2017 Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run Dates

Nothing helps shake off the winter wonderland (that’s where you wonder why you’re living in the snow belt instead of southern California) better than the spring Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run.

Arising from the minds of the stalwart members of the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang more than 40 years ago, the Slimey Crud Run had become the “eye-opener” of the riding season for thousands of motorcyclists in the upper Midwest. Since you can never get too much of a good thing, there are two Crud Runs each year—on the first Sunday in May and the first Sunday in October.

Umpteenth Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run Rocks May 7
In 2014 this Yamaha rat bike showed totally blacked-out cool.

The Slimey Crud Run has some features that are particularly dear to the free-wheeling people who would rather ride than eat, sleep or breath. First, it’s free. No fees, charges or memberships to contend with.

Second, it is totally disorganized; that is to say, no road captains to follow around, no prescribed mandatory route restrictions, no set start and finish time. No corporate sponsors pushing their beer, brats, gear, lubricants or what-all.

No registrations to fill out, no waivers to sign. You are responsible for your own actions—if you don’t have fun, it’s your own fault. Third, it is open to all and the more the merrier. Though the name suggests café racer/sportbike types, if you have a Honda Trail 90, bring that. Have a Moto-Guzzi El Dorado? Bring it. A Gold Wing, that’s fine. Old Sportster? That’s great. Hard-tail Brit chopper? Cheers. Cobbled-together rat bike of various origins—everybody will love to see it! Just about anything you can think of can and often does show up—some from way out of state, too.

Slimey Crud Run Crowd
This shot shows only part of the huge crowd at the fall 2011 Crud Run.

Riders converge on the Dane County, Wis., hamlet of Pine Bluff sometime around Sunday morning the day of. Time is spent looking up old acquaintances you probably see only at this event, ogling the machinery and who came with it, striking up conversations and just generally hanging out.

As the morning wears on, the mass of machines grows until at some undefinable moment, bikes start filtering out of town, heading via various unknown routes to the Run’s end point north of the Wisconsin River at Leland, Wis., in Sauk County.

This immaculate Norton 850 Commando made the 2007 spring Crud Run.
This immaculate Norton 850 Commando made the spring Crud Run.

Leland is not very far away as the crow flies, but by carefully allowing yourself to get lost for a while on southern Wisconsin’s winding, hilly back roads, you can make the trip take a couple of hours. Once there, you’ll notice that bikes and riders you may not have seen in Pine Bluff are in the mix. Some riders make the Run in a general sort of way, but only have time to go to one place or the other.

We just thought we’d give you this reminder of what you’ll be missing if you don’t make the Run, but even if you can’t make the May event, there’s always October.

To have a look at some of the Slimey Crud Runs past, check out:

The May 2008 Crud Run included this very uncommon MV Agusta 350 twin.
The May 2008 Crud Run included this very uncommon MV Agusta 350 twin.