Japanese customizer Shinya Kimura rode his exquisite customized MV Agusta America on the 120-mile Quail ride the day before the show.
Many motorcycle shows are loud, dusty, hot-weather affairs with bad food and bikes on a similar theme—it can get monotonous. Bucking that trend is the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Gathering, an annual event staged at the Quail Lodge resort in the swank Carmel Valley near Monterey, California.
It’s pricey to get in: $65, but worth it. The admission fee keeps out the riff-raff, and it also means you get all-you-can eat top-notch food and drink, access to those really fancy Porta-Potties you usually only see at the weddings of tennis pros, and a relaxed, festive atmosphere. But the best part is the inclusive nature of the show—running motorcycles of every era and genre are on hand, from two-stroke dirt-trackers to lavishly re-created vintage rides worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Rather than describe each little thing in my usual florid prose, I’ll let you enjoy the eye candy we photographed in our pleasant day on the greens.
Who are you to judge? A motorcycle show judge, that's who.
One of Kenny Roberts' lesser-known rides, a Yamaha YZ250.
This Norton 850 Commando is included because it's such tasty eye candy.
Think a WWII Harley WLA is rare? Ha! Compared to this '41 Indian 841, it's like a Hyundai Excel. The 841 was inspired by the BMW R71 design (which performed in legendary fashion in the wastes of North Africa) and only about 1000 were built at the Wigwam. Note the Moto Guzzi-ish 90-degree transverse Twin.
This gorgous '66 "Bitsa" Ducati cafe racer was put together by Mike McGeachy. It features engine porting by Erv Kanemoto, c. 1967.
Fred Hayes won the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge with his 109-mpg Diesel streamliner. It runs on biofuel, at an approximate cost of 2.9 cents a mile. Take that, electro-bike nerds!
Business end of the Magni.
Giovanni Magni shows off Magni's latest creation, this 90-hp BSA Triple in a replica MV Agusta chrome-moly frame.
An actual factory-built Harley-Davidson dual-sport: the Motor Company built these Rotax-powered machines for the British Royal Army in the 1990s. Case on right side of the bike is sized for a Bullpup-style British service rifle; just the thing for the zombie apocalypse.
My own dream ride: the Ducati Pantah F1. This bike won the Best Superbike award.
Crocker Man: Michael Schacht starts up his incredible Crocker re-creation. The bike won the Industry Award at the judging later.
Another shot of the Crocker.
Ray Abrams (right side, in hat) has built flat-trackers for just about any racing star you could name. That's King Kenny's TZ750 he's leaning on.
Scorpion Dual-Sport built this interesting machine based on a 2003 Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster.
This year's show featured Gary Koh's collection of 32 rare MV Agustas, including the 125 that won at the 1953 Isle of Man.
Japanese moto-collector Roger Craig showed off his replica of the CL350 cafe racer from the movie Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Zeki Abed, San Francisco architect and owner of Motohaus, a long-term motorcycle storage facility, displayed the cream of his collection of immaculate original '70s Japanese bikes