Classics on the Green: The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2014

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2014.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Rarity isn’t everything: A lovely Honda CL77 fronts a CB400 Super Sport at the 2014 The Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Photo by Nick Cedar

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What happens when you put together an upscale golf resort, 50 years of Bonneville Streamliners, the first Brough Superior SS100, a new all-electric racebike, a three-star lunch, Eddie Lawson, Doug Polen and a horde of enthusiasts? You get The Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

An eclectic display of the exotic, the classic and the brand new were arrayed in the large green space, ringed with pavilions advertising the Why We Ride documentary and other vendors.

The Quail show always features something never seen before in public, and this year it was several somethings. The 218mph Lightning electric Superbike was given its first outing. With a cruising range of 180 miles and piles of torque, it promises to be the first truly fast production electric bike. A 1925 Brough Superior SS100, the first one built, was last seen 50 years ago, and the Bonneville streamliners from the last 50 years on display had never been in one place before.

Not all of the bikes on display were one of a kind. Affordable Japanese and single-cylinder Italian machines from the Sixties and Seventies parked near Triumph Bonnevilles and Norton Commandos, all scrubbed and sparkling. Best of Show went to Gene Brown and his 1932 Vincent HRD Python Sport, while Trace St. Germain received the Japanese 2nd Place award for his 1981 Suzuki GS1100EX.

Most bikes on display do run, and a group of 100 riders toured the Monterey Peninsula the day before on many of the bikes in the show, starting with a lap around Laguna Seca.

Quail will return next year, and it’s definitely worth the $65 admission, which includes that three-star lunch, served on real plates with cloth napkins and silverware. More info at The Peninsula. MC