Bristol show redefines meaning of a classic bike

Author: Ian Kerr Posted: 18 Feb 2013

Cafe Racer BMW showed the diversity of 'classic bikes' at the Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show
If ever proof were needed that there is no exact definition of the word classic in relation to motorcycles, the annual Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show held at Shepton Mallet always manages to show the diversity of machines that carry this tag.

No doubt when the show started 33 years ago most of the exhibits were from a bygone age, predominately of British manufacture and readily fitted into most people’s perception of what the word meant.

Now a look through the ever increasing exhibits that took up four halls plus a marquee at this weekend’s event shows that bikes of modern era and from all around the world now vie for the title.

Private individuals as well as clubs were all competing for the various trophies on offer from the organisers, and as you would expect some of the restorations were to standards far higher than any manufacturer would ever consider.

But, it is not all about gloss, many bikes on show had that marvellous patina of age and use and a few ‘barn finds’ on sale in the auto-jumble outside, offered some real challenges to those who relish cold winters in the shed or garage. As ever there were plenty of parts and tools to help those looking to complete machines in time for the fast approaching riding season, spurred on no doubt by the bikes on display inside.
In the car park though there were many bikes whose owners clearly believe that classic or not, they were made to be ridden whatever the weather and shown all year!

Few people know that Bridgestone also used to make motorcycles...
We love the vibe of these 'new skool' specials that can also be considered as classics, apparently...
Stunning Garelli moped leads the charge of the super priced Mopeds and drew big crowds
Some of the more traditional classic bikes at Bristol
The autojumble is always popular. Just think, in ten years this could be a show winner too, maybe!
Who wouldn't want to pop on an open face lid and ride this on a sunny Sunday, for a few miles at least?