High-performance sports bikes made a large part of the display on July 10th, from a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R finished in vivid green, to legendary marques such as Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia. Models such as the BMW R1200RT and Triumph Tiger were joined by a Honda Goldwing and a Sky Team V-Raptor 250.
Visitors enjoyed the start-ups of the National Motor Museum’s 1961 Honda RC162 outside the entrance to the museum. Once ridden to victory in the 1961 Isle of Man TT by legendary racer Mike Hailwood, this historic machine roared into life for Simply Bike visitors in the hands of workshop engineer Mike Gillett. Despite its modest 249cc engine size, the Honda’s loud exhaust meant that some spectators needed the free ear plugs which were handed out.
Cool cruisers on display exuded class, from Harley-Davidsons and Indian Scouts to a Yamaha Royal Star and a Suzuki Intruder LC 1500, with many featuring whitewall tyres and eye-catching two-tone paintwork. Motorcycle and sidecar combinations could also be seen, while one Triumph Bonneville on show was complete with its own tiny trailer and finished in matching colours.
Older machines included treasures such as the 1947 James, which looked much smaller in comparison to its modern counterparts. The original artwork on this historic bike’s fuel tank proudly declared it to be ‘the famous James’. Other classics included a six-cylinder 1970s Benelli 750 Sei in excellent condition, a BSA Bantam Major and Honda 250N ‘Super Dream’, along with models by Matchless and Vincent HRD.
A selection of trikes also turned many heads as their owners proudly rode them into the show. Alongside Harley-Davidson and Star-based trikes were distinctive machines powered by Volkswagen and Reliant engines, while one of the most incredible custom trikes was fitted with an enormous Jaguar V12 engine.
Visitors browsed the selection of trade stands, offering a variety of motorcycling accessories. Biking venue the Ace Café sold merchandise from its stand, while the Southampton Harley-Davidson stand offered bikes for sale.
Voting took place during the show for the People’s Choice Award, with Steve Jackson’s Triumph Rocket III receiving the greatest number of visitor and participant votes. Having owned his mega-powered machine for six years, Steve from Wiltshire has added accessories including a sat nav and a variety of spotlights to his Triumph. He was presented with a commemorative trophy and special Autoglym prize by Beaulieu’s Financial Director Phil Johnson, while Laurie Brown of the Ace Café presented Steve with a goody bag.