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More Bike from 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering


Covering the remarkable range of machines – old and new – at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering is always a challenge. A quick sweep of the field just won’t do, since some specials roll in late from the traditional morning ride and others are tucked in among more generic-looking motorcycles. So, we’ve thrown together some more images to give you an even greater sense of what you missed.

A unique aspect of The Quail is the comprehensive variety of the motorcycles on display, machines unlikely to be found in any other such grouping. And some, but for their appearance on the lawn, many of us would not know about otherwise. Plus, one can usually find a few that stand out as fitting testaments to the imaginative creators of industrial art and design.

The Aprilia 6.5, styled by French designer Phillipe Starck, first came to my attention nearly 20 years ago when it was displayed in “The Art of the Motorcycle” show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The display marked the first time in the United States that such a prestigious venue would showcase motorcycles as fitting examples of artistic expression. The Aprilia shown here is owned by Italophile and Quail judge Hans Mellberg.

John Bennett’s Motus Naked, styled by Fuller Moto of Atlanta, is a good example of motive American muscle wrapped in a European-style naked sport package. The Motus, powered by what is essentially half of a small-block Chevy V8, is built in Birmingham, Alabama.

The contemporary version of the traditional Morgan trike is powered by a 1983cc S+S V-twin that develops 82 horsepower and 140 Nm (103 ft-lb) of torque at 3250 rpm. Three wheelers are still categorized as motorcycles for registration in California – despite this vehicle’s very un-motorcycle-like appearance.

A 1958 Triumph Twenty-One, from a time when designers were still experimenting with covering some of the mechanical bits.

First place in the British class went to Chip Connors’ 1939 Brough Superior SS100, widely considered one of the best, and best-looking, motorcycles ever built.

6. Best of Show went to John Goldman’s 1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix road racer, which came second under Tarquino Provini in the ’57 world championship. Goldman (right) and crew prepare to fire it up.

The iVi Generation II Honda CBX as cafe racer by Imagine Vehicles International. The Vernon, California, company specializes in muscular builds.

This year The Quail honored 50 years of the Norton Commando, one example displayed here with the venerable VW combi as podium.

The tracker form has not been overlooked as a lasting style for modern renditions, as typified by this Harley-Davidson FXR custom.

The Design and Style award went to the Moto Guzzi 850 T rendered by Hugh Eccles of San Francisco’s Untitled Motorcycles.


Serge Bueno of Heroes Motors in Los Angeles showed two classic French machines: the 1921 Magnat Debon and 1926 Monet Goyon.

First Place in the Custom/Modified division went to Bryan Thompson’s 1958 Triumph Tiger bobber.

Proof that some Nortons are built for comfort, not for speed.

Trevor Franklin won the Cycle World Tour award, having ridden his 1980 Suzuki GS 1000s from British Columbia.

Time to pack up till next year. Another Moto Talbott offering was the 1970s Carabela motocrosser, built in Mexico using Italian engines.

2017 Quail Results

Best of Show
1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix
John Goldman – California

Spirit of The Quail Award
1948 Triumph T100 Tiger
Jonnie Green – California

50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando
1968 Norton Fastback
Jeff McCoy – California

Industry Award
2015 Prototype Fuller Moto Motus Naked
John Bennet – California

Innovation Award
1991 BMW Alpha
Mark Atkinson – Utah

Design and Style Award
1957 Moto Guzzi 850T
Untitled Motorcycles – California

HVA Preservation Award
1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout
Gary Landeen – South Dakota

The Cycle World Tour Award
1980 Suzuki GS1000S
Trevor Franklin – British Columbia

Significance in Racing Award
1995 Britten V1000 #10
Virgil Elings – California

Why We Ride Award
1978 Yamaha XS750
Fernando Cruz – California

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award
1983 Honda Factory RS 750 Flat Tracker
Anthony Giammanco – California

Custom/Modified 1st Place
1958 Triumph Tiger
Bryan Thompson – California

Antique 1st Place
1918 BSA Model H
Bud Schwab – California

Competition Off Road 1st Place
1975 Husqvarna 360 Flat Tracker
Clyde Williams – California

American 1st Place
1937 Indian Chief
Kalle Hoffman – California

British 1st Place
1939 Brough Superior SS100
William E. “Chip” Connor – Hong Kong

Italian 1st Place
1959 Moto Parilla 99 Olimpia
Vincent Schardt – California

Japanese 1st Place
1976 Yamaha XT500C
Owen Bishop – California

Other European 1st Place
1976 Hercules W2000 Wankel
Stephan Haddad – California

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