When you think of old school motorcycles, what comes to mind? Beards? Greasy boots and greasy jeans? Hard riders who keep themselves humble by finding meaning in the road and on their bikes?
If any of these were part of the mental picture you painted, then this past weekend's event with the 76 Hundred motorcycle crew at the ritzy SLS Hotel on South Beach should sound as strange to you in retrospect as it was to experience in person.
The evening was characteristically upper-crust, from the brocaded velvet ropes that barred any Tom, Dick, or Harry from entering the Hyde Beach portion of the hotel, where the event was being held, to the bottles of champagne topped with LED sparklers glittering above the heads of the waitresses who held them aloft. Apparently, the atmosphere's attitude was so inclined towards the elite that Danny, one of the builders and members of the 76 Hundred motorcycle crew, wasn't let in at first, being told he wasn't on the list.
Eventually, all was resolved and the bike builders out of Wynwood all made their way to hang around a table inside the lounge next to the DJ booth, colossal ice bucket in front of them filled with Coronas and vodka and Champagne. In front of them, the dance floor was littered with all types, from wealthy South Beach musclebound frat boys to a bachelorette party celebrating conspicuously with random bursts of screaming and spanking one another, much to the delight of the whole of the bridal party.
Meanwhile, the motorcycles, four of them in total, had been scattered around the hotel's backyard. Two bikes, a green '74 Honda Tracker and a silver '70s Suzuki, sat on opposite ends of one pool. A black Yamaha Tracker customized to look like an apocalyptic war horse out of Mad Max sat by the edge of the other pool, and the lovely brown and tan Yamaha YAS1 fondly known as the Cortadito Racer sat in one of the cabanas.
For the most part, the bikes sat quietly in their respective corners of the fine rear end of the SLS Hotel, the occasional spectator passing by to ogle and take some pictures with their iPhone. The hotel had done a great job of setting the bikes up with very nice, but very low-key lighting and with backdrops that complimented the badass nature of the machines brilliantly.
By 11:15 pm, the lounge had filled out nicely and the DJ had the honed in on the frequency of his attuned revelers with "YO NO QUIERO AGUA, YO QUIERO BEBIDA", a track that always manages to get Miami crowds giddy with excitement. The juxtaposition of electro-laced club tracks and attendees in LIV-worthy attire alongside revitalized vintage cafe racers and bike builders in leather clad road accoutrement was all at once entertaining and confusing. But that jarring disparity aside, all the concerned parties were enjoying the evening all the same.
Visit 76hundred.com or call (786) 271-6976.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.