Bikes at Monterey Car Week

Despite the fact that it’s called Car Week, there are some spectacular motorcycles to be seen, too.

| January/February 2017

  • Judge Somer Hooker inspects a BMW R32.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • A 1967 R69S with a 1952 Steib sidecar.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • A 1927 BMW R42.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • The Best Of Class award winner, Robb Talbott’s 1925 BMW R37.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • A lineup of small Italian bikes at the Concorso Italiano.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • Peter Nettesheim (at left) and the 1934 BMW R7 Concept Motorcycle.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • Offroad bikes at the new Moto Talbott Collection.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • A pair of board track racers and the Wright Cyclone radial engine at the new Moto Talbott Collection.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • An eclectic collection of motorcycles and bicycles on the main floor.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • Rob Talbott (right) discussing the 1927 BMW R47.
    Photo by Corey Levenson
  • Racing bikes in Talbott Collection.
    Photo by Corey Levenson

Classic motorcycle enthusiasts are typically interested in noteworthy classic cars, so chances are good you’re familiar with what many simply refer to as Car Week, the classic car event held every August in and around Monterey, California.

It’s been taking place in one form or another for 66 years and currently includes vintage racing, car shows, auctions and special events. Here’s something you may not know: There were also some spectacular motorcycles at the 2016 Monterey Car Week.

Sprinkled amongst the many ongoing events were rare and fascinating old motorcycles, especially at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which now has a motorcycle class every other year. For 2016, BMW bikes were featured on the lawn in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the marque. Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke, the predecessor of BMW, was founded in 1916, and BMW celebrates this as its official beginning.

Some events were free, such as the Thursday evening shindig at the Baja Cantina on Carmel Valley Road. There are usually a few bikes there — nothing terribly exotic, but still fun to see. At the other end of the spectrum was Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, admission to which cost $325 in advance. As Jay Leno noted, Car Week is where mere millionaires get a chance to rub shoulders with billionaires.

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