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.
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