ABOVE: Motorcycle Shows like the Clubman's All-British Weekend in San Jose CA, are great places to ogle gorgeous classic motorcycles & Classic British Motorcycles in particular. Look at all this eye-candy!!
THE SHOW TRADITION Motorcycle Shows are a huge part of the Classic British Motorcycle tradition. The legendary Earls Court show in London has a long tradition of introducing the world to virtually every exciting new Classic British Motorcycle. Vincent Black Shadows, BSA Gold Stars, Velocette Venoms, virtually all the Triumphs & Nortons you've ever heard of, all these & many, many more were shown for the first time at Earls Court.
Since those early days, motorcycle shows have sprung up all over the world, catering to every end of the motorcycle genre. Of course, all we care about are those shows that feature large numbers of Classic British Motorcycles. So that will be our focus. I attend every show I can & take lots of photos (sometimes good, sometimes not so much). I'm based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, so most of the shows I have attended have been on the West Coast.
ABOVE: Here judges pour over this lovely 1961 BSA Gold Star. Judges look for originality, authenticity & correctness, more than condition. Although the condition of this Goldie is certainly top-notch. Taken at the El Camino Historic Motorcycle Event in Torrance CA. Nice show!
JUDGED SHOWS Most shows are 'judged shows', meaning that judges scrutinize all the bikes closely & ultimately determine a winner in various classes. Generally speaking, show judges are usually some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field, often specializing in a certain marque or model.
Many annual shows carry a 'theme' each year. The Cachuma Lake Vintage Motorcycle Rally, one year the theme was Velocettes, which drew Velos out of the woodwork. Another year honored BSA & Triumph Triples. Every year, the Clubmans Show honors a particular British marque, like Vincent or Royal Enfield. Most shows today also have Modified Classes for things like Cafe Racers, Choppers, Bobbers & other customs. Of course authenticity isn't so much a factor here as is uniqueness & quality of design & workmanship + the overall look of the bike.
ABOVE: They "People" don't always think like judges. Sometimes the Peoples' Choice Award goes to a non-original bike, this like jaw-dropping '59 Triumph bobber.
PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS
Overall, motorcycle shows are a fun & exciting way to spend a day or a weekend. Take very opportunity to attend shows in your area. Most shows also feature "Peoples' Choice-Awards", which means the attendants (the public) vote on their own picks. This is one of my favorite categories, as it is much less formal & a real compliment when 1000 show attendees pick your bike.
A QUICK TOUR OF SHOWS
Join us now as we take a quick tour of some of the recent Classic British Motorcycle Shows that I have attended. Please excuse some of the poor pictures (I threw that old camera out!).
2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley CA
Concours-style judged show in gorgeous setting. 350+ classic bikes, Kenny Roberts interview, eye-popping Pictures, Story & more.
Clubmans All-British Weekend-2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose CA
The 30th year for this epic all-British motorcycle show. 85 bikes indoors, judged with trophies presented by Eddie Mulder himself.
2016 NORTON RALLY
July 10-16, 2016
Plumas County Fairgrounds, Quincy CA
Presented by the INOA & NCNOA, this is the big one, if you love Nortons. But all British bikes are welcome. Great Sierra location with lots of great riding.
HANFORD VINTAGE MC RALLY
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Kings Fairgrounds, Hanford CA
In its 48th year, this is the Central Valley's premium classic bike show. And those folks from the Valley have got some nice ones. Ace Brit bike restorer Don Harrell always shows his latest wares there also. Nice setting.
PACIFIC COAST DREAM MACHINES 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Half Moon Bay Airport, Half Moon Bay CA
This is a combination Car Show, Bike Show, Air Show & much, much more. Tons of special exhibits. This year, they include Sexy Italian Scooters. Gorgeous setting on the Calif coast.
It's a Motorcycle Show, a Car Show & an Airplane Show all in one + Gadgets, Antique Farm Equipment & more at the gorgeous Half Moon Bay Airport, and all for a good cause. One of a kind show! Don't miss it.
Spectacular show held at the Half Moon Bay Airport, with airplanes/warbirds, a full-blown car show & an awesome motorcycle show all rolled up into one. And lots more too, like old tractors & weird contraptions. Awesome show!!
This is the mother of all classic British motorcycle shows...well, at least it's the biggest one west of the Mississippi, and that's a fact! Over 150 gorgeous classic Brit bikes competing for awards, all indoors. Plus a Swap Meet, Bike Corral & Vendors. This '57 Gold Star was raffled off for $1.00! CBM was there taking pictures. CHECK THIS OUT!!!
2012 CLUBMAN'S SHOW VIDEO:
CBM'S PHOTO BOOTH & MOTORCYCLE PICTURES
We were there at the Clubman's this year, taking eye-popping photos of gorgeous British bikes, 26 in all. It was quite an event. See the action, hear the clamor, and check out these gorgeous bikes!!!
Dynamite outdoor show set in the picturesque hills of the California's Central Coast. The 4th year saw about 100 classic bikes of all types: American, European, Japanese & our blessed Classic British Motorcycles. Dynamite pictures of some gorgeous bikes.
This 3rd edition of "The Quail" was host to hundreds of classic bikes, gobs of stunning Brit Iron, a Bonham's Classic Motorcycle Auction, a gourmet BBQ, a live band, amazing vendor booths & some of the nicest people anywhere. And the day before the show was the Quail Ride.
CLUBMANS ALL-BRITISH WEEKEND 2011 The world's greatest Classic British Motorcycle Show is back for it's 24th year, bigger & better than ever. 100'S of gorgeous bikes at this judged show. Velocette is the featured marque this year. Sponsored by BSAOC. Visit our booth, we have a gift for you.
A smaller judged show, very well-organized. Attracted some fantastic bikes & a nice mix. Huge swap meet, almost more of a show than the Show. Mild to wild its all there for sale. A 'must-see' So Cal event. Little shade so bring sunblock.
The Clubmans is the ultimate Classic British Motorcycle show, with almost more eye candy that you can take in. 1-day judged show, all indoors in one building. 1st year w/other buildings for classic Japanese, European & American bikes also. What a day!!
The Cachuma Lake British Rally is unfortunately history now. 2008 was the last year. But what a show! Set in the hills above Santa Barbara, Cachuma attracted hundreds of Classic British Motorcycles, owners & fans, from all over the world, many of whom rode their bikes there then put them in the show. I was one of those! Great 3-day judged event with tons of other activities.
Held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, the Clubmans has got to be one of the finest Classic British Motorcycle Shows anywhere, certainly on the West Coast. Hundreds of museum-quality Brit bikes on display + venders & clubs galore. This is a judged show. Racing superstar Eddie Mulder was Celebrity Guest of Honor.