The Legend of the Motorcycle


On 1st May 2008 and without a moments hesitation we decided to head across the Atlantic to participate in a superb event that we had discovered via the internet the previous year. Back then information on events like this was not as widely available as it is now, so we didn't know exactly what to expect.

The 'Legend of the Motorcycle' was the most prestigious Concours d'Elegance show, unique in that it was dedicated to motorcycles of all types. Jared Zaugg and Brooke Roner conceived the idea several years previously.. In its third year, the event was staged at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay on the edge of the Pacific. For surfers this location situated in Northern California harbours the mythical and terrific Mavericks wave found in the Northern part of the bay.U

After a 24hr non-stop journey, we finally took possession of our hire van at San Francisco airport and headed off up the coast to catch the beginning of the show the next day. The weather was surprisingly cold and overcast, but the drive up Highway one and the views along the corniche more than compensated!

Eventually we arrived at the Ritz where we immediately sensed a bizarre atmosphere, this luxurious location normally reserved for a chic clientele, was completely overtaken by motorcycles and motorcyclists! All along the fairway huge trailers were unloading tens of motorcycles at a time, all of them absolutely amazing. Some celebrities were already there busy making preparations for the start of the show. In Europe we are not used to seeing such a quantity of classic machines all assembled in the same venue, included among them 200 motorcycles destined for the events auction. This first day ended with participants enjoying a drink together...

The following day was bitterly cold and covered by thick fog, but nothing could dampen our enthusiasm! 2008 was dedicated to MV Augusta and Norton. Former legend riders and mechanics of these two marques were also presents. There were just the right amount of spectators ensuring the event remained relaxed and enjoyable. The days programme unfolded and the judges judged before delivering their final decision mid afternoon.

I remember Vince Martinico's Indian taking most of the judges votes, and of course two young guys called Ian and Amaryllis, better known as Falcon and their custom machine of a different sort baptised 'The Bullet'. Since then Falcon has gone from strength to strength.

I covered several miles during the course of the day determined not to miss a single spectacle, then to the auction where the shear value of those motorcycles being sold was jaw dropping!

To finish the day an immense dinner was organised, we were all like kids around the table at Christmas struggling to hide our excitement. The day after our flight was waiting to carry us back to Europe, it had all passed too quickly and felt almost dreamlike...

Sadly this event is no longer held and I have never discovered the same ambience elsewhere. It will however remain a massive influence...

thanks to Brooke and Jared.

Garage Company racers

Amazing Americana by Jeff Decker

Before trucks, mails were delivered by motorcycle... cool job.

The Dream House,... inside the Ritz

COE Chevrolet

A few minutes of sun in the grey week-end, North Cal. effect...

OMG. Full of bikes

Yoshi and Kiyo from Garage company

Jesse's Low rider

millions dollars parking lot

Conrad a great artist for our next exhibition


Mr Kimura at 6am

The wave, Kiyo and the MV

One man show by Jesse James .

Red Fred Johansen

Paul Cox

Four Aces Cycles fine blue

The Legend himself "Ago"

Mr Decker

The judge,... Mr Vintagent

Starting time for Steve Huntzinger and the Dayton
Yes its a bicycle, and yes there's a propelled engine at rear...

More about the Aero Bike here

Mark Wilsmore Ace Café Boss

An Asymmetric perfect harmony
Young winners The Falcon family

The 1908 Indian Torpedo Tank

Vince Martinico winning one more trophy (4) of the day...gimme just one.

Red for Mv Agustas

this is not a chocolate medal

Handmade trophy by Hippodrome Studio

from Left Jared Zaugg , Michael Madsen (Mr Blonde in Reservoir Dogs), ..., Brooke Roner...,
Vince Martinico

Shad McQueen alive... after the big crash

Yellow for the Production racers

Time for Auction, a 750SS for 120.000$

one famous address

Paul Cox

Mr Kimura

Dr George Cohen and Paul D'Orléans

Pete and Kim's 30's singles

The Bullet



Rhynchocephalian said...

Wow! Just amazing! Great pictures and great to see the people about too!

ElSolitarioMC said...

sitting here jaw dropped & with an imbecilic grin across my face... amazing gig! pity its gone...

Mike said...

I remember this event, all 3 years, very well. It was the best in the world.

Pebble Beach did in fact finally admit motorcycles to their motorcar concours after 55 years in honour of the Legends of the Motorcycle, and the rest followed suit (i.e., Villa d'Este).

It was pioneering, glamourous, authentic and fun. I miss it every year.

OcchioLungo said...

On the blue Indian is Red Fred Johansen, the Indian guru. And starting that Dayton is one of the very best restorers in the world, Steve Huntzinger.

Jesse said...

effing hell. Great Post! That propeller bike, I posted a whole gallery of it, if you want the link let me know