#85 Jason Wadzinski
1924 Indian Big Chief
got a late introduction to the wonders of vintage motorcycles. I rode newer bikes when I was younger, but after laying a bike down shortly after starting my first business when I was 25, I decided that I wanted to see the business succeed and that I wanted to have children some day, so I quit riding for a while.
During what was probably my “mid-life crisis” at 48 years old in 2013, I bought a 2009 HD Road King, and attempted to make up for all the miles I missed over the past 23 years.
Two years later I purchased a bar/restaurant called Jackass Flats that was on 7 acres of land in Dayton Ohio and renamed it Rip Rap Roadhouse (because it’s on Rip Rap Road). The bar is in a barn that was built in 1853 and was known as the premier destination for bikers in the Dayton area. On a typical Wednesday Night in the summer, over 1,000 motorcycles show up for Bike Night. After a year of extensive renovations in both the bar and restaurant, the Rip Rap Roadhouse opened full-time on January 1st, 2016.
Because of the age of the building, the décor for the bar is mostly vintage motorcycle themed. I purchased 3 vintage motorcycles – 2 to put on display behind the bars (a 1920 Indian Powerplus and a 1937 Indian Jr. Scout), and one to ride (a 1947 Indian Chief).
Riding “Jess”, my 1947 Chief got me hooked on vintage motorcycles. Even though Jess caught on fire at a stop light and the tip of my nose and right arm got burned (it’s amazing how fast you can get off a bike when it’s on fire), I couldn’t wait to get her back on the road.
While Jess was being rebuilt, I purchased a 1953 Indian Roadmaster (“Louise”) and a 1964 Harley Panhead Police Special (“Pepper”) so I had a vintage to ride while Jess was being fixed. I have since purchased several other vintage bikes – mostly Indians and all riders.
For the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball I acquired a 1924 Indian Big Chief which got a perfect score, so I’m using “Katherine” again in 2021. I still have my 2009 Road King, but “Meg” doesn’t get many miles these days due to incredible experience of riding vintage bikes.
We are very fortunate in Dayton to have a very strong vintage motorcycle club. While I’m still a novice at wrenching on my bikes, there are many people in the area that help each other out