Huge turnout at Cape Bike Expo


By: Dave Abrahams

Cape Town - Sunday’s first annual Cape Bike Expo in the gardens of Timour Hall in Plumstead may have exceeded expectations by a factor of four, but it didn’t lose the informal atmosphere the gracious old homestead, long the home of the annual Classic Car Show, always lends to the occasion.

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Modern-era Indian on show for the first time in Cape Town. Picture: Dave AbrahamsUltra-rare 1832cc American-made Honda Rune was the star of the visitors parking area. Picture: Dave AbrahamsSomebody actually arrived on this S and S-powered creation. Picture: Dave AbrahamsVisitors parking was as much part of the show as the brand-new bikes on the trade stands.  Picture: Dave AbrahamsTrade stands offered everything from new bikes to new adventures. Picture: Dave AbrahamsPocket bike on the table was custom sprayed for the occasion. Picture: Dave AbrahamsWhat the well-dressed biker is wearing this season. Picture: Dave AbrahamsAirbrush artist Steve Mohacsy not only created these unique helmets designs&He also created this one-of-a-kind BSA-based bobber. Pictures: Dave AbrahamsDesmo Owners Club brought a fine display of Bolognese classics.Including this iconic 996, still the standard by which sports bikes are measured after more than two decades. Pictures: Dave AbrahamsIf you can dream it, they can build it, say DVille Classics. Picture: Dave AbrahamsLadybusa show special was created by Wessel Strydom to raise cancer awareness. Picture: Dave AbrahamsCollection of 1960s 50cc tiddlers owned and restored by Mike Clark sparked a lot of nostalgic comments. Picture: Dave AbrahamsRock duo Black Irish belted out biker favourites such as Black Velvet and Hotel California. Picture: Dave AbrahamsThis 1985 Honda VF1000R, painstaking restored over a period of six months, is believed to be one of five in South Africa, and the only one running. Picture: Dave Abrahams

Part of that was due to the setting; although it was indeed a trade show, with several new models not seen before in Cape Town and a host of specialist aftermarket suppliers and custom workshops showing off just what it is possible to create locally on two wheels, it is difficult to imagine that it would have had the same vibe if it had held in an exhibition hall.

Part of it was the music, as rock duo Black Irish belted out biker favourites such as Black Velvet and Hotel California - but mostly it was because the visitors’ parking was as much part of the show as the brand-new bikes on the trade stands.


Among them were an ultra-rare 1832cc American-made Honda Rune, an S&S powered “custom Harley” without a single Harley-Davidson component on it, and dozens of freshly-built bobbers based on machines as varied as 125cc Sachs schoolboy specials, big old BMW flat twins and Harley Sportsters.

There was also a small but vocal group of Yamaha RD350 LC two-stroke sports bikes, nearly all with riders who were younger than their bikes.

It was literally a movable feast as bikes came and went all day long. Convenor Jo Huysamen was hoping for 300 visitors but played it safe for the first Cape Bike Expo, ordering only 200 of the coveted metal badges – but in the end some 875 machines rumbled, rattled and rolled through the gates, to give the Cape Bike Expo its unique flavour.

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