Article By: Dan Wall Photos By: 1237
Originally Published In The April 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Ain’t the interwebs grand? Internet message boards, and the subsequent social media that followed, have allowed folks from all around the world to meet up online to discuss their hobbies and interests. One such Facebook group, “FXRs OF CALIFORNIA” has over 7,300 members from all over the world that have a passion for the best handling motorcycle that Harley Davidson has ever built: the FXR. In 2013, FXRs OF CALIFORNIA organized its first FXR run. It was such a success that another run was planned for 2014. As the group has members from the East Coast as well, some ideas started being tossed around for an East Coast run: the FXR Cartel East Coast Jam! According to Larry “Brraapp” Wayne, it was “conceived by R.J. Russell, named by Ed Connor, and planned by Michael Beland in about 60 seconds.” It was scheduled for August 16th to coincide with its counterpart on the West Coast. When I heard about this, I knew I had to hit this run. I called up Cousin JW, another FXR fan, and A Article By: Dan Wall Photos By: 1237 the plan was made to meet in Maggie Valley, North Carolina for the Jam. JW and I arrived at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley around 6 p.m. on Friday evening. Special thanks go out here to Rob and Gabi, the owners of A Holiday Motel. They are motorcycle friendly and were gracious hosts for the Jam. If you are in the area, I recommend a stay there. Most of the other riders had already arrived, and after checking in and grabbing a quick bite to eat, it was time to meet everyone and check out the bikes. The oldest was a really clean 1982 shovel powered FXRT owned by Giancarlo Bockos, and the newest was a 1999 FXR2 owned by Alfred Newman. The FXRs in a t t e n d a n c e ranged from a Larry Sewell’s beautiful nearly stock 1993, to a monster that started life as a 94 model and ended up with inverted forks, big brakes, and a seriously flaked paint job, owned by Michael Beland. Michael had to make an engine change the DAY BEFORE leaving on his 760 mile trip up from Florida. That’s wanting to get somewhere, son!
We even had a couple of FXRDs on hand; they only made around 1,000 of these “dresser” FXRs in 1986. Always cool to see them out on the road. A curious thing though: I couldn’t figure out why people were handing around spare gasoline (that’s what it looked like, anyway) in Mason jars. Hmmmm… Folks kept rolling in until Saturday morning, until we had a total of 18 FXRs. We had riders from Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Pennsylvania at the run. The long distance award goes out to Tom Cayer and Kurt Hersee, who rode over 1,170 miles from New Hampshire to attend the festivities. Saturday morning, we all converged for breakfast. The crew then descended on the Wheels Through Time Museum, right up the street from A Holiday Motel. It was the first time that several of the group had the chance to see it, and if you never have, it is really worth the trip. Quite a sight these days to see 18 FXRs gathered in one place, not to mention in front of the Wheels Through Time. After the museum visit, we broke down into smaller groups to ride the great roads in the Maggie Valley area.
JW, Irish Jay, Lump, and I headed down to Cherokee, NC to pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway. We headed up the Parkway towards Asheville, NC. It’s always fun to ride motorsickles with people that know how to ride ‘em! We had a great morning dodging bicycles and tourists on one of the prettiest roads in the country. The traffic was the only reason I kept up with those three. It was pretty scary to see Lump behind me on his white “6760” FXRP (oh no, the fuzz!) We stopped in at a little Mom and Pop restaurant in Waynesville, NC and grabbed some lunch. Eight bucks for the special and a glass of sweet tea? I sure love riding in the south! JW and I made a quick trip down to Sylva, NC to stop in at Saladin Cycles. Shoprag had Saturday duty, so we visited for a minute and checked out their latest project, a 1967 FLH with a lot of “period correct” accessories. Always a good visit with those fellows. They’ll get you back on the road.
Saturday night, everyone gathered back at the motel, and continued to talk FXRs and visit. There was another rally going on in Maggie Valley that weekend, and we enjoyed seeing some of the rally attendees as they rode past. Especially the LEDs displayed while parked, and all the foot dragging, but I digress. Several of the crew went down to one of the local establishments, and reports are that members of the FXR Cartel stole the show, as it was karaoke night. Rumor has it that this musical talent is on display on the FXRs of CALIFORNIA page… Sunday morning rolled around, and we all stumbled down the stairs to meet the day. Another great bench racing session over breakfast, and we were off, down the road to our respective homes. I decided since I was in the area, I would get a few runs in on the Dragon. I got in one good run, but the traffic started to build. I ran into a couple East Coast Jam and we headed on down 129, and if you want to do some scraping, follow these kids on a curvy road! We said our goodbyes and headed out. I had a great time at this inaugural East Coast Jam, and enjoyed seeing all the rubber mounted goodness and meeting a lot of great folks. The call is going out to East Coast, West Coast, and FXR riders from everywhere in between to roll in to Sturgis 2015 to Big Joe Mielke’s FXR Motorbike Show! If you can’t wait until Sturgis the 2015 East Coast FXR Jam is slotted to take place at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC June 5th- 6th 2015. Should be one for the ages!