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Quail Motorcycle gathering 2018: Munro Racer, Flying Merkel and more

Another year and another good time at the Quail Motorcycling gathering in Carmel California last weekend.   This year was a bit warmer and was the 10th anniversary event.  Almost all the prior year winners were present and highlights included an actual race Yamaha, the Burt Munro racer and some amazing one off customs including my personal favorite a 1985 Yamaha 500cc two stroke melded to a modern day R1 chasis.   Enjoy the photos!

Rainey Yamaha, windscreen and seat were replacements but everything else looked like it had come off the track.

Here is the one I mentioned in the header.  The sign on the front is a bit hard to read due to glare but it says 1985 Yamaha RZV500.  Bodywork looks like a 2nd gen R1.  Sadly I didnt get to hear it fire.

Is that the Burt Munro Indian special?  yup..super cool

Note:  for anyone who hasn't seen the Burt Munro movie with Anthony Hopkins, definitely worth a watch.

How about some rotary engine goodness?  there was actually a whole selection of these, this was the cleanest and had a super cool rotational dash unit that sadly I didn't get a photo of in operation.

A fair selection of mid 1980's and 1990's sportbikes:

Classics including this years best in show, a Flying Merkel:

Many of the winners from the last 10 years were present too:

Some super cool customs were on hand too, including this Yamaha GTS that looked like something master chief would be on:

Some old and new electric bikes showed how far these machines have come. The past:

The present:

Last but not least, a bit of fun - the bat cycle...admit it, you heard the classic theme in your head:

There were also lots of good bikes out in the parking lot but my memory was running low so I didnt take any shots.   There were also vendors on hand including Bonhams and Aprilia and Moto Guzzi were offering test rides.  All in all, a truly great way to spend a spring day.

Note:  Price for a ticket was $75 via advance purchase and included parking and a really nice lunch, crowd was about 3000 over the course of the day.  I got there early and was able to get up close and personal with a lot of these machines.   While the next trip I have on my motorcycling bucket list is to the Barber Museum, I plan on returning again in the future.

-Marty/dallaslavowner

7 Comments

  • That’s R6 bodywork (and maybe the rest of the chassis?), Not R1.

    The Mondials are just too pretty.

    Hard to see Rainey’s bike without feeling a tinge of sadness.

  • The Vance & Hines bike was originally built to promote the Vance & Hines catalog of parts that could be purchased through the Vance & Hines dealership. It was featured in the October 1987 issue of motorcycle magazine. I spent the better part of 30 years dreaming of one day owning this bike and the last 2 years restoring it back to its original condition. Vance & Hines only built this one complete bike for the street. Truly an iconic bike. You can see this bike and read more about the history and restoration of it as well in the coming weeks at Iconicmotorbikes.com

  • Wish I wouldn’t of missed Quail, talk about a wide range of bikes, I’ll be there next year for certain! And yes K3, the V&H GSXR came out amazing and if you told me it took you 5 years to build it I wouldn’t be surprised. That bike is most certainly the poster child for “Iconic”!!

  • I know that Vance Hines bike from reading the original article when I was in high school. I believe I saw it listed for sale a few years ago, or one like it that they claimed was the original. Very glad someone who knows what it is owns it, and spent the time and resources to restore it. Congrats. The yzr500 is my dream bike. I could pull up a chair and drool over that thing all day long. Thanks for the post

  • Not only was the weather better, but so was the organization of the show. Last year felt a bit haphazard. This was a good show for Bimota bikes, 4 were present.

    The MV 750 won 2nd place in Italian category. Should have been first. The owner, super nice guy, spent quite a bit coin to go through the bike properly.

  • @motoman
    If you still have the SB8R you should bring it to the Quail.

  • Holy mother of God! a YZR 500 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even care what comes next, but then again, I actually rode one once… AUGGGHHH! The power, the power…

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