Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vendor Spots Filling Up Fast! Get Yours Now.

Indoor and outdoor vendor spots for the Midwest Moto Swap taking place Saturday, June 15th are filling up fast! The vendor laminates just showed up (thanks Jakprints!), which get receive once arriving for setup on Saturday morning (setup is 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. day of show) and get you in the door and entitle you to free coffee and other such benefits.

For those of you who haven't locked down your spot yet, good news, you can now register online and pay securely with credit card by using this online vendor registration form!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vendor Highlight: Imperial House 71 & Shawn Long

Midwest Moto Swap is proud to announce that Shawn Long of Imperial House 71 will be in attendance, selling some hand striped and lettered goods and doing hand lettering and striping on the spot. He will also have his Shovelhead and Panhead (being built for Born Free 5 right now) with him. Check out some more of his work at Imperial House 71.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meet Will Stoner

Meet Will Stoner. Will is helping organize the Midwest Moto Swap swap meet with his long list of contacts he has built over the years. You may already know Will if you are in the motorcycle scene in Ohio, but if not, here are some words about his motorcycling history:

"My first love was drag racing, but I married motorcycles. I bought a  Honda Scrambler 90 in 1967, which I misused and neglected maintenance for three years. Not only did I not change the oil, I didn't know where the dipstick was. In the summer of 1971, a couple friends got Hodakas and started racing motocross.  That sounded like fun, so in November I picked up a very used Hodaka Super Rat for a couple hundred bucks.  Indian Summer was here on the Thursday I brought the bike home and rode it in my yard long enough to get huge blisters on both hands. By Sunday the weather had turned to snow for my first race. I slathered around in the mud and managed to complete two laps. That was enough to change my life. By the summer of '72, the drag car lay fallow on its trailer and I was racing motorcycles twice a week.

The only form of motorcycle competition I haven't done is hill climb and I was all the way up to mediocre in all the rest. The closest to fame I came was winning the 400cc class at the 1979 24 Hours of Nelson Ledges road race. But I had three other fast riders and a team of forty people helping. Three months after that race, I suckered one of our crew members, Kit, to marry me. For the next four years, I dabbled occasionally with bikes until I quit my job and Kit and I started a landscaping company. In an effort to be a "responsible citizen", my stable of motorcycles was sold.

The next two years were spent harassing my lovely to let me get another bike. She finally caved in when a friend called the house to ask me if I might be interested his old Yamaha RD250. Several months before, I told the seller, over several beers, to let me know if he ever wanted to sell the bike. I wasn't home and Kit took the call. The selling price was cheap, so she decided to surprise me and have Teddy, the seller bring the bike to our house that Sunday, knowing that I had plans and wouldn't be home until late afternoon. Whatever I was doing turned out to be a bust, so  I went home early.  You'd think I'd caught her in the bedroom with a boyfriend. She was red-faced and fidgeting. Then Teddy pulled into the driveway with the Yamaha. WE walked out to the drive to greet Teddy. I'm so stupid. I said.
"I know Teddy wants to sell this bike. Can I please buy it?
Smiling, she said "No."
"Why not?"
"It's sold". she said, grinning more. Did I mention I was stupid?
"who bought it?"
"a woman." Bigger grin.
"Did Grace (a former owner of the Yamaha) buy it ?"
"no...." she giggled. The light bulb goes on. I start crying. She starts crying. We start hugging and kissing in the driveway. Teddy thinks we're nuts. Two weeks later I have a trials bike. I'm back in the motorcycle game.

I start riding tiding trials, where I meet Bud Kubena and his then-twelve-year-old son, Kerry. Bud is a BSA enthusiast and he and Kerry restore old British bikes. I tell him I'd like to get an old Triumph to restore. He tells me about a 1968 Bonneville rolling basket-case in Pennsylvania. I buy it. The disease sets it. It's incurable.

In the fall of 1989, we're at a friend's party and I'm, of course, talking bikes with another friend, Bruce. We're talking about BSA Gold Stars and Bruce mentions that he has a 1956 BSA B33, the Gold Star's modest cousin, the he wanted to sell. I go over to Bruce's house. The bike is really neat. I want it. Bruce is asking $1,100 for it. I don't have $1,100. He says it's mine whenever I want it. Genius Idea! I'll put on a swap meet. I'm an expert at swap meets. I've been to three. I rent the Chagrin Falls National Guard Armory for a Sunday in February, 1990. I scour the phone books, bike mags, and harass friends for addresses. I sent out thousands of post cards. I make tons of phone calls. I sell out the Armory: forty-five spaces! It snows eighteen inches Saturday night before the swap meet. i have a landscape business. We have over one hundred plow customers! My seventy five year old mother gets stuck in the snow. I have to go rescue her in the blizzard. I'm having a heart attack! The snow stops.  We get the plowing done. It's 6:00 AM and I drive by the Armory. There are tracks leading in. I figure it's the Sergeant and he's clearing the parking lot. I drive in and there's a guy in a red pickup truck, waiting to get into the meet. Time comes for the show. We pack the place. Everybody has a great time.  I make enough money to get the bike. I call Bruce. He says "Ya know, I've decided to keep the Bike." I'm in the swap meet business!"