MC Events
Reviews and Notices of Upcoming Classic Motorcycle Shows and Events

Monterey Motorweek 2018

1915 Harley-Davidson board tracker
This 1915 Harley-Davidson board tracker sold for $99,000 at Mecum’s Monterey auction.

Once a year in mid-August, the adjoining coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel, California, become ground zero for gearheads. Most people refer to it as Pebble Beach or the Pebble Beach Concours, which is a one-day event on Sunday. In reality, Monterey Car Week lasts 10 days. Primarily a car event, it is common to see motorcycles at numerous shows and around town. The Monterey Historics feature vintage racing cars, and quite often you will see a Brough Superior, a Honda CB92 or even a Crocker in the pits.

On Wednesday night a traditional kickoff party is held at the Monterey Jet Center. Gordon McCall and his wife, Molly, have been hosting The Motorworks Revival for 27 years. Gordon is an avid motorcyclist, and you can always count on some custom and/or famous motorcycles being mixed in the fold and featured at the party.

Wayne Rainey GP Yamaha
Wayne Rainey’s GP Yamaha is probably one of the most significant around.

There are no shows on Thursday, but plenty to see at the auction previews. A 1952 Vincent Black Shadow was sold at the Mecum sale for $101,750 including buyer’s premium, while a 1915 Harley-Davidson board tracker brought just shy of $100,000, selling for $99,000. Other interesting offerings include a 1983 Benelli Sei that was the property of the late Bluesman and Rocker J. Geils, although it failed to sell at $17,000, and the high bid for a 1908 Harley-Davidson “strap tank” replica was $85,000. Over at the Gooding sale, Steve McQueen’s old 1931 Brough Superior SS80 sold for $88,000, and a 1957 Ducati double overhead cam 125 GP sold for $93,500.

In May, the Quail Lodge hosts The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, and in August they host the equally entertaining Quail Motorsports Gathering, which has a motorcycle class along with many cars of distinction. The Concorso Italiano at the Black Horse Gold Course celebrates Italian Vehicles, and it’s considered a cardinal sin not to have motorcycles when you celebrate Italian machines. Most Italians began on motorcycles, hence their healthy respect for them. For years, Concorso had a special spot for motorcyclists to stow their gear.

There are other shows featuring motorcycles along with cars, so many that you can’t get to them all. What a dilemma to have! Next year’s events are Aug. 18-26, 2019.

ZEUS motorcycles
A pair a of ZEUS motorcycles - the wave of the future?

1949 Harley-Davidson WR
A 1949 Harley-Davidson WR was presented as a Joe Leonard tribute.

Modified Moto Guzzi
This highly modified Moto Guzzi ticked all of the boxes.

1947 Indian Chief
1947 Indian Chief came from Delhi, India. It won first place in the motorcycle class.

1955 MV Agusta
The owner of this 1955 MV Agusta was admonished by judges to “never restore it!”

1952 Vincent Black Shadow
1952 Vincent Black Shadow sold at Mecum’s Monterey auction for $101,750.

Ex-Steve McQueen 1931 Brough Superior SS80
Ex-Steve McQueen 1931 Brough Superior SS80 sold for $88,000 at the Gooding auction.

Pinch Me: 2018 Barber Vintage Festival

Colin Seeley
Master frame builder and former Isle of Man racer Colin Seeley with Randy Baxter’s circa-1973 Seeley-framed Triumph Trident.

The Barber Vintage Festival is always something of a pinch-me event. Did all that really happen? Did I really meet and talk to famed frame builder Colin Seeley? Did I really ride an absolutely perfect 1982 Triumph Bonneville Royal? Did I really hang out with former Ducati-riding 1977 Daytona Superbike winner Cook Neilson? Yeah, I did, and you might have too if you were at the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival.

