Prize winners in Wales!
As well as pottering around slowly and annoying many, one of Bertie’s jobs was to help Classic Bike Trackday owners Rob and Darin pick some ‘best in show’ winners, which the fat, foolish one was happy to do. With classes in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and ‘Best in Show’ to award, Bertie had to check out what was out and about in the Anglesey paddock – and there was a wealth to choose from! Winner of the 1970s category was Andy Miley and his truly immaculate Suzuki GS1000. Andy says: “I finished the bike a few years ago after buying it a decade ago. Back in the day I had a GS550 but really hankered after the GS1000. I bought this bike for a reasonable sum, but it needed a lot of work doing to it. “When it was finished I did use it, but then some years ago I had to move it into my dining room and that’s where it has stayed for about five years! This summer I will be taking it to the Manx Grand Prix, so it will not be idle for long!” The 1980s category winner was Ben Jones, with his novel take on the café racer. Honour for spotting this splendid machine goes to Niall Mackenzie, who said: “What really made me sit up and take notice of Ben’s bike was that it was sat next to a Norton café racer and so you could really see where he got his inspiration from. It was so different I loved it.” Ben says: “I’ve always loved British bikes and my dad had a Triumph Trident so I wanted something similar, but with a more-modern twist and something that was my own version. It took about two years to finish: it’s a 1988 F-reg GSX-R based machine but with the flat-topped GSX-R400 tank.” And from the 1990s, it was local Kelvin Owen who took the prize, with his excellent Yamaha TRX850. Bertie said: “The thing with Kelvin’s bike is that it was a real celebration of a bike that was overlooked at the time but one which has a strong following today.” Kelvin himself said: “It took a year to do this. Originally when I found the bike it had spent time living with chickens! The seat had been pecked to bits by hens, and being left outside meant it was simply one big birds’ nest! “I rebuilt her with an R1 front and rear-end: no, they didn’t fit easily and the bike is 75mm longer thanks to the swinger. Overall it took 500 hours to build and top work came from J&S Paint and Manei Powder Coating. I think it cost me around £3000 to build.” Best in show went to the cheap and cheerful – and yet truly stunning Honda VF750 Interceptor replica by Richard Gibbons. Some of you may have seen it in another magazine and it stood out in the VJMC tent over the Welsh Classic weekend. Richard says: “It only took about three months to finish and yes I’m a big Freddie Spencer fan. I wanted to do something different as you don’t see many Vf-based projects, which is a shame. Everybody seems to do a Honda CB900F Freddie replica, but not a VF one? Overall, this only cost me about £1500 all-in: the bike was only £400 as nobody wants them. “Look closely and you will see the cans are from a car at £35 a pop – the stickers on the cans cost £3.50. The paint only cost £350. It’s not unique as I also made a Fred Merkel replica for probably less – around £1250. “People keep asking me to build them something similar for the price, but I’m busy looking at my next project – which is something similar, but with a VFR750 motor in it.”
“For a first attempt, the Welsh Classic Festival was a big hit. With the Thunderfest and track time around Anglesey, it was an event not to be missed. Even overnight rain and wind didn’t ruin the weekend.”