Thursday, October 06, 2005


This moderated blog is a new addition to the Chicago Motorcycle Guide! Use it as an open forum to discuss anything related to motorcycling in the Chicagoland area. Please refrain from advertising, linking, flaming and making personal attacks on individuals or groups. Inappropriate posts will be deleted by the administrator and their author will be banned from future use.


nsrider said...

Nice addition to the site. It will be interesting to see what kinds of postings you get

bemis said...

Being a very Old Chicago from the south side and the Old Hill Toppers MC which was in the Hyde Park area in the 1950's real Old and back then I rode a 1948 Harley Bobnbed Job and Matchless for Off Road and was a dealere for a short time Ajs Matchless and poof the English were gone.
Bob Enemark now in Steger IL

Anonymous said...

Well where are the Bikers in Chicago or any around the world, Remember Santa Fe and the bike races on the track of clay and enduros all over the midwest, when one could race on any Sunday.
As the earlier post we had a club called the Hill Toppers which after I went in the service in 1954 just seemed to vanish as did the Gasoline Cowboys a great club with good riders and the Chicago Eagles with all their Harly Strokers and the club is still going the oldest in Chicago and in a way the roots of S&S Cycle.
Stan and Baldy would build the strokers and then Stan went to Wisconsin and the rest is history so that is the South Side connection with S&S cycle.
Well enough for now some one come aboard?

nsrider said...

Being somewhat new to club riding and having spent most my life on the north side I really appriciate the history bemis and our anonymous post have shared. Hope you guys can start a trend here and give some of us nubies the proper perspective of motorcycling in chicago. I know we are one of the largest markets in the country despite our weather. Thanks for sharing the history.

Anonymous said...

This bemis again I'm tring to help this Chicago connection to Bikers and maybe drag a few in.
I graduated from CVS a Vocational school on 87 street on the south east side and back in 1950 rode my Harley to school and at that time I rode out of Bikes inc. on 70th and Stony Island with the Flying Wheels MC and I got served beer at 17 years old as I tooled the weekends and nights in a three state area. Sunday Mornings we would go to New Buffalo Michigan to get a beer Chi Town was Dry until noon.
Back then we had all kind of bikes in the club Harleys Indians Matchless Vincent Triumph and a Motoguzze Falcon a 500CC single with a lay down cylinder and a fly wheel on the left side,just spinning in the open, looked great and funny as those Itallians did it then, Come on and drop a story about your bike????

Anonymous said...

I like the stories bemis and the anonymous told. Its too bad things aren't like they used to be. My main gripe ( not to piss anyone off) is that I'm 24 years old and no one my age rides harleys. I ride with guys 10 and 20 years older then me, which is cool but I wish it was the old days when you didn't have to make 50,000 a year to afford a harley. So my question is anyone know of a younger harley crowd?

csckathi said...

To the young anonymous Harley Rider... Try the Shadow Riders on the southside. They have all brands of motorcycles, and several younger Harley Riders. You will have to accept riding with the Honda's, Yamaha's, Suzuki's, Kawasaki's and Ducati's, but they ride often and all have a great time.

Anonymous said...

Well I see a few riders are coming in to post. Right now I'm taking a GS 1000 and a ZT 600 Kawa apart to sell the parts om Ebay I pick up money this way to keep me in pocket change. I see that people have trouble buying Harleys back in the fiftys you could buy a used running Harley with three or so weeks of salery about 200.00 to 300.00, I bought my 1948 Harley for 3.00.00 in 1950 and its still in my garage right now and I have the engine in the computer room as I work on the enging in comfort and the lady is fast will outrub any new Harley except the V Rod which is hell on wheels for a Harley and to you people that dont know Harleys of the V Rod type first sold in Warsaw Poland about ten yoers ago, to git production for racing, long story about what tha AMA requires.
Bob Enemark Bye Now

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why my 2005 FLHTI's front forks will not lock? I am a new rider and don't like leaving my bike without the forks locked. I do have a security system but I like back-up

mcqueen29 said...

