~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Swap Meet Time Again

Yes, it's the height of the fall motorcycle social season here in my little town, the annual motorcycle swap meet out at the county fairgrounds came to pass.

There seemed to be more booths this year and more attendees but less interesting stuff.  Lots and lots of miscellaneous and largely uninteresting bike parts and very few older bikes for sale.  I got this notion as I walked around that in the down economy a lot of people have already sold off their good junk and are down to selling their junk junk.   On the other hand, prices seemed a little silly, a badly painted and now very rough Sportster tank for $300?  A primered and weathered Triumph tank for $400?

The M/C contingent was smaller this year also, although the Hells Angels had their usual, tidy booth selling "Support your local 81" stuff.  

The guys manning the booth looked positively clean cut and beyond their colors not much like the guys that used to frequent the gas station where I worked when I was 19.  Things change even in the 1% world.  While faux "bikers" around the world try to look bad the real bikers are looking almost corporate.  I'll guess that corporate is only skin deep just as "bad ass biker" is often only t-shirt deep.

Behind the Red & White booth you could buy "The Ultimet Riding Bandana."  I resisted buying one even though there is no helmet law in Arizona.

I contented myself with wandering about struggling to find interesting things to point my camera at, things that wouldn't turn suddenly away and ask "Who ya takin' those for??"

I find myself drawn to photograph old saddlebags.  More than many parts of a bike, worn saddlebags seem to hint at a story.

I thought this tank looked interesting with it's damaged '70s style paint scheme.  Looks like someone tried paint remover on it and failed.  I thought it would look cool in my house and with some flowers poking out of the filler neck but lost interest when the seller quoted me $300.

 Still on my saddlebag kick.

The bikes out in the parking lot were more interesting than anything in the swap meet.  The shot above is a '51 knucklehead on which the owner regularly travels.  The '51 is based here in Arizona and has been to California and to Sturgis amongst other places and not on a trailer.

A closer look at those Harley beer cans seen at the top of the post.

Another parking lot bike.  H-D's shrouded headlights always make me feel artsy.

Some people put gremlin bells on their bikes to keep gremlins way, some people call them angel bells hoping to curry favor with friendlier beings.  One guy chose the Hindu god Ganesha to lead the way on his Suzuki 350.  Traditionally, Ganesha is revered as the Remover of Obstacles. The bike was a 350cc street model not sold in the US and there was some indication the rider was from Peru so it may well have had to overcome some obstacles getting to an obscure corner of Arizona.

More photos to come...

(previous years visits are here: 2009 2010 2011 and 2011 again)


Trobairitz said...

It looks like you had fun wandering about even if there weren't any goodies to take home.

I really like the photos of the old saddlebags. If only they could talk - image the tales they could tell.

The last picture is my favorite just because it is such a different object to see on a bike as a 'gremlin bell'.

Geoff James said...

I think the real bad-ass bikers are still as bad as ever and their "corporate approach" helps with the money-laundering. I have no problem at all with Harleys but I do think that the white collar types who dress as rebels at the weekend to ride them are a bit of a joke :-)

BTW, you can buy a Triumph tank like the one you showed for less than half the price in NZ. Someone is dreaming, surely?

Dan Diego said...

OK, so you passed on the gas tank/flower pot. With all of the interesting items for sale, what DID you end up buying?

Great photos, nice post!

mq01 said...

love this pics! the saddlebags develop this fantastic wear and patina, and the jewelry/conchos/fringe is just sooooo cool. and dang those beer cans bring back memories...i had many of those yrs cans, in 6 packs, unopened, brought home specially for me by arlen and cory. and ugh, that is i had them, til my ex decided to (censored...) and drink them :( dang... :)

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