Monday, February 6, 2017

Bristol Classic Bike Show 2017 pt1

The Bristol Classic Bike Show has now been and gone. A chilly and rainy weekend but, hey, what can we expect - it is early February. Thankfully most of the show is indoors even if the halls at the Bath and West Showground are slightly drafty and with a faint whiff of cattle piss about them.

The autojumble is for the most part trade stands and tool stalls with very little in the way of old bike bits being offered. Stand price and the very excellent (and reasonably priced) VMCC Somerset jumble happening in the same venue just a month later probably contribute to this. The bikes on display were however this year really top notch. Some fantastic and unusual machines and nice to see that a good number were even ridden along to the show. It's heartening that folks are prepared to bring along such exotica as an ex-Lawrence Brough and show it to the public. The Vincent Owners club had a great line up of pre-war HRDs including two immaculate twins. There were plenty of noteworthy stands but the London Douglas Club had some cracking machinery - this year was the year of the pre-war ohv Duggie as there were several in different trims and conditions. It's unusual to see one let alone several. On the subject of speedway machinery there was an immaculate vintage Norton track iron on the Norton Owners Club stand.

I wish I could have taken pictures of more but the nature of a show is such that light and angle is not always favourable for photography but here are a few humble offerings from across the weekend....

I managed to sneak in a few snaps on Friday, the setting up
day, when there were a few less people around and more space.
Here's a lovely little Baker Villiers.

Unusual to see so many Yamaha TDRs together.

TDR line up once more. I've never tried one but I've heard
they are fantastic bikes.

This Lambretta Li125 had been brush painted. The owner
carefully stripped it back to original. Great to see the scoot
in this condition.

Nicely accessorised Norton Commando.

Not my cup of tea but a lot of work had gone in to this

The only angle to shoot a Hurricane from.

A brace of Greeves road twins.

Aermacchi Ala Verde.

Douglas 350T, The first post war model and with an engine
derived from Douglas' wartime generator units. A really
interesting design with a lot of cast alloy used. Torsion bar
rear suspension, leading link front and these early post war
models had the 'waffle box' silencer under the engine.

Excelsior Autocycle on the NACC stand.

Francis Barnett Powerbike - note the rocking
fork front suspension.

Very stylish RAP Imperial.

More of the RAP moped.

And another angle on the RAP.

This Panther is so proper it is almost staged. The bloke who
rides this surely wears waxed cotton and smokes roll ups. He
has probably rebuilt the engine at the side of the road with a
new piston he turned up himself whilst on the way up to the
Scottish Highlands to pick up a spare con rod he saw advertised
in Exchange and Mart. He wrote the vendor a letter but got no
reply so thought he would just ride up and see if it was still
available. Excellent bike. I want this. You can't call yourself a
true classic motorcyclist unless you have a bike like this.

The Panther Owners Club stand was indeed a source of many
wonders. Here, a home made Panther-based v-twin in a
Featherbed frame.

The Panther guys don't seem to take themselves
too seriously nor do they treat their machines
as sacred cows. There were plenty of modified
bikes on the stand and several chops.


  1. Center stand on the Douglas is bizarre. An artwork in itself. And I like the small leather case on the side of the Baker. Cut to hide the battery box?

    1. As far as I know Douglas, like Royal Enfield, had an expertise in alloy castings. They let their designers show this off with slightly over the top exhibitions of their capabilities - ie the RE 'casquette' and the stand on the Douglas. Have you noticed the alloy 'waffle box' silencer under the engine? Later models also had cast alloy tool boxes. Another manufacturer springs to mind for showing off their casting prowess - Moto Rumi. Check out their scooters!
      The leather case on the Baker is simply a tool box, no battery fitted, no lights and ignition from a flywheel magneto.

  2. Thanks for admiring my m120 panther it is indeed a work horse , if it became unreliable not fun to ride it would be sold , but that is unlikely to happen , a cool motor cycle built before such cliches were invented . Ride free Andy