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15th July 2005

The Knebworth Classic Bike Show 2005

The first time PaulG80 went to the Knebworth Show, it was Matilda the Matchless' initial foray into the classic bike show scene. This year, he ended up getting a little bit more involved...

Is it the first weekend in June?

Must be time for the Knebworth show then.

I hold this event very dear to my heart as it was the very first classic bike show I ever entered with Matilda. This year's event was to a lot different to that first time… but more of that later.

The Herts/Beds RC Mafia had arranged to meet up at our usual place at 9.30am for a 9.45am departure; I was actually early for a change. We numbered five riders and one pillion in the form of Craig's lovely daughter. We also gave good indication of what a varied lot we all are here in RC land. The bikes were two Enfields, one Matchless, one Honda and a Morini. As I was on the oldest, slowest bike CB-Everything pointed me in the right direction and said 'You lead and I'll overtake when I need to.' These 'modern bike' riders are just showoffs, you know.

Upon entry to glorious grounds of Knebworth Hall we asked where the RealClassic stand was. The fluorescent-jacketed helpers pointed out a large man with an impressive beard hiding amongst piles of magazines and a blue van and said 'Over there'.

Frank (in blue, pointing): 'Of course, what I really want is a bright red Morini three and a half. Like that one!'

This could well be Mr T.Oliver with his Rickman Honda 750 Special.Happily the man was Frank after the usual round of abuse and £100 offers for bikes we dispersed our separate ways to purchase pieces of junk masquerading as important parts.

The line up of bikes in front of the RealClassic stand was once more a credit to our club members, with two (yes, count 'em) rotary-engined Norton Commanders amongst the throng.

There seemed to less trade stands than last year but also a few new ones that I hadn't seen before. There also seemed to be less people about, but that could have been down to the weather forecast which promised rain (although it was dry and warm).

Catering-wise there the usual burger vans and a hog roast which was very tasty indeed. I didn't see much more because at 11 o'clockish Frank was called to judge and I got dragged along with him as the commentator can read my writing. The standard of entries was superb and really does get better every year. This made assisting the judges extremely difficult but sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

I think this is P.Best's Laverda 1200 Mirage.

Two examples of this came, first in the shape of the TR6P in full police kit. The owner's father had bought it from the police when it finished its service and left the lights, fairing and panniers on. The current owner got it for his 18th birthday and has just used it as is. Marvellous story.

Is this Mr G.L.Tristam with his Honda CL175? He seems to have won runner up in the best Honda class despite wearing the wrong jacket.

The next example was a 1972 Commando that was on its second owner. The engine had only been apart once in 1973 to have the main bearings changed by the factory.

I was also surprised by the proliferation of 1970's stuff. The Kettle Club were out in force and there was quite a few H1 and H2 Kawasakis. Some really unusual 70's bikes also appeared like the RV125 and the two Suzuki 250 Hustlers.

Bike of the Show was a glorious Velocette Venom Clubman owned by Alan Smith.

We were really lucky with the weather as it just stayed overcast but lovely and warm, although having said that I still managed to get sunburned. So it just remains for me to say 'see you all there next year - and, remember, if you don't enter you can't win.'

Go on, give the judges an even harder time!

Random Suzuki GT Stuff on

More info about future Knebworth Shows can be found at, and the full results are displayed here.

If you'd like to enter your bike for a concours award at a future Andrew Greenwood show, use the form on the RealClassic micro-site and you'll be given FREE admission.

And this might be Mr B.Oakes with his Ariel Model F


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