Glitz and glam­our from LA

Our rov­ing cor­re­spon­dent in Los An­ge­les, PAUL GARSON, went along to the 2017 Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show. Here’s a brief run down...

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT -

As the event’s name im­plies, this show, first launched in 1949, fo­cuses on four wheeled ve­hi­cles al­beit not all tech­ni­cally qual­i­fy­ing as “road­sters” which back in the day meant an open two-seater mi­nus doors and even wind­shields. Trac­ing the nomen­cla­ture fur­ther, “road­ster” ini­tially was the la­bel at­tached to a horse well-equipped for trav­el­ing, the term later ap­plied to bi­cy­cles and tri­cy­cles by the end of the 1800s. Sporti­ness was the op­er­a­tive word no mat­ter the size of the chas­sis so “road­ster” could in­clude the full spec­trum of cars from an Ev­ery­man’s Model T to a celebrity’s 16-cylin­der Caddy. It’s note­wor­thy that “road­ster” is an Amer­i­can cre­ation, the Brits call­ing such cars a “two-seater tourer.”

So, to stretch the rules a bit, mo­tor­cy­cles, in that they are very “open” and of­ten of­fer seat­ing for two, have found their way into the Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show in­clud­ing this year’s 68th run­ning of the event. First staged in Oak­land, CA aka the Oak­land Road­ster Show, this go-around was the 14th year the GNRS was held at the Pomona Fair­grounds Fair­plex.

RIGHT The ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented de­signer/builder Kiyo Mit­suhiro, work­ing out of his Gar­dena, CA shop, Kiyo’s Garage, mind­melded this dou­ble-en­gined, We­ber carbed 1620 cc 1972 Honda CB, en­ter­ing it in the Com­pe­ti­tion cat­e­gory. Bike is head­ing to El Mi­raj to take on record break­ing at­tempt. LEFT An­thony Robin­son’s com­pany A-C Garage Door Com­pany in­stalls garage doors all over Cal­i­for­nia, but he spends his spare time build­ing spe­cial bikes, two of which, both 500cc Tri­umphs, were on dis­play. The bikes took the first two places in the Euro­pean Class. This is An­thony with the win­ner, named “La Mosca”.

ABOVE The sec­ond place bike is based around a Day­tona 500 and is known as the Root Beer Bar­rel bike. An ex­am­ple of the at­ten­tion to de­tail can be seen in the milled and en­graved rear hub – the en­grav­ing is the work of a friend’s 12-year-old son.

ABOVE Tank slap­ping Har­leys and In­di­ans made for one hay­fullava dis­play of TT rac­ers, all thanks to the ef­forts of the Hell on Wheels MC.

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