As we look back on our tenth year of business here in Chicago, it’s been full of fun projects and amazing adventures. We’ve captured most of that right here on Behind The Moto, so a look back seemed in order. Here’s some of our favorite stories from 2014:
Big Adventure: The NORRA MEXICAN 1000
Thanks to a huge cooperative effort between Triumph, GE Capital, Icon, Ohlins Suspension, Rally Raid Products, Continental Tires, and Motoworks Chicago we put together a plan to take two Triumph Tiger 800XCs and put them through the most torturous grass roots racing in North America: the NORRA Mexican 1000 and the ALCAN 5000. With months of prep and planning, the first of our two racing events kicked off in May. Starting with the reveal of our race bikes over on BikeEXIF, the race itself got started. Johnny recapped the first three days for us from the field. While we weren’t in it to win it, we finished the race having learned a ton and ready to tackle the next adventure: the ALCAN 5000.
Every day we help put customers on new and used bikes, but every once in a while we get to create something special. Early in the year we took some showroom bikes and customized them. These Works Edition bikes included a Triumph Thruxton, a Ducati 1199 Panigale and a Triumph Scrambler that each had choice aftermarket accessories pre-installed and ready for customers to love. We also featured one of Johnny’s personal bikes, a 1937 BMW R12. More recently, we featured this Paul Smart Ducati that’s still available for the discerning Ducati fan.
We had a couple of big customs come through the shop this year. One of the high points was definitely Calle Maton, the bike we built for the British Customs Iron Moto Challenge. The build-off took place at Motoblot this year. How’d we do? We won! You can see the bike in our showroom, and it’s even up for sale.
Sometimes we build the custom bikes in-shop, but just as often we’re where local builders come for parts and components. Yours truly put together the customized Bonneville seen above together using OEM parts from Triumph, plus custom pieces from British Customs and Biltwell. It was a bike that started on the Motoworks showroom floor, and now it’s a one-of-a-kind custom that’s been featured around the web.
We celebrated our history and our team
We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2014, and we celebrated by throwing a party, but we also took some time here on the blog to tell the story of those ten years. We’ve come a long way, had a lot of fun, and we’re just getting started.
We also started a series to help you guys get to know our awesome crew here at Motoworks. So far we’ve done profiles on Betty, Nina, Milan and Grant. Stay tuned, because there are more of these to come.
Adventures on the track
When we weren’t tearing ass through the desert, heading for the arctic circle, or meandering through Driftless country, it was easy to find us having fun on the race track. We went AHRMA racing at Road America and Barber, and we had a great time at our annual track day.
Big Adventure: The ALCAN 5000
The second half of our 2014 North American off-road racing adventure came in the form of the ALCAN 5000, a grass-roots event that drew riders from across the continent. After bringing the ICON Raiden Tigers back to Chicago for our team to race prep and repair from the abuse they saw in Mexico, we ended up finishing every race mile of the ALCAN. You can catch our re-caps here:
Small Adventures Around Chicago
Not all our escapades were crossing the continent. We had lots of fun closer to home. We took four Vespas on a proving run up north of town. A week later, Johnny and I piloted a vintage BMW sidecar rig up to Coffee & Classics with a group of moto pals in tow. We’ll definitely be doing that one again next year. Another great local feature was our visit to Art Buhlmann’s Open House. We saw an amazing collection of bikes and a great group of moto fans in attendance.
Yet one of our favorite local events this year had to be the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. So many great bikes and moto fans showed up to parade our dapper selves around the city. We made new friends and were reminded once again just how fantastic the Chicago riding community really is.
Looking forward to 2015
So what’s next? With 2014 wrapping up in the next few days, we’re already planning events, adventures and our racing calendar for next year. In the shop we’ll have exciting new models and special editions from Triumph, Vespa and Ducati. We’re going to chase points this year at various AHRMA events around the country. We’re putting together plans for some dual sport riding where everyone who wants to can participate. Most of all, we’re looking forward to the adventures we get to take with all of you. There will be rides, events around town, and plenty of fun to be had once the weather warms back up. Until then, a huge thanks to all of you, our customers and readers, who make what we do at the shop possible. Thanks for a great 2014!