We haven’t seen any official attendance numbers, but we’d expect 2018 attendance to be about even with the past few years, meaning roughly 60,000-plus vintage bike fans on hand. That number is actually even more impressive when you consider this year’s weather; insufferably hot and humid on Friday and Saturday, and with absolutely zero air movement. The only reason we survived was thanks to Alabama resident and friend of the magazine Howard Boone, who after Friday’s intense heat returned on Saturday morning with a generator, a huge shop fan and two stand up fans to push air through our tent. Wow. Talk about going above and beyond — you saved us, Howard!

Ex-Dick Mann BSA Rocket 3
The Rob Iannucchi/Team Obsolete ex-Dick Mann BSA Rocket 3.

The featured marque at Saturday’s Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show was BSA/Triumph triples, and we were treated to a nice selection of bikes, including a pair of 1969 BSA Rocket 3s and a half-dozen Triumph Tridents, plus two very special machines: the Rob Iannucchi/Team Obsolete ex-Dick Mann BSA Rocket 3, a historically important machine recently restored to running condition by Iannucchi, and a Seeley-framed Triumph Trident owned by Randy Baxter of Baxter Cycle. Brian Slark of the Barber Museum and Mark Mederski of the National Motorcycle Museum helped judge the bikes, and Colin Seeley personally handed out our top award for Best Triumph/BSA Triple, which went to Baxter for his circa-1973 Seeley. One of no more than four built by Seeley himself, it’s possibly the only running survivor. And run it did, as Randy Baxter proved, firing it up with a push-start to the thrill of everyone there. The sound it makes is glorious, a sound I’d planned on sharing here — and would have if I’d actually hit “record” when I set my phone to video mode.

Randy Baxter on his Seeley-Triumph
Volunteers giving Randy Baxter a push to fire up his Seeley-Triumph; what a glorious noise.

Frank Lipinski took our Editors’ Choice award for his immaculate and completely original 1982 Triumph T140LE Royal. Showing 8,000-plus miles on the clock, Frank’s Royal looked new, but like every bike in our show it was a perfect runner. That brings up an interesting point, namely that of the 52 bikes that graced our lawn, every single one — save the Dick Mann bike, which was understandably trailered in, and Rick Booth’s unpowered art bike Aqua Naught — rode in under its own power. That includes the three Zündapps — three! — that were on hand.

Editor's choice
Frank Lipinski took our Editors’ Choice award for his perfect 1982 Triumph T140LE Royal.

Better still, around 30 of those bikes joined us the next day for our Sunday Morning Ride. Sponsored by our good friends at Hagerty Motorcycle Insurance, the ride was a casual 35-mile run through the surrounding hills, taking in a section of SR 25 known locally as the mini Tail of the Dragon. OK, so it has only a fraction of the real Tail of the Dragon’s turns, but it’s still a fantastic bit of black top, snaking up and over several ridges through the Alabama wood and just ripe for riding. Check out this short video from Hagerty showing our group saddling up and heading out for the ride.

1940 Zündapp KS600
Richard Campbell’s immaculate 1940 Zündapp KS600, one of three Zündapps on hand.

Great bikes, an amazing location, and of course great people. If you weren’t there, you missed it again — so don’t miss it in 2019! Look for more photos of the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival in the January/February 2019 issue of Motorcycle Classics. — Richard Backus

Hagerty Ride at the Barber Festival
Heading out for the 2018 Sunday Morning Ride.

Upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Events: November/December 2018

November December Vintage Motorcycle Events

Take in the sights at the annual Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show, Jan. 26, 2019.

10/27 Visit Norcross, Georgia, for the 28th Annual Blue Moon Cycle Euro Bike Swap Meet on Saturday, Oct. 27. The swap meet is open to all parts, accessories and apparel for European motorcycles. Display your late model, used or classic bike for sale in the Consignment Corral for $25 each. No fee for buyers or sellers, and free lunch for all. The swap meet runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, then come back and join in Sunday, Oct. 28, for the Blue Moon Cycle Vintage Ride. Join the Blue Moon staff and friends for a scenic ride through the Georgia countryside including a lunch stop and a special attraction. This ride is open to all motorcycles 1985 and older. Admission is free, and the ride leaves at 9 a.m. from Blue Moon Cycle. Call John Landstrom for more details at (770) 447-6945, ext. 20.

