It was the Telford Show at the weekend, an event which has grown in stature over the years and is now a must-see fixture in the diary of any classic bike enthusiast. The show has a bias towards dirt bikes but there is always a very healthy number of road race machines on display which broadens the show’s appeal. Organiser Alan Wright is a popular figure in the world of off road bikes and speaking from an exhibitor’s point of view the show is run in a refreshingly relaxed way by Alan and his team and it was a pleasure to take part.
Star of the show [from my perspective ] was the fierce looking Jawa V4 works bike which had been restored by the Sammy Miller museum to their customary high standards. Jawa only produced three of these machines and this is the bike raced by Bill Ivy in 1967
The Miller museum had also brought along another extraordinarily complex, ill-fated two stroke GP machine in the form of the Konig . This bike used a flat four two stroke engine derived from a speedboat motor driving through a Norton/Quaife ‘box. New Zealander Kim Newcombe actually won a GP on the Konig in ’73. Newcombe is credited with building,riding and developed the Konig machine into a winner before being tragically killed in a non-championship event at Silverstone later in the season.
“I don’t care who you say you are, you can’t take that bike through there without a pass”
Crooks motorcycles had an very interesting stand featuring some of the Suzukis which became synonymous with company founder Eddie Crooks. Strange to tell that the T20 model Crooks entered into the 1966 Manx GP ridden by mechanic Frank Whiteway had previously been entered into the the 1965 ISDT!
Also on the Crooks stand was this very pretty Beamish, one of my personal favourites having had many pleasurable Saturday afternoons in the 1980s plonking around our local brick quarry practising on one. Lovely bikes and a popular UK clubman’s tool back in the day.
The Adventure Ride stand attracted a steady flow of visitors during the course of the show and it was great to meet up with some fellow Motor Cycling Club members over the weekend. Now you might think having been an MCC member for about 15 years and taken part in twenty of the Club’s excellent long distance trials that I might know one or two of the members, but the fact is I don’t. We all tend to pass each other fleetingly at checkpoints in the middle of the night in some far flung village hall in the middle of nowhere, we’re all wearing crash helmets and therefore it’s often difficult to put a face to a name. We tend to identify each other by the bikes we usually ride and so it was quite amusing talking to fellow competitors about the trials and working out who was who . Anyway, it was nice to meet you TLR 200, XT 500 and Mr. Can Am Bombardier.
Here’s a pic showing our stand, the red and white Laverda Atlas attracted a lot of attention, as did the Ossa . We also had one of the Pamperas on show to demonstrate how light and manageable they are .
Occupying the stand next us was Nigel Land of Yorkshire based TL Transformations. Nigel and his business partner Nick had brought along a couple of his stunning Honda TLR restorations and his stand looked as if it was doing a brisk trade all weekend. They’re good blokes and if you’re looking for a trial bike which can also be used for trail riding you could do worse than to look at a TLR. Light, economical and reliable as a stone they’re a great bike and becoming increasingly popular. You can find Nigel and Nick at http://www.tlr-transformations.co.uk . Here’s an example of their work.
So. all in all it was a great weekend. Thank you to everybody who dropped in to see us , particularly the folks who booked days out. We held a raffle to win a free day out riding one of the Gas Gas Pamperas and this was won by a Mr. Nick Miller from Stoke-on-Trent who has been notified by email. I also need to thank my good pal Pete Priest from Priest Bike Paint http://www.priestbikepaint.co.uk . Pete has painted lots of bikes for me over the years and his work has won top awards at the Stafford Show and Race Retro. Pete joined us for the weekend and worked tirelessly to help promote the new venture.
Here he is taking a well earned sit down during one of the quiet periods
Just to round off here’s a few pics of bikes which caught my eye
Ultra rare [in the UK] Kawasaki F11 trail bike
Now here’s something you don’t see every day. A McClaren Suzuki [no, I’d never heard of it either] sporting what looks like a stressed skin monocoque frame
Mouth watering display of RGs. I was lucky enough to race a Niko Bakker framed MK9 briefly during the late 1980s and the RG remains my favourite all time race bike.
And finally, I spotted this little gem in the for sale section but manfully resisted the temptation to buy it. It’s an LH 125 Laverda enduro bike [with a few bits missing]. This was a successful collaboration of Laverda’s extensive off-road know how coupled with a competitive Husky stroker. They were competitive enduro bikes in the 125 class. One day I’m going to buy one of these to add to my little collection. But not this particular one….