Ped owners from all over the UK travelled for the 2-day event with many of them taking part in the ride out on the Sunday. Casualties on the ride out were surprisingly few, especially with the poor machines being held at full throttle for long periods as old battles were re-enacted, only with much larger and heavier occupants. Out on the road it was the Italian machinery that proved to be the fastest, just like back in their day, but all appeared to be having fun nonetheless. It was left to the Japanese contingent to have the only major hiccup, the Honda SS50 belonging to Paul Thomas, having problems on this, its inaugural run since being fully restored. A faulty condenser being blamed for the lack of go in the four stroke Honda, and forcing Paul to, unceremoniously, limp back to base without completing the 22 mile course.
Back at the Aquadome and, on display within the rally, was a wide variety of machinery from the norm to the not so, the strangest machine in attendance being an ultra rare Ariel 3 scooter, actually a product of BSA, but adorned with the Ariel badge, with two rear wheels and a hinge in the middle so the front part leans like a conventional bike. Also present was a Fantic Chopper, arguably the height of poor taste in moped design, but non the less desirable in modern times, and many other, less well known, examples of learner legal days gone by. While the emphasis was on the fizzie, with an impressive 29-bike line-up of the type taking centre stage throughout the Sunday, the spotlight fell on other 50’s come trophy time, with some of the more rare Latin lovelies scooping the majority of the prizes. One very happy man was Gilera Touring owner Tony Carver, having travelled all the way from his home in the Isle of White to take the award for the best moped at the show with his recently completed restoration. The competition was fierce with many machines on show prepared to the highest of standards, making it a tough call for the top honours between the Gilera, Ivan Brighty’s Suzuki AS50 and the Honda SS50, albeit not running quite right following the ride out, of Paul Thomas.
All credit must go to the shows organisers Tony Collins and Dave Jefferson of the sixteener-special website, the pair did a great job getting so many lovely machines together for the two days, as well as coaxing a good proportion of them out and about for a bit of blue haze creating. This event will happen again next year, possibly slightly later in the year to get some better weather, but definitely at the same venue, ideally placed as it is, right in the centre of the UK road network enabling ease of access for most moped owners.
Sports Moped Mania Gallery
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For more details check out www.sixteener-special.co.uk