Review Japanese Classic Donington 040207 Piccies!

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    The latest forum meeting today at the Japanese Bike show and auto jumble at Donington Exhibition Centre saw just Thumper, Scouser and myself getting together. Toggs, Katana and Black Country Bomber couldn’t make it in the end, although BCB offered the most brilliant excuse I had ever heard, he hadn’t finished digging the hole for his wind turbine base! Bests “I left it on the bus sir” by a country mile!

    Anyway the show itself was excellent and focussed on the many classic Japanese machines spanning the period from the mid 1960’s to the early 1990’s. As a bit of a Yamaha addict (as some of you might of noticed), I was particularly drawn to anything with the legendary tuning forks symbol attached, with LC club and air-cooled RD club stands being like a bright light to a moth for me. A beautifully restored 1985 RD350 YPVS in the same colour scheme as the one I ran from ’85 to ’87 really caught my eye. God, I want another so badly it almost hurts.

    I WANT ONE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FS1E mania seems to have swept the classic movement and pristine examples of the iconic sports moped were much in evidence around the exhibition hall. Whatever the merits of the period rivals to the “Fizzie” such as the AP50 and SS50, no other moped from the unrestricted era has achieved such cult status in quite the same way.

    One of many mint FS1E exhibited

    Nicely done FS1E special

    Another bike to catch my eye was the XT500, with a number of immaculate examples on display, including the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine project bike. The rugged purity of the XT and others of this ilk such as the Honda XL500 I find very appealing, and I think that the off road bikes now have become almost too trick to be used in their intended green lane/winter-hack environment.

    Despite my obsession with all things Yamaha, Thumper and Scouser managed to drag me onto some other stands too. Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki were obviously well represented, but the super rare Bridgestone was a highlight for me. Thumper was rather smitten with a Suzuki 125 twin. I was slightly perplexed by the total absense of the Honda CB250N Superdream, especially when you consider that despite it’s glacial performance it is by far the best selling bike in the UK from the last 30 years.


    Rare in the UK, Yamaha R1-Z. Looks serious fun

    Suzuki XN85. Love the TURBO graphic written backwards!

    Overall the Kawasaki Triple club boasted the most impressive stand, with pretty much every major model of the infamous triples on display in a showroom like setting. There was an un-used 750 with a sad story attached: The KH had been bought as one of a matching pair by two best friends, but when the first lad died as result of accident on his machine his friend refused to ever ride his when it was delivered a few days later. So there it sat some 30 years later, still perfect only 1-mile on the odometer, poignant.

    Big Kwack Triple, 1 mile only.


    It was not the only bike yet to be registed at the show though, an FJ1200 from 1989 and a RD250LC from 1981 were also on display.

    Unregistered FJ1200

    There was more to the exhibition than the rows of gleaming bikes, with many trade stalls and breakers on site too. I picked a up a few bargains myself, notably a new Shark crash helmet for a very good price. However a search for a rectifier for my FZ600 proved fruitless, but many around me seemed to be finding what they were looking for in the hundreds of boxes full of parts on dislay.

    Bikes were on sale too and, as usual it was a Yamaha that caught my eye. A dealer had three lovely RD250s for sale and only the sad combination of a full garage and an empty bank balance prevented me from adding to the fleet. That and the prospect of a divorce if I brought another bike home!

    It was good to hook up with Scouser again and on the way home we called on BCB to check out his progress on digging his hole…

    BBB and one very big hole, why can you never find a Suzuki when you need one?

    All in a excellent show, in good company – perfect.


    Nice write-up mate. There’s some lovely bikes in that lot, sure I’ve seen that FS1E before.

    Would like to have seen more pics of the wind turbine too!


    One picture of a Suzuki and that was a plastic turbo thing.


    Sorry Lex, but I seem to have mainly taken pictures of Yams! However here are a few more piccies from the show:







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