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24th June 2013

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The Carole Nash Newark Bike Bonanza

Roy Workman finds plenty to entertain the classic motorcycle rider and enthusiast at this new summer bike show...

Held in June, this show is new to the biking calendar. Sponsored by Carole Nash insurers, it is described as a 'Bike Bonanza - a social event, with entertainment in the evening, and camping for the weekend.'

You can't beat a wicker topbox...

I had pre-booked my ticket to save queuing at the gate. The show opened at 9am, and I arrived soon afterwards, and made my way onto the showground. Harley-Davidson had their stand by the main entrance. I turned right and wandered into the George Stephenson Hall. This hall was full of motorcycles, and trade stands, and there was a really good show of bikes. There was a 1921 Reynolds motorbike which had recently been restored; this was a little different - it was fitted with a 269cc Liberty two-stroke engine, I do not remember seeing one of these machines before.

The AJS / Matchless Poachers Pre-65 Trials Club had a display here, as did the Classic Racing Club. The Gold Star Club also had a nice display here. There were lots of private entries - two long lines of them - from the quite old (I spotted a 1917 Harley with sidecar) to fairly recent machines.

Is this all you need?...

I wandered outside and stopped to watch a chap carving an owl out of a tree trunk with a chainsaw; this was quite interesting. Also on display were a couple of carved con-rods and pistons - about two feet high; these were very good. Next to this stand was the Wall of Death, which seemed to be busy.

There were lots of outside traders and an autojumble to look at. I had a good look round here. Some interesting bikes were offered for sale, ranging from some mopeds to a Gilera and a really nice Suzuki Kettle. Eventually I ended up in the Lady Eastwood Pavilion. This is smaller than the main hall and housed many enthusiast and owners' club stands.

Here I met up with writer Mick Payne and his partner Kate on the Cossack stand. I had spotted a Cossack Jupiter outfit and I was looking at it while the owner was talking to Mick about it. The sidecar was a dream to get in and out of, as the front of the sidecar moves forward and then slides back when the passenger is comfortably seated. Another interesting point with the bike was that if you pressed a release catch at the front of the dual seat, the entire seat and rear mudguard came away in one unit, allowing easy access to the rear wheel.

We think this might be a 1917 model... Sidecar Outfits on now...

On the Sunbeam stand I spotted an S8 model; this was a little different to normal. How many S8 café racers do you see? Talking to the owner, who also has an S7, he said that he wanted the S8 to be a little different. Both bikes go well and he has done several long runs on the S7.

At one time, while walking around the trade stands, the heavens opened up and everyone ran for cover, and the traders rushed to cover up their goods. Luckily the downpour only lasted for a few minutes.

A dozen racing outfits were on display, including several Meriden Triumphs, a BSA and an early Scott (one was Colin Rust's Norton rotary outfit). I have met Colin before and he is a very interesting chap to talk to.

There was a full programme outside, including a display of racing bikes and several club stands. There were also two trials displays by Danny Butler. Steve Colley gave two half-hour displays in the main arena. The racing sidecars were fired up twice during the day as well.

meanwhile, outside...

In the concours competition, a Yamaha RD350 won the Best In Show award which means it will go into the Classic Bikers Club Bike Of The Year 2013 competition which usually has its grand finale at Stafford in the autumn. The club award for the best display went to the Italian Motorcycle Club which won the top prize of £750 in cash.

I left late on Saturday afternoon. However, scheduled for the evening there were interviews with racing stars, a trials auction and from 9pm to midnight a live band was booked to play. Similar displays were on the cards for Sunday, including racing sidecars, a fire brigade demonstration, Sounds of Thunder from Grand Prix racebikes, wheelie and stunt displays, extreme chainsaw action, and a classic TT display, with the show finishing at 5pm.

This is a new show and, talking to a couple of stall holders, they said that they had hoped for a few more visitors through the gate. Hopefully Sunday will see this happen.

Would I go again next year? Yes I would. I thought it was very good, with plenty to see of interest to the classic rider.

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The next Show at Newark is the CBG Winter Classic on Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th January 2014; see www.classicbikeshows.com

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