2016 was our second year attending the Barber Vintage Festival but believe or not it it was actually the first time we actually visited the museum. If this seems strange it’s because this event is so massive with so many different things going on it is impossible to see everything even if you show up early on opening day & stay until the Monday morning after. The Barber Vintage Festival is pure vintage motorcycle overload. The museum is two wheeled gear head heaven. Even if it were possible to show you everything in a blog post (it’s not) I’d be doing you a great disservice by even trying. Instead here a few pictures to whet your appetite.
Above is a shot looking down toward the lowest level where the machine shop is. Motorcycles are the main focus but they have plenty of classic and exotic race & street cars that includes a seriously fantastic Lotus collection.
The next picture is a pair Moto Guzzi singles near the wall overlooking the racetrack. One of the great features of the museum is that the wall on the track side is all window so we could watch the AHRMA race bikes circulating on the track.
Speaking of AHRMA road racing, the best view of the action could be found at the Ace Corner, This was also the location of the Dime City Cycles custom bike show. In addition to the road racing there are also AHRMA sanctioned cross country, vintage motocross, and trials. If the racing doesn’t appeal to you there are several bike shows, a freestyle motocross show, the Wall of Death and a huge number of vendors hawking all kinds of motorcycle wares.
Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the most beautiful Ferrari of them all? To me the answer will always be the Dino.
We all know that Vincent built some of the most innovative motorcycles in the world and the Barber museum has multiple examples including a Black Shadow & the fully enclosed Black Prince. But did you know they made a personal watercraft decades before Kawasaki? Granted the tiny air cooled single in the 1955 Vincent Amanda didn’t give the speed and power of the Jetski but it was first.
Another Vincent product was this lawn mower. Funny how today aficionados of some other brands pick on us Honda fans about the motorcycles and cars being souped up lawn mowers. Now when somebody starts that line of malarkey, we can all remember that Vincent made a lawn mower.
The museum also has a sizable display of military motorcycles including the 1999 Harley Davidson MT500. Too bad they never sold a civilian version of it.
This original 1913 Yale is a fantastic sight to see with it’s matching sidecar.
The massive Bohmerland sidecar outfit has to be seen in real life to be appreciated.
Scattered through the collection are a few cutaway engines such as the Matchless and Triumph mills pictured here.
Here’s a special bike for Honda fans.
It’s the CR750 that Dick Mann rode in the 1970 Daytona motorcycle race.
The museum has many more motorcycles and cars hidden away in storage, but thanks to this newly completed addition a lot of them will be able to come out of hibernation for our enjoyment. It will be wonderful to see it when I return to the Barber Vintage Festival again.
One of my favorite things about Barber is the swap meet. There is such a huge variety of good junk, unique motorcycles, and rusty gold that if you can’t find what you want, you’re probably not looking hard enough. This Bultaco motocrosser with a sidecar was among the coolest items offered for sale.
I always enjoy checking out the Antique Motorcycle Club of America display, this is part of the small motorcycle collection. Directly across the road was the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club show. This year my freshly restored C70 Passport was displayed there.
There’s so much more to show you and tell you so I strapped two cameras to my scooter and shot a video ride around of the event for you.
If you are crazy about old motorcycles the Barber Vintage Festival is an event that you really need to go and see.