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Mama Tried Motorcycle Show

Mar 05 2018

Milwaukee. Home to Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, PBR tallboys, and “the champagne of beers” Miller High Life. If one thing’s for certain, there’s no shortage of “cool” in Brew Town.

But beer and ‘70s sitcom icons aside, motorcycles are perhaps most synonymous with the City of Milwaukee. As the birthplace of the "Bar & Shield", we can’t think of a more iconic setting than Harley’s hometown to showcase some of the coolest customs to be found at the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show.

Unless you’re a fan of cold weather and ice fishing, Wisconsin isn’t your typical late-February vacation hotspot, but don’t tell that to fans of Mama Tried. With the backing of title sponsor Harley-Davidson, this annual gathering of grease monkeys and gear heads has gotten bigger and better every year since its inaugural event in 2014. The brainchild of show founders Warren Heir Jr. and Scott Johnson never disappoints, always delivering an eclectic mix of scoots that run the gamut from vintage and modern choppers to period-correct classics and full-on race bikes of every ilk.

For the first few years Mama Tried was held at various old warehouses in downtown Milwaukee. While the old-school industrial vibe was a perfect setting for the show, fire code restrictions posed a problem with growing attendance and vendor interest. With more than 10,000 attendees anticipated for the fifth annual show, Mama Tried found a new home at The Rave/Eagles Club Ballroom, a five-story Milwaukee mainstay that usually hosts some of the top live music acts in the business. However, on this weekend it played host to a different breed of heavy metal.

Around 100 choppers, bobbers, flat trackers, cafés and more were spread throughout the main floor of The Eagles Club, although you wouldn’t know it with the massive horde of attendees on Saturday. The show was wall-to-wall packed with people eager to appreciate all the iron, making it difficult to navigate at times, but also a testament to just how far this show has come in five short years.

Sunday morning brought better views while the entire city was dealing with a wicked hangover. It was a welcomed reprieve from the previous days’ madness, and offered us the opportunity to appreciate the craft of some truly talented builders.

While the show officially runs Saturday-Sunday, the action kicks off on Flat-Out Friday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center where the sights, sounds and smells are on overdrive thanks to a night dedicated to indoor flat track racing. If that’s not enough, there’s also the world-famous Harley-Davidson Museum and tons of local watering holes to keep you busy throughout the weekend.

Bottom line, the Mama Tried Show needs to be on every motojunkie’s bucket list.

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