Beaulieu Simply Bikes review

More than 1000 visitors shrugged off the drizzly weather for Beaulieu’s first Simply Bikes rally, which saw over 600 bikes and trikes ride into the grounds of the National Motor Museum. Donning their leathers and riding through the New Forest to join the display, the rally participants proved that the biking spirit of adventure cannot be dampened bya little rain.

Marques including Triumph, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Indian, Ducati and more, were represented in the impressive line-up, which ranged from high performance sports bikes to cool custom cruisers and motorcycle and sidecar combos. Almost every variation on engine size was represented, from diminutive single-cylinder mopeds to mega-power flat-six monsters.

Southampton Harley-Davidson led a ride-in of Harley-Davidson Owners’ Group members and also brought along a pair of brand new Harleys for sale. Popular models such as the Honda CBR and the BMW R1150R were complemented by more unusual bikes, such as a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 and sidecar, an Indian Scout and a selection of high-specification Honda Gold Wing tourers.

A number of vintage and classic bikes were on show, dating as far back as a 1943 BMW R75 and sidecar in Second World War military guise, while a 1969 Yamaha YR3 350cc sports bike and a 1975 Honda 750 Four scored highly in the nostalgia stakes.

Among the more quirky offerings was a vintage Mobylette moped, featuring pedal assistance for its tiny engine. Several trikes on show featured Volkswagen flat-four engines, with one retaining the entire rear bodywork of a Beetle. Standing out from the crowd was another trike, which mated a motorcycle front fork with the engine and chassis of a Reliant Robin.

Bustling with customers throught the day, were the popular trade stands, offering helmets, leathers, accessories, bike care products and more. Motorcycling author Zoë Cano, who attended the event on her well-travelled Triumph Bonneville, was on hand to sign copies of her book Bonneville Go or Bust, about her solo biking journey across America.

Throughout the day, Beaulieu visitors cast their votes for their favourite bike of the show in the People’s Choice Award. Runner-up was Allison Lee with her distinctive custom Honda Gold Wing trike, while the overall winner of the award was Colin ‘Laddie’ Walter, for his Second World War-themed 750cc Moto Guzzi custom trike. “I built the trike as a memorial to the fallen troops of the war,” said Colin, from Southampton. He was presented with a Beaulieu trophy by Beaulieu’s Financial Director Phil Johnson and a copy of Bonneville Go or Bust.

As an extra treat for motorcycle fans, the National Motor Museum workshop engineers performed a start-up of the museum’s freshly restored Brough Superior 11.50, the first time that this ‘Rolls-Royce of Motor Cycles’ had been heard running in public, following its extensive rebuild.

Simply Bikes which will return on Sunday 10th July 2016, is one of Beaulieu’s popular Simply events which cover a range of motoring themes. Visit www.beaulieuevents.co.uk for more information, or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter using #simplybikes.