Photo + Video: Mama Tried 2016

Over the weekend, I met up a couple friends in Milwaukee for the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show. The “Mama Tried Motorcycle Show is an indoor invitational showcasing honest, homebuilt and unusual bikes from the Midwest” and I thought it’d give me a unique perspective to explore, capture, and gather some inspiration for future projects. I wasn’t prepared for just how much it would.

Mama Tried 2016 Show

While we were waiting in line to get in (a good 40 minutes), we were greeted by some imaginative and creative builds like this. It was a welcomed departure from off-the-shelf automotive builds I’ve grown accustomed to and it really showed a deeper passion and attention to detail I could thoroughly appreciate.


Once we were inside, that appreciation only grew and I immediately regretted not hauling more gear with me—I only came armed with my Canon 1DX and 35L wide angle lens. Bummer. At any rate, there was so much to see—in every direction, there was something new and interesting to explore. Although I’ve always been more attracted to cafe racer-style bikes, I found myself enthralled by virtually everything in the room.

Mama Tried 2016 Show

Mama Tried 2016 Show

Mama Tried 2016 Show

Half way through the show, I decided to free-hand some clips so I spent most of the time behind the viewfinder switching back and forth between stills and video. If you missed it at the top, check out the quick edit here.

It was a great feeling to be amongst a culture I completely felt detached from, but wanted to understand. I have always wanted a motorcycle, but I’m fairly certain I would face certain death within the first ten minutes of riding. Nevertheless, they are incredibly beautiful to look at, so even if I end up buying a non-running example just as a piece of living room decoration, I’d be totally fine.

Mama Tried 2016 Show

Mama Tried 2016 Show





It was interesting to spot something so new amongst a sea of patina, but this BMW R9T was pretty sweet. The German flag color scheme looked right at home on this Beamer.



It was a relatively quick stint at the show—we breezed through everything in about an hour or so, though I’m sure if we arrived earlier, we would’ve stuck around for longer. Between hunger and the heat, it was time for us to make our exit. Needless to say, this initial experience has me itching to come back better prepared and hang out for a few hours to delve into the details and chat with some of the owners. See you guys in Milwaukee next year!

For the full photo set, visit our Flickr here.

Leave a reply