Prize win­ners in Wales!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CLASSIC EVENT -

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.”

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