My name is Johnnie and I live on the Southside in Bridgeport. I'm 33 and have been riding since I was about 5. I had the typical succession of dirt bikes,mini bikes,etc. My dad and uncles rode and so did my Grandmothers brothers. I am interested in learning a little history and was hoping somone out there could help me. My grandmothers brothers Bobby and Harry Dumke rode with a club located at 51st and Racine. She thinks they were members of the Chicago Eagles. Some of their riding buddies were Jimmy Coe and Larry Fischer. I've heard stories over the years of them tearing up Bridgeport,Canaryville,and The Back of The Yards. These guys would ride down to Look Out Mountatin ,Tennessee for a cup of coffee! When my Uncle Bobby married his wife Shirley(who he met at the clubhouse,she was from 51st and Throop)they had a motorcycle wedding from Doremus Church on Normal Ave. here in Bridgeport. Unfortunately all the people who were familiar are either dead,very old,have moved away,or cannot give me more info. If anyone out there can give me some help or even just some history of riding and clubs in Bridgeport,Canaryville,or Back of The Yards,I would really appreciate it. I still live and ride in Bridgeport and often ride and party in Back of The Yards and Cville. I own a Dyna Wide Glide,a chopped 71 Sporty,and a project,chopped 67 BSA. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Johnie
This is Bemis, My real handle is Bob Enemark and rode since the 1950's ,the names you mentioned I do not know but the Chicago Eagles are still around no web site but search them out on web for the address? My Email is, I might help?

GV said...

Wow, very cool. I love you all bring up the old days. I was not around and have been riding for less than 15 years but I have a great respect for those who have been on the road before us. I would love to hear more about the old clubs around Chicago. Has anyone written a book?

And to the young Harley rider who is discouraged that he is alone. You have to realize, back in the day was no different than today. They rode what they could afford. If it was a Harley, Indian, Triumph, Vincent or Matchless, it was what they could afford. There wasn't the Honda, Kawasaki’s or Suzuki’s back then. It is all about the ride and friendships. That is the way it should still be. That’s what I try to pass on to the members of my riding clubs.

triumph99 said...

I'm looking for a Chicago-area, independent mechanic who knows Triumph motorcycles. I own a 1999 Triumph Thunderbird and have not been entirely satisfied with the limited availability of the dealerships in my area. If interested, please email me at

TCWJoe said...

Unfortunately guy I'm one of them twenty somethings that doesn't make enough for a a Harley, shoot I was barely able to afford my Suzuki. I'd love to own a Harley but you know how it goes, $6000 worth of bike, $10,000 worth of name (because I'm just too damn big to ride the friggin' 883 huggers).

Anyhow, I dig this addition, and as soon as I get my scoot rolling (razzin frazzin bike) I plan on heading to the first possible bike blessing (it needs it).

I'll try to keep checking in. The web page I'm giving this thing is for my band.

Anonymous said...

hey bikers,

just wondering if there was a chopper club in chicago?
i have a 2005 hellbound steel wicked. i would like to ride with other choppers.

Anonymous said...

Someone said is anyone writting a book I know that Craig Vetter who started Vetter fairing is working on one and I think maybe a bit will be in there on chicago riders he has one story of my bike which might be in the book and the stories of the Chicago Stroker Harleys which was the roots of S&S cycle where Stan would bill Strokers in a garge south of Chicago in Riverdale IL.
I know about most the guys that raced in this era and I had the first Bobbed job in the Chicago area, which was my 48 Harley

irish_attitude said...

i am also a young halrey rider. i am 26/f and just bought a bike a few months ago. i ride alone right now. it kind of sucks. drop me a line.


Bob Enemark said...

Well I'm back the old Hilltopper from the 1950's on the So Side of Chicago. I still have my 48 panhead, which is a Bobbed Job like they should be from the day that full dressers were Garbage Wagons. We would pull the engines and work all winter making them faster and at the time a sock Harley would get it's wix pulled by a English 40 incher, but with a lot of work I would go out and run them right back to England, I would go out hunting for Vincents Black Shadows just to whip them, that's the way it was back then us Harley riders had no problems with Indians so had to pick on the British. We would not worry about 1/4 we would crack them from 100 MPH so you had to break a ton just to play. Why no money maybe a bet, but was for EGO and just going fast.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know of any motard track or dirt riding areas up by Great America? My sister moved up there (I think Gurnee?) and I want to take her kids to a track day or dirt ride.

I'm looking for a place to rent bikes too. XR80 and XR100 or similar should do.

