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Brrrrr…Britten! Quail Motorcycle gathering 2017 (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  The linked FLICKR album now contains pictures of the 2017 winners.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering - May 6 2017

Here at RSBFS we have certain criteria for what makes a great RSBFS candidate.  But what are the criteria that makes for a great motorcycle event?  How about a concourse-level gathering where you can see some unobtanium up close, such as Britten V1000 or Mondial dustbin racer? Or maybe its a meet with a wide variety of brands and types in different conditions?  What about crowd size - some events can be truly massive and you meet people from all over the world, others are quite small and focused on a particular type of bike.  How about having someone famous attend and speak to the crowd or having good food and/or music, do these impact what makes a great motorcycle event?

Personally I think its a combination of all of these criteria and I am pleased to let our faithful RSBFS readers know that the Quail Motorcycle gathering last weekend met all the above.

The event is held in Carmel California which is about 2 hours south of San Francisco. (Note- for anyone attending next year, bring a good coat, it can be surprisingly cold in California in May). Tickets were $85 online and $95 on site which is pricey but included a really nice lunch and the cost does cut down keep the crowd size down so you can actually interact with the bikes on display. The Quail event has been going on for about 9 years and this year was celebration of Norton. Sadly there was no new Norton V4 but there were lots of other great bikes, good food and Kenny Roberts Sr was onsite for a meet/greet.

For 2017 there were over 250 entries, ranging from unobtainum like the aforementioned Britten to beautiful restorations such as the Brough Superior pictured above.  There were also regular bikes like a nice Honda 600 F2 and numerous Ducati's.  Sadly there were only two of my beloved Laverda's but I guess that means if I enter one of mine next year I won't have to worry too much about the competition.

Award categories included the following:

  • Best of Show - presented to the most significant motorcycle on the field in terms of presentation and historical significance.  Last year this went to a 1925 BMW R37.
  • Spirit Award - presented to the motorcycle that best represents the true spirt of motorcycling.  Last year this went to a 1964 MV Agusta.
  • Industry Award - presented to a factory produced "groundbreaking" motorcycle.  Last year this went toa 2009 Ducati Monster "Leggero".
  • Design and Style Award - presented to the motorcycle based on its industry leading design, concept and style.  Last year this went to a 1960 Velocette.
  • Innovation Award - presented to the most innovative motorcycle on the field in terms of technology.  Last year this went to 1973 Vincati 1200cc (a Vincent engine in a Ducati frame!  More info here)
  • Significance in Racing - presented to the motorcycle that best exemplified the essence of racing.  Last year tis went to a 1957 Harley Davidson KR.
  • Historical Vehicle Associate (HVA) Preservation Award - presented to a historically significant motorcycle.  Has to be scrupulously preserved and be an examply of our cultural past/national heritage.  Last year this went to 1910 Pierce Four

Other award classes included American, British, Italian, Japanese, Other European, Antique, Competiton On-Road, Competition Off Road and Custom/Modified

Here are a few more pics

  • BSA, beautiful restoration

Couple of nice Honda's, including a custom and a garage queen RC30 (tags say registration of 2008)

Nice Ducs

There was really something at the show for everyone.  Oh and did I mention the parking lot?   Walking up to the main entry of the event I saw numerous Ducati 851's and specials (including the one signed by Danny Pedrosa pictured above), Honda Turbo's, a Moto Guzzi Norge, a Ducati Superlight...I could go on and on.  Suffice to say I will definitely be going back again and think this event should be on every motorcycle collectors bucket list.  Main link to the event is here, feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will try to answer.

Marty/Dallaslavowner

10 Comments

  • Great pictures! I’ll have to make plans for next year…….

    -Mike

  • That’s a 900sssp with a mono tail, not an 851

  • I went a few years ago and it was amazing. I was standing next to legends. Kenny Roberts and Wayne Rainey were literally just a couple of feet away from me and it was just the craziest thing for me. There were some amazing bikes and I will definitely go back at some point. For those that have never gone, it’s totally worth it. The grounds are amazing and the food really wasn’t too shabby, either.

  • Thanks for being there Marty, we appreciate your write-up, and hope to see you again next year!

    -Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

  • More pics please.

    • I have added the pics of the winners to the linked FLICKR accountm enjoy!

  • This was my first time attending and participating. Mine was the only Bimota there, the SB8R. It was nicely placed between the Britten and the Mondial. This was perhaps one of the best organized shows I experienced. With the exception of the weather (glad I didn’t wear my perf jacket) event was fantastic. I look forward to being there next year.

  • It was COLD there! But every other person walking by was chatty and knowledgeable. It isn’t a huge event, but there’s good quality there. I didn’t know I was supposed to get a meal 🙁
    3 hours to see everything. Another hour to look at the parked bikes outside. Listened to Roberts and Rainey talk a little bit. No Jr. there.

  • Still looking for a link to a comprehensive picture gallery.

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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