Rice – O – Rama 2011.
Smack dab in the middle of the twisty-turney scenic countryside of central Massachusetts on Sunday SEPT. 11th was Rice – O – Rama 2011, What started as a little get together has quickly grown into can't miss motorcycle event. Not just a swap meet, there's a real bike show now with 20 classes, all for vintage and custom Japanese motorcycles.
This year the family and I added this event to our house hunting long weekend in New Hampshire, At the beginning of the summer we decided to move from Martha's Vineyard MA to the Lakes Region of NH, We looked at several places that several shady real estate agents were listing when we were lucky to be informed about a place in Belmont that hadn't been listed yet, after a quick phone call a appointment was arranged for 9:30 the next morning, when we arrived and met the owner we instantly new this was the place. completely detached 3 bedroom house on 4 acres, by 3pm we had a signed lease and our search for our new home was over, with nothing scheduled for the rest of the weekend leaving Sunday totally free we had the choice of going to Rice – O – Rama or a Classic Mustang Show and Shine, tough decision but the chance to meet steph again at the bike meet won,
Julie (The Warden) and the baby (Head Mechanic) were up before me as they weren't up half the night drinking Sam Adams and returned with coffee and breakfast quasaunt's we hurriedly ate finished coffee packed everything up, checked out of the motel and after a brief moment taking in the breath taking scenery one more time we loaded up the truck and headed south to central mass.
After a 2 hr drive we arrived at the North Brookfield Sportsman's Club the venue for Rice – O – Rama 2011, There was a good crowd again with loads of people selling parts, bikes and memorabilia.
We walked around admiring all the bikes on show for the many trophy's awarded for all the different classes,
Steph's bike was entered again and looked amazingly clean,
Walking through the venders steph appeared as if by magic, with the familiar smile beaming from his face. jay didn't make it this year unfortunately due to work or something equally more important than hanging out drinking beer and talking bikes, we walked back to where steph was set up with his stall, he had all the parts from a old ltd he parted out for sale.
As I browsed his parts for sale thinking to myself "I could use that part" under the ever watchful eye's of The Warden we talked about his decision to sell his KZ1000R2, when he first posted on our forum regarding his decision to sell his beloved bike i was shocked, then disappointed as he has been a huge part not only of the site here but the community that has formed around it, inspiring people to meet up go on rides together,
A lot of the information and pictures you will find on this site came from him and his never ending pursuit to make this site the number 1 resource for not only the Eddie Lawson replica but the Superbike Replica's and clones as well. while he explained his reason for this decision I slowly understood why he had reached this point in time, over the last 3 or so years he has had the top end rebuilt twice by a mechanic as he has as he will admit very limited mechanical abilities, and pampered his bike bringing it up to the concourse condition you see today,
But keeping a bike in this condition when all you want to do is ride is hard. with only storage for one bike there was little else he can do but part with his beloved KZ1000R2 and purchase a more practical new bike that needs little or no maintenance from him leaving more time to ride.
With a heavy heart knowing that there was no way he was going to change his mind and to be honest i totally understood why and how hard it was for him to make this decision we walked around the show some more. his bike believe it or not didn't win a trophy again for the second year in a row which was a real shame as it will be the last time it will appear there,
Apparently it's off to a collector in Illinois and probably won't ever be seen by our members again.
While walking around my daughter saw a little electric motorcycle and she fell in love with it, she looked so cute on it and asked if we could get it for her, how could we refuse just look at that face and smile! she scooted around on that thing for best part of a hour while we drank beer chatted,
Met a really nice guy but for the life of my i don't remember his name, but I liked his work in progress bike a KZ1000LTD with ZRX front and rear end on it.
Steph threw countless parts in the back of my truck for my never ending collection and i bought a set of KZ1000R1 style clocks from him too that will come in handy at some point on my current projects, all in all it was a great day apart from the bloody mosquito's that were just eating us alive as it got later into the afternoon. after hugs and handshakes all round Julie jumped behind the wheel as i had been drinking a couple of beers and we set off back to The Rock (As People who live on The Vinyard refer to it) for probably the last time as home,
The ride was uneventfully apart from a gas stop and food we made it back in time for a sunset at woods hole for the ferry back.
Story by kano,
Claude Massé & Julie Gales.