We don’t manage the weather. We just live with it. That being said, for the third year running, the weather gods cooperated and Martin Motorsports’ Modern Classics went off on a relatively clear, dry, if a bit chilly March 2nd. Those 40 degree temperatures posed no obstacle to heating up old bike enthusiasts with the third annual Modern Classics show. Themed “The Motorcycles That Made You a Motorcyclist”, Modern Classics remains an invitational show featuring historically significant bikes, of all marques, primarily from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Over 1200 hardy attendees braved the chill (including a packed parking lot full of “ride ins”to check out the 101 entries that transformed the vast
Martin Motorsports showroom into a “Museum for a Day”. In addition to historically significant rides like a 1985 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica Mille, an all original 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, and a near perfect example of Honda’s 1990 “homologation special, the sportbike RC30, visitors also got to view the exceedingly rare 1957 Islo 175 Carrera. The Mexican made (but Morini powered) classic was Islo owner Isidoro Lopez’ dream bike, intended for competition in the classic Italian city-to-city races like the Moto Giro. Sadly the races were discontinued, and Lopez passed away, before the dream could be realized. Four of these bikes were built and but just two survive, including the one shown at Modern Classics.
Guests also relished this year’s “sub class” of competition bikes. An Indian 750cc Sport Scout that has been raced almost continuously since it left the Springfield Massachusetts factory in 1936, a Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix bike, and a 1972 MV Agusta 350 Electronica Twin, featuring Giacomo Agostini’s autograph on the tank, were just a few of the featured attractions among the 40+ bikes that delighted competition enthusiasts.
One measure of the show’s character is revealed by the fact that there were more MV Agustas on the show floor than Suzukis or Kawasakis.
This year Modern Classics featured the debut of our unique onsite professional photographic studio, designed specifically for motorcycle photography. Each shown bike is professionally photographed and, following the event, as in previous years a collector quality photo book will published to document the show and show participants. The books are exceedingly popular coffee table items among both fans and bike owners and the series are becoming collector items in their own right.
While not a judged show, the Modern Classics does feature People’s Choice awards in both the “standard” class and the competition group. This year’s attendees chose as winners the very lightly customized but stunning 1970 Triumph Bonneville
and, in the competition category, a 60s Jawa speedway racer . “Place” and “show” positions in the Classics class went to a Triumph TR5 Trials and to the meticulously prepared 1969 BMW R69S . The remaining podium positions in the competition class went to the 1936 Indian Sport Scout that is still being raced almost 80 years since it left Springfield, and the 1972 MV Agusta 350 Electronica Twin.
Next year’s 4th annual show is tentatively scheduled for early March. Mark your calendars. And start polishing.