2006 Legend of the Motorcycle

Raising the bar

| September/October 2006

Fifty-six years ago, the first Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was held on Monterey Peninsula in California. Dismissed by some upon its opening as irrelevant, the event has become one of the most important gatherings of classic cars in the world. With the debut of the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance, founders Brooke Roner and Jared Zaugg are hoping that in time their show will have the same impact on the classic motorcycle scene.

Drawing a parallel between the two events comes easily, especially considering that Roner and Zaugg consciously looked to Pebble Beach as the archetype in their quest to establish the premier, judged event for classic motorcycles.

Two years in the making, the Legend show debuted this past May 6 on the lawns of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Conspicuously opulent, the setting was deliberately chosen to bolster Roner and Zaugg’s desire to match the tony digs of Pebble Beach down the road in Monterey.

And that it did. On the sweeping greens surrounding the hotel, stretching away to the spectacular, craggy coastline and reaching north towards the clubhouse (where the final judging ceremony took place later in the afternoon), were 254 significant and seldom-seen motorcycles, ranging from a 1900 Orient to a prototype 2007 Crocker.

Classics on the Grass
Many of the people attending this first event (Zaugg pegged attendance at roughly 4,300) anticipated the high order of machinery on display. But even then it was hard to anticipate some of the surprises on hand. Notables included Mike Kron’s restored 1921 Mars, which Kron brought over from Germany. With its 1,000cc horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine (specially built by Maybach, better known today as the high-end division of Mercedes Benz), the Mars is unique for its gearless “transmission.” Instead of a gearbox, the Mars employs a pair of friction drums, each connected by chain to the rear wheel. The Mars garnered the show’s Founder’s Award for Kron, who is crafting a limited batch of Mars replicas.

Another treat was Californian Jim Lattin’s 1915 Cyclone board track racer, a completely original machine once raced by the legendary Don Johns, who challenged Harley-Davidson and Indian riding the overhead valve Cyclone. The bike received the Sculptor’s Award from sculptor Jeff Decker (Decker designed the show’s trophies), who singled out Lattin’s Cyclone for its preserved original condition.

Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

Classic Motorcycle Touring and Events.

The latest classic motorcycle events and tours.