Finally got myself to the Classic Bike Show in Stafford after years of thinking about it. I never realised what a huge event it was. I was inside flogging books but took could not resist taking off on wanders during the lulls. I discovered more adjacent halls followed by acres of stands outside. There’s everything here from Vincents with quarter-million-pound reserves in the Bonham’s auction, to unrecognisable bits of rusted pre-war 2-litre, 4-hp wheelbarrows.
Must be my age but I found it much more engaging than events like NEC or Excel – part auto jumble, part concourse and everything in between. I liked the way stand holders could brew up on camping gas stoves under the table. Can’t be doing that at Excel without a Code One alert. Clocked lots of machines I’d heard of and admired but never actually seen and snagged a nice pair of flat track bars to fit to whatever will have ‘em.
If you’ve never been, take yourself there one year. The one in October is said to be more 60s-70s–80s bikes than pre-unitary exotica. Below, a few pics of what caught my eye.
More about the 5-litre Flying Millyard here – and yes it is two cylinders from a radial aero engine. The same guy built a gorgeous-sounding 100cc v-twin from a Honda SS50 (right). More on that here.
Sli Edrar – Saharan slickrock
James May sizes up an XS
‘Needs some work…’
More classics than a box of Quality Street
Norton looks better than ever.
Akar Akar plateau
I love the smell of Castrol R in the morning.
Don’t fancy wall-of-deathing this thing.
XR650L Tasili N’Ajjer
Nice Triton – one of many.
I do fancy these Mashies
MT reporting for duty.
Sponsored by Solvol
SP! My first trail bike that started it all.
An aero engine?
Behind Tesnou – Elephant Rock
Small dunes in Ahnet
H2, X75, Z1 and a 999 / 888 of whatever at the back.
A maroon dream. Takes me right back to the Gower Street years.
The sunny throng.
Sleeved down XBR500 mash motor – or something.
Behind Erg Mehajebat
Remember when bike controls were like this? No, me neither.