Beards, Beer and Cafe Racers at the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally

Mint-condition cafe racers park next to rust-bucket cruisers, revving V-Twins with straight pipes tickle ear drums and a custom Harley-Davidson pisses quarts of oil where it sits. Safe to say, this is not The Quail — this is the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Attire is leather and denim and the only competition to judge is Miss Venice Vintage.

The VVMR was born out of a few friends with a shared passion for classic bikes wanting to hang out, drink cold beer, eat good food and talk motorcycles. This year, in its eighth time around, hundreds of bikes descend on Venice Boulevard for just that, with the gathering’s three pillars of bikes, beer and food still intact. No matter the bike, be it classic, custom or cafe racer, everyone is here because of a shared love for the motorcycles. Stories are shared between guys in bucket hats and Bermuda shorts and those with mohawks and dragon tattoos.

The recent hand built, made-in-America wave in this country isn’t lost on this crowd, most of whom rode in on bikes they wrenched on themselves. It seems a bit odd to say that “quality craftsmanship” is on trend, especially since the collection of old and new motorcycles found at the VVMR, bikes romantically designed and tinkered on in detail, make a good argument for why it should have never fallen out of practice.