Barber Vintage Festival 2015

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Founder George Barber fronts the line of nine Brittens — only 10 were made — that gathered for the 2015 Barber Vintage Festival.
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Making the Ace Corner scene was Seth Kaplan, one of the CT Rockers out of New England.
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Kiley Owens gets his new custom BMW at Ace Corner.
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Britten No. 1
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Brittens on the Barber track.
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A bevy of Hondas at the swap meet.
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The Barber museum built a viewing bridge — with glass-floored viewing area — running from the museum over the race track just in time for the festival.
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Offroad legend Malcolm Smith chats with fan Taylor Belling in between signing autographs.
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Best in Show: Clive Taylor took home our Best Norton award for his beautiful 1956 Dominator 99, the first year for the upgraded 600cc engine.
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Perks of the job: Editor Backus gets ready to head out on Dave Swigler’s Dunstall Norton.
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Bill Freeman, Best Restored European, 1967 Bultaco Metralla
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David Bubb, Best Rider Japanese, 1986 Honda NS400R
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Dave Swigler, Editors’ Choice, 1972 Dunstall; Dave Williams
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Dave Williams, Best Restored British, 1968 Triumph Bonneville
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Paul DiMascio, Best Restored American, 1934 Indian Chief
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Tony Prust, Analog Cycles, Best Custom, 1949 Indian Scout Racer
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Jerry Jones, Best Rider British, 1969 Triumph Bonneville
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Chuck Floyd, Best Restored Japanese, 1973 Kawasaki H1
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David Miller, Best Rider European, 1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans SE
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The 11th Annual Barber Vintage Festival drew nearly 70,000 people.

In 10 years, the Barber Festival has grown to become the largest vintage motorcycle event held anywhere in the U.S. Two sets of numbers tell it all: 6,000 — that’s how many people attended the first event in 2005; 69,264 — that’s how many people Bruno Event Team, the event management company charged with corralling the annual Barber Vintage Festival, says attended the annual three-day event in 2015 — a 1,054 percent increase.

That growth is hardly surprising to the Barber faithful, and it’s likely largely thanks to them that it’s occurred. Simply put, once you’ve been, you’ll tell everyone you know that if there’s only one show they can attend, it has to be Barber — and as the event’s growth curve suggests, people are listening.

Brittens on track

2015 marked the 20th anniversary of New Zealand engineer John Britten’s death. The designer and builder of the now-legendary V-1000 race bike, Britten left an indelible mark on the motorcycle industry, and the Barber crew was determined to honor his legacy by getting as many as possible of the 10 V-1000s built together at Barber. They succeeded brilliantly, with nine on hand.

Britten’s widow, Kirsteen, took the spotlight during the annual Friday night charity dinner, held this year in the Barber basement, the nine Brittens prominently displayed in the adjoining restoration workshop. That was Friday night, and it got even better Saturday and Sunday when five of the Brittens took to the track. The wail of even one Britten, its 999cc quad-cam V-twin pumping out 166 horsepower as it romps down the track, is incredible. But to hear five at once was utterly magical. It was the experience of a lifetime, and everyone watching knew it.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!