22nd June 2009
An array of classic motorcycles has been out enjoying the fine weather already this year, at the all-marques classic clubs' show, Kempton Park and Miller Museum. Anyone for Italian?...
Sunshine at Clubs' Show Shock
Whitsun bank holiday was blessed with a most un-British amount of hot sunshine. I jumped into SWMBO's car and charged off up the A14 to the Classic Bike Clubs' Show at Stanford Hall. Put on by the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, this event revolves around having as many clubs and club members as possible in one place showing both their bikes and themselves to best effect.
The added bonus is the arena (OK; it's a bit of roped-off grass), for club members to charge around, in a nice orderly fashion. This is A Good Idea, especially for the public as they get to see the bikes being ridden, or living if you like, in all their glory. This adds a important element, to me, of noise and spectacle.
I found the RealClassic stand staffed by Mike Powell, Mad Mike and Stewart with regular contributors Humbernut and PUB (aka Jaqueline Bickerstaff) in attendance. I helped set up and generally partook of abuse and insult hurling. There were already a few bikes in our allotted space and it slowly filled over the next hour or so. The diversity was amazing, from EV Guru's Gilera CX to a V-Max trike via various Nortons and fake BSAs. PUB's Triumph brought in lots of attention too.
It was time to find bacon rolls and inspect the autojumble for rusty junk…..errr I mean Valuable Spares. I myself was on the lookout for some half-inch drive sockets, but alas they never appeared. Surprisingly there was only one food van and an ice cream truck. This was the sole means of feeding yourself in the vicinity of the show. The café was open in the hall but that was a fair old hike away (yes I'm lazy too).
The weather brought a huge selection of bikes out and a lot in really wonderful condition. The clubs all put a great deal of nice machinery for everyone to see. The British Two-Stroke club had some great signs on their bikes denoting that they were the 'Geriatric Hell's Angel branch' which made me laugh.
I noticed bikes disappearing from the stand and realised it was time for our ride around the arena. Humbernut's fake Goldie was by the loudest, and it got him interviewed by Jim Reynolds. A65Bill was the only one to get lost and ride the wrong way.
All too soon they came back and it was time wander around and wave the camera about. For me there were two bikes which really appealed, and hopefully the blotchy snaps are here somewhere.
The first was a step-through moped with simply the best colour scheme I've ever seen. It was metallic purple with bright coloured flowers, brilliant. The second bike was in the bike park amongst all the visitors' bikes. It was a Triumph that looked like it had spent its life outside but had been looked after too. It was everything a classic should be, to me. It was original, it wore the paint it left the factory and carried a certain careworn ease. You know that 'been there, done that' charisma that comes with mileage. It was simply gorgeous. If the owner is reading this - please get in touch!
I would to thank the VJMC for a most enjoyable day and a really professionally run show. Put the date in your diary and get yourself along next year, it will be worth it.
RC Reporter: Paul Morgan-Knight
Close Escape at Kempton
There are several giant bikejumbles at Kempton Park racecourse throughout the year but for one day in May the event takes on a slightly different atmosphere and blossoms into a fully-blown show with club displays and private entries to the concours competition. As with many events at racecourses you end up with the show and stalls sprawling over a large area - the good news is that all the important things are dry and under cover, but the down side is that spectators can get a little bemused about where they are on the site. There are always a few folk who managed to miss one of the halls or half the jumble, just cos they can't quite track it all down…
Organiser Eric Patterson is one of the keenest enthusiasts of classic motorcycling we know - he's probably on the Bonneville salt flats right now, trying to grab another speed record on something ancient and unlikely! As a result he makes sure that all the clubs have ample room to display their bikes properly, and provides really handsome trophies and commemorative souvenirs for the concours competitors.
Among the winners this year were John Guy with his beautifully turned out Ricardo, and the Vincent-HRD club. The Velocette Owners' Club also put on a cracking display - love that ancient patina, guys! - as did the London Douglas Club who had to scrabble together a theme and some new volunteers at the last minute when the original team couldn't appear. They even painted a new backdrop the day before - great effort!
Another Douglas caught my eye (well, it would…): there was an 80 Plus for sale among the bikemart outside. These sporting 350 flat twins are really good for over 80mph as the name suggests, and come with brakes to match, so I was sorely tempted. However, the bike has been mildly hybridised with a standard roadgoing MkV, which meant it was just a little too similar to the Douglas which already inhabits The Shed… and while I was mulling it over someone else dashed in with the cash. Probably just as well, eh?
RC Reporter: Rowena Hoseason
Over a thousand people turned out for the most successful Bikers' Day to date at the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in June. This year the bikers' day had an Italian theme to it, resulting in a phenomenal turn out of bikes. Many classic racing machines from the Museum's halls were fired up for the spectators to enjoy, including Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Laverda, Aprilia, Cagiva, Moto Morini and Benelli bikes. They were exercised along the Museum's new Grand Prix circuit, making an amazing sounds - and smell!
Concours prizes were awarded towards the end of the day, with the Best 1950s Italian Bike going to the Moto Guzzi of Gordon De Lamare; the Best 1960s was a Ducati 175cc of Mike Bell; Best 1970s was Matt Winter's Duke 250 while Best 1980s was the Ducati 900SS of Bob Hartmann. The Best Italian Race Bike was judged to be the Ducati 24 Horas owned by Lance Johnson while the Best Modern Italian Bike was the Moto Guzzi Magni owned by John Davies
There are more activities at the Museum throughout the summer, including other themed days, autojumbles and ride-outs.
Future Event Info
Check our events listing for a massive variety of shows and jumbles
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