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The Inaugural Concours de Competition

The Concours de Competition at the Barber Motorsports Park is a new kind of motorcycle show, one where vintage race bikes are put back on the track.

| January/February 2020

concourse-de-competition-david-rutherford-michael-hodgson-jr-BSA-gold-star-Rickman-Honda-750-turning-race-track
David Rutherford on his BSA Gold Star gets tight with Michael Hodgson Jr. on the Rickman Honda 750.

It isn’t often that David Rutherford is invited to a new type of motorcycle event.

He has road-raced for decades, toured in the U.S. and Europe extensively on a variety of sport bikes, raced flat track occasionally, run the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb six times, raced the Baja 1000 and the Baja 500 several times, and has ridden the course at the Isle of Man. When he was approached about participating in a “new” kind of concours event he was somewhat skeptical. The idea of standing around next to your motorcycle was not exactly his kind of event.

The promoter invited him to apply to run in the Inaugural Concours de Competition at Barber Motorsports Park. David knew the facility well since he had raced there during the annual Vintage Festival with AHRMA for the past 14 years. The museum at Barber Motorsports Park is world-renowned for the largest, and arguably the best, motorcycle collection in the world.



The Concours de Competition was the idea of longtime motorcycle enthusiast and racer Ron Raven. The premise was simple: Race bikes were meant to be seen and heard at speed on a track. Collectors of race bikes generally retire the special ones and they become static displays in homes, offices and garages. Once their competitive careers are over, they tend to be fawned over in a safe environment as fear of damage and lack of parts prevents them from being run on a track. Raven wanted to get them back on track in a moderately safe environment so they could be used, and appreciated, for what they truly were — mechanical art in motion.

Working with WERA

The inaugural Concours de Competition took place on June 29 at the Barber Motorsports Park. Raven enlisted two partners: WERA Motorcycle Roadracing working with the Barber Museum. The event ran in conjunction with WERA’s Sportsman round at Barber Motorsports Park that weekend. WERA and the Barber Museum had the ability to give the event its unique twist: To get into the Concours judging round, the contestants must first have made several laps at speed on the track. The bikes would be judged on a combination of preservation, track performance and educational exhibits.



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