Why We Fight

A couple weeks ago we shut our doors for a few days and got the hell out of town. It was a forced escape — a strategic retreat. Truth is, we needed it. We needed to give a little ground and take a fresh look at why we do what we do. Our vantage point for surveying the battle against time and neglect was the AMHRA vintage motorcycle races at Road America. We pitched our tent on a grassy overlook in Wisconsin to watch an angry mob of mad racers battle wheel to wheel on motorcycles older than some of our crew. From this perspective we could see the “why” of it all.

The past two years have been intense for us here at BlueCat Motors. Intense in the best ways, but it’s been like two years of drinking from the fire hose. We moved. We grew. We changed. We changed some more. We gained. We lost. We pushed through. We fixed bikes. We earned customers. On top of that grassy hill at Road America, we could finally take a breath. Why do we do this again? We do it because we love motorcycles. Period. It’s not something I can really explain beyond that. You either understand that passion or you don’t. It’s all about the bikes — these bonkers machines. We throw a leg over, twist the throttle and turn refined dinosaur remains into heat, noise and speed. Thing is, when we’re busy fixing customer bikes, it’s tough to take the time to fead our own beasts and our own enthusiasm. After a while, our own motorcycles start resembling the naked feet of the cobbler’s children.

That’s why outings like Road America are so important. It forces us to stop and recharge — to nourish our own motorcyclist souls. We get to see what the rest of the vintage speed addicts are up to. We can share stories and meals and do our best not to dump our pit bikes riding through the grass of the infield. But best of all, we get to spend quality time away from deadlines, and parts that need to be ordered, and stubborn bolts that won’t come loose. That will be there when we come home, and we’ll be all the fresher to deal with it. We’ll be fresh for the front lines of a war on wear and tear, with our swords sharpened and our shields shined. Ready to fight. Ready to hold our ground again.

The battle is growing, too. We’ve recently added full diagnostic equipment for modern European motorcycles, and we’re pretty excited about it. The Twin Cities has already come to rely on us for vintage Japanese and European motorcycle service and customization. With these new tools at our disposal, we’re now fully equipped to service modern European bikes as well. Bring us your modern Triumphs and BMWs. We’ll get you sorted out. We’re also fully equipped to tackle modern Japanese machines, especially metric v-twins. You didn’t buy a Harley and we understand the reasons why. We also understand these bikes and can keep you rumbling down the road. These are capabilities we’ve had for a while now, but perhaps people weren’t fully aware of them. Now you know, and now we’re back from our wrenches’ respite, ready to get back to work on your motorcycle. It’s what we’re here to do. It’s why we fight.

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Third Thursday Of June, Tomorrow Evening!

Tomorrow Evening! Will be our Third Thursday of June, with clear skies and mild temperatures in the forecast by those psychic weather people. We look forward to a break in the weather for some good riding and great folks to come join us at the shop for a jolly old time. There will be a delicious taco truck to satisfy any snack craving you may have no matter how long or short of ride you traveled to come hang out with us.  So if you have nothing better to do, hope to see ya tomorrow evening.

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The Viking Chapter Antique Motorcycle Club Show & Swap This Weekend

The Viking Chapter Antique Motorcycle Club is having their annual motorcycle show & swap meet this weekend; Friday June 15th – Saturday June 16th. We’ll Be there with a Booth for any advice you may need and info relating to a bike you may be working on now or that you are planning on in the future. So if you are in the area of the twin cities, come hang out with us at the MN State Fairgounds.

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BlueCat Motors will be closed from June 7-11, 2012

Whether you have a bike in for service, need replacement parts, or just like hanging out to pick our brains, you need to know that we will be closing early next week. The shop will be dark from Thursday, June 7th through the weekend. We’ll be open again the following Tuesday, June 12th for all your motorcycle wrenching needs. If you do need to get a hold of us while we’re closed, you can either 1) Shoot us an email, or 2) come find us at Elkhart Lake’s Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic. That’s where we’ll be.

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Third Thursday This Week

So maybe, just maybe, the last Third Thursday was a rain out. But, we’ll be hosting this Third Thursday this coming Thursday, May May 16th. Stop down for the first BlueCat Motorcycles Third Thursday of 2012! We’ll be getting started around 6pm.

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On Riding Solo

Regardless of what one may choose to ride, be it a vintage British Single, a Japanese Four, a German Boxer, or an American V-Twin, everybody….EVERYBODY enjoys, in some shape or form, the traditional motorcyclists’ get up: black leather jacket, sunglasses, engineer boots, and maybe even riding sans helmet. For some of us, riding while dressed like this is a guilty pleasure – giving in to our teenage dreams of wanting to look as cool as Marlon Brando in The Wild One. For the others, dressing like Brando is guiltless – it’s just what they do.

