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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2014

This year I was fortunate enough to be invited as one of the judges of the Quail Motorcycle Gathering

On hand to represent the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners was marque enthusiast, and all-around good guy, Daryl Richman.

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is held each year on the wonderful grounds of the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA.  It is one of the preeminent events on the west coast, and draws entrants and motorcycle fans from around the world.  Now in its sixth year, the show has become a "must see" event on the vintage motorcycle enthusiasts calendar. 

The spotlight the year was "100 years of Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats".  On hand were a phalanx of custom bikes and stream liners built for the singular purpose of high speed.  Arguably the crown jewel of the display was the 1948 land speed record Rollie Free HRD "Bathing Suit" bike. 

The bike, so named for the scantily clad pilot, is one of the most important bikes of the 20th century, and the "Holy Grail" of Vincent HRD fans.  It was displayed along a wonderful Jeff Decker bronze made to commemorate the September 13, 1948 feat.

Photo capturing the Land Speed Record.  Life Magazine. 

Exquisite Jeff Decker bronze.  

Unfortunately, there were not any historic BMW racing motorcycles on hand for display this year.  While BMW was involved in chasing land speed records, much of the work toward this goal was accomplished prior to World War II, with Hernst Henne piloting Kompressors.  

However, there was a nice cross-section of post war BMW civilian bikes on display.  Some riders, some original survivors and some top notch restorations.  

A nice example of a /2 in "Dover White".  I've heard the term "Bavarian Cream" applied, but cringe every time I hear it!

This tidy plunger frame bike, while not a top notch restoration, is thoroughly enjoyed by the owner and his wife who ride two-up.

Toaster Tank BMW, an apt moniker given the shiny chrome sides of the gas tank.  This bike represents the strong contrast between pre and post 1970 BMWs with drastic design changes coinciding with moving the production of motorcycles from Munich to Berlin.

As Tim Stafford was one of my co-judges in the European Class, his wonderful restoration of an R60//2, pictured below, was presented for display only. 

It's hard to find fault with this bike!  Perhaps the reason it has been so well received at top motorcycle shows.