The KCVJMC Spring Show & Swap meet was held on Saturday 10th.

This was our 4th. annual  KCVJMC Show & Swap  and it was without a doubt a huge success.  The weather in May is usually questionable and this was the case this year as well.  Several weeks out, the weather was supposed to be favorable.  For the actual week of the event, however,  there was an 80% probability of rain.  As the days grew near, it looked bad for the show.  On the day of the event the weather did turn out to be great.  It was sunny and in the high 70's. and very comfortable.  Several hours after the event though, we did get rain, high winds, and hail.   

This year, we were at a new location.  Donnell's Suzuki, Honda generously offered their dealership location for this event.  Donnell Shiflett, a racer of significance in the late 1950's and 1960's, opened his Suzuki dealership in 1965.  Along with Suzuki, he added BSA and then later, Honda motorcycles.  On a raised platform in their service area, they have a collection of vintage bikes.  Displayed is a really clean Honda GB500, a "new" 1972 BSA MX500, a really nice Honda CB350, a new "never serviced" 1974 Suzuki RL250 factory competition bike, and an almost new 1971 Suzuki F50.  Donnell's has a history in the Kansas City area as being one of the first and continuously operating Japanese motorcycle dealers.  Bart, Donnell's son, currently runs the business.   They were great hosts.

A great deal of preparation went into this event because we were having a show which has been growing every year but was being held in a smaller space than what we had last year.  Our greatest concern was having plenty of space for the swap meet vendors and people bringing vintage motorcycles to sell.  We were also partnering with MDA (The Muscular Dystrophy Association) and wanted to create an event which would generously help them as a fundraiser.  Once under way, we ended up having enough show and vendor space and there was room for a little growth as well.  A special thanks goes to Frank Sereno, our VP, Joe Galetti, and the many members of KCVJMC who helped before, during, and at the event itself.  This size of event just can't be done without many people helping in a number of important capacities.  We really do appreciate all those who helped!

By 9 am we had at least 45 bikes being shown and by 10 am, the number had grown to around 90+.  By 11 am, the number had grown to over 130.  There were also many "show worthy" vintage Japanese motorcycles parked with the visitors bikes. We posted ribbons on over 170 motorcycles on show day. We had the regular cache of Honda CB's of nearly every size and at least four early Honda Dreams.  A rare 1979 Suzuki  GS1000"R" was shown as was a beautiful rare factory blue 1967 Honda Super Hawk.  Two Suzuki RE5's were shown as well as quite a number of early 70's era 2 stroke dirt bikes.  There were also quite a number of Yamaha Enduros.  These included Yamaha 125's, 250's, 360's, 400's, and a 500 thumper.   Many other bikes were shown such as several early Yamaha XS 650 twins,  two restored Honda  Elsinore's, a 125 and a 250, and a 24 year old Honda GT650 which looked as though it had never been ridden.   There were also several early Honda GL1000 Goldwings shown, a group of restored Honda mini bikes, monkey bikes and several ST90's were shown.  A first year Honda SL350, first year Kawasaki Z 1, a rare Bridgestone GTR 350, a rare Honda VF1000"R", and a newly restored orange metal flake Honda CB750 also graced the show.  The list could go on.   The event also hosted at least a dozen vendors as well.

With a healthy crowd, great weather, many people coming and going, and plenty of great bikes to look at, the show was a huge success.  I had several people tell me personally that they were "wowed" by the show.  The pictures tell the whole story.  I spent most of the day greeting guests.  I was able to introduced a number of new people to VJMC, none of whom knew that such an organization existed.  We had a local television celebrity speak, a city councilman speak, and the Independence Fire Department Color Guard make a presentation.  It was a great day!  We were better organized than last year, had many new first time visitors, we signed up a few new VJMC members, and had loads of fun.  With a strong club attendance being evident, many dedicated participants helping, well over 140+ vintage Japanese motorcycles displayed,  and a substantial amount of money raised for MDA, we are ready for our next challenge.   The final figures record $4,100 being collected for MDA. 

In about two months we will host the "All Japanese" motorcycle show.  It is scheduled to be held on July 13th. We will then host the VJMC Midwest Regional Show & Rally on August 9th.  Being a part of VJMC has been great fun and is always exciting.  Make sure and invite people you see who ride older Japanese motorcycles to our events and meetings.  We will make fliers available, so make sure you keep some in your possession.    I really enjoy using them to start a conversation with Japanese motorcycle riders I run across.  All updated information is available at:

Mark Bayer

President KCVJMC

Kansas/Missouri VJMC Representative