Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe Kills It with Moto Envy Show


A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Hesseltine, owner of the Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe in Eureka, California for a story about how he got to where he is today. He'd only had his place open for about a year, and he'd had one Moto Envy Show under his belt.

While I'd been to the cafe a couple of times, this was the first time I'd been to the show. He'd invited me to talk about my book - Asphalt & Dirt - Life on Two Wheels - and do book signings along with long-time motorcycle writer Clement Salvadori . How could I say no?

For those of you who've been to any number of bike shows, you know that they are typically overrun with V-twins that have been stretched, slammed and fitted with big-ass front wheels to the point they no longer represent the bike they started with. It's custom for the sake of art - the end result is often an expression of the builder's artistic rather than mechanical ability.

The flip side are shows featuring restored bikes or modern-restos that are nearly as much about mechanical aptitude as they are about artistic talent.

Jeff's Moto Envy show defies both descriptions. And that's just fine. Because the motorcycle world is more than one or two types of bikes or riders.

Clement Salvadori, yours truly, and Jeff Hesseltine, owner of BLMC. We all look too solemn for such a fun event! What's up with that?

With somewhere around nearly a dozen different categories, there is literally something in this show for everyone.

While I did a crappy job of keeping a list of the winners, in the end it didn't really matter. The show itself was the highlight. With live music going for nearly the entire four hours of the show, and a smattering of raffled items - including a revitalized Yamaha VMax -- Jeff's onto something here. Plus, he gives proceeds to charity and this year it was to help victims of sex trafficking. So mark your calendars for next September and drag your ass up to Eureka for next year's Moto Envy Show. You won't be disappointed.


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