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17th July 2008

Summer Classic Bike Shows
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Every summer includes events to suit all sorts of classic motorcycle enthusiast. Older machines attend the Banbury Run; Royal Enfields meet up at the Interceptor Rally, and all kinds of classics converge on Swaton...

The Diamond Jubilee Banbury Run

The 60th Banbury Run moved to the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon due to the increasing demand from riders. So the site and its layout were new but the marshals directed and re-directed everyone and there were no major dramas despite a last minute change for the much-enlarged 150 pitch autojumble. For 2008 the entry list was increased to 600. We received a total of 665 veteran and vintage bike entries – and so, once again, we had the terrible task of sending back the excess entries!

Veteran and Vintage bikes as far as the eye can see....

The day started with an early light shower and then we had the wind…. It blew a gale all day such that many of the display stands were unable to pitch their gazebos and a few of the older, lightweight bikes were blown over.

The bikes left at 10am and were started by Pat Warren, daughter of Ivor Mutton who created the Banbury Run 60 years ago, together with Bette Barber, the current VMCC President. Five bikes started per minute, with the classes (Veteran, Early Vintage and Late Vintage) mixed together.

The timed competition had 251 riders but 18 dropped out before the start; the windy course must have made the task of keeping to time a little more difficult this year as only 23 Gold Awards were won but the 73 Silver Awards were a new record. The team prize went to the Anglian A-Team – which stopped the Essex Boys getting a hat trick. Their team performance of two Golds and a Silver was way ahead of the Brooklands Brigade in second place.

Is that fuel pipe gland nut original? I don't think so ....

The award for the earliest breakdown goes to the un-named person who failed to get to the main gate! There were 35 breakdowns needing recovery and this number was similar to previous years. Our thanks go to all the marshals and officials who help to make the event happen and help in so many ways. We were honoured that Heinz Kindler and our German friends presented the event with a new award – the Newcomer’s Trophy; such a kind thought in our Jubilee Banbury Run year. Next year’s date is 14th June 2009, based again at Gaydon.

Dick Hodge, Secretary, VMCC Banbury Run


Royal Enfield Interceptor Rally

The Interceptor Rally held at Stoweford near Bradford on Avon was themed for Royal Enfield big twins but was open to anyone with an interest in Interceptors. On the Saturday there were 15 Interceptors plus three Enfield Bullets and other classic bikes, along with a couple of the Japanese types. The ride out went some 70 miles to Blagdon Lakes then over the Mendips where the riders were hit by a heavy rain. At Chedder the group stopped for refreshments and a chance to dry out.

After entertainment on the Saturday night the group took a short ride to the old Enfield factory (or what’s left of it), and then rode along one of the old 20-mile test runs used by the factory testers. The next stop was at Bradford on Avon, where the mill was based at which all the twin engines were built.

Furthest Travelled: Lewis Wilkinson and his wife

Awards were given over the weekend; Lewis Wilkinson and his wife (above) rode down from Yorkshire and took the Furthest Travelled award. George Campbell (below) won best bike. Chris and Greg (bottom) came all the way from Canada for the rally! Everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend and all look forward to next one in 2009, somewhere in Gloucester.

RC Reporter: M Mumford

Best Bike: George Campbell
Royal Enfields on eBay
Best Canadians: Chris and Greg


The Swaton Show

This Vintage Day and Country Fayre is held at Thorpe Latimer, a couple of miles from Swaton in Lincolnshire. The programme includes parades of vehicles, trade stands, children’s games, a craft tent, a hog roast, the World Egg Throwing Championship, dog agility display and racing terriers (race what you bring!). Last year this show was nearly cancelled as the field was waterlogged, however, there were no such problems this year. I had a nice dry ride to the show, and I took up my allotted spot in the motorcycle section at about 10 o’clock. Arriving at the showground I was shown to my place and I was given a show guide.

Maroon! - Classic Jawa with single-wheel trailer

Being an early arrival I had a chance to wander around and photograph the bikes before the area got too crowded. One couple had recently restored a Ducati 250; the man told me that the bike went really well, although sometimes it would kick back quite hard when being started. Another couple rode in on a Jawa, pulling the ultimate Jawa accessory - a trailer, complete with fore and aft reflectors! The owner spotted the trailer for sale at the Stafford Classic Show. It was then painted to match the bike. The pillion passenger was happy, as most of their camping gear now fits into the trailer, and leaves her with more room on the bike.

Cream and green! - Classic DKR Defiant 200cc Scooter

There were quite a few bikes that you do not often see at shows; there was a very nice MZ two-stroke and a DKR Defiant 200cc scooter in a very good condition. A couple parked their Ural outfit next to mine. They told me that they have four solos, but that the outfit is the most used. They hitch a trailer to the back, fill it with camping gear, and off they go. This outfit, complete with plastic toy machine gun on the sidecar, attracted quite a lot of attention from the show’s visitors.

Ducati single! - Classic Ducati 250 Daytona

Jonathan Bourne, the motorcycle section organiser, had arranged a row of spaces for outfits and trikes. He had a total of 70 bikes booked in to turn up. Later in the day I counted 90 bikes on site; some of these were from the Lincolnshire section of the AJS & Matchless Club, who had popped in whilst on a ride out. Jonathan was delighted by the turn-out. He is hoping to get a hundred bikes booked in for the 2010 show, which will be the 15th year of the show.

High-level pipes! - Classic 1948 Douglas T35

There was the usual ride out into the show ring, where the commentator asked questions about the bikes and their owners. He got a bit mixed up with a VB Ariel - he thought it was a Red Hunter!

This is a good one-day show, with classic cars, lorries, motorcycles, tractors and stationary engines all taking part. If your bike is booked into the show you are given free entry to the showground for two people, and a celebratory mug.

An AJS! A Triumph! A Vincent! A BSA! - All classic

The weather stayed good until about 4pm, when the heavens opened up with a vengeance - the sort of stuff that would soak you in 30 seconds. Even the commentator in the ring ran for cover! Luckily, a few minutes earlier I had put on my waterproofs. This downpour helped to clear the field.

Amongst the many bikes taking part I spotted a really nice Norton Model 50 - a lovely restoration job, except for a DOT (devoid of tread) back tyre. I was slightly concerned when the couple rode off on this bike in the rain!

Overall a good country show and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

RC Reporter: Roy Workman


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