Classic Bike Show – Stafford UK. Oct 16/2004. Revi

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    Over the last couple of years I have found myself increasingly drawn back to the type of bike that filled my dreams in the 1980’s. A couple of years ago all I wanted to do was progress to the latest generation of sports bike suck as the R1 and its ilk. Now however as I head inexorably towards my fortieth year, plunging headlong into middle age like a pebble being sucked into a Black Hole I find myself looking back towards the hedonistic days of my youth.
    For me the bikes of the late 1970’s, 1980’s and early a990’s are classics now just as much a some leaking, vibrating Brit bike. They symbolise a simpler time in my life before the weight of responsibility started to grow.

    In was in this spirit that I headed north from Kidderminster with two like minded mates to attend the Classic motorcycle Mechanics Show at the Stafford Showground on a damp October 16th. Despite owning six bikes between us (YZF600R, RD350YPVS, CB250RS, SRX600, ZR550 and ZZR400) we made the trip a diesel Vauxhall Vectra. This is pretty much the biking anti-Christ, but it was warm and dry on the day and when we car there at least 90% of the people had come on four wheels. In our defence it is easier to carry your bargains home this way.
    We parked easily for free, try that at the NEC next month and briefly queued before stumping up a reasonable £8 to get. Again the NEC should take note…

    First on the agenda was the bike jumble come trade stalls section outside the in grounds. Here hundreds of stalls were selling all manner of biking related goodies, from second spares, accessories to clothing and everything else in between. It was a real Alladin’s cave for a bike nut. Much of the second hand parts did seem to be tat and junk, but amongst it all there was the odd diamond or two. Also what you have to remember that what might be junk to you or I, but could well be the last missing piece in somebody else’s motorcycle jigsaw!
    I was very impressed with the clothing stalls and there were some real bargains to be had. I am not completely sure, but I think the prices were cheaper that those I saw at the NEC last year.

    Many second-hand bikes were also on sale around the grounds, both around the stalls and dotted about with private sellers. Again some were pretty rough, overpriced junk that people were trying to hang a “classic” label on in a bid to push up the price, but there some unusual stuff on offer too. For example there was a 1970’s OHC 750 Yamaha twin that had been brought over from the USA. I have never even heard of one, let alone seen one. One of the lads was tempted by a very clean Ducati Paso, but kept his hand in his pocket in the end.

    Other attractions included the “Wall of Death” and a Yamaha GP bike simulator. They looked fun, but time was pressing on and we hadn’t even made it to the main hall as yet! We kept scouring around for parts and moved towards the hall.

    Huge crowds greeted once inside (the show was MUCH better attended than I was expecting), taking in the owners club stands and yet more trade stalls. Predictably enough I made straight for the Yamaha and LC Club stands. You have to admire just how beautifully kept or restored so many of these bikes are. Even as bit of a Yamaha die hard, I find myself honour bound to say that some of the best-restored machines were on the Suzuki stand, one of a clutch of GT750 “Kettle” models being just stunning. Pampering to my own bias there was a RD350YPVS on the LC Club stand that was exactly like the machine that I had in 1985 (and shoved in the side of lorry). In fact I was so impressed that I joined the club on the spot and bought a book detailing the history of the RD350. I stick out a review later.

    There was also a hall dedicated to an auction of classic bikes run by Bonhams, but that was another £12 each to get. As we weren’t in the market for complete bike buying we gave it a miss. Spotted a couple of Norton Rotaries and a Hesketh V1000 Vampire (the faired one) that looked interesting. Perhaps on another day…

    Despite they’re being another couple of halls chock full of trade stalls, the choice of stuff was staggering, I drew a blank for my YPVS on the day. However the SRX600 owner managed to get a couple of tail pipes for his single cylinder bike. He already has two if you include the one the bike came with. This means he now has a grand total of four silencers for a single cylinder bike. I am getting images of a new concept… a one into four, rather than a four into one!!

    Overall the show was highly enjoyable and the place to get parts for Japanese and Italian bike sin particular. Though there was a fair amount of British stuff available too if you must go that route!
    It was also a great place to get riding gear and I was taken aback at the huge numbers attending, I even bumped into an old mate I have not seen for about 12 years and he was STILL doing up the same RD350LC!

    The next show takes place in March at Bristol. I’m going and this time I might even remember to take some Forum99 flyers and spread the word.

    Donate – it makes you feel good!


    Sounds like a good day was had by all!

    “Now however as I head inexorably towards my fortieth year, plunging headlong into middle age like a pebble being sucked into a Black Hole……”

    Life begins at forty mate…… I’ve been told……………..

    Rebel with a cause!

    The roads are my race track!!



    I went too. Good show, you are right about the GT Suzis. Do you ever shut up about Yamaha?



    Originally posted by Lex

    I went too. Good show, you are right about the GT Suzis. Do you ever shut up about Yamaha?


    Donate – it makes you feel good!


    Thats a good write up, Radar. Never knew it was there. Must have been before I joined, lol

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