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Feel the thunder! 

Classic motorcycles descend on SLO County

click to enlarge THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN! :  Owner Tom Hensley will display “The Munro Special,” New Zealander Burt Munro’s custom 1920 Indian Scout, which set several speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and was made famous in the film The World’s Fastest Indian. - PHOTO BY LARRY COOLIDGE
  • PHOTO BY LARRY COOLIDGE
  • THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN! : Owner Tom Hensley will display “The Munro Special,” New Zealander Burt Munro’s custom 1920 Indian Scout, which set several speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and was made famous in the film The World’s Fastest Indian.

- COME ONE, COME ALL!:  The Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Club invites the public—motorcyclists or not—to join the fun next weekend when they host one of the largest gatherings of classic motorcycle enthusiasts in California. - Thursday, Oct. 8: See a display of classic motorcycles in the First Bank parking lot (the corner Higuera and Morro streets) during the SLO Farmers Market, 6 to 9 p.m. Café Society, a motorcycle movie, screens at 8 p.m. - Friday, Oct. 9: Come out and join the ride or just wave as hundreds of bikes rally up Hwy 1 in the afternoon starting at Mission Inn in Pismo Beach at 4 p.m., and join the riders at a bonfire that evening at Olde Port Beach at 6 p.m., when AMA Hall of Famer and Factory BSA Racer Don Emde regales us with tales of his racing days, including his 1972 Daytona 200 win. A catered dinner by Splash Café is available for $20. - Saturday, Oct. 10: Visit the main event, a motorcycle show of older classics, modern “classics,” and café racers, plus a motorcycle parts swapmeet, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 1771 Corbett Cyn. Rd. in Arroyo Grande. General admission is $10, or pay $30 and also get a catered lunch from Splash Café. Enter your bike for $45. Hear live music, visit vendors like Santa Maria Harley Davidson and Ace Café London, and watch motorcycle contests. Motorcycle legends Rob North, Craig Vetter, Marty Dickerson, and Don Emde will make appearances. Burt Munro’s bike, made famous in the film The World’s Fastest Indian, will also be on display. This is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, and they’ll be raffles and great prizes, plus fun for the whole family. - Sunday, Oct. 11: Join the club as they ride the back roads of SLO County or drive out and meet the riders for noon lunch at Pozo Saloon. They meet at Mission Inn in Pismo at 10:30 a.m., stop at Madonna Inn to pick up any SLO Town riders at 10:45, and then stop at 11:15 at Santa Margarita Park on their way to Pozo. - Learn more at  HYPERLINK "http://www.centralcoastclassicmc.com" www.centralcoastclassicmc.com. -
  • COME ONE, COME ALL!: The Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Club invites the public—motorcyclists or not—to join the fun next weekend when they host one of the largest gatherings of classic motorcycle enthusiasts in California.


    Thursday, Oct. 8: See a display of classic motorcycles in the First Bank parking lot (the corner Higuera and Morro streets) during the SLO Farmers Market, 6 to 9 p.m. Café Society, a motorcycle movie, screens at 8 p.m.

    Friday, Oct. 9: Come out and join the ride or just wave as hundreds of bikes rally up Hwy 1 in the afternoon starting at Mission Inn in Pismo Beach at 4 p.m., and join the riders at a bonfire that evening at Olde Port Beach at 6 p.m., when AMA Hall of Famer and Factory BSA Racer Don Emde regales us with tales of his racing days, including his 1972 Daytona 200 win. A catered dinner by Splash Café is available for $20.

    Saturday, Oct. 10: Visit the main event, a motorcycle show of older classics, modern “classics,” and café racers, plus a motorcycle parts swapmeet, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 1771 Corbett Cyn. Rd. in Arroyo Grande. General admission is $10, or pay $30 and also get a catered lunch from Splash Café. Enter your bike for $45. Hear live music, visit vendors like Santa Maria Harley Davidson and Ace Café London, and watch motorcycle contests. Motorcycle legends Rob North, Craig Vetter, Marty Dickerson, and Don Emde will make appearances. Burt Munro’s bike, made famous in the film The World’s Fastest Indian, will also be on display. This is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, and they’ll be raffles and great prizes, plus fun for the whole family.

    Sunday, Oct. 11: Join the club as they ride the back roads of SLO County or drive out and meet the riders for noon lunch at Pozo Saloon. They meet at Mission Inn in Pismo at 10:30 a.m., stop at Madonna Inn to pick up any SLO Town riders at 10:45, and then stop at 11:15 at Santa Margarita Park on their way to Pozo.

    Learn more at HYPERLINK "http://www.centralcoastclassicmc.com" www.centralcoastclassicmc.com.

SLO County isn’t exactly expecting a Sturgis-style motorcycle rally choking its streets next weekend, but don’t be surprised if you see more classic motorcycles on the road … a lot more. That’s because the Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Club (CCCMC) is hosting “The SLO Classic Motorcycle Rally,” a four-day event from Thursday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 11 that promises to be the largest event of its kind in the state.

