WEST SPRINGFIELD, CT – Pleasant weather contributed to a strong opening on Saturday for the two-day Springfield Motorcycle Show at the Eastern States Exposition. Riders from southern New England showed up to ogle custom motorcycles, check out new models and and do some shopping.
“They’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. Good weather now and bad weather before doesn’t hurt at all,” said show promoter Doug Sousa, who spent the day dealing with pesky little issues that inevitably cropped up. “We don’t even have a big name and we’ve got a crowd like this.”
Last year, Paul Teutul Jr. of Paul Jr. Designs and “American Chopper” TV fame was the notable attraction. This year, it was some new dealers and customs that drew visitors’ eyes.
Ural of New England of Boxborough, MA was a first-timer with Russian-made sidecar rigs, while Motus of New England in Gardner, MA was also new with high-end, high-performance American-made sport touring machines.
Some of the customs built by individuals had interesting stories, such as “El Mexicano” by Stephan Vasquez of Malden, MA (see separate story) and “Last Call” by Butch Bennett of Belmont, MA.
“I named it ‘Last Call’ ’cause I gave up drinking 38 years ago,” said Bennett, who crafted the exquisite hard-tail model in 1989 and 1990. He powered it with a 1983 Shovelhead engine and attached a Magneson M80 blower.
Bennett showed it up until 1991 then removed it from circulation – until this weekend at the Springfield Motorcycle Show. One unique feature about “Last Call” is that it has keypad ignition.
Several professional custom bike makers had displays, while the Yankee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America showed off vintage machines.
Not surprisingly, Indian Motorcycle of Springfield in Westfield, MA brought the Indian Scout FTR750 flat track model that it owns and plans to race on the American Flat Track circuit this year. Rider Jay Maloney is scheduled to be at the show on Sunday.
Of course, there were loads of vendors selling leather goods, bandanas and patches, which were quickly getting sewn on gear.
The Springfield Motorcycle Show concludes Sunday with the hours being 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.