11/3 Head to Vicksburg, Mississippi, for the 2nd Annual Vicksburg Vintage Motorcycle Show. Entry is free and open to pre-1990 motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, etc. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and more than 15 awards will be given out, including class awards, People's Choice and Best of Show. Enjoy live entertainment and downtown Vicksburg. The show will be held at the farmers market grass lot at 1055 Washington St. For more info, contact Roger Harris or (601) 831-2079 or search Vicksburg Vintage Motorcycle Show on Facebook.

11/4 Join the Southern California Norton Owners Club for "the best ride by a dam site," the Hansen Dam Ride. Now in its 39th year, the ride is a great way to spend a day enjoying classic motorcycles. Recent years have seen more than 500 bikes of all makes show up, making it the largest classic motorcycle event of the year in Southern California. A 75-mile-plus route is mapped out for the day. Show up as early as 8 a.m. for coffee and donuts, and after the ride the grill will be fired up with lunch served. The ride departs at 10 a.m. sharp!

12/31 The last ride of the year: Join the Southern California Norton Owners Club for the Run for the Roses up to Newcomb's Ranch. Ride departs at 10 a.m. sharp from Lucky Baldwins Trappiste located at 1770 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California.

1/26 Mark your calendar early for the largest vintage motorcycle show in South Florida. Head to Dania Beach, just south of Ft. Lauderdale, for the 13th Annual Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. More than 400 classic bikes will be judged under the trees in Frost Park. Enjoy live music, vendors, a bike parts swap meet, food, motorcycle field games, roller derby girls, a vintage bicycle display and more. The event is free to the public, with a fee for entering bikes, and proceeds benefit K9s For Warriors, Southeastern Guide Dogs and the Dania Beach Lions Club.

Nov. 1-4 — Lone Star Rally. Galveston Island, TX.

Nov. 8-11 — 18th Annual Rocky Point Rally. Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.

Nov. 16-18 — International Motorcycle Show. Long Beach, CA.

Nov. 25 — So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet. Long Beach, CA.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 — International Motorcycle Show. New York, NY.

Dec. 4 — 41st Annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. Chicago, IL.

Dec. 30 — So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet. Long Beach, CA.

Jan. 4-6 — International Motorcycle Show. Dallas, TX.

Jan. 25-27 — International Motorcycle Show. Cleveland, OH.

Jan. 27 — So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet. Long Beach, CA.

Feb. 1-3 — International Motorcycle Show. Minneapolis, MN.

Feb. 8-10 — International Motorcycle Show. Washington, DC.

Feb. 15-17 — International Motorcycle Show. Chicago, IL.

Feb. 24 — So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet. Long Beach, CA.


Motorcycle Classics wants to know about classic motorcycle shows, swap meets, road runs and more. Send details of upcoming events at least three months in advance to lhall@motorcycleclassics.com.

Steve McQueen, Dennis Hopper and Paul Newman Bikes at Bonhams’ Barber Auction

Dennis Hopper's 1972 Husqvarna 250 Cross

Up for sale: Steve McQueen’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, which he rode in the landmark motorcycle film On Any Sunday.

In addition to Steve McQueen’s Husqvarna from the film On Any Sunday, Bonhams auctioneers say it will also have bikes ridden or owned by Paul Newman, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and other celebrities in its upcoming auction at the Barber Motorsports Museum on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, during the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival.

As with McQueen’s Husky, these motorcycles represent early motocross models and the out-of-doors action sought by these leading men of the silver screen. Featured will be the Czech 1967 CZ 250 ridden by Paul Newman in the movie Sometimes a Great Notion. Peter Fonda rode a Spanish 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 in the opening scene of Easy Rider that will also be offered at the sale, and Dennis Hopper’s 1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross is also starring.