I live in CA now, but I can't let these kids grow up not riding!

Bob Enemark said...

Bob From Chicago the Rockford area is a hot bed of dirt riders and dont overlook the studed ice racing in Wisconsin, you can find riders up to any thing from the left coast.

Anonymous said...

Question from a rider who is new to riding clubs and assosiations:

What is the right way to wear patches if you are a member of more than one group? a vest/jacket for each? Or can you put more than one patch on a single vest without getting your ass kicked?

Any advice will be appriciated

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Question from a rider who is new to riding clubs and assosiations:

What is the right way to wear patches if you are a member of more than one group? a vest/jacket for each? Or can you put more than one patch on a single vest without getting your ass kicked?

Any advice will be appriciated

3:22 PM

I guess to answer you question, well unless your a member of a Club or an Association you would not wear one of their patches. Many people are members of Abate, HOG and other organizations. You wear the one your most active in I guess. Abate members wouldn't kick HOG members asses for having their patch on their vests. If your talking about a full back patch well you wouldn't have two sewn on one ver=st anyway. You wouldn't wear a "Outlaw" patch along with an "Angel" patch. Just wouldn't happen.
So what organizations do you belong to?

Anonymous said...

I am riding to Texas at the end of the Month for th Lone Star Rally, anyone headed or know of someone headed south? Let me know at

Bob Enemark said...

Old bemis Bob Enemark here, seems hard to stir up much action on the web, I know theres snow on the ground which never stoped me from riding so maybe your all out on your bikes?

supafly said...

I wasn't sure how to post a general comment, so I'll put it here. Just wanted to say I found a mechanic I liked -

Anonymous said...

I'm 19 and tryin to get into ridin hardcore. I have a KZ 400 from 1978 I picked up for 200 bucks. Problem is it doesn't run. Been workin on it awhile but knowledge is limited. Hopefully I can hit the roads soon. I would kill for a harley.

seanxl1200c said...

My first bike was a 77 kz400 at 18 that didn't run when i got it. I think i paid $300. that was 12 years ago, ridding a 1200 sporty now. best advice is buy a repair manuel, then check spark, and compression, if you've got both, then you've got fuel problems, work on that carb. (most common problem on those old bikes)

Anonymous said...

Smilin Jims Saloon on Western Ave just south of Devon is a cool bar where you can park your bike on the sidewalk outfront and keep an eye on it because of the large windows. Owner rides and the beer is cheap and cold. Would be a good place for a party or benefit, has backyard and owner doesnt charge. Check it out.

James said...

I live in SE WI and really could use a well-stocked motorcycle accessory and apparel store nearby. Is there any store in NE IL with a good selection of MC stuff including helmets? I don't ride or desire HD. I own BMW, Honda, Suzuki.

Appreciate any suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah..... buy a Harley!

Anonymous said...

want to start a harley ride in inverness Il.

wingergal said...

Each year, there are more and more motorcyclists using the roads, and many motorcyclists are killed, and I believe Illinois lacks effective legislation to provide for the safety of these drivers/riders. Currently in Illinois, a person who kills someone with a vehicle can only be charged with either a traffic citation (a petty offense), or reckless homicide, which is a felony requiring the State's Attorney to be able to prove that there was some 'intent' on the part of the driver to cause harm to someone else. We need a vehicular manslaughter law in the State of Illinois to close this huge gap in our legal system. Motorcyclists deserve the right to use Illinois roads safely. Drivers who kill motorcyclists because 'the sun was in their eyes' or 'they didn't see them' need to be effectively penalized for their inattention. We need a VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER LAW in Illinois to make our roads safer for all drivers. A $300.00 ticket when a drivers actions cause death is not sufficient punishment or recognition of the seriousness of the offense. The penalty needs to correspond to the seriousness of the offense. It is incongruous that our laws rescind drivers licenses for speeding, reckless driving, parking tickets, failure to have emissions testing, failure to pay tolls etc., yet allow inattentive, careless drivers who cause death to continue to drive. Please support the following legislation currently pending in Illinois.

HD_Biker_Vick said...

