2008 Legend of the Motorcycle

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A flat-tank Norton.

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Forget about Hollywood celebrities Chad McQueen and Jason Lee or bike builders Jesse James and Billy Lane, because the real stars at the 2008 Legend of the Motorcycle were — no offense guys — real motorcyclists. We’re talking stars like 15-time Grand Prix World champ Giacomo Agostini, eight-time Grand Prix World champ Phil Read, eight-time International Six Days Trial winner and On Any Sunday star Malcolm Smith, and famed dirt track motorcycle builder Ron Wood, whose Norton builds put him in the racing limelight in the Seventies.

These are the guys who made it happen back in the day, and they were out there, in real life, wandering the immaculate greens of the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, Calif., soaking up the sights and sounds of the third running of what’s become the “must see” classic motorcycle event of the year. Featured marques were Norton and MV Agusta, the assembled bikes creating a sea of yellow and red bright enough to warm even the chilling wind blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. A team of 42 judges had the difficult task of picking the best from the lot — bikes had to run to be judged — awarding trophies in 16 different classes. Agostini picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award, and one of Wood’s Nortons nabbed a first in class for Norton Competition bikes. MC