Calgary Motorcycle Show

Well, the weekend has come and gone and I spent yesterday (Monday) just puttering around the house after four solid days at the Calgary Stampede Grounds in the Roundup Centre where the 2009  Calgary Motorcycle Show was held. This is a travelling  show that visits several cities at this time of year, providing a welcome break from the winter blahs, and while I haven’t seen the final attendance figures it was a very busy place in our corner of the building.

The local Rocky Mountain chapter of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG) had a large number of vehicles on display ranging from a 1935 BMW through to a 1983 Suzuki Gamma, and as Suzuki was featured this year, we had good selection of this make on hand. Front and centre on the RMS CVMG display was Wade’s immaculate and all original 1972 GT750 seen to the right. Also on display was Fred’s 1976 RE5 rotary together with a cutaway of the engine which we (mainly Janice actually) cranked over by hand for hours. It never failed to attract a lot of attention as you really need to see it operating to appreciate just how different an engine design it is, and many people are not aware this type of engine was actually ever used in a motorcycle. It was also very interesting to watch people’s faces as they walked around our display – clearly seeing these older bikes brought back a lot of memories for many people, and you constantly heard parents telling their kids about how they’d had one just like one of the ones on display. The other interesting thing was the number of folks who had been given their father’s or grandfather’s bike which had been sitting for the last who knows how many years in a garage or shed, and who now were looking for information and help to get them running again. Possibly a few of these will be on display next year !

Getting the bikes to the show for all of us was not a lot of fun on Thursday as it was -15 C and snowing, but everyone chipped in and helped each other to unload and push the bikes through the snow in the parking lot and into the Roundup Centre.  Fred set the record for most trips, but I think the one that came the furthest was the absolutely beautiful 1951 Vincent Black Shadow owned by a club member north of the city. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns (other than having an accident) was the amount of slop and road spray there was for those of us using open trailers – after the hours of shining and polishing, the last thing you want is slush, sand and salt spray all over your pride and joy ! Fortunately the cover I had worked well, and I had only a small amount of tidy-up to do once I’d unloaded.

My own contributions were my 1974 GT550, and my project bike with the burgundy tank seen to the left, and which a few of the members call a GTS750 as it is a GT/GS hybrid. For me personally, completing the project was the culmination of six months of very satisfying and rewarding work, and the perfect tonic as it took my mind completely away from cares, pressures and concerns of my former employment, and allowed me to fully disconnect and move into retirement mode.  All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s show.

Next on the agenda is to get the GT550 running and also do some work on my Yamaha YA6 along with the other usual household items – I suppose at some point I may consider looking for a part time job of some sort, but at the moment I’m not sure where I’d be able to find the time !

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