From Jan/ Feb 2013
A new and (hopefully) annual event – Meet at The Ace Cafe – has filled a void in the Pacific Northwest where interest in vintage bikes has never been greater.
The southeast US has the Barber Vintage Festival. In the southwest there’s the Quail Motorcycle Gathering and the Del Mar Concours. But until now there has been no equivalent event in the Pacific Northwest. Along the Interstate Five/BC Highway 99 corridor from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, BC live close to 10 million people where the strength of support for vintage bikes in the northwest is evidenced by the solid and growing membership in Seattle’s Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts club.
The LeMay Museum e
nlisted the help of three of the biggest names in motorcycle event promotion to get the event off the ground: former Cycle World editor David Edwards, MotoGiro America organizer and former owner of Lotus Tours, Burt Richmond, and the man behind the Ace Café London, Mark Wilsmore. Between them, they arranged for cloud-free weather for the Aug. 25-6, 2012 weekend.
For a first time event, Meet at the Ace was a big success. More than 200 entrants lined up their bikes for the concours, and plenty of punters crowded on to LeMay’s display field. And there were some remarkable machines on display, many of which took part in the Mount Rainer Ride on Sunday.
PHILIP KOENEN BROUGHT HIS PRISTINE ROYAL ENFIELD FLYING Flea faultless restoration that took him just 30 days! Royal Enfield’s RE model of 1938 was essentially a copy of the 98cc DKW RT but expanded to 125cc and produced at the request of the former Dutch DKW importer, whose supply of German machines had been terminated
on ethnic grounds … Packaged in a steel tube “crate,” thousands of Flying Fleas, as they became know, were parachuted into combat zones along with Allied troops after D-Day, and earned a reputation for sturdy reliability in spite of their light weight.
BMW’S 1938 R51 MODEL INTRODUCED PLUNGER REAR suspension and telescopic forks, ideas that were copied (with varying success) by other European manufacturers a decade or so later. Gary Lewis’s brought his beautifully restored example.
ORIGINAL AND UNRESTORED BUT STILL IN SPLENDID CONDITION WAS the 1968 Honda CB175 K0 owned by Ed Nielsen of Royston, BC. The K0 was essentially a stretched CB160 sold only in Canada and Asian markets for just one year before being replaced by the K3 model in 1969. Examples are now very rare, and easily distinguished by the forward-leaning cylinders.
ANOTHER STANDOUT WAS DEAN NISSAN’S 1964 AJS MODEL 33 CSR. Associated Motorcycles built just 600 of these classic British café racers around a Matchless frame and 750cc Norton Atlas engine. Only 55 were badged AJS, the rest sold as the Matchless G15CSR.
OTHER STANDOUT ENTRIES: JOHN HANSON’S 1954 SERIES C VINCENT Black Lightning; Roy Walters’s unrestored 1965 Honda 300 Dream; Bob Lindsey’s pair of historic Harley-Davidson flat trackers (1962 CRSS and 1968 KR), Art Radford’s unrestored 1913 Sears twin, Ron Orr’s 1968 Maico 360MX scrambler, Gary Lewis’s 1924 BMW R37 competition bike, Terry Johnson’s unrestored 1948 Harley S125, and many more.