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7th February 2006

Café Race Collection Stars At RC Show

It's nearly spring, which means that the RC Roadshow is about to hurl itself out of hibernation and head off to our season start-up shows. There's just time for you to get the old nail out of the shed and ready to ride...

The summer starts and ends with RealClassic events - it's official. British Summer Time starts on March 26th, when we'll be at Ardingly in West Sussex (and BST ends on October 31st when we return to the South of England Showground, too. Spooky, eh?).

After the warm welcome which the Unified Twin received at last autumn's Ardingly SoE Show, a trio of stunning café racers will take pride of place on the RealClassic stand at the spring event. Some RealClassic regulars will be familiar with the bikes because they are all owned by RC Clubman Jerry Fiford (aka The Oldest Rocker in Town). Jerry will be back in the saddle in time for the Show, so don't be surprised if at least one of the Café Racer Collection looks like it just rode in!

These modern Chinese mopeds are looking more and more like proper bikes...

These three British bikes, which date from the late 1950s and early 1960s, are arguably the most desirable two-wheeled machines of their era, combining the best from Triumph, Norton and BSA into three hard-charging, sharp-steering, bend-swinging, rip-snorting road-going tearaways.

Jerry will bend anyone's ear about how much the bikes -- and the era they represent -- mean to him; 'The memories of the good old days will never go away so I now have a Wurlitzer jukebox in our dining room, full of good 50s and 60s music. My garage contains what are to me the ultimate rocker's bikes, my 1961 BSA DBD34 Gold Star, a 1961 Rocket Gold Star rep and a 1959 Triton.'

The Triton uses a Norton slimline featherbed frame, Roadholder telescopic front forks, and a Norton gearbox and clutch mated to a 650cc Triumph twin-cylinder engine. It was completely rebuilt in 2003 after main bearing failure.

The BSA Gold Star was special enough to start with - described by motorcycle historian Steve Wilson thus; 'the 1961 BSA DBD34 Clubmans Gold Star 500 was the acme of sporting British single cylinder motorcycles.' Jerry's is just that little bit more special because its engine has been lovingly reconditioned and improved with a one-piece crank, Carillo conrod and Bob Newby clutch.

The Rocket Gold Star was also totally rebuilt in 2004 - you wouldn't believe the care and attention which has been lavished on these bikes! But that doesn't mean they are museum pieces. Jerry loves riding all three of them although they can be prima-donnas in day-to-day use…

'You want me to start them? Now? Errrr...

'I can normally start the Goldie on about the third or fourth kick' says Jerry, 'but it can be a bit of a sod to start once it's warm as the racing GP carb tends to suck in a lot of fuel. It also tends to not start when people are watching -- I put this down to either the bike has a sense of humour or it's shy!'

The Café Race Collection will be on display all day on Sunday March 26th at the South of England RealClassic Bike Show, alongside a wide variety of other classic motorcycles in the concours display. There are prizes for the winning bikes in a wide range of categories, from pre-war to 1980s, including off-road and competition, British, European, Japanese and American motorcycles. Owners are welcome to bring their machines into the hall to join the display and be judged in the concours.

This poor chap got a nasty crick in his neck after squeezing into this photo...
Random Triumph Stuff on

Our editor, Frank Westworth, will be judging from 10am through to 2pm, and the prizes will be awarded at around 3pm. As well as the coveted Bike of the Show award (guaranteed to stir up controversy), there's also a special RealClassic prize for the Best Ridden classic bike, and all entrants receive a commemorative plaque.

If Ardingly is geographically tricky for you to reach, then you can brave the chilly weather a little earlier in the month and meet the RC Crew at the Malvern RealClassic Bike Show on Sunday 12th March. The drill is much the same, although the character of the two shows is subtly different - Malvern usually hosts some excellent club displays from folk like the Leominster Club and the CX Turbo Club, and an impressive number of traders, club and show-goers braved the torrential rain last autumn to make the most of a memorable event.

This spring, Dave Minton will once again be in charge of the concours judging at Malvern - and any bike built prior to 1980 which is displayed in the hall will be eligible for a prize. If you'd like to display your motorcycle then you can enter via the links below; you'll be sent a special pass which then gives you admission for just £1. (But remember you need to enter in time for the pass to reach you by post, so make sure to enter 10 days before the event).

Alternatively, at both shows, RealClassic magazine subscribers can claim a discount on the gate, and get in for the OAP rate of £4. That's what your little blue membership card is for!

Don't forget to come and see the RC Crew, and check out what's in the RC biscuit tin this time around…

The Malvern RealClassic Bike Show

  • On: Sunday March 12th 2006
  • At: The Three Counties Showground, Malvern
  • Location: near J7/J8 off M5
  • Open: 10am to 3pm
  • Admission: £5 adults, concessions £4, children 7-14 £1, children under 7 free, parking free
  • Display your bike:
  • Further show info: or 01484 452002

    The South of England RealClassic Bike Show

  • On: Sunday March 26th 2006
  • At: The South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex
  • Location: on the B2028, four miles from Junction 10 of the M23
  • Open: 10am to 3pm
  • Admission: £5 adults, concessions £4, children 7-14 £1, children under 7 free, parking free
  • Display your bike:
  • Further show info: or 01484 452002

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