Classic Mechanics Show, Stafford, October 2006
This was where Diff'rent Strokers was born. We booked a small stand at the show, stuffed some bikes in a van, and basically just made it up as we went along. Darin took his NS400R and MVX250F Honda's plus his Kawasaki KR250 Tandem Twin. Tim took his TZR250SP Reverse Cylinder Yamaha along with a nice Suzuki RGV250L very kindly loaned by Alastair Bayley. 1983 to 1991 and not a 'normal' parallel-twin in sight !
We weren't sure what the response would be. We were a bit worried that we'd be bored all weekend, ignored by people who thought our bikes were too modern or irrelevant, or maybe even not shiny enough ! But even though we were tucked away at the back corner of the furthest hall, we had a pretty steady stream of people all weekend who told us it was great to see the bikes. A lot of people asked if any were for sale, and some even tried to give us money to join our 'club' on the spot. Even the judges thought we were cool - the KR was awarded a 'Highly Commended' rosette !
It was an experiment really, to gauge reaction and experience a bike show from the inside for a change. But the response was really positive. Lots of people asked us if the website had a forum - we hadn't planned on having one but the demand seemed to be there, so we created one and it's been gaining new users ever since. We did know straight away though that we wanted to do it again...
Thanks to Chell and Sara for helping out all weekend and to Alastair for trusting a complete stranger with his RGV - he did get it back if you were wondering ! Thanks to Hugo and Jim from Classic Bike for taking the time to find out what we were doing, encouraging us and giving us a plug in the magazine. And big thanks to all those who came along, took a few pictures, pointed at a weird bike and said "I've never seen one of those before" - that was exactly the point.
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