Judged purely by the numbers, Cape Town’s only motorcycle-dedicated show and shine event may have looked like a bit of a damp squib. Only about 250 bikes rumbled through the gates on the day and a couple of last-minute no-shows from bike dealers left Harley-Davidson and the quaintly-named Cleveland Cyclewerks as the only brands officially represented.
But the Cape Town Bike Show, held on 3 March in the grounds of the Living Way ministry on Kommetjie Road, actually had a lot going for it, especially a laid-back, very Capetonian vibe, fuelled by scorching temperatures, really good food from several vendors and superb biker-style music from rockers Black Irish, whose rendition of the Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama was worth the price of admission by itself.
BEST ON SHOW
The real support came from the clubs, which meant show visitors were there as much to socialise as to see the bikes on display, which ranged from classic off-roaders to the latest Harleys, from old-school cruisers to a show-stopping gold and white custom Kawasaki which was almost (but not quite) outshone by the concours trophies it has won over the past three years.
Cherone Pedro’s superb creation Monster Ninja was in a class of its own in the showbike category, and was a deserved winner of Best on Show, but late entry Michael Jacobs was completely blown away when Rosie, his hard-ridden but lovingly maintained Honda Steed 400, was adjudged Best Old School.
MOST ELBOW GREASE
More prizes went to a magnificently original 1986 Honda GL1200 SE Gold Wing Aspencade (Best Tourer) and a clinically clean, pearl white Honda FireBlade (Most Elbow Grease). In all, the organisers gave away more than R6000 worth of vouchers for meals, bike gear and accommodation, all donated by sponsors, while every cent of the gate money went to Living Way’s education and rehab programmes.
Next year’s Cape Town Bike Show will probably be held at Timour Hall in Plumstead, and is likely to be a much bigger, somewhat more formal affair, catering as much to members of the general public as to the riders themselves, with a lot more involvement from the trade.
But, sitting in the shade near their gleaming machinery, you’ll still find the old school bikers, whose unique creations (and off-beat sense of humour!) make the show so much more than a trade expo.