It seems that Cabin Fever is still gripping Johnny’s Vintage Motorcycle Company (JVMC). To bring our temperatures closer to normal, we made a field trip Saturday, February 19th to the Classic Events Swap Meet at the Medina County Fairgrounds! We had a space there. “Tropical Medina” is beautiful this time of year, especially if you are in the middle of sixteen thousand square feet of old bikes and parts.
The meet was indoors in the Community Center Building at the Medina Fairgrounds and is produced by our friend and contributor, Will Stoner. Will has been in the swap meet biz for over twenty years. He now calls his company Classic Events, so if you see that name or “Classic Swap Meets” you know you’re going to a show for motorcycle enthusiasts, run by motorcycle enthusiasts. For more info on other Classic Events, go to www.classicswapmeets.com
Although we have been going to swap meets longer than Will has been producing them, we changed things up this time. Instead of just bringing old parts to sell or trade, we had a display of some of our “Homegrown” parts and other quality items, supplies and services we offer at JVMC. Along with the new stuff, we brought a few of our project bikes. These special machines are all equipped with our top quality, American-made-to-our-specifications parts. The customers there were able to see firsthand how our pieces turn a good project into a great one.
The whole JVMC crew was on hand to chat with the visitors. Johnny, Hilo, Mindi and Mark answered questions and offered tips to help our customers make their bikes road burning show winners.
Saturday’s weather was “beautiful” for Medina, Ohio in February: sunny, forty degrees and a twenty five mile per hour wind! Those balmy conditions brought out several outside vendors, in addition to the full house of sellers inside. Sales were brisk with many interesting pieces changing hands. Among the bikes and bits going to new homes were a Kawasaki A-9, Penton parts, a Royal Enfield gas tank and H-D Servi Car fenders.
The bike show always brings out exciting pieces of history, fettled by expert hands. This show was no different. Master wrench Steve Bensen worked into the wee hours of Saturday morning to finish Larry Barnes’ spectacular 1948 Indian Chief. Their work was rewarded with the Best of Show Award.
The swap meet was a hint of spring in the gray Ohio winter. There are other signs of spring too: The shop is buzzing with activity; customers are filing in, the phones are ringing and the restoration department is in top cog in full song! We hope to hear from all of you too. Stop by the store, check out the web site and our eBay store or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is our first blog featuring Will Stoner as our main contributor. We are very excited to have Will on board with us and I'm sure you will see a lot more action in the Poop area forthcoming. Welcome Will!
Last weekend John II, Hilo and I took in the Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The building itself is a wonder. Originally built as a B-29 bomber plant, the facility covers one million square feet. That’s nearly twenty three acres! In the center of the place is the world's largest indoor Ferris Wheel, spinning 125 feet and soaring 35 feet through the roof in a glass atrium.
The show was geared toward new bikes and new products, but had a section designed for vintage bike enthusiasts. The area featured displays and booths from the National Motorcycle Museum, Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC), Penton Owners Group (POG), The Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA), Classic Swap Meets and legendary motorcycle film producer Peter Starr’s Moto DVDs. Anchoring this “vintage village” was the Moto Flix stage. When interviews with vintage motorcycling personalities weren’t being held, the Moto Flix stage ran excerpts from films and TV shows, including Starr’s iconic 1980 film “Take It to the Limit”.
Besides Peter, there we met other “stars” of motorcycling at the show, and we got to talk with all of them. Motorcycle Hall of Fame members John and Jack Penton were on hand, as well as Hodaka zealot Paul Stannard. The senior Penton is credited with starting “the off-road motorcycle revolution” with the production of the first Penton enduro motorcycle in 1968. Son Jack is a multi-time International Six Days Trial (ISDT) gold medalist. Stannard has kept the flame of the defunct Hodaka marque burning, while developing a cult-like following of thousands to the brand. The coolest thing about all these folks is they are genuinely nice people who love motorcycling and are almost embarrassed to talk about their accomplishments.
Hilo and Johnny II each had a bike in the VJMC display; Hilo’s 1973 H2 Special and Johnny’s 1976 KV 75. Two of our customers also displayed Kawasakis that our team had a hand in restoring: Jason Reed’s 1970 Big Horn and Ray Holen’s CSR1000. All these machines featured our “Homegrown” parts. I brought a selection of our parts to show the VJMC members and show goers. Everyone was impressed. Check out our selection
Will Stoner of Classic Events had a booth promoting his 2011 shows. Will has been producing vintage motorcycle swap meets and shows since 1990 and is known as one of the best in the business. We’ve been going to his shows from the very beginning. His next swap meet is Saturday, February 19, 2011 in the Community Center Building at the medina County Fairgrounds in Medina, Ohio. We’ll be there with a selection of our goodies for Kawasaki and other vintage bikes, as well as some of our project bikes. Get more info on Classic Swap Meets
We were quite pleased to see that the AMA brought the raffle bike to the IX Center to market tickets and show off the bikes. We are honored that the AMA chose us to supply this year’s vintage raffle bike. It looked fabulous at the booth. The bike seemed to be well-received and sparked a lot of interest. Pictured left to right: Mindi Green, Hilo Ito, my son Johnny Bova II, myself John Bova, and my wife Robin. As it's always nice to connect a face with a name, Mindi answers the phones and processes incoming orders. Hilo is our top-notch mechanic responsible for restoration job on the AMA bike.
Thanks to your requests, we are going to post an edition of “Johnny’s Poop” more regularly. We’ll tell you about what’s happenin’ at Johnny’s Vintage Motorcycle Company, the places we visit, updates on our growing inventory of “Homegrown” parts, tech tips and more. Tell all your friends and stay tuned…