We threw the cameras on the bikes and rode a short trip north to Kokomo, Indiana, for the 3rd annual Kokomoto (2014) being held at the picturesque “A Summer Place.” Blue skies, old bikes and friendly hosts made for another great year of good ol’ Midwestern moto-camaraderie. Take a spin through our pics for a glimpse…
A Summer Place is in rural Sharpsville, IN, surrounded by corn and soybean fields. It’s a walkable homage to the 40s and 50s complete with a theater and diner. This year’s event cost $5 at the gate and bikes old enough for the show could park ‘inside’ the li’l town.
Kokomoto is put on by these fellas, the Davis brothers from Kokomo, IN. They put a lot into this show, along with help from friends and family. Proceeds from the gate fee go to the owners of A Summer Place (who, in turn, put the money toward their foundation “A Home For Every Child”).
You’ll see some interesting stuff here, from old British bikes, vintage Hondas, dirtbikes, scooters and a growing contingent of classic bicycles.
There’s a good number of Kokomo-area motorcyclists, like this motley crew above, with great taste in custom, vintage bikes (left to right: Shelly, Joey, Brad and Leslie).
We’re always curious to see what nicely restored beauty Dan Beher is gonna bring; this is his 1958 Capriolo.
Above: Moto-couple Brad and Leslie. Brad Plantenga’s company, Bullseye Visual, provides killer custom paint for high-end racing helmets. He also painted the helmets and bikes in the above pic and the one-of-a-kind trophies for this event (see ’em in more pics below).
Above: Tom Janes won the Best Bicycle trophy with his 1951 Schwinn Black Phantom in original condition. It’s all about the nostalgia for Tom; he searched for and found this bike over 15 years ago to replace the one that got away from him when he was young (he used to deliver papers on a bike just like this!).
Steven Lorenz of Arcadia Cushman brought his 1944 Simplex motorcycle fitted with a Gravely tractor motor. Last year, we didn’t catch him firing it up, so this year we made sure to tune in when he wound up the pull-cord and pull-started the stout 49ci engine.
Old-school two-wheelers are celebrated here, engine or no engine.
Tayler Glover, from Bloomington Powersports, rode in on her clean Kawasaki.
Rick Hayes and Tracy Buckle rightfully win the award for Patina Machina. Rick says the engine has been brought back to life and runs great, but the well-worn, original finish of the exterior was intentionally left alone. The 1952 Simplex once resided in Staten Island, NY, moved to another owner in Ohio and then on to Rick without any of its history being painted over or sanded off.
Above: Best in Show award went to Dan Sprinkle’s gritty 1949 Indian Scout. Ride it, don’t hide it!
Matty Bennett from National Moto+Cycle was set up this year, showing off some of his bespoke motorbikes (above).
The small theater is jam-packed full of cool memorabilia from cars, boats and bikes to oil cans, coke machines and jukeboxes. Check out the old Sharpsville High sweater below, preserved from the small town school where A Summer Places is located.
As you could imagine, John and Thelma have a few stories to tell. One story was how John Eads ran a modified 5-horse Cushman scooter (aka Black Jack) up to 90mph in a quarter mile…in 1958. Here’s an article with more info on his travels.
To see more pics from last year’s 2 Wheel Nostalgia Show, click here. For next year’s details and some good clean fun, keep it tuned in to the Kokomoto Facebook page. It’s pretty country out there, where a quiet slice of farmland gives way to this cool little venue. And, we have to give a nod of the helmet to the hosts’ efforts. Robert and Matt Davis are genuinely good people.