Saturday, May 09, 2009

Bob Ohman's Old Bike Ride #7

A beautifully sunny and cool day here in Colorado, though it was a bit "brisk" as I rode Brigitta, my 1987 R80 to the Golden Hotel in Golden, CO to take pictures of the motorcycles participating in the ride.

I was not planning on doing the ride for two reasons, first I remain a solo rider by choice and second, I had family commitments I wanted to keep. Still, nothing to prevent a nice ride to Golden, meet nice folks who share my love of motorcycling, see vintage bikes that are actually ridden and learn their individual sounds. You see, I'd never heard the sound of a Norton, and it was a sweet sound indeed.

Update: After being contacted by members of Norton Colorado, I wanted to set the record straight as to whom really deserves credit for putting together and running such a great event. Bob Ohman, a member of Norton Colorado, is in very large part responsible for not only this event but the first six years of this great ride. His efforts are known and appreciated by the members of Norton Colorado as you can see, and I'd like to add my appreciation as well for his dedication and enthusiasm.

I was the first one there when I arrived at about 0745 hrs. People started arriving soon afterwards though, with a fellow Beemer rider and four BSA riders making up the first contingent. While this was the result of Bob Ohman's now seventh year efforts to make this event happen under the aegis of the Norton of Colorado motorcycling club, there were a lot of the other marques as well. I saw BSAs, Moto Guzzis, Nortons of course, Hondas, Beemers and even a Laverda along with an ancient Vincent and a Henderson with a sidecar rig.

Truly an amazing gathering of motorcycles and I just kept shooting pictures of them as they arrived and gathered for the 0930hrs start of the ride. I shot over 150mb of pictures of all the bikes, no way to put them all in this posting. So if you want to see all the bikes I got a picture of, go to the link at the end of this posting. You won't regret it.

So here's the ones I liked best, this is not to say there's no beauties left unpublished, again check out the link at the end of this posting for all the shots.

If I describe the motorcycle incorrectly, please let me know and I'll fix it.

There will also be a second link to the set of photos I took of the riders as they were taking off from the gateway to Lookout Mountain Road.

1975 R90/6, first Beemer to arrive after me

According to its owner, a "mostly 1972" Norton FastBack

Beautiful BSAs, one of the first groups to arrive

Another shot of the very clean R90/6 with Brigitta behind it

A R60/5 I believe, I forget the year....I really must take notes next time

A totally "unrestored" Norton, seepage in the lower half of the cylinder housing was evident in most of the Nortons that showed up! A normal condition apparently. To a man, all the Norton riders admitted you've really got to enjoy working on your bike to own a Norton!

The only Laverda to show up, proudly owned by Jim Dillard who also owns the "Vintage Motors" Vintage Motorcycles Museum Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver. LINK to his site. I believe I'll be paying his museum a visit real soon.

Some more shots of the Laverda 1973 SF1

A Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans in sexy red

The predecessor to the sexy red model of Moto Guzzi

I ran into Pete Homan, who's done work on my bikes and who sold me Brigitta, here's his R80 GS Dualsport. Someday, I'll have one similar to this one.

A Moto Guzzi 1000 LeMans, also in sexy red, to include her wheels

A very nice looking vintage Honda

The Beast: a 1929 Henderson six cylinder made by Excelsior Motors, it was quite the hit amongst us all.

The Henderson's gauge cluster was, in my eyes, a work of art!

The Henderson again, this time you can see the sidecar it came with, awesome.

Another popular hit from the past, a Vincent in beautiful shape!

I love the shade of yellow used by Norton on this Commando

Beautiful blue fairing on this Norton

A pair of British Triumphs

A 175cc Honda

The epitome of Beemers in the late 70s, the R90S, and its happy owner

One of the last bikes to show, a signature Norton Commando

Unfortunately there was a bit of a fiasco near the beginning of the ride. Some downhill skateboard racing group had secured a permit from the city and had closed off Lookout Mountain Road at Windy Saddle! They had a security guy at the pillars guarding the gateway to the road and since this was the first point of the OBR7 ride, there was some confusion.

Still, the riders were not stymied for long, they got everyone turned around and staged up again and off they went after a suitable route had presumably been selected. I took pictures of them, as much as I could anyways, as they rode off to their ride.

On the move, a nice red Norton?

R90S, she's a beauty isn't she?

A Yellow Moto Guzzi I didn't catch at the staging area

Blue Beauty of a Norton

A very nice morning of picture taking for me, I am sure the ones who were able to go for the full ride had a great time; they couldn't have asked for better weather!

Here's a shot of Brigitta, by her lonesome again, as we were headed south from Golden.

Here's the unedited photos of the motorcycles and their riders as they moved off away from the gateway to Lookout Mountain Road: LINK

Finally, a link to Norton of Colorado's website, well worth the visit and check out their newsletter archives! Definitely not your usual "stuffy" club newsletters! LINK

My thanks again to Bob Ohman and Norton of Colorado for this great vintage bike event!


Derek said...

That Henderson is something else. Don't know if I'd want to sling that thing through the twisties with that tank shifter. Beautiful.

Canajun said...

Quite an eclectic mix, and great shots. As for your observation, "To a man, all the Norton riders admitted you've really got to enjoy working on your bike to own a Norton!" they are absolutely right. Having had several over the years I can safely say that I have more photos of me bolting some bit back on at the side of the highway than I do where I'm actually riding! But they get in your blood like no bike I've ever owned before or since.

Dave M said...

The yellow bike on the blog photos ( with rider ) isnt a Norton, looks like a Guzzi. The yellow Norton in the other photos has regular bars not clip ons. Engine is obviously Guzzi too. Otherwise great pics.

Charlie6 said...

Derekk and Canajun, thanks for the comments and observations. That Henderson reminded me of modern day Triumph TR3s, those are beasts too.

Dave, thanks for the correction, I'd not spotted a yellow guzzi at the staging area and so assumed it was the norton.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Of all the posts you have done in the recent past, this was one of the best for pure, diversified moto-interest. While the Norton remains one of the more exotic moments in motorcycle history, you built suspense by suddenly unveiling the Henderson, the Moto guzis, and two other rare birds of motorcycle paradise.

And it was great how you got the last batch of pictures, with each rider pulling out.

I think you should reconsider your philosophy on group riding, as far as participating in rides of this nature goes. In factr, you might even emerge as the group's photographer/resident journalist. I can think of a number of ways in which stories of this naturem, and profiles of the individual bikes, would be of great interest to a number of biker publications.

I am still on the road in Nebraska, and for one reason or another, internet communication has been very strained. I did not pick the hotels on this trip, nor the circumstances.

Look for an e-mail from me today.

Fondest regaerds,

Charlie6 said...

Jack, thanks for your continued stream of kind words. Sorry I couldn't ride out to Nebraska this past weekend but then you know why....not to mention I would have missed out on this great vintage event.

I told the organizers that I'd volunteer to take pics next time, they were a very friendly bunch.

As to writing followup or full articles on some of the bikes that show up, great minds do think alike in this case. I plan to try my hand at that next time. I am sure bike owners like to talk about their loves and the history they've had with them.


bobskoot said...

It was great to see all the vintage bikes out and running on their own power. I have a friend who purchased his Norton Commando new back in 1973. It looks like a museum piece. If I had more mechanical abilities I would consider vintage iron.

We have an annual concurs d'elegance type of motorcycle show here every August which features a lot of rare motorcycles

thank you for taking photos of these rare bikes. I am sure that their owners like to show them off

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

VintageBiker said...

Have been inspired to get in the shed by the stunning pics shown on your site.