Furthermore, two other motorcycles owned by Steve McQueen will be offered: a highly sought-after 1953 Vincent Comet Series C and an unusual 1939 Nimbus Model C Luxus with sidecar.

And it’s not just celebrity motorcycles that will be the stars at Barber. Other highlights include the oldest original Vincent Black Lighting — the second one built and the model that currently holds the world auction record; pedigree racing bikes such as the Ducati NCR AMA Pro winner; and wonderful classics from American, European and Japanese manufacturers.

The auction will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at the famous Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama. Bonhams’ auction of collectors’ motorcycles will be hosted in concert with the annual Barber Vintage Festival. To register to bid and learn more, visit bonhams.com/barber.

Second-Ever Black Lightning Headlines Barber Auction

Vincent Black Lightning
The second-ever Vincent Black Lightning will be sold at Bonhams' Barber auction.

Rollie Free's capture of the "world's fastest production motorcycle" record in 1948 on a tuned Series B Black Shadow led directly to Vincent marketing a racer of similar specification to Free's machine: the Series C Black Lightning.

This Vincent Black Lightning — frame no. RC3548, engine no. F10AB/1C/1648 — was the second one built, completed in January 1949. It was ordered for Hans Stärkle, a rider for the NSU works team, during the Earls Court Motorcycle Show in October 1948, where the first Black Lightning was displayed on the Vincent Stand. Stärkle, who had already won three European Championships for NSU, raced RC3548 in the Unlimited Class with a sidecar attached. The Black Lightning was sold in May 1952 to a Mr. Amrein of Basel, Switzerland.

Amrein rode the Lightning to the works at Stevenage, England, to have it converted for road use, obtaining lights, silencer, pillion seat, footrests, etc. He sold the Vincent to its third owner, a Mr. Duffner of Weil am Rhein, Germany, in 1955. In 1961, the Black Lightning was sold to its fourth owner, a Mr. Kuttler, also from Weil am Rhein. After encountering engine trouble, Kuttler took the engine apart but never completed the repair, and in 1968 sold the machine to its present (fifth) owner, Ernst Hegeler.Ernst rebuilt the Vincent and had it road-registered in 1971. He covered approximately 30,000 accident-free miles on long-distance trips all across Europe.

By 2000, Ernst had decided to return the Black Lightning to its former glory and original racing specification. Ernst rode the Black Lightning exclusively on non-competitive presentation runs, with no accidents or technical failures whatsoever.

Now, after 50 years of enjoyable ownership, Ernst has decided to pass on this magnificent machine, which is still in pristine running condition, to the fortunate next owner. Bonhams is extraordinarily pleased to present RC3548 at their inaugural auction at the Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, on Oct. 6, 2018.

Vincent Black Lightning

Motorcycle Classics Sunday Morning Ride at the Barber Vintage Festival

Motorcycles on the Barber Ride

Heading out from the Motorcycle Classics tent for a Sunday Morning Ride.

Join Motorcycle Classics for our Sunday Morning Ride at the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival on — when else — Sunday morning, Oct. 7, 2018. Sponsored by our good friends at Hagerty Motorcycle Insurance, the Motorcycle Classics Sunday Morning Ride is a casual 35-mile romp through the Alabama countryside, taking in Alabama’s “Mini-Dragon,” a spectacular section of curves and climbs just minutes from the Barber Motorsports Complex.

Hagerty’s Kyle Bowen will join us for the ride, which leaves the Motorcycle Classics tent in the Fan Zone at 10 a.m. sharp. Check out this year’s ride route by clicking here. There’s lots going on leading up to Sunday, including the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show on Saturday, Oct. 6, this year featuring Triumph and BSA triples in celebration of 50 years since Triumph first introduced the legendary 750cc 3-cylinder Trident and Rocket 3. All triples are welcome, whether from Triumph or Suzuki, BSA or Kawasaki, as are all Triumphs and BSAs.