This information is very important. Please give this your full attention and read thoroughly through this! This is a situation that every person who owns a scooter, mo-ped, or a motorcycle has to be very concerned about! To take action against this problem does not at all require any extensive effort on your part. All you've got to do is show up -- with your motorcycle and park it in protest along Wabash Avenue between the block north at Washington Street and to the South at Madison St. at the planned meeting time of 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2009.
{Tentative date depending on whether? }

If you have not already noticed the situation with the newly installed automated parking boxes, installed and managed by the Laz parking company contracted by the city of Chicago, then please take the time to look at the huge parking receipt problem at so many of these pay boxes that have been placed around this city! Unfair bogus tickets on your motorcycle or car could cost you unnecessary money, time, and aggravation. If you have not previously experienced this problem already like so many others have before, don't worry, you will eventually have this problem if you park your motorcycle at pay boxes in the city of Chicago....especially in the downtown area and in the South Loop!

Vick M.

HD_Biker_Vick said...

Please pass this info along to everyone you know; especially bikers of course!! This is not a “Club or Clique” thing…It’s a “Biker thing”!

(PS. I realize this event info may be short notice for some people)

I along with a small group of people are making an effort to put together this bike parking & sit-in protest. We are hoping and expecting that bikers will show up in force of huge numbers and fill every nook and cranny of the Street curbs at Wabash & Washington with motorcycles on this day!
(PS. It would be very helpful if you would drape a paper or cardboard sign over your bike handlebars to protest the city of chicago's and Laz Parking Company's ticketing policies and procedures against our motorcycles and scooter bikes.)

I'm sure that most people must have noticed that the City and Laz Parking Company at most pay box parking locations often do not provide the proper type of stickers to attach your parking receipts to your motorbike at their pay boxes. Of course, even when the stickers are provided and are dispensed directly from the machine they still have a great potential to wash off in the rain. Now for some strange reason Laz has switched to machines that only dispense a regular piece of paper with small sticker tabs that are placed on the outside of the box....constantly exposed to the weather -- (a real genius idea!) And most of the time the stickers needed to adhere the parking receipt to your bike is not available because they are either blown away from their carrying pouch, damaged by whether exposure, or just simply missing altogether!

Now you get the privilege and aggravation of either having to pay, or take the time to go through the process of contesting and fighting an unwarranted ticket violation! The city of Chicago meter enforcement personnel that work for Laz Co. seem to operate like robots. They issue out what amounts to bogus tickets and the company doesn't seem to be trying to get to the bottom of fixing the problem!

HD_Biker_Vick said...

FYI – Additional stuff you may want to know! (Read through & check out the rest of this)

Hello & thank you for your reply Chicago Tribune & Mr. Dan Mihalopoulos.

I was somewhat surprised to recently hear a broadcast that was very much related to my issue that I have been dealing with for quite some time aired on the 'Chicago Tonight' Show WTTW channel 11 this past Tuesday night August 25th. During the brief sound bites on the show the Mayor described what is a very poor and dismal implementation of the city's privatization of the parking meter enforcement program. Yes, he is absolutely right about that!

I may be one of only few Chicagoans to take my grievance and complaints so far as I have on this issue simply because my problem might just be to the extreme and a bit more problematic than the average case. I am sick and tired of this situation! In order to try to cut right to the chase, one of the biggest problems in the implementation of the parking meter program is the inability of the city of Chicago and Laz Parking Company to come up with a viable solution to providing proper or adequate means for people to be able to secure their paid parking receipts to their vehicles, especially to motorcycles and scooters!

How can the city's bureau of parking enforcement realistically demand and expect for citizens to be able to comply with the parking meter regulations if they do not provide the proper means for them to do so? The stickers needed to fasten your parking receipt to your motorbike are not provided at most pay box meters around the city; and if they are provided, they are left in plastic pouches hanging outside the meter exposed to the weather and grossly inadequate for use!

This is a situation that every person who owns a scooter, mo-ped, or a motorcycle has to be very concerned about! To take action against this problem does not at all require any extensive effort on your part. All you've got to do is show up -- with your motorcycle and park it in protest along Wabash Avenue between the block north at Washington Street and to the South at Madison St. at the planned meeting time of 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2009. {Tentative date depending on whether?}

If you choose to hangout for a while that would be cool. Of course, just make sure you pay the buck .50 to $3.50 for parking at the meter box after the protest. There are restaurants and pubs right in the immediate area! If at all possible please try to arrive in time at Wabash Ave. no later than 6 o'clock to 6:30 p.m. Be There or Be Square! Cycle riders please let's support each other; this is important!

