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8th April 2010


The 18th South Wales Classic & Modern Motorcycle Show
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You don't have to travel halfway across the country to find an enjoyable event with a great display of classic bikes. David Smith went wandering in South Wales...

With little or nothing to do on Sunday 28th March, I suddenly remembered a flyer for a motorcycle show that I had picked up some time earlier. Being but a short, half-hour sprint away, the 18th South Wales Classic & Modern Motorcycle Show and autojumble beckoned on this unusually warm and sun drenched morning.

The half-hour sprint unfortunately became double that as I knew not where the venue was exactly (Llanishen High School, Cardiff) and it appeared that much money had been saved by not putting up any signs to guide visitors to the event. Fortunately I was not the only rider confounded by this. During my search I kept encountering the same motorcycles apparently being ridden around in the same aimless fashion as my own.

Classic Italian lightweight... 175cc Gilera

Upon arrival however I found the natives to be very friendly, I paid my 5 admission and began to wander amongst a great multitude of the usual Triumphs, Nortons and AJS machines and then discovered virtually a whole room of old Japanese iron also. I've included some pics of my own personal favourites at the show and I must admit to giving my own best in show vote to a rotator only slightly less mighty than FW's, a rather splendid Hercules whose picture should be lurking somewhere hereabouts.

Now that's what a rotary engine should look like... Hercules / DKW W2000

The show is organised by those nice people of the South Wales Sunbeam Motorcycle Club who made a special invitation to the VJMC to swell their ranks. I'd like to thank them for an interesting and well organised event. Machines that took my particular interest included a Velocette Vogue in a rather fetching white and black finish. Looked like a particularly good all weather-machine to me, with its interesting twin headlamp arrangement, tall screen and fitted panniers and it was made all the more interesting by the fact that I had never seen one before.

Fur coat and no knickers?... Velocette Vogue

Another rarity, an ABC 398cc was magnificently put together and had very obviously been designed to highest engineering standards. There was a beautiful blue and gold Super Meteor whose fairing must offer protection to match even the most effective ever found on a BMW tourer and, as mentioned earlier, that very eye-catching Wankel engined Hercules, perhaps the stuff that dreams are made of. When are we to see a road test on one of these in the hallowed pages of our magazine?*

This is the rare 'out of focus' model... 398cc ABC

Inspired by the unusually kind weather and dreams of well restored motorcycles the likes of which I shall never lay my hands on, I returned home by an extremely roundabout and enjoyable route. I now have a whole year to look forward to the 19th show but I'm sure there will be many other events to keep me occupied between now and then.

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The South Wales Classic & Modern Motorcycle Show at Llanishen High School, is organised by the South Wales Sunbeam MCC: 02920 693513.

Supported by the Vintage Japanese MC: www.vjmc.com

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*If anyone out there owns an Hercules and would like to report on it, then feel free to get in touch via RCHQ at realclassic.net

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Nortons (which might be rotary) on Right Now...

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