Fortunately, event planners, promoters, shop owners, and marketers have figured out that one of the best times to have a motorcycle show, is during the time we are least likely to be riding them. This is particularly true in the regions afflicted with cold and snowy/icy/slushy winters. Those of us in such regions are so starved for anything related to motorcycling, that we reschedule weddings and childbirth to attend an event. Although events like the International Motorcycle Shows are great for this, they are not so satisfying for the vintage crowd. That is why events like The Modern Classics put on by Martin Motorsports are so eagerly awaited and well attended.
The main evidence of the cabin fever relief is collection of bikes in the parkling area. This is not just the province of winter beaters suitable for salt-laden roads. It had Todd’s Moto Guzzi Negro Corse, and Eric’s Vincent, and a Harley V-Rod, and some nice Cafe Racers. Of course, there were also vehicles more at home in any weather such as V-Stroms and BMW GSs, Triumph Tigers, and a Ural Patrol rig. The event is also a sort of re-awakening of the 2 wheel clan, and we greet each other as other hibernating creatures might after the long freeze. There is much catching up to do. In fact, it took me a half hour to get inside.
The good folks at Martin somehow manage to clear their entire shop of new motorcycles and merchandise to make way for 100 classic motorcycles that are concentrated on the postwar period to 1990. If you are over 30, these are bikes that you had or lusted after. The variety is great, as brands range from American to European to Japanese, and even Mexican at this year’s event. Most of the bikes are beautiful fully restored pieces, but not all. A fair number are unrestored, and there was everything from pitted chrome to light surface rust on display. Production bikes mixed with race bikes, and street bikes mixed with dirtbikes. A little of everything and something for everyone.
The danger, of course, with this kind of an event is that you come face to face with that superb machine that you forgot that you loved. It is an old girlfriend that has aged well and still looks great, and you think it would be great to relive old times with renewed passion. Your mind drifts to those halcyon days and those hot steamy summer nights. And then the owner comes over and asks you to stop caressing the tail section……