notion and grappled with not seeing his dying grandma who chose to smoke throughout all of her adult life when both of her folks died young of lung cancer and smoked.

When Frankie returned, he wanted to replace his new re-manned Evo engine with an S&S 111 and a Baker 6-speed transmission. “I want to go fast,” he said.

In Deadwood I ran across brothers with Stupid Fast Baggers. Hell, a serious rider put $90,000 into a 157-inch Road Glide with carbon fiber wheels, sheet metal and an S&S engine. I also ran into Rigger a serious Maryland ABATE member and freedom fighter who made the run out from Maryland on Road Glides, but his sharp 30-year-old son rode a new 750 Harley liquid cooled café styled bike.

In Deadwood, last night guys with custom baggers were blasting super high-dollar sound systems on main street. Baggers seemed the bikes of the day, but still a handful of choppers shined, foreign bikes rolled quietly, and Sportsters kept up with the packs.

Covid be dammed, brothers packed the streets of Deadwood, Sturgis and the Buffalo chip. Thousands are jamming along the snaking Spearfish Canyon past tornado blown over Jack pines as if a giant ran through the woods crushing 75 feet tall 100-year old trees like they were dried weeds in a field.

The mountains surrounding the canyon are sharp, jagged and majestic. Limestone palisades tower over bustling creaks of crisp clear water. The 1000-foot walls and the speed limits restricting riders to safe speeds ruined some blasters’ days. More and more and especially now motorcycles represent freedom in a world that doesn’t want to be free. In a land that doesn’t want to allow risk but in a world of human beings who just want to be free to find adventure.

It’s wild, it’s the weak who want to be protected from anything and control everything in order to be protected and prevent anyone from being able to be anything but protected. And then there are the brothers of the wind who want only the tools to find their freedom to build anything and everything.

There are companies like Harley-Davidson and Indian, or should I say Polaris who want, even encourage the freedom seeker to find his path. I love it.

In closing I want to thank Sam for his cool picks, and I will touch on the rally in the Badlands. I’m rolling the dice that folks will head home healthy. The numbers are sorta amazing. Nick Trask of Trask Turbo broke all his sales records by Monday. He was blown away. Deadwood Custom Cycles was jammed with work and we could hardly talk to Jason, the boss, about our magneto problem with Dr. Hamster’s Pandemic Panhead. Other business owners reported killer numbers and nothing but good times. The week is barely rolling, and brothers have been all over the area since June.

Some business owners were worried about not coming and a reaction from customers. I never heard a discouraging word. Most folks are just elated to get out and ride, see friends and check out new shit. Keep your fingers crossed. We’re riding to the Hall of Fame breakfast tomorrow, then Nemo. Thursday is the Hamster barbecue and ride and I will attempt to finish the news before we ride out.

Again, for riders all over the Badlands, I want them to be safe and arrive home healthy and show the country what freedom is all about. --Bandit

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