11th February 2013
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The Springfields Bike Show 2013
Roy Workman discovers some decent displays of classic motorcycles, and ponders on the practicality of fitting a £35,000 three-wheeler with back-to-front Speedmaster tyres...
On the Friday night at 10pm before Show day it was snowing heavily. I expected to see several inches of snow on the ground in the morning, but luckily only a couple of inches had fallen.
The run down to Spalding, where the Springfields Show was held, was not too bad. The left-hand lane of the dual-carriageway part of the A17 was pretty clear, but the right-hand lane was definitely for the more adventurous… Arriving at the bike show I felt sorry for the people manning the outside stands; I am sure that by the end of the day they would have spent a few bob on cups of tea trying to keep warm. The show is held close to the Springfield Shopping Centre, which in itself is worth a look after seeing the bike show.
This is quite a good event, with classic, custom and manufacturers' bikes; an autojumble, bike club stands and various accessories on sale. The entrance price was £7 for adults and £3 for children between 5-15 years old.
I wandered into the classic hall. There seemed to be a few gaps in the display this year. There was a fair smattering of Triumphs and one of these was an early Bonneville. This particular model T120 was made for less than a year, and the current owner has had it since 1960. The quality of those bikes on display was good, and amongst them there were a couple of nice Francis-Barnetts; one was a trials special.
Talking to the organiser of the classic section I was told that a couple of exhibitors had cried off because they were ill; I also felt that the snow might have taken its toll - if you are snowed in then you simply cannot attend. Luckily some more bikes were due in on Sunday to join the Norton Commandos, BSA triple, Vincent twin, Norton desert sled, ES2 single, racing Yamaha, Sunbeam S7 and the other classics which had braved the weather on Saturday.
Fortunately for the classic enthusiasts there were some good club stands to visit, and the BSA, Triumph and Royal Enfield clubs had nice displays. Wandering around these club stands I met up with a friend, Martyn, who confirmed that the road conditions weren't ideal and said that he'd had an 'interesting' ride there on his solo. A little while later another friend, Rebo, turned up, and the three of us wandered around the show together. The club area was mainly in a canvas extension to the main halls. Unfortunately the melting snow caused a few leaks and some of the stall holders were trying to clear the snow from underneath with whatever was to hand that would reach.
This area also contained one of the new Morgan three-wheelers - a nice bit of kit. Not cheap at nearly £35,000, but this one had a few extras. One thing that caught our attention were the Avon Speedmaster rear bike tyres fitted to the front of the Morgan! With two litres of engine up front this car can certainly shift, and we wondered if the tyres were good enough for the top speed of the car. However, the chap on the stand assured us that it handled fine, and that he had no worries in that department. He told us that it was great fun to ride in.
There were also various local motorcycle dealers at this event. One had the new Honda on display. On this bike your crash helmet would go in where the fuel tank would normally sit; this was a good idea for helmet storage. However, the petrol filler cap was under the rear seat, and Martyn pointed out that this is ok unless you have stuff bungeed to the back seat when you need to fill up!
There were some nice motorcycles for sale on display at good prices; likewise with clothing and accessories. It may be a sign of the times, but we were looking at a crash helmet priced at a penny short of £90. As we wandered off the stallholder said we could have it for £60 - not a bad discount!
Another stallholder was selling pictures painted onto sheets of metal; one of these depicted a racing sidecar at speed with the 'Deutschland Uber Alles' slogan. Very evocative.
John McGuiness was due to appear on Sunday as a celebrity guest, and it would have been nice to see him.
The show seemed to have a decent amount of spectators as per previous years - a nice event to start the year off. www.springfieldsbikeshow.co.uk
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