Motorcycle USA heads to Carmel Valley for the sixth annual Quail Motorcycle Ride and Gathering, embarking on a 110-mile ride through Carmel Valley followed by a day of checking out the 260 or so collectible motorcycles and machines entered in the concourse. See some of the incredible bikes in our video then be sure to read our 2014 Quail Motorcycle Gathering Report
for more information and photos.
Motorcycle USA made the journey to the 2014 Quail Gathering with the crew from British Customs, a whirlwind ride up the California coastline from LA to Carmel on a handful of British Custom Triumphs.
After a 350-mile journey Thursday it was right back into the seat of British Customs “Tribute’ bike the next morning for the 2014 Quail Motorcycle Ride, the Tribute a street tracker based on a Triumph Bonneville engine. It was a parade-like atmosphere as an interesting collection of machinery took off from the Quail Lodge on our way to the first stop, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was a free-for-all as over 100 motorcycles took to the track, old and new alike. After the first straight, we were able to open up the Tribute tracker a bit, enjoying the magic British Customs worked on it with every crack of the throttle. The ride continued through Salinas Valley, making a pit stop at Talbott Winery before returning to the Quail through Carmel Valley.
The next day, many of the same vintage motorcycles that participated in the ride had been shined, polished and entered into the Quail Motorcycle Gathering. This year’s Quail celebrated “100 Years of Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats” and what better way to celebrate that centennial than by having the fastest motorcycles in the world attending, including Denis Manning’s BUB Seven streamliner and current world record holder, the Ack Attack.
With live music by The Inciters filling the air, we milled about the menagerie of collectible motorcycles, from the timeworn to the fresh-faced. One of the newest was Lightning Motorcycles electric superbike, the LS-218, a 200+horsepower production motorcycle that potentially might be the fastest production bike in the world. We caught up with Lightning CEO Richard Hatfield to talk about their latest project.
Our friends at British Customs were also debuting a new motorcycle at the Quail, a Triumph flat tracker based on one ridden by former California Speedway Champ, Sonny Nutter. BC’s Jason Panther gave us the low-down on their latest project.
We also had a chance to talk to “Why We Ride” producer Bryan Carroll. After shooting the Quail Gathering for inclusion in his motorcycle documentary last year, Carroll got to be on the other side this year, establishing the “Why We Ride” award.
While there were many award-worthy motorcycles entered in this year’s show, it was Gene Brown out of Denver, Colorado who earned “Best of Show” honors for his 1932 Vincent HRD Python Sport, a Vincent with a 500cc Rudge Single for an engine to go along with its “Highgate” silencers.
Offering two-days of riding, camaraderie, and showmanship, the Quail has its own distinct signature among industry events. With approximately 260 machines on display and over 2000 people coming through its gates this year, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering continues to establish itself as one of the premier events for collectors, restorers and enthusiasts alike.