Sunny skies, busy turn­stiles and acres of in­trigu­ing metal greeted show­go­ers as the clas­sic year got well and truly un­der­way...


In­ter­na­tional Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Show kick­starts the 2018 sea­son

It’s full steam ahead for the clas­sic scene af­ter the sea­son-starter at Stafford­shire County Show­ground on 21-22 April. The In­ter­na­tional Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Show is, for many, the un­of­fi­cial kick­start to their year – and the bustling halls and grounds de­liv­ered the ex­pected mix of live ac­tion, daz­zling ma­chin­ery and crusty parts.

Satur­day’s cheery weather made it the busier day of the week­end, with plenty of clas­sic ma­chin­ery in the bike park – the sights and sounds were a spec­ta­cle be­fore you’d even got in. Through the gate and the noise, smells and ac­tion were sup­plied by the likes of tri­als demon­stra­tions, race bikes with ear-split­ting pipes in the startup area, and a ca­cophonous wall of death.

In­side the main hall, the cen­tre­piece dis­play of show-win­ning ma­chin­ery was as daz­zling as the sun out­side. There were interesting ma­chines and a giddy amount of awards were handed out (see Re­sults, page 10). How­ever, I have to ques­tion the logic in pre­sent­ing the bikes in a large roped-off square – it makes it pos­si­ble to only re­ally see the ma­chines po­si­tioned around the edges. Rows with walk­ways be­tween would be far bet­ter.

Those hunt­ing parts or a project had miles of stands to pe­ruse, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from rare plas­tics for 1980s su­per­bikes to com­plete bas­ket-case projects that looked more canal-find than barn-find. Prices for com­plete bikes in­di­cated that val­ues are still climb­ing, and not just for iconic Bri­tish ma­chin­ery – Ja­pa­nese and Euro­pean mod­els which were al­most dis­pos­ably cheap a few years ago, dis­played sig­nif­i­cant tags.

There were still deals to be had, mind. My eye was pulled by a neat Mo­to­be­cane project and an em­i­nently use­able Suzuki T125 Stinger, and we were all taken by an orig­i­nal-look­ing Us-mar­ket Yamaha XT500 up for just a lit­tle over £2500. We weren’t alone – by the time ed­i­tor Gary went back af­ter count­ing his loose change, the Yam had been snapped up...

ABOVE: Plenty of tasty metal in the bike park to grab your at­ten­tion be­fore you’d even got in. Lug­gage-shod BMW R90S is ahead of Nor­ton Com­mando with screen and boxes ABOVE: The pris­tine ex­am­ples weren’t just in­side – this de­li­cious NORBSA looked fan­tas­tic bathing out in the sun BE­LOW: Moto Par­illa’s su­perb ‘rotante’ race en­gines have to be one of the best-look­ing two-strokes of all time ABOVE: Fresh from the con­ti­nent, there were am­ple Gal­lic projects – many looked like bar­gains next to their Brit equiv­a­lents

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