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