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10th February 2009

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club News
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The VJMC has arranged a busy schedule of events for classic bike enthusiasts in the UK. Steve Cooper guides us through the highlights...

It may still be the depths of the winter but we are already looking at the events list for the rest of the year and the start of the summer season. Postponed from last weekend thanks to the snow, May 2nd and 3rd now sees us at Andrew Greenwood's Donington show (www.classicshows.org). As it's the last time the event will be held there we aim to go out on a high with a good portfolio of all things Japanese.

Our autojumble at Badshot Lea has often attracted good weather along with good crowds so if you are after spares for a project you'll know where to go and hopefully catch some spring sun on April 5th. Hats off to the Hampshire boys and girls for their input and logistics.

Will you take the Daz Doorstep Challenge?... A Classic Japanese Honda CBX1000 at Uttoxeter last year

The same weekend of April 4th and 5th 2009 sees the Cardiff Classic Bike Show at Llanishen High School, Heol Hir, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5YL, opening times: 10am to 5pm Sat and Sun and only £5 per head for adults. The local South Wales VJMC section is putting on a 40-plus bike display and supporting the current organisers who are primarily British bike enthusiasts. However, these Sunbeam enthusiasts have welcomed us newbies and anything that strengthens motorcycling has to be a good thing.

April 25th and 26th 2009 sees us at the Stafford show with an admittedly lower profile but we always aim to put on a good display of everything Japanese. Third week of May (17th) and another local VJMC section event courtesy of the North Lancs crew, the Nabs Head, is ready to roll with lots of ridden-in machinery and a very open mindset as to what constitutes a good bike. Located at Samlesbury near Preston and conveniently just off junction 31 of the M6, this is a well supported event.

Notice that the rising sun has gone in at the appearance of a BSA A Classic Japanese BSA Goldstar at Uttoxeter last year

Next up is our very own Classic Clubs' Show at Stanford Hall which probably needs little in the way of explanation other that to say it is THE event for bikes of all makes. This is where pre-war flat tankers rub handlebars with Japanese sports bikes and everyone has a damn good day out. This year our Northamptonshire section is mucking in to run the event. It all takes place on Sunday May 24th 2009, just past the quiet village of Stanford-on-Avon, five miles south-east of Lutterworth and two miles east of Swinford.

Next up is the Lymm Show on June 7th; yet another VJMC local section event held at The Farmers Arms at 222 Rushgreen Rd, Lymm WA13 9RD. This one is also well worth a visit if you like variety. Run by the Greater Manchester and Cheshire section the event is open to all makes and models from wherever; it's a laid back event that offers some easy hours with the odd jar or two looking and talking bikes… and what better way is there to spend a summer's day?

If you want the bike show to end all bike shows, then may we recommend the VJMC's third Uttoxeter Classic Motorcycle Show on July 4th and 5th? Going from strength to strength, 2009's event promises to be even better and the weekend is fast becoming the chosen event for many motorcycle clubs. Add in four or five full-on club annual rallies running within the show over the weekend and it's hard to see how you could get better value for money.

If Japanese is your thing (or even if it's not and you're just curious) then the Lotherton Hall show on July 27th takes some beating. Run by the West Yorks section of the club, these jammy devils normally seem to pick a belter of a Sunday and the British rays bounce spectacularly off the candy paint work and chrome.

Neatly situated just off the M1 off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB, it's a cinch to get to. If the family are undecided on whether they want to suffer another bike show perhaps you can twist their arms by explaining there's bird displays, wild deer, nature trails and a stately home to visit? It's always worth a try.

Classic projects on eBay

Pausing for a brief break, a holiday and the odd opportunity to actually ride our own bikes we move on to the October Stafford show (on the 17th and 18th) where we as a club really push the boat out with a class leading-display. Even if pristine bikes aren't necessarily your thing there's no decrying the effort that goes into restoring what are often little more than total and utter wrecks. Each classic bike saved, irrespective of origin, is one more the bureaucrats don't get to recycle! F

Moving on to October 31st & November 1st we find ourselves at the Antrim Leisure Centre, in Northern Ireland for a belter of a show organised by the VJMC Northern Counties section. British, German, Italian, Japanese, American; it's all there from road bikes through racers to off-roaders.

Or are they Harley Davidsons? Some classic Japanese Rotaxes at Uttoxeter last year

And if that's not quite enough to entertain you for an entire year then here's the first date for your 2010 calendar: a new classic Japanese only bike event. The Classic Japanese Bike Show and Autojumble will be held at the Uttoxeter race course on Sunday 7th of February 2010. Jointly sponsored by Footman James Insurance and the VJMC, the show will feature Japanese classics with marque, single model and specialists clubs along with individual concours entries plus trade stands and autojumble.

This is a fresh event which will help to kickstart the new biking season. Each entrant who books in advance will receive two free passes. Opening hours for the public will be 9am until 4pm with admission set at a very keen £6 per person. (There's a £5 concession for VJMC members holding a current membership card). All displays will be indoors in modern, heated, clean, bright halls with bar and catering facilities.

It's not all Japanese bikes, as you can see... Some classic Japanese Velocettes at Uttoxeter last year

That should be plenty of entertainment to keep all fans of Japanese and traditional classics happy… for a while, any way!

More info: www.vjmc.com and www.uttoxeterclassicbikeshow.co.uk

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