2012 Hanford Motorcycle Show

THE 2012 HANFORD MOTORCYCLE SHOW
A HOMECOMING OF SORTS

Every years hundreds of the classic motorcycle faithful make the pilgrimage to Hanford CA, in the heart of the Central Valley to attend the Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Now in its 44th year, this year’s event took place on Saturday, May 19 at the Kings County Fairgrounds, and was presented by Classic Cycle Events. For me, it was a very special pilgrimage. While I hadn’t attended this show before, I was actually raised in Hanford, and consider it my ‘home town’. Having lived there from age 12 to 22, it was only 10 years, but 10 very important & formative years for me, as it turned out. I haven’t been back (other than passing through) in some 14 years. With my wife in tow (she’s my photographer after all), I not only attended the 2012 Hanford Motorcycle Show, but toured my home town and all that it had to offer: my old house, the site of my first job, where I went to school, etc., etc., ad infinitum. But it was all good, and my wife infinitely patient. We had a wonderful time on the entire 3-day jaunt from the Bay Area. In fact, it included seeing one of my first employers (1970-73), the legendary Ron Clawson, who owned a Triumph/BSA/Norton/BMW franchise at the time. He now owns a Kawasaki/Suzuki store in nearby Tulare CA. It was great seeing him, but I digress...
2012 HANFORD MOTORCYCLE SHOW
A NICE INTIMATE SHOW

I go to a lot of classic motorcycle shows, as you can imagine. Some are larger than others, some better organized. But the Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally is a nice, intimate little show with about 50-odd bikes nicely arranged with plenty of room in between them to enjoy the bikes. Owners hang close by & are available to answer questions & swap stories. The venue, at the fairgrounds was quite nice, just inside the main gate, under the trees, but out in the open. It wasn’t too hot, but warm enough.
2012 HANFORD MOTORCYCLE SHOW
CALLED A RALLY, BUT MORE OF A SHOW & SWAP MEET

They call it the Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally, but it’s really more of a classic motorcycle show & swap meet than a rally. I didn’t see any sort of organized ride or other such activity. But as shows go it was very nice. And as swap meets go, it was among the better ones I’ve seen. It’s the same in Classic Cycle Events show at El Camino College in Torrance CA in September, the show is a little smaller in total numbers of bikes entered, but the swap meet is huge.
2012 HANFORD MOTORCYCLE SHOW
JUDGING & AWARDS

This is a judged show, and the judges did a fine job, in my opinion. Awards were given in a variety of classes of course, including Antique, Vintage & Classic European, British, American & Asian, Cafe Racers, Choppers & Bobbers, and Off-Road/Competition. There weren’t too many classic British motorcycles there, but the ones that were, were literally eye-popping. And they accounted for themselves very well indeed. In fact, the Peoples’ Choice Award went to a drop-dead-gorgeous 1959 Triumph 650 chopper. The best British bike honors went to an absolutely stunning 1973 Triumph X-75 Hurricane (my personal favorite, of course). There were also several nice BSA off-road machines, two lovingly restored by the great Don Harrell himself. And, competing with one another in their class, with several other very nice machines, Don’s bikes got First & Second Place trophies.

2012 Hanford Motorcycle Show
"So let's see some bikes, already!"

Two of Don Harrell's recent resto's (the blue ones). The left on is a '61 BSA Spitfire Scrambler, and the one on the right is a Gold Star. They won first & second places respectively in their class, Off-Road/Competition.

Guess it's easy to see which way the winds are blowing. This luscious '59 Triumph TR6 chopper was this year's Peoples' Choice, by popular vote. Nice bike. I've seen this one at several shows now & it always turns heads.

Ultra-rare 1966 BSA 441 is actually a Grand Prix edition, of which only 200 were made for the UK & European markets, never shipped to the US. Master BSA restorer Don Harrell fully restored it this year for its new owner. Nice job, Don.

This sweet cafe racer started life as a '69 Triumph TR6.

This totally-cool 1952 Ariel Square 4 chopper was actually for sale. The guy has owned it since 1961, says it runs great & it's totally reliable. He's asking $28,500. You can call him for more info at (661) 256-1204. Tell him you heard it here.

2012 HANFORD MOTORCYCLE SHOW
DON'T MISS THE NEXT ONE

This is a really nice Classic Motorcycle Show worth attending, if you're anywhere in the area next May. As mentioned before, the show's sponsor, Classic Cycle Events, does just two shows a year, this one & the Torrance Show in September. I've been to that one & it's bigger than Hanford but not quite as intimate. For more info on their future shows, go to www.ClassicCycleEvents.com. And we'll see you next year in Hanford.





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