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Arizona Bike Week 2018

Apr 17 2018

Arizona Bike Week couldn’t have come at a better time. In the midst of a winter that won’t quit in the upper Midwest, and with no signs of spring in sight, an escape to the sunny Southwest was a welcome reprieve from Mother Nature’s wrath. And between the main AZBW hotspots of WestWorld in Scottsdale, the Old West-style town of Cave Creek, Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson in Phoenix, and Phoenix Bikefest in Peoria, there was no shortage of entertainment.

WestWorld – AZBW Headquarters
WestWorld serves as the hub of AZBW. The sprawling venue caters to just about every imaginable event throughout the year, but for five days every April it’s home to thousands of bikers and concertgoers. A large outdoor vender area served up all the moto wares you’d expect, and if the heat was too much, an indoor (and air conditioned!) area with a huge bar, live music, and stunt shows offered a respite from the sun. H-D offered demo rides throughout the week, and the music lineup included Collective Soul, Chevelle, Shinedown, and perennial biker favorites ZZ Top.

Cave Creek Bike Week
Cave Creek is home to the famous Hideaway Grill, host of the 2018 Cave Creek Bike Week, and a true desert oasis for thirsty AZBW partygoers. This no-holds-barred watering hole is always one helluva party. Throughout the week the Hideaway has a loaded lineup of live music, rides, and events, and they also played host to our friends Dave and Jody Perewitz for the Perewitz Custom Paint Show on Saturday.

Paul Tracy of Black Label Baggers too home theBest In Show hardware at the Perewitz Custom Paint Show (photo credit to Perewitz Cycle Fab)

Friday's Hot Bike FXR/Dyna Show at Buddy Stubb's H-D

Buddy Stubbs H-D
Located in north Phoenix, Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson served as a solid satellite destination for AZBW attendees, with live music all week long as well as the Hot Bike FXR/Dyna Show on Friday. What’s more, those who meandered inside the dealership were treated to Buddy’s absolutely jaw-dropping collection of antique motorcycles showcasing more than 110 years of moto history. With more than 130 bikes tucked away in this intimate setting, you’re guaranteed to see some extremely rare iron.

Gloria Tramontin Struck, an original member of the Motor Maids, signs autographs for fans at Phoenix Bikefest in Peoria

Phoenix Bikefest
Just west of Buddy Stubbs is the little burb of Peoria, which was this year’s location for Phoenix Bikefest. You could post up and watch bikers roll through the drive-thru tiki bar, or saddle up on a Suzuki, Indian or Slingshot for demo rides. Peoria also served as the starting point for Saturday’s Good Ride hosted by Carey Hart.

The Richard Penske Racing Museum is packed with history, like this '72 Oldsmobile Cutlass that was the official pace car of the 56th Indy 500

Detour to the Penske Racing Museum
We took a slight detour from all-things motorbikes to check out the Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Audi dealerships for some four-wheeled eye candy. In the middle of drooling over these high-dollar autos, we stumbled upon the Richard Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix. Speed is definitely the overall theme here, as this cozy spot tucked in-between million-dollar showrooms chronicles the rich racing history of one of NASCAR’s and Formula 1’s true pioneers.

Spooky Fast Customs can transform just about anything from run-of-the-mill to one-of-a-kind

Spooky Fast Customs
After checking out one of the world’s largest (and nicest) Harley-Davidson dealerships, Scottsdale H-D, we ripped over to Spooky Fast Customs for a shop tour. Spooky fast and Scottsdale H-D share the same ownership, and our tour host, Victor, took us throughout the sprawling custom shop that puts out everything from amazing furniture (YAMWOOD Foundry), golf clubs (PXG Irons), and of course custom bikes under the Spooky Fast Customs moniker. Whatever the task is, this shop puts out some high-quality work and is worth a visit if in the area.

Like we said, there’s no shortage of things to do in and around Phoenix during AZBW. But as “they” say, all good things must come to an end. And that end was returning to western Wisconsin to a fresh 18 inches of snow after a mid-April blizzard. It definitely made a return trip to AZBW next year even more desirable. We hope to see you there sometime.

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