ASBURY PARK, N.J., FEB. 2—In its fourth year, the Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show brought a spark of warmth to the deep winter freeze at the Jersey Shore. The hosting venue, the Asbury Park Convention Center, provided the perfect backdrop of retro kitsch, complementing the vintage bikes, artwork and unique wares that comprised the event.

As in the past, this year’s show sold out of both bike show slots and vendor spaces in January, even though the event expanded the space available for exhibits. Last year, the upstairs exhibit space, which opened up to the main floor below, was extended to three sides (the fourth is under construction and should be open next year). On display were at least 25 vendors, along with some special attractions. Vendors included everything form photos, jewelry, custom goods, pin stripers and custom painters, helmets, bike parts, clothing and interesting art objects.

For the first time, this year’s show included the “Monochrome” photography exhibit, which featured each photographer’s vision of, and passion for, the motorcycle culture in black and white. Invited artists were Debbie Fitch, Austin Johnson, Liam Kennedy, Dean “Chooch” Landry, Mike Leslie, Mikey Revolt, Travis Tanay, and Dan Venditto. And Ray Shredhelm from Flake and Film presented a painted motorcycle tank display. Ray is also partnering with Cheap Thrills producer Dusty NJ to put on a motorcycle tank and photography exhibit, with bikes and live music, at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, New Jersey, on June 29, in case you missed the Cheap Thrills show. Other photography artists included the talented Mark Velazquez whose work can be seen in various moto mags.

The main show floor below featured tons of swap meet parts, as well as apparel, photography, and more unique art and mechanical creations. Oliver Peck of Ink Master and Elm Street Tattoo was present under his Chemical Candy Customs and Anchor Screen Printing umbrella… I mean, tent. Parts vendors tattoo artists, and photography exhibits even took over the main stage where DJs Nikki Mixx and Dirt Nap alternated spinning records all day, with their choice of musical offerings enhancing the retro vibe.

Every year, all show attendees are eligible to win a nice prize package. Plunking down $20 gets you a cool 11” x 17” Cheap Thrills poster and a chance to win The Big Deal, which this year was a 45 c.i. Flathead engine assembly built and donated by Dusty’s Cheap Thrills partner Walter Gemeinhardt of Kickstart Cycle Supply. A very happy guy named Russ lucked out this year.  

Towards the end of the day, Walter and Dusty tallied votes for the bike show and hit the stage to announce the winners. After a string of class awards, Matt Waln of Warrington, Virginia, was called to the stage to accept the trophy and $1,000 donated by Old Bike Barn for the Best of Show bike, a beautiful 1960 chromed-out Panhead.

With the awards handed out, Cheap Thrills began to wind down as everyone prepared to head over to the after party at Bond Street Bar later that evening where Gods and Sun Voyager was the featured entertainment. Watch for the date of the fifth annual Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show on their Instagram and Facebook pages. You won’t find anything better on a cold, cold February day down the Jersey Shore.


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