Back Street Heroes
KICKBACK – THE FIRST BIG CUSTOM SHOW OF THE YEAR!
AS MAY WAS SO GREY, THE ONE THING TO BRING SOME SUNSHINE BACK INTO OUR LIVES WAS THE PROMISE OF A BIKE SHOW, AND KICKBACK AT THAT.
The brainchild of Lorne Cheetham, Kickback’s always had an eclectic mix of all things two-wheeled and customised. It’s been held at some interesting venues too, this year returning to the rather splendid Cheltenham Town Hall. The bike park outside kept me busy for a while and, as it was the same day as the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, there were some rather dapper other visitors too.
Yes, there were still Covid restrictions in place to help combat the dreaded lurgi, but the splitting of tickets into morning and afternoon sessions worked well, balancing out the numbers, and giving everyone a good chance to study the bikes. (It also kept the queues down for coffee!) A one-way system also meant occasional moments of clear space for those of us who love taking photos and, despite the wearing of masks, the smiles shone out. I’ve never seen an organiser of an event look as bouncy and upbeat as Lorne, especially knowing that he, and a fair few others, had had a rather good pre-event drink the night before.
With it being so long since the last big show, this really was a fabulous season opener, and the variation of bikes was incredible: a Honda Cub with a 200cc two-stroke engine; a Gold Wing café racer; a trio of Yam XS650s (including April’s long chop, which’d only completed the day before); flattrackers; high ‘bar chops; and also a turbo Nimbus (yes, you did read that right) called Sweet Pea.
There were 20 trophies to be won all told, sponsored by Hard Up Choppers and Lamb Engineering, and it was madness (but fun) at the presentation as Paul Milbourne and Layla, the famous Layla of the BSA chop fame, dashed around sticking cups in front of or beside the winning bikes. Trying to keep track of all the winners, then, was nigh on impossible, but two of the XS650s (including April’s) got pots, as did the rather tidy RD350, Unk’s swoopy billet Twin Cam, Carter from Attitude’s black V-Rod, a Dnieper, the
Gold Wing, and a Triton.
There were also two specialised cups for young builders to encourage them, and you’ll be able to see one of them in the mag fairly soon.
A huge ‘well done’ to all the team and staff at the venue for a great show – a brilliant way to bring some normality in a cold, strange year. It really was the best way to cheer up a very grey May, and great to bump into old friends I haven’t seen in 18 months or so. Plans’re already underway for further Kickback shows, so keep an eye on their website for further dates, then drop everything and go – you won’t be disappointed.