And there’s more, because after announcing British frame builder Colin Seeley as Grand Marshal for the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, the Barber Museum asked Motorcycle Classics to host a special gathering of Seeley motorcycles at our booth in the Fan Zone. If you own a Seeley and you’re planning on taking it to Barber, we’d like to hear from you and hopefully show your bike along with the other Seeleys that will be there.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., judging at 1:30 p.m., and we’ll hold our awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Guest judges will include Barber Museum’s Brian Slark, motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart, and Mark Mederski from the National Motorcycle Museum, with a special appearance by festival Grand Marshal Colin Seeley! We’ll award trophies in five categories, with special awards for Best Triple and Editors’ Choice.

We’re also hosting special tech seminars Friday and Saturday. Starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, vintage Japanese motorcycle specialist Rick Shaw of Rick’s Motorsport Electrics will share his extensive knowledge working with charging systems, explaining what you need to know about vintage Japanese charging systems and how to improve them. Starting at noon on Saturday, Race Tech Suspension’s vintage suspension specialist Matt Wiley will discuss the ins and outs of vintage motorcycle suspensions, and how to improve them.

A special thanks to our sponsors at Spectro Oils, Hagerty Motorcycle Insurance, Pecard Leather Care and S100 Cycle Care for helping to make it all happen! These are great companies run by passionate motorcyclists, and we encourage you to learn more about them and their excellent products.

The Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show
and Sunday Morning Ride are sponsored by:

SpectroHagerty logoPecardS100 logo

2018 Motorcycle Classics Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

Group photo at the Getaway

Participants in the 3rd Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride Em, Don’t Hide Em Getaway line up for a group photo at the top of the Johnstown Incline in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The 3rd Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway happened Aug. 10-12, 2018. Sixty-four riders on 58 classic bikes joined the editors of Motorcycle Classics and special guest Alan Cathcart for a 130-mile ride to the Johnstown Incline in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a fascinating and obscure bit of Americana reached via miles of beautiful backcountry roads.

Truth be told, just a few days before our ride, we were wondering if would even happen. Although rain is always in the offing in Southwestern Pennsylvania — and particularly in the Laurel Highlands area where our ride headquartered — this year has seen more wet days than normal. On Thursday, just two days before our ride to Johnstown, the local forecast called for a 90 percent chance for rain on Saturday and an 80 percent chance on Sunday. It’s one thing to get caught in the rain, but another to start out in it, and we really didn’t like what we were seeing.

Miraculously, Saturday dawned not exactly bright owing to the fog that had settled in the surrounding valleys, but decidedly clear of rain, and our group made the trip to Johnstown and back without issue and dry as a bone. In fact, the sun actually broke through while we were having lunch at Asiago’s Tuscan Grill at the top of the incline, a beautiful location overlooking historic Johnstown, once the steel manufacturing capital of the world, the old mill buildings still dominating the cityscape.

We ended the day back at ride headquarters Seven Springs Resort, where we gathered for a banquet dinner and listened as international motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart filled us in on some of the more interesting experiences in his 40-year career. The next day we hit the road again, and the weather was even better, with rapidly clearing skies as we headed south and looped through the Laurel Highlands, swinging back north past architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Falling Waters and back to Seven Springs.

A special shout out to Spectro Performance Oils, Pecard Motorcycle Leather Care, Bonhams, RetroTours, Hagerty Motorycle Insurance and Federal Motorcycle Transport for helping make it happen. These folks are all serious motorcycle enthusiasts, and their support makes a good time even better.

It was an amazing weekend, with miles of great roads and a great time spent in the company of fellow enthusiasts. Food, fellowship and fun; it really doesn’t get any better than that. We’ll have a full report in the November/December 2018 issue, and we’re already busy making plans for the 4th Annual Getaway in 2019! Stay tuned!