RealClassic.co.uk Home

Bikes | Features | Events | Books | Tech | Magazine | About | Messages | Classified | Links

25th March 2011


Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show 2011
Home -> Events -> Ride and Event Reports ->

The first major classic bike show of the year attracts three men in a Lexus (to say nothing of the dog), as Richard Jones explains...

I know Jerome K Jerome is probably spinning in his grave as a result of this blatant plagiarism but there were three of us going on an adventure, albeit not on a boat but in a car, to the first big classic bike show of 2011 - the Bristol Show at Shepton Mallet. However I must own up immediately and say there was no dog, Montmorency or otherwise, accompanying us. There was a cockerel named Ivor who lives in the garden next to Jack but he was a noisy blighter and it was felt that this would be taking plagiarism too far.

'A car going to a classic bike show?' I hear the gentle reader ask; well, gentle reader, Jack takes his cycling pleasures sans engine, power provided by his muscles, and Chris' Harley Davidson Obeseboy (like a Fatboy but with more bling and 'performance' parts) only seems to operate when temperatures are in double digits. Anyway, it would take more Solvol Autosol to polish it up after such a trip than could be realistically produced this year. So it was a car and I was driving so there.

Chris and I set off early doors from Candy Floss City and picked up Jack from Bath after which we set off through rural Somerset chatting happily. That is until we hit the traffic jam about three miles from the showground - yes, gentle reader, we were not the only visitors travelling to Shepton in a car. Chris' helpful comment - 'I knew we should have gone on the bikes' - was not happily received by the nominated driver and we spent the next 90 minutes travelling the remaining three miles. Turns out the arm wavers at the entrance were insisting on taking entrance fees before letting people drive into the parking area as opposed to what may have been more sensible; ie park and then pay. All I can say is 'Doh!'

Pausing only for the compulsory roast pork and stuffing roll, coffee and Silk Cut (the latter for me only - traffic jams have this effect), we set off into the melee of the outside stalls. Never have I seen so much patina in one place and even Jack started taking a fancy to some of the more esoteric bits and pieces on offer. Chris predictably bought yet another pair of gloves and some sort of leather saddlebag for the Obeseboy (or at least that's what he said it was for). We then entered the first hall to see the bikes but found instead more stalls - Jack was beginning to wonder whether a classic bike show actually featured bikes in one piece rather than disassembled in a multitude of individual parts.

However we finally found the bikes and the first to catch my eye were this beautiful Indian...

Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show 2011...

...the similarly entrancing Royal Enfield 750cc Indian...

Nice colour scheme...

...and this Norbsa although I have to admit it was the paintwork that did it for me with this one

Where did all the BSatons and Norumphs end up?...

We then passed through the hallowed portals to the main hall where I met and spent a very interesting 20 minutes with Mr Dai Davies of the North Devon British Motorcycle club and his 1951 Vincent C Comet

Vincents must be the most common marque seen at shows...

Mr Davies is a London Welshman who has owned the Comet since 1985 and still regularly uses it - in fact, he celebrated his 70th birthday road by riding it from Land's End to John O' Groats. Mr Davies avowed that the Vincent was the greatest love of his life which I though was a very brave comment to make as Mrs Davies was, at that point, heading towards him with a mug of hot tea.

We then came across a brace of Nortons

A Norton...

Another Norton...

From the mezzanine it's clear how busy the show was and where all the cars came from to cause the queues

Some small people...

As an employee of a certain Spanish bank which shall remain nameless I had to have a photo of this Matador - never heard of it before but perhaps the more well versed amongst you are aware of the marque?

Like a red rag to a bull...

I know I keep on about Vincents but this was one well worth a look at - a 1951 Black Shadow restored by Mr Gordon Nichols and ridden by him in Australia of all places. Well we do have a duty to demonstrate culture to the colonials I guess

See? Another Vincent...

I just liked this - don't ask me why but the Italians seem to be able to produce the most beautiful bikes

That's more like it...

It wasn't entirely clear whether this Bat had been found at Stonehenge but given it's likely age it may well have been - beautifully restored and a delight to photograph

Sock! Poweee!...

Two types of New Imperial - both prize winners but perhaps demonstrating the different approaches of classic bike owners. First the immaculate restoration

Shiny!...

and now the Best Un-Restored prize for this 1914 293 cc example

Not so shiny!...

Take your pick - pristine or patinated?

It's a little known fact that the Garelli is in fact of Welsh origin and not Italian - the double 'L' always gives it away

There's lovely...
Non-Welsh bikes on Right Now......

This 1958 Super Rocket was accessorised (did I really use that word?) with Eddie Dow special parts by its second owner, Dave Vaughan, in the 1960's. It then languished in a shed for 30 years before being discovered by its present owner, Terry Sheppard, in 2001 and restored in time to mark the 50th anniversary of Eddie Dow's 1955 TT win on a Gold Star

Can't beat a bit of orange...

I wouldn't say I was a fan of Velocettes but this example stood and just demanded to be photographed

That oil was already on the floor, ok?...

And finally this Humber which caught Jack's eyes - you can just see his headless body taking a photo of it. He saw it as the elegant compromise between his first love of cycling and motorcycling; he is now scouring eBay for a good example.

Time to get ahead?...

As such it was a very successful day - another convert to the broad church that is classic motorcycling.

------------

The next International Classic Motorcycle Show is at Stafford on Easter weekend. See www.classicbikeshows.co.uk

--------------


Like this page? Share it with these buttons:

Home


More 'Vintage' bikes on eBay Right Now...

Home


Like what you see here? Then help to make RealClassic.co.uk even better

Back to the Rides menu...

Bikes | Opinion | Events | News | Books | Tech | About | Messages | Classified | Directory

RedLeg Interactive Media

2002/2005 The Cosmic Motorcycle Co. Ltd / Redleg Interactive Media

You may download pages from this site for your private use. No other reproduction, re-publication, re-transmission or other re-distribution of any part of this site in any medium is permitted except with the written consent of the copyright owner or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.