HD_Biker_Vick said...

Even if you have not directly experienced some of the problems described in the E-mail flyer; you or any of the friends that you know who support this issue would help other bikers and be sending out a message that says "I don't want this problem to happen to me either!"

Ride easy & -- Take care now....
Hope you'll be able to tell a few more folks, and maybe make a showing if it's convenient for you.

(PS. I realize this event info may be short notice for some people)

This information is very important. Please give this your full attention and read thoroughly through this! This is a situation that every person who owns a scooter, mo-ped, or a motorcycle has to be very concerned about! To take action against this problem does not at all require any extensive effort on your part. All you've got to do is show up -- with your motorcycle and park it in protest along Wabash Avenue between the block north at Washington Street and to the South at Madison St. at the planned meeting time of 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2009.

Please definitely hit me back with a reply to confirm that you will be there!

Vick M.

HD_Biker_Vick said...

There are a lot of details about these issues, but I won't try to go into all of it now. However, I have contacted my alderman's office in the 15th ward where I live, and I have also contacted Mr. Tim Stevens Chief of Staff to Alderman Robert Fioretti of the 2nd Ward office who has jurisdiction in the downtown district, says he will have the contradictory signs corrected at the 322 South Wabash street, which has caused so much trouble and confusion!

I suspect or at least I would like to think that the original design and intent of the Bureau of Parking Enforcement and the Department of Revenue was to 1) control traffic flow, 2) mitigate parking and traffic congestion, and most of all, 3) to ensure the public’s safety? In turn, as a consequence of pursuing & enforcing these very lofty goals that are laid out on one of the city of Chicago's web sites, the residual effect; ( I repeat “the residual effect” ) is supposed to be the collection of fines & fees and raising revenue through this system.

But it really seems that the pervasive attitude and company / department culture toward Chicago's citizens is to use the law as a weapon instead of a tool to create the desired effect of compliance. Maximize profits over justice and fairness, even over common sense! "NAIL THEM FOR THE CASH NO MATTER WHAT!"

The meter enforcement personnel of Laz Parking Company contracted by the city of Chicago should be well aware of the conditions, state of repair or disrepair, and certain deficiencies of your pay box meters. They walk the beat of their respective pay box meter locations every single day! Your employees (referring mostly to star/badge Nos. T127 & T144) they know, or they should know the state of every meter in their area better than anyone else!

I find it hard to believe that your meter enforcement officials do not seem to have common sense enough to recognize the weather conditions, and if your meter boxes are supplied with adequate parking receipt stickers. Instead of abusing their discretionary power and judgment in writing of ticket violations, they should be reporting deficient pay box meters to their employer so that these conditions can be properly addressed, repaired and corrected in a timely manner. Instead they operate like robots writing-up what really amounts to be unwarranted, bogus, harassing tickets!

Perhaps if this story gets out, gets talked about, and gets a little bit of attention in the "biker world" and in the media maybe this story can help some other people? Of course, it has got to be absolutely impossible that I am the only person with a problem similar to this in this great big city that is affected by, or will be affected by this situation with the city's inefficiency in the privatization of their parking enforcement program?

Sincerly H.O.G. rider
Vick M.

Boris_Yartsev said...


My name is Boris, I'm from Russia, St. Petersburg.

I'm planning to visit Chicago in March, rent a motorcycle and travel along Route 66 to LA.

Do you have any suggestions about motocycle rental in chicago?

I found
but it works only from 2 of April.

Thank you!

watseka theatre said...

To all Bikers! Right down the Old Dixie Highway!
We are having a blast down here at the fully renovated 1931 Art Deco Watseka Theatre! We are now welcoming any and all car clubs for a drive down this historic theatre and then spend the afternoon with gourmet home cooked meals and or a stage show, a movie of your choice a concert, a rock-blues-country concert! Our Cafe can hold as many as 240 diners! I welcome all Chicago-land Bike Clubs for a day in the country! It would be a cruise you will never forget. Only 80 miles South of Chicago! Each clubs event can be designed to whatever you want to have for the entertainment and the meals and price! 815-993-6585