CLAS­SICS

The bikes that get rid­den to a clas­sic bike event, and the peo­ple who ride them are of­ten as in­ter­est­ing as those on dis­play. We loi­tered around out­side the VMCC’S Fes­ti­val of 1000 Bikes at Mal­lory Park to see who turned up.

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS - with Hugo Wil­son Bike edi­tor, old bike fetishist

Shows are great, but the bike parks can be greater still…

‘The brochure said it’d do 90… and it seized’

Dave and Carol Bailey 1976 Yamaha XT500

It’s a match­ing num­bers bike, but I ride it a lot and I’m not go­ing to re­store it. They should be used. I’ve had this one for two years, but had XTS for five years. I had friends who had them when they were new. This one is con­verted to 12 volts so that at least the lights are de­cent. I con­verted my pre­vi­ous one to elec­tronic ig­ni­tion. I ba­si­cally spent £500 mak­ing it less re­li­able. If they worked when they were new they’ll work now. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on them try­ing to make them bet­ter. I’ve only rid­den it a few miles to get here, but I take it all over and I do use it off-road.

Bruce Cox 1969 BSA Starfire 250

I had a Tri­umph Speed Triple R, and rid­ing back from Cad­well Park last year I de­cided that I’d switch to clas­sic bikes. Now I’ve got this and a 1972 Tri­umph Tri­dent, which is re­ally a 1970s equiv­a­lent of a Speed Triple. The BSA had been re­stored, but I’ve rewired it and fi­nally fixed a car­bu­ra­tion prob­lem I’d been chas­ing; it was miss­ing the heat proof spacer on the car­bu­ret­tor in­let stub. The Starfire own­ers fo­rum is amaz­ing. There are some re­ally help­ful peo­ple out there. I’ve rid­den in 85-90 miles from Barns­ley to get here, I don’t go over 60 on it. I had one as a 16 year-old, and the brochure said it’d do 90. So of course I tried it and it seized. But at 60 this one is lovely. On the Speed Triple no one looks twice, but on this some­one al­ways wants to talk.

Steve and Sum­mer Wrig­glesworth 1973 Tri­umph 500 TR5T Tro­phy Trail

We didn’t ride it down, I came down to do the Pre-65 trial that’s part of the 1000 Bikes event on my BSA, so we brought this in the van too. They were built dur­ing Meri­den Tri­umph’s last knock­ings, so it’s a Tri­umph en­gine in a BSA frame. It was an Amer­i­can im­port that be­longed to my late fa­ther. He had it for six years, I’ve had it for two. I do a bit of trail rid­ing on it, and it’s done the Beamish Trial too. Sum­mer rides a Yamaha TY80.

The event The hedge

The bike park

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