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7th October 2009

Preview: South of England RealClassic Bike Show
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If you don't have plans for Sunday October 25th then head for Ardingly near Gatwick, and join the RealClassic Crew at a superb classic motorcycle show...

The twice-a-year events at Ardingly have become extremely popular and we're pleased to report that this autumn's Show promises to be another cracking day out*. So many people have entered their bikes for the displays that the Jubilee Hall should be chock-full of captivating classics on Sunday October 25th 2009. The moment has passed to pre-book for the concours competition but all old bike enthusiasts are very welcome to ride along on the day and park up outside; there's usually an excellent informal display in the bike park to augment the diverse indoor exhibition.

RealClassic magazine subscribers also benefit from a reduced admission price - so if you're an RC Club member you should remember to bring your blue membership card with you. Show it on the gate and you'll be allowed in at the discounted price of £4 instead of the usual price of £5. If you fancy bringing the family then there's an additional enticement because kids (or grandkids!) under the age of 16 are admitted for free.

90,000 miles. Quality... 1978 Laverda Jota

Once you have entered the Show, you'll find the majority of the old bikes on display in the Jubilee Hall alongside specialist classic bike traders selling useful accessories, electrical components, riding gear, memorabilia and spares. The bike-only autojumble is a few paces away, also under cover, with a range of refreshments on offer nearby. If you'd like to sell your own bike then there's usually a 'bikemart' zone where you can display it, or if you have a pile of old bike bits to get rid of then you can bring along a car bootful and set up your own stall for a very reasonable rate.

A specialist classic bike trader, yesterday...

While you are browsing around the Show, the judges will be hard at work selecting a dozen or so winning machines from the hundreds on display. Entries span nearly 80 years, starting with a 1909 FN 250 which celebrates it centenary this year. The FN was used by the Belgian Army Scouts prior and during the First World War, and it's the oldest bike entered for this autumn's event. The other end of the century is represented by machines like the 1978 Laverda Jota which regularly attends Ardingly (even in the snow…). The triple has clocked up over 90,000 miles and has never been restored, which means that owner Dave must spend an awful lot of time cleaning it!

I prefer the purply red colour myself... Yamaha FS1E - Painted black for the 15th Rockers Reunion Run

We'll also be looking out for a 1927 Triumph 500 (we've featured this model recently on this very site) and a 1972 Yamaha FS1E which was restored in 2007 and was painted in black to commemorate the 15th Annual Rockers Reunion. Also, Anthony Curzon has promised to bring one -- or maybe more -- of his gorgeously-restored 750 desert sleds so perhaps this time we'll get a spin on one of them around the car park… We're also looking out for a recently rebuilt Ariel, which we hope to feature in the magazine in future - although finding one particular bike amid the melee isn't always easy!

Morini or Motobi - What a choice...
Yamaha FS1Es on

You can expect to see an enormous variety of classics at Ardingly, not least because the event is very well supported by a range of local clubs. Bikes have been entered by members of the VMCC Men of Kent, Sunbeam MCC, Indian Riders, Francis-Barnett Owners, 69 Motorcycle Club, Triumph MCC Medway, Norton OC, BSAOC South London and East Sussex branches, Tonbridge MC Club, AJS and Matchless OC, Vincent OC and the Mid-Sussex British MCC - and if your club or branch would also like to come along then you'll be very welcome.


Those people who have already prebooked will be eligible for one of the concours prizes, including awards for the best club display, best RealClassic (where the editorial team get to choose the bike they'd most like to take home - which means it could be anything from anywhere and in any condition), then a range of carefully considered other categories from prewar to 1970s plus overseas, lightweight, competition, heavyweight and British. All exhibitors are given a commemorative keepsake, even if they don't take home one of the trophies.

Frank (right) lets Jerry (left) know exactly how many chances he has of a winning a prize...

The RC Crew and many RC regulars will be at the Show, so you'll be able to renew your subscription, buy a binder, back issue or RC tee, or just stop by for a natter and to nab a HobNob. See you there!


The SOUTH OF ENGLAND CLASSIC BIKE SHOW returns to the South of England Showground at Ardingly near Gatwick, 15 mins from the M23.

  • On Sunday October 25th 2009.
  • Opens 10am to 4pm.
  • Admission £5 adults.
  • RealClassic subscribers and OAPs admission £4.
  • See or call 01797 344277.


    Prebooked but busy?

    If you have already entered your classic for this Show but can't now attend then please return your pass ASAP to the organiser or call 01797 344277. There's a waiting list of people who would like to enter the concours display which is fully booked, so if you won't be coming your place could be taken by someone else. Thanks!


    *Grommit not included

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