Here in the wintry northeast USA, we have invented a number of great ways to break the grip of winter on our 2-wheeled hearts. Among them are trips to warmer climes, maintenance and restoration, researching the next great ride, winter riding, and shows. This last one, shows, is welcome, but cruel. To walk around amongst fine classic motorcycles, any of which you would love to ride today, makes it painful to leave and confront salty icy roads. But such is the pain inflicted by The Modern Classics show in Boyertown, PA. I have ridden to this show in past years, but not this time. There were only 2 bikes in the parking lot, and with temperatures below 30 degrees, their riders were made of strong stuff.
The show always manages to find interesting examples of machines from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. European, Japanese, and American brands are most prevalent. The theme of the show is modern classics, so you would expect to see the more iconic and popular models rather than the obscure. With that said, it is great to see a nice unmolested example of a Kawasaki 1100 Eddie Lawson replica, or a Vincent Black Lightning, or a rotary-engined Suzuki RE5, or an MV Augusta or a BMW R100RT. All indoors, all a few feet away from each other.
There is a people’s choice award, so in addition to admiring the machines, you get to vote for your favorite. It is always hard to single out just one machine in this show. If you choose according to rarity, then it has to be the Rex, even more than the beautiful Munch on display. For artistic jewelry, you would have to pick the Ducati 175. For value, the Vincent. For oddity, the MV Agusta monocycle. However, my ultimate choice was the Bultaco Sherpa almost overlooked on the fringe of the display area. It captured the essence of the machines of the era. It was simple, light, well-designed, good looking, and performed well. Simple fame, simple engine, simple everything. There was absolutely nothing on it that was not functional, and it was ironically, in a room full of desirable machines, the one I most wanted to jump on and ride. Of course, starting it would have filled the room with 2-smoke and killed all the attendees.