Brough, no fancy sponsors minus all the livery but packing serious power from the 1920s

Festival of Speed 2017 – ‘Almost about the bike’

Dunlop, Nation and Stringer, these boys rode hard, spat flame and rejuvenated NortonThe annual gathering, promoting performance in deepest West Sussex may not always look to two wheels for their main act but this year there is plenty for bikers to get excited about. On Thursday it’s all very corporate; sales and promotion for our four wheeled cousins take priority but this creates the opportunity to delve into the paddock and admire some super machines at peace. Honda brought out their 1966 RC116 all 49.77cc of it, an all-star champion with stats that impress in 2017; let alone World Cup winning year. Air cooled twin cam and tipping the scales at just 50kg this little gem revved to 21.5k and put out 14bhp through a nine speed transmission and took its class on the Isle of Man with Ralph Bryans on point. Also, the first and the last of the ‘Urban Tiger’ as applied to the Blade, still one of the most attractive colour schemes attached to two wheels. This year promises the usual suspects including Spencer, Corser and Agostini plus our first Paris-Dakar victor Sam Sunderland. From a 1924 Brough Superior to a 120mph Lambretta. With 64 entries in the programme I only viewed a fraction of those involved today but rest assured there will be plenty of info and images, plus we are even attempting video (no promises) via over the next few days.

Grant Ford

The Tiger still manages a roar, urban and considered ‘hard-core’ back in my day The new ‘dare to be different’ logo spreads across the Honda brand, not sure about the pastel blue The early CBR 600 look dated now but when I got mine brand new in the 80s they were state of the art Late Beemer or Suzuki’s from Moviestar even telecoms brand Alice on a Ducati, the choice is yours Honda’s RC116 Fettling a Hailwood Ducati, it will run and Mike’s son David is registered to be aboard