Either way, it’s inevitable that motorcycling will always have its conventions of style be it clothing, music, and even a loaded choice of coffee or tea. There is a time and place for each of these conventions, and each is enjoyable in its own right. But as fun as these conventions may be, there’s something to be said about finding what makes motorcycling enjoyable to you, and on your own terms. After all, once all the meet-ups, group rides, and festivals fade out, motorcycling is fundamentally about being alone. So here’s the question…when you’ve been alone on the road for hours in the wind, what is it that keeps you going? What is it that keeps you coming back?

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BCM Third (umm) Wednesday

Hey All,

SO… BlueCat Third Thursday is cancelled for the month of April because we’re renting out our shop space on Thursday night to the Fight Club for Kids Fundraiser Group.

BUT… this month we’re doing a Third Wednesday in conjunction with the Viking Chapter of AMCA, and everyone is invited! We’ll have the usual couple of Dirty 30 cases of Hamms starting at 6pm, and the meeting starts at 7pm. Stop in!

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Riding Into Spring

It happens the same way for most of us – the anticipation leading up to the first real ride of the year.  Some of you may have been lucky in these intervening quiet months, coaxing your bike out of hibernation and to choke down a carb bowl full of StaBil tainted gas for a quick spin around the block.  But days like today, among the first 60 plus degree days of the year, this is what we’ve been waiting for…

You wake up early for a weekend morning and reach for your phone to check the weather.  Were the weather guys right all along? 60 degrees and sunny by noon…right on schedule.  Make coffee.  Get dressed.  Maybe wear something that you won’t overheat in too quickly – after all, your bike may take a few extra kicks to get it started.  It’s cold stepping into the garage, a chill still hangs in the air from the night before.  You pull your bike away from its corner and set it on its center stand, giving everything a once over before you take a shot at getting it started.  Opening the fuel petcock, you hear a quiet rush of fuel filling the carb after months of sitting empty.  A flick of a lever opens the choke – something that you’re not used to during the season but this time around, you’ll take all the help you can get.  Standing tall on the pegs, you take a deep breath as you wind up to make a kickstart.  Roll throttle open. Slowly roll throttle closed.  Repeat. And…KICK.  Nothing.  Hey at least you know the engine’s turning over, right?  One more time:  Deep breath, wind up, and…KICK!!! Your vintage ride roars with life.  You sit down in the saddle with a sense of accomplishment, wondering how the hell your bike started on only the second kick, and reach underneath you to close the choke.  Your bike settles into a steady idle.  Time to check your tires and suit up…

Pulling out of your driveway, you blip the throttle an extra couple times before feathering out the clutch, reminding yourself of where your clutch catches and you move forward.  Rolling down your street, you can’t help but feel a little bit nervous.  You brake a little too early, waiting for all of this to feel familiar again.  And where fidgeting with the controls on your bike isn’t doing the trick, you go the opposite direction and simply let your engine do its thing.  You roll the throttle open, your engine rumbles and you feel the bike pulling hard beneath you.  Now this feels right.

Riding the streets that you’ve been used to driving down for the past several months is suddenly a new experience.  There’s sights, smells, and sounds, that you’ve missed with the windows rolled up and the heat on.  There’s a blue sky above you.  The sky!  And you can hear the rush of the springtime air around you.  Riding past a restaurant you catch the warm and earthy smell of curry drifting into the street, and a couple of blocks later it’s the coffee roaster.  And, just like that, it all makes sense again: motorcycling awakens your senses.

Now that you’ve found your bearings again on your motorcycle, you find yourself ready to get out of town.  The River Road has a number of easy twists and turns, and so it makes sense as your escape route.  You start to notice that there’s a lot of other bikes on the road.  An XS rolls by, an RD250, and a guy on a new BMW GS Adventure.  You swap the motorcyclists’ wave with each other, the classic left-handed and two fingers out at knee level gesture of acknowledgement.  Everyone is equally happy for the next guy as they are for themselves, regardless of what they’re riding.  Almost.  Then the guy on a Road King slugs on by.  You both keep your hands on your clutches and look straight forward.  You smile to yourself as even this is familiar and comforting, knowing that some things will never change.

Out on the open road just outside of the city, you pull the clutch in and shift up to 5th.  Now you’re riding, following the hills and turns along the river valley.  Being in the saddle just now, as if it hadn’t already, feels right.  Finally. You take a deep breath, taking in the rush of fresh air, and let it out with a big sigh. You probably wouldn’t look very cool if other people on the road could see the huge smile on your face through your helmet.  But who cares, right?  Roll that throttle open even more, and take another deep breath: Welcome to the riding season…

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Contact Us

BlueCat Motors
460 N. Prior
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 645-1172‎

Restoration Services

BlueCat Motors Restoration Services

We believe there's nothing sweeter than an old machine running as good as, if not better, than when it rolled off the factory line. A close second is when that machine looks as good as it runs. That's why we offer comprehensive vintage motorcycle restoration services. Whether it's a concourse bike, a resto-mod custom, or even your own take on the perennial Cafe Racer, give us a call at (651) 645-1172 and we'll get the wheels rolling.

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