Classic Mechanics Show, Stafford, October 2013
"Where are all the 2-strokes ?" asked several people last year. It was a fair question, even though plenty of others loved the homologation 750's, enough in fact for our stand to get its first award at this show. So we went back to the stinkwheels again.
We were in the Sandylands Hall again, alongside Classic Bike Trackdays which allowed Darin to wear two hats all weekend, alternating promoting trackdays with Rob with defending the V-Due's reputation with Sara and Tim.
Darin's Bimota is an original fuel-injected one, not the later carb-converted Evoluzione model. But a British man in a shed has done what a huge Italian factory couldn't and made it run properly by reworking the injection system and porting. Parking it on our stand had the desired effect of stopping everyone who walked past, whether to admire it, slag it off or try to buy it. And on Sunday the judges awarded it Future Classic Of The Show.
Alongside it was Darin's NSR250, a Rothmans MC21-SP with Tyga seat/tail unit. Plenty of people wanted to buy that too. In fact, even after doing this for 7 years, lots of people still seem to think we're a grey-import dealer. Meeting people who love what we're doing and share the same interest is the reason we keep doing this, but there are a few, erm, strange people who ask us some very odd questions indeed...
Anyway, with deference to the show's Guest Of Honour Christian Sarron, we also had Shaun's Gauloises YSR80 which he managed to get autographed by the former 250cc GP and Endurance racing star. Sara's freshly-restored TDR80 bookended our merchandise counter, and Karl's mint SDR200 sat next to Gary's RG250 Mk.3 Gamma, which was still proudly sporting the mud it gained being ridden to the show. No piston-less VJMC trailer queens here ! The SDR was also rightly honoured by the way, receiving a Highly Commended rosette on Sunday morning. No award for the stand this year though.
The details that the organisers send out with the tickets contain lots of Health & Safety stuff, for example all bikes are supposed to be drained of fuel and the battery disconnected. Firing a bike up inside the halls results in a swift bollocking from the dayglo-jacket brigade. So we were a bit surprised whilst setting up on Friday evening to see someone suddenly wheelie a trials bike past the stand. This carried on for several minutes, with little heed paid to the busy exhibitors or the expensive exotica waiting to be put into position. Steve Colley (for it was him) is undoubtedly a highly-skilled rider but Sara took great exception to this organiser-sanctioned stunt and left them in no doubt as to her feelings...
As usual, we had a big screen displaying a slideshow with details about the club and the bikes on the stand and also featuring the latest CBT videos. We also had the 3 lighting units illuminating the bikes. All of this worked great, right up to the point where the electricity supply in the hall failed. It took the site electrician quite a while to fix it, during which time the price of generators in the autojumble suddenly increased.
It seemed a little quieter than usual, with some gaps in the main hall and no difficulties trying to park the vans, despite the mud. It was a good show for us though, with plenty of familiar faces dropping by for a chat as well as new ones introducing themselves. We sold a fair few T-shirts, talked about our plans for next year and swapped jokes with 2-stroke guru Stan Stephens. Andy Bolas even put a Diff'rent Strokers sticker on his new son's pushchair - start 'em young !
Thanks as usual to Darin, Tim and Sara for running everything all weekend, to Shaun, Gary and Karl for generously trusting us with their precious bikes, to Rob for endless cups of tea and pisstaking, to Sean for flying over from the USA especially for the show, to Chris, Jim and Mark from PS magazine for hanging out and taking photos, but mainly to all you DS members and friends who popped along to say hello.
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