Frustrated by the cancellation of the Calgary Motorcycle Show for the third year in a row, Earl Quantz decided to grab the handlebars and twist the throttle himself. Quantz, who lives in Airdrie, is promoting the Move Your Soul Community Motorcycle Show. This is a grassroots event rolling into the New Horizon Mall for three days on the first weekend of February.
“I’d volunteered to set up a display for the Rocky Mountain Section (of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) for the Calgary Motorcycle Show (CMS),” Quantz says, and continues, “and I’d been talking to people about what vintage bikes they’d be bringing for the display. When I heard the CMS was cancelled, I began to wonder if there would be any interest in putting on a local community event.”
Indeed, there was, and Quantz is well suited for the task of organizing such a show. Raised in Calgary, Quantz was 15 in 1968 when he bought a Yamaha 60 from his father. “My dad had a farm machinery business, and he’d taken the bike in on trade,” Quantz says of his first motorcycle. “I had to work for him the whole summer to pay it off.”
It was his first taste of freedom. As Quantz says, “That bike took me on the tour of the town, so to speak, and I remember it used to cost 50 cents to fill it up.” A number of machines came and went until 1975, when Quantz sold his last motorcycle and focused on raising his family. He didn’t think of motorcycles again until 2004, when he started collecting older Japanese machines he had ridden or admired in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A larger, more modern Honda ST1100 was also acquired, and he began long-distance touring.
But it was the vintage bikes of his youth that most captured his attention, and Quantz now has a collection of more than 20 machines in his garage. He enjoys restoring them, and says while he’s adept at dismantling, cleaning, and preparing parts in the process, he relies on a network of professionals and specialists to rebuild engines and apply paint.
BSA Scrambler revealed at Britain’s Motorcycle Live
Gopher Dunes is paradise for Ontario dirt bike riders
Early on in his return to motorcycling, in 2005 Quantz joined the Rocky Mountain Section of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group. “It’s a great club, and I’ve met a lot of people who’ve become lifelong friends,” he explains. Quantz is also a member of the Ace-Hy Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America and the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club.
After he’d heard the CMS had been cancelled, Quantz made some calls to people in those organizations to determine if there would be interest in putting on a grassroots event with a focus on Calgary clubs and retailers. He wanted the event, which he dubbed the Move Your Soul Community Motorcycle Show, to run February 3 to 5, the same weekend the CMS had been set to go.
“There was interest, and groups such as the RMS and VJMC took on the tasks of organizing their own displays,” he says. As for the New Horizon Mall location, in late 2021, Quantz had worked with the facility to set up a display called Spools & Spokes.
“My wife is a quilter, and I always thought it would be interesting to see if two very different things could be displayed together,” he says. “I thought her quilts would make great backdrops for some of my old bikes, and we held a show for three weekends over November and December.”
Quantz reached out to his contact at New Horizon Mall to ask if their heated, lockable, indoor space would be available for another motorcycle show. Conveniently, it was.
“There’ll be retailers such as Calgary Harley-Davidson, Jack Carter Powersports and Old Motorcycle Shop,” Quantz says. “And there’ll be charities, competition clubs, riding clubs, training schools, a used bike corral, and of course, vintage motorcycles on display.”
The entire weekend is free – there’s no admission charge. However, Quantz does ask people to support the Veterans Association Food Bank, and if a used bike sells from the corral, he’d like to see a nominal $20 go to the charity.
The show runs Friday, Feb. 3 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at New Horizon Mall, 260300 Writing Creek Cres., Rocky View County. That’s just north of Calgary. Contact Quantz at [email protected] or call 403-710-7722.
He concludes, “Anyone reasonably interested in motorcycles should find something of interest at this show.”
Greg Williams is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Have a column tip? Contact him at 403-287-1067 or [email protected]