President’s Message – February 2018
I recently read an article by Jerry Thurston in the British ‘The Classic Motorcycle’ about the 25-year rolling rule for VMCC eligibility in Britain, which made me think about our Club and the direction we appear to be heading and what really is a classic motorcycle.
The Oxford dictionary defines classic as “A thing which is memorable and a very good example of its kind”
If you apply this definition of classic to our situation then yes we do have members that own, ride and enjoy classic motorcycles.
Sadly by this definition I am not one of them, however I still consider that my R90S for example to me is a classic motorcycle (yes it’s a bit tatty and some are cruel and heartless and keep telling me it’s not the right colour). But the model has excellent pedigree, when first released it was considered a superbike with many new innovations that have endeared it to collectors worldwide to this day. But lined up beside an SS100 Brough Superior for example and asked to choose which machine is a classic then the R90S would hardly rate a second glance by most motorcycle buffs.
Our Club rides over the years have seen the true classics participating drop off considerably and now days most rides are dominated by more modern machines to the point that one would be hard pressed to fathom the purpose of our Club if you weren’t in the know.
Does this matter and should we be concerned?
Well from my point of view it’s a shame but there are obvious and logical reasons behind this. For a start the number of vehicles on the roads is increasing by the day and let’s face it old bikes don’t have too many safety features. For most of us just the journey to the start of a Club ride can be a harrowing experience on a bike with all those modern safety features. So if you are like me and consider life preservation something of a priority then why increase the odds against oneself if you have a choice sitting out in the shed.
Urban Melbourne residents envy Geelong area members your close proximity to country riding. For me a mid week ride starting at Rockbank doesn’t even rate a second thought, by the time I got there I would need a Bex and a good lie down.
Best remedy I think is to trailer your beloved classic bike to Club rallies. You have comfort in the knowledge of a back up trailer being present on the rides. You don’t have the long ride there and back and you can enjoy your machine on country roads right from the front door of your accommodation. That said The Inverloch Rally is coming up in March this year so why not get your classic bike ready and come along.
So back to the classic by definition dilemma. I don’t think it really matters. Perhaps the definition of classic should remain objective and be at the discretion of us as individuals. If you consider your bike to be a classic then why not, irrespective of whether it’s a Brough or a 1980’s Japanese machine (or a tatty R90S). I don’t care and personally would never disagree with someone if they referred to their pride and joy as a classic.
Patina or restored to better than brand new, well that’s another subject for another day.
Hope to see you and your classic at The Inverloch Rally next month.