Vintage BMWs take center stage at The Meet

Reader Contribution by Richard Backus
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Vintage BMW motorcycles will be in the spotlight at The Meet Vintage Motorcycle Festival at the incredible LeMay museum in Tacoma, Wash., August 24-25, 2013, surrounded by hundreds of vintage Norton, Indians and Hondas, all spread out on the museum’s 3.5-acre show field. The 2013 event celebrates BMW’s 90th anniversary, and with the incredible level of enthusiasm that’s always surrounded the Bavarian maker’s motorcycles you can count on an incredible field of vintage BMWs to turn out for this special event.

This will be the second vintage motorcycle event held at the LeMay, which bills itself as America’s Car Museum. But the LeMay isn’t just about cars, because while the museum puts the focus on vintage four-wheelers, LeMay actively promotes the classic bike scene, with The Meet touted as one of its signature events.

Last year’s inaugural show drew 200-plus vintage bikes and some 2,000 vintage bike fans under a picture-perfect blue sky to enjoy an outstanding display of vintage Italian, Japanese, British, European and American motorcycles. The quality of machines was fantastic, and the next day some 125 attendees — including yours truly — saddled up for a ride that took participants to the tiny town of Elbe in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.

I had the honor and pleasure of helping judge last year’s roster of bikes, along with a team of judges ably led by none other than BikeCrafteditor/ex-Cycle World editor in chief David Edwards. Edwards returns this year, and I’ll have the pleasure of walking the field with him once again, along with seven other judges including Bob Henig of Bob’s BMW, vintage BMW specialist Peter Nettesheim, U.K. vintage bike journalist Ian Kerr and Clement Salvadori of Rider Magazine. Henig and Nettesheim will judge the class dedicated to BMW. Class trophies will be awarded, plus there will be a special President’s Award from the museum and five Judges’ Choice awards.

When you get there, look for the Motorcycle Classics tent and grab a schedule so you won’t miss our planned seminar hosted by veteran BMW restoration expert and Bonneville racer Kevin Brooks of Brooks Motor Works, focusing on racing vintage BMWs at Bonneville.

The festival’s main event on Saturday will also include a swap meet, trials motorcycle demonstrations, precision riding by the Seattle Cossacks motorcycle acrobatics team, speed-tuning panel discussions and music. A scenic loop motorcycle ride launching from ACM’s plaza and traveling along Pacific Northwest roads is on tap for Sunday, with riders returning to the museum show field for an early afternoon barbeque lunch. It’s going to be an event not to be missed, so don’t! See you there. — Richard Backus

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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