Fall 2016 Slimey Crud Run RecapIf there is a type, model or vintage of motorcycle on the road that has not shown up at one running of the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run or another, it’s hard to name it.The fall 2016 running of the Slimey Crud Run was no different. Despite cool autumn temperatures, the possibility of a shower or two during the morning and mostly cloudy skies all day, there was a monster turnout for this event. While there are no registration figures because no registration is necessary, it seems safe to estimate that somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 bikes–from radical custom motorcycles to unmolested machines–showed up.
With so much variety, we couldn’t resist the temptation to do as we have done in the past: select our top 10 motorcycles at the Slimey Crud Run and share our hackneyed, biased and totally unscientific opinions with you.Being selected is one of the hazards of showing up at the Crud Run. Bring a cool, radical or innovative ride to the event and we may take a liking to it, or you or both. As is our custom, our criteria are completely arbitrary and capricious.Our selections may have nothing to do with merit, just impulse and what seems like fun at the time. Winners gain nothing but the satisfaction of doing so, which may be small reward, indeed. That said, here are our top 10 highlights of the fall 2016 Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run.1. Ultimate Motorcycling’s ultimate motorcycle at the Slimey Crud Run: the Motorcycle Performance double-engine Triumph Trident drag bike: Bill Whisenant and his crew at Motorcycle Performance have created an amazing drag bike and put it on display at the Crud Run the delight of a very large group of onlookers—especially when he fired it up.This triumph of engineering is powered by a pair of nitro-burning supercharged Triumph Trident triples and sets a new standard for the rumble factor. See and hear this mechanical masterpiece run on the Motorcycle Performance Facebook page you can go to from their website. 2. Top crazoid outlaw rat bike house of horrors touring package: One thing about motorcycles is that they are often best when highly individualized by their owner to reflect their true inner self. If that is the case, this bike reflects either troubled genius, or tricked-out Halloween-all-year-long creativity. Maybe both. 3. Top combat-ready WWII nostalgia machine: In WWII, a time when Tom Brokaw wrote we defined the greatest generation of citizen soldiers, Harley-Davidson joined the fight with its very limited production shaft-drive, boxer powered XA model and the more conventional (and widely used) WLA flat-head V-twin.This immaculate machine recalls the WLA as it looked while its riders were nervous in the service. Complete with dispatch bags and Tommy gun in the girder fork-mounted weapon scabbard, this old Harley reminds us that freedom ain’t free and sometimes motorcycles play a role in the deadly serious business of war. 4. Top chop: Striking in its patriotic flag-themed red, white and blue paint, this S&S powered beauty was one of a number of choppers at the Crud Run, but it was probably the top chop of all present. What better way to show the colors in an election year, and besides it’s nice to have at least one thing we can all agree on at times like this. 5. Top chromed out custom knuckle hardtail: Plenty of gleaming chrome from the tank to the air cleaner, rocker boxes, oil tank, lower cases and pipes, super clean, old-school cool and it’s a knucklehead. And it has disc brakes front and rear, to boot. ‘Nuff said. 6. Top outlaw Sportster: Local rider Charlie Lemm owns this cool outlaw shovelhead Sportster. The thing shouts individuality and creativity from the fake nitrous set-up to the XLCR style Siamese pipes with shark tails. 7. Top classic: If the fine lines of this Indian Sport Scout don’t catch your eye, the vivid blue base color and gold pinstripes with the headdress logo will. There are always some terrific vintage bikes in the mix at the Crud Run and this event featured some of the best. 8. Top Honda rat bike chopper hybrid: you don’t see too many of Honda’s small-displacement three valve parallel twins at the heart of a radical, rough-edged chop, but here’s one. From the logging chain welded to make the right footpeg to the bent disc brake rotor seat, upswept pipes and hybridized hardtail frame, this little Honda had attitude and the road grit to go with it. 9. Top Spirit of the Café Racer Run bike: This super clean Triumph Bonneville 750 epitomized the spirit of the café racer; lean, essential and with that purpose-built look that says every ride will be a blast. As the Crud’s Creed says: “Ride hard, ride short” and that’s what this Triumph is set up for. 10. Top Moped mob: OK, maybe three mopeds do not a mob make, but seeing them show up for the Crud Run is fun and it is possible to get a little rowdy, even on one of these. In fact, in recent memory, the only time I saw the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department light up a rider out at the Leland end of the ride was when somebody on a moped blasted through the crowd at warp factor 0.35.The Run cranks up once again to kick off the riding season on the first Sunday in May, 2017.Photography by Gary Ilminen