Return Of The Annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival
From our friend Mike Boyd:
The 16th Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival was back on this year, after being shut down due to Covid in 2020, and it could not have been more welcome. We’d experienced torrential rains across the South for a couple of weeks, and showers threatened the October 8-10 event at Barber Motorsports Park as well, but thankfully never materialized by the weekend. The grounds were still saturated and soft, across the facilities. I had arrived a day early in my pickup truck pulling my utility trailer containing my Honda Metropolitan scooter (perfect for getting around the hilly grounds of Barber) and my trusty 1974 Harley-Davidson Sprint. Of course I drove right out into the grass and promptly got myself stuck. It wasn’t too long before a kind stranger came along and with his friends helped me get unstuck from the muddy quagmire.
If you’ve never experienced a weekend at Vintage Fest, you really should make plans for next year. It’s truly a memorable experience, a walk back through motorcycle time actually, with bikes, brands, makes and models from all eras of motorcycle history. Every year I’ve been able to attend, I’ve found something I’d not seen before, or at least in many years, and the people attending are from all walks of life, every age, from across the country and really the world. I’m so glad Vintage Fest was back on this year, as it’s truly one of my favorite annual motorcycling events.
Here’s a few photos I shot across the weekend, that my friends at Road Dirt were willing to share. Such a great time.
After getting set up I fired up my ‘74 HD Sprint and rode over to the museum to check it out, then to the swap meet grounds to visit people like John the WWII drop tank motorcycle guy. This guy brings his crazy contraption every year. And every year, I have to snap some pictures.
Friday was the first day of the festival and I was just meeting my neighbors. Andrew from southern Alabama had this really cool “tent on top of trailer” rig. It has running water and lights.
I was admiring this 1965 BSA Lightning for sale and met a woman who declared that she already has one, along with four other bikes. No car!
I attended the Barber Design Center Concept Bike reveal. They are designing a superbike concept using all modern tech and a 3D printer to make many of the parts shown in the white mock-up. The man pictured sitting is Mr. Barber himself.
I paid a visit to the Vintage Trials competition. There was still plenty of mud to keep everyone happy.
KTM, BMW & Yamaha all provided demo rides for those so inclined.
The racing action on track was nonstop for three days, and this is one fantastic road course.
There was a large bandstand set up for two hour concerts both Friday and Saturday evenings. Saturday was especially good with John Elefante of the 70s-80s rock band Kansas.
I enjoyed meeting the grand marshal Mary McGee, an American motorsports racing pioneer. Search her name on the web for some fascinating information about her.
Orange County Choppers was on hand, raffling off one of their bikes as a fundraiser for a young man named Braxton, who is fighting cancer.
There’s something for everyone here and there’s really no reason to go anywhere. My neighbors took good care of me as one of them is a chef. Friday night was a low country boil with crab legs, shrimp, sausage, corn mushrooms and onions. Yum. Saturday night was hamburgers, fries etc…
The Vintage Japanese Bike Show was great as always, and there was so much more to see and do than you ever could in three days. I guess that’s why I will just have to go back again next year!
So much to experience at a Vintage Fest weekend. We hope you’ve enjoyed Mike’s “trip to the Barber” as much as we have.
For more on the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival, click here: