The Crowd at Rockerbox 2012

If you tuned in to our past photo-feature about Rockerbox, you saw our first impression of the unique and happenin’ motofest in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood. In this picture-post, you’ll see what lured us back: the people, the motorcycles, the vibe, the scene. It’s different, and that’s why we like it. Read on…

Rockerbox 2012

Center Street is packed for blocks with bikes, vendors and an interesting mix of visitors and residents. (See first pic above, too.) Everyone gets along. Even if you’re not a bike person, there’s plenty to see.

Rockerbox 2012

Bikes of all types and varying history come out of the woodwork. Over 150 motorcycles were entered into the bike show for a chance to win one of many custom trophies that are created on-site. Somewhere around 8,000 folks would show up, but it seemed like more. A large portion of that number rode in on motorcycles and scooters, which was a show in itself. It’s Milwaukee, but this ain’t a Harley show. In fact, H-D bikes appear to be a minority at Rockerbox.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Above left: Matty Bennett of National Moto + Cycle, attended and rode around on one their custom creations. We parked our “Wilkinson Bros” cafe racers outside the epicenter of the event, the Fuel Cafe.

Rockerbox 2012

Art comes in various forms at Rockerbox, where gas tanks are often canvases.

Rockerbox 2012

People-watching is great in Riverwest. The well-worn neighborhood spawns free-spirited inhabitants who seem to welcome this kind of event, despite rumbling engines, closed streets, and congested sidewalks. They walk among the motorcycle fanatics with snakes around their necks, large tattoos, dreadlocks, sandals and smiles. It’s such a broad range of people that there are no cliques or an Us-vs-Them mentality.

Rockerbox 2012

If we had to give this girl a job title it’d be, Hoola-Hooping Street Mime. She danced in the street for passersby.

Rockerbox 2012

What started out as an alternative to Harley-specific bike events, Rockerbox still welcomes all motorcyclists.

Rockerbox 2012

You’d think this would be the only woman carrying a snake down Center Street. She wasn’t.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

We grabbed a burger at Stonefly Brewing Co. on Center Street near the action. We liked their giant-scale rat trap on the wall.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

We’re fans of the Speedcult products. Something about neat old logos cut out of steel is rad.

Rockerbox 2012

The Smage Bros put on an entertaining Trials show in the middle of the strip.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Scott Johnson, event co-founder, presents a helmet won in the silent auction (painted by Ellis Smith).

Rockerbox 2012

Trophies are creatively welded up on-site.

Rockerbox 2012

Some may think Rockerbox is a show of only motorcycles, but there’s all kinds of picture-taking opportunities.

Rockerbox 2012

The Milwaukee summer can heat up the asphalt to sweltering levels; attendees adjust their attire accordingly.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

The Rockerbox raffle bike, based on an ATK with a 605 Rotax race motor.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Pull up a curb and have a street picnic.

Rockerbox 2012

Rockerbox 2012

Providing live music was Traveling Lovesick. Hear their great sound in the video at the end of this post.

Rockerbox 2012

At Rockerbox, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time when motorcycling seemed more carefree. People are sweaty, shirtless and a little rough around the edges, but you feel welcome. It’s not the standard gathering of motorcyclists or ‘bikers’, which is why it has become a must-attend moto-destination for many.

If you dig these photos and think Rockerbox is swell, share this article with your motorcycling buddies. If you think this is an event you’ve gotta make it to, visit the Rockerbox website to see when they’ll be hosting their next annual motofest and street party. Maybe we’ll see you there!

– Corey Wilkinson and Casey Wilkinson
Good Spark Garage / Wilkinson Brothers

(P.S. We’ve got some great folks following Good Spark’s travels. We’d love to find more motorcycle people to share our stories with, help us spread the word by liking us on Facebook. Thanks!)

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