The 2015 Bull City Rumble
Every year for the last 11 years during the Labor Day weekend holiday the club Ton Up North Carolina has been hosting a great multiday event for vintage motorcycle enthusiasts in Durham North Carolina. The main focus is on vintage café racer styled customs, restorations, competition bikes, and vintage scooters. Ever since I discovered this event three years ago the Saturday bike show has been permanently added to my calendar.
One of the great things I love about this event is the fact that every year at least one really oddball custom will show up. The top motor freak at this year’s show was a diamond plate covered Goldwing that had everyone scratching their heads.
This being a café racer club there was plenty of fine British & European iron on display including an original unrestored 1983 Triumph TSS with electric start.
Numerous Moto Guzzi motorcycles were on hand such as this T3 and this old Ambassador
I can’t tell you exactly which one of the two it was but one of these immaculate AJS machines that won best of show, both look so pristine I don’t think it matters
Fellow VJMC member Mike McSween was showing his terrific pair of restored vintage Kawasaki road racers with his 1971 H1R 500, number 56 in the picture taking home first place. The other green jewel in the picture is his 1972 H2 750 triple.
Anytime I get within a mile of a Vincent I have to take its picture. Even though I am normally a Japanese bike fanatic, Vincents like this 1952 model really are my ultimate dream machine. Perhaps one day…
The award for the best Japanese motorcycle went to this highly detailed & wonderfully conceived CX500 Honda.
No matter what angle it is viewed from the artistry & talent of the builder is just amazing.
Until 2014 there was no class for American motorcycles and while this was still the smallest class it did attract some high quality equipment including a 1950’s vintage Indian and this fine looking Harley Davidson J model.
I must confess that when the American class was first introduced that I and a couple of others had mixed feelings about it. We feared that an influx of the so called American bikers would destroy the character of this event and make it into yet another chrome, mullet, & tattoo show for us (and our fat wallets) to stay away from. Fortunately this has not happened so far. I was there for nine hours this year and only heard one person make a disparaging remark about the motorcycles with superior engineering, handling & reliability. Since she was blonde I’ll forgive her for not having the intellectual acumen to understand that some of us view our motorcycles as something more than just a two wheeled “Members Only” jacket.
It was great having Rommel Harley Davidson there as a sponsor and I really enjoyed checking out the new Street 750 demo trailer that they had set up. Check it out on the video below at the bottom of the page.
Other motorcycles at the show that I really liked included this very tasteful black Suzuki café racer. These late 70’s & early ‘80s Suzuki cycles don’t get nearly the love from restorers or customizers that they should, even though they were probably the best all-around motorcycles of that time period.
If you love vintage turbo bikes there were a Yamaha Seca & a Honda CX parked side by side on the street.
Everywhere you looked there was a good selection of vintage & retro machines, fine people, good eats, and plenty of excitement, and I am already planning to return next year. Check out the Ton Up NC website at http://tonup-nc.blogspot.com/ for more information.
I took so many pictures at the 2015 Bull City Rumble that I decided to put the best of the rest into a slide show.
Here’s the youtube video that I made of the event. Watching this is probably the best way to get an idea of the scope of this event.