Head to Lon­don’s Dock­lands for the only show in town this Fe­bru­ary

Classic Bike (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: GEZ KANE.

Time to vote for your Clas­sic Bike of the Year – get your ticket for the show now


We can’t ban­ish the win­ter weather, but we can pro­vide a lit­tle respite from the gloom at the Ca­role Nash MCN Lon­don Mo­tor­cy­cle Show at EX­CEL on Fe­bru­ary 17-19. As well as all the raz­za­matazz of a vi­brant mod­ern show, with lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing Tri­umph, Royal En­field and Du­cati show­ing their lat­est wares, there’s plenty to tempt clas­sic fans too.

For a start, it’s your last chance to check out the con­tenders for CB’S Clas­sic Bike of the Year ti­tle as the ten hope­fuls line up in the Clas­sic Zone. Take a good look at them all and cast your vote for the win­ner of the rich­est prize on the clas­sic bike con­cours cal­en­dar, be­fore in­dulging in a leisurely tour of some of the wares be­ing sold by a se­lec­tion of the spe­cial­ist re­tail­ers and ser­vice providers who sup­port the vi­brant clas­sic scene. But, even out­side the Clas­sic Zone it­self, there’ll be more to tickle your fancy.

On these pages, we’ve picked out just a few of the at­trac­tions not to be missed at Lon­don’s own bike show. There’s still time to grab a dis­counted en­try ticket (just visit mc­n­mo­tor­cy­, in­door park­ing for mo­tor­cy­cles is free and there’s ex­cel­lent ca­ter­ing – and even a cou­ple of de­cent bars if you’ve come on the train – on site. Bet­ter still, spring is just round the cor­ner. See you at the EX­CEL Lon­don.


The cen­tre­piece of the Clas­sic Zone is an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of bikes vy­ing for top spot in the CB hon­ours list. This year, the en­try spans eras and con­ti­nents, with the ear­li­est a 1937 BSA B21, while the youngest ma­chine is a 1986 Moto Guzzi V75 spe­cial – a mere 31 years old.

There’s a strong Bri­tish en­try, rang­ing from a cat­a­logue-cor­rect 1939 Ve­lo­cette KSS, through in­ven­tive and in­trigu­ing Norvin and ohv Match­less spe­cials to ev­er­pop­u­lar Brit twins like the 1971 Nor­ton Com­mando and 1946 Tri­umph Speed Twin.

Café rac­ers fea­ture strongly, with a lovely 1960 BSA Gold Star in Club­man trim and a 1979 Du­cati 860 GTS spe­cial. And fly­ing the flag for the Ja­panese fac­to­ries is a rare ’73 Honda CB350G. So come and make your vote count. The win­ner will be an­nounced live on Sun­day af­ter­noon af­ter we’ve counted the on­line votes and bal­lots cast at the show.


Coys will be bring­ing the drama of the sale room to the MCN show. If you’re in the mar­ket for a col­lectable clas­sic, a £10 cat­a­logue will ad­mit you (and a friend) to Satur­day’s auc­tion. Or just go along for the en­ter­tain­ment.

Coys’ ex­pert team has at­tracted some stun­ning ma­chines to the sale (see our reg­u­lar auc­tion cov­er­age on page 19). There are some amaz­ing ma­chines in the 140-strong line-up, with a gen­uine, ex-bud Ekins Husq­varna – the ma­chine he rode in the 1967 ISDT in Poland par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy. It comes with a wad of doc­u­men­ta­tion and is be­ing of­fered in fully re­stored con­di­tion with an es­ti­mate of £9000-11,000. You need to catch the spe­cial dis­play of rac­ing ma­chin­ery in the Sports and Per­for­mance Zone. Cu­rated by Roger Charlesworth – the man be­hind the Brack­ley Mo­tor­cy­cle Fes­ti­val – it will in­clude a num­ber of clas­sic ma­chines. And surely one of the most im­pres­sive is this amaz­ing 1962 495cc Marsh MR4.

Con­ceived in the early 1950s by Har­land and Wolff engi­neer the late Fred Marsh, the dohc four ap­peared on track in 1962. In­spired by MV’S fours, Fred de­signed and built most of the en­gine, ex­cept the modified Tri­umph Ter­rier heads.

With a modified Dou­glas Dragon­fly frame, lack of cash for devel­op­ment ham­pered the bike’s com­pet­i­tive­ness. What might have been if Fred had some fi­nan­cial sup­port though?

Head to the Clas­sic Zone at the show There’ll be plenty for clas­sic fans to en­joy

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