Before you start hiding your children and barricading your homes, CCCMC President John Bernard, a financial consultant, notes, “My club is all classic motorcycles, 25 years or older, and we are not big dirty bikers, but mostly local professionals—people like me, my VP Jason Len of XKs Unlimited, and Glen Starkey.”

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON :  Don Emde sits atop his BSA, which won the 1972 Daytona 200. On the left is Don’s father Floyd, who won the same race in 1948 on an Indian. Don will attend the Friday night beach bonfire and Saturday show. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DON EMDE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF DON EMDE
  • LIKE FATHER LIKE SON : Don Emde sits atop his BSA, which won the 1972 Daytona 200. On the left is Don’s father Floyd, who won the same race in 1948 on an Indian. Don will attend the Friday night beach bonfire and Saturday show.

  Okay, full disclosure: I’m a member of CCCMC, which has about 40 active members, none of whom are big dirty bikers. The entire weekend is going be family friendly and a great opportunity to see some very sweet bikes, including Burt Munro’s modified 1920 Indian Scout that set speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the bike made even more famous thanks to the Anthony Hopkins film The World’s Fastest Indian. A handful of motorcycle legends will also be attending some of the events, guys like Don Emde, who won the 1972 Daytona 200. Don’s dad, Floyd Emde, won the same race in 1948 on an Indian, and the Emdes are the only father and son to have won the Florida even. Don Emde, a AMA Hall of Famer, is also the author of Daytona 200, the authoritative book on the history of America’s most famous motorcycle race.

You’ll also meet Rob North, legendary builder of BSA and Triumph triples, who’ll be displaying his Dick Mann BSA Triple, the bike that won the 1971 Daytona 200. Craig Vetter, former SLO resident, Hall of Fame winner, and designer of the Triumph Hurricane will also return to his old stomping grounds. And from across the big pond, Mark and Linda Wilsmore of the world famous Ace Café London will be on hand. Ace Café, an old transportation café that opened in 1938, became a popular haunt in the ‘50s and ‘60s for so-called rockers, motorcyclists with a taste for fast café race bikes and rock’n’roll.

click to enlarge HURRICANE! :  Craig Vetter, former SLO resident, Hall of Fame winner and designer of the Triumph Hurricane, lined up behind him, will return to his old stomping grounds during The SLO Classic Motorcycle Rally. - PHOTO BY TONY PAGE
  • PHOTO BY TONY PAGE
  • HURRICANE! : Craig Vetter, former SLO resident, Hall of Fame winner and designer of the Triumph Hurricane, lined up behind him, will return to his old stomping grounds during The SLO Classic Motorcycle Rally.

  “We’ll have olive oil tasting, and there’ll be wine barrel art at the Saturday show,” added Bernard. “And Rabers [a vintage bikes parts house], Santa Maria Harley-Davidson, and Ace Café will all have vendor booths. We also have some nice items for the charity raffle. Marty Dickerson [who’s set several speed records] is one o the judges for the show.”

“The show on Saturday is a great way to support the Cancer Society,” added club member Wayne Custer, “but the real fun is the nostalgia. I’m always having people come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I had one of those in high school.’ So many people in the ‘50s and ‘60s had an attachment to these bikes.”

- IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ENTER THE SHOW!:  Do you own a classic, a custom café racer, or a modern classic motorcycle? The Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Club will accept show entries up until the morning of the event, on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1771 Corbett Cyn. Rd. in Arroyo Grande. Enter your bike in one of three categories (concours, driven, or display) and participate in contests like a slow drag race (who can go the slowest without tipping over?), kick-starting contest (will your bike start in one kick?), oil-leak contest, smoothest-idle contest, and best- and worst-sounding-bike contest. Find an entry form as well as judging sheet at  HYPERLINK "http://www.centralcoastclassicmc.com" www.centralcoastclassicmc.com. Headquarters for the event is Mission Inn (773-6020) in Pismo Beach, which is offering discount accommodations for event attendees. -
  • IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ENTER THE SHOW!: Do you own a classic, a custom café racer, or a modern classic motorcycle? The Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Club will accept show entries up until the morning of the event, on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1771 Corbett Cyn. Rd. in Arroyo Grande. Enter your bike in one of three categories (concours, driven, or display) and participate in contests like a slow drag race (who can go the slowest without tipping over?), kick-starting contest (will your bike start in one kick?), oil-leak contest, smoothest-idle contest, and best- and worst-sounding-bike contest. Find an entry form as well as judging sheet at HYPERLINK "http://www.centralcoastclassicmc.com" www.centralcoastclassicmc.com. Headquarters for the event is Mission Inn (773-6020) in Pismo Beach, which is offering discount accommodations for event attendees.

Triumph, BSA, Matchless, Royal Enfield, Vincent, BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Norton—these brands have become legendary, and it seems everyone has a story about their connection to these old brands.

“Even non-motorcycle people will enjoy this event,” noted club member Larry Coolidge. “Some will come just to see the world’s fastest Indian.”

Everybody’s welcome. Even big dirty bikers.

Glen Starkey rides a 1973 Triumph Tiger. Tell him your motorcycle tales at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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