A Quail Tale: The 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

| 8/1/2017 11:30:00 AM

Ducati motorcycle

The grandpappy to the modern Ducati Scrambler. All photos by Corey Levenson.

Once a year a posh and tranquil golf course is transformed as it hosts a dazzling collection of exceptional motorcycles and colorful people. No one element — machines, people nor venue — makes the Quail Motorcycle Gathering special; it’s the resulting concoction that’s so intoxicating. A day at this event is like a blissful mini-vacation in one of those pristine little snow globes, except there’s no snow and the little sphere is full of fascinating two-wheeled machinery.

The 2017 edition of the Gathering took place on a gray and windy day in May on the manicured greens at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California. Like that other bird, the phoenix, the Quail event rose from the ashes of another premier West Coast motorcycle-only concours, The Legend of the Motorcycle. Initiated in 2006, that event went great guns for three years but folded after the economy took a nosedive in late 2008. Fortunately, lifelong motorsports enthusiast Gordon McCall stepped in, moving the focal point for the classic motorcycle scene down the coast from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Bay. For nine years running, Gordon has done an impressive job hosting the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Bikes in cocoons

Bikes in cocoons before the show opens.