Black Falcon, More at Quail Motorcycle Gathering

April 27, 2011
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering
The Quail Motorcycle Gathering takes place on Saturday, May 14 at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in Carmel, California. The event will feature iconic motorcycles like the ‘Bathing Suit Bike’ and the debut of Falcon Motorcycles latest project, The Black.

From the rare to the revered, from motorcycles that have captured the imagination of eras past like the Vincent Black Shadow to bikes that have won their spot in motorcycle racing lore on the Isle of Man, the varied collection in the upcoming Quail Motorcycle Gathering are a storied lot. The event annually attracts some of the most exotic and historic motorcycles around. This year’s Gathering, scheduled for Saturday, May 14, at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in beautiful Carmel, California, will be no different with its “A Century of Racing at Isle of Man” theme.

Motorcycles featured in the third annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will run the gamut, from rare pre-war progenitors to post-war sport and racing bikes with a dash of custom-made artistry thrown into the mix for good measure. It provides motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors an opportunity to compare and contrast the engineering of different manufacturers from all eras of motorcycle history side-by-side or to simply enjoy the rush of memories vintage bikes can wring out.

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering serves as an avenue for custom builders to debut their latest creation. One bike that is already creating buzz is the latest from Falcon Motorcycles. Ian Barry’s past work have been hailed as instant classics. Barry and his company, Falcon Motorcycles, are involved in an ambitious project called Falcon’s Concept Ten where it will build 10 handcrafted one-off motorcycles sourcing 10 different iconic British motorcycle engines. Last year, Falcon introduced its Kestrel to high acclaim among the media. The Falcon Kestrel featured an engine from a 1970 Triumph Bonneville that Barry and Co. rebuilt and spooned into a handmade frame. The crankcases, a BSA tranny and 10 inches of the original Triumph headstock were the only pieces of the Kestrel that weren’t designed or fabricated in-house. This year Falcon plans to unveil The Black, sourcing an engine salvaged from a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow with a history in the California racing scene. Falcon only builds one motorcycle a year, spending thousands of hours in its creation, so anticipation is high surrounding its latest accomplishment, The Black.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering
The John Edgar Lightning, a stripped-down Vincent Black Shadow better known as the ‘Bathing Suit Bike,’ is one of the main attractions at The Quail Motorycle Gathering 2011.

This year’s Quail Motorcycle Gathering will also feature what’s being billed as “The World’s Most Famous Motorcycle,” the John Edgar Lightning better known as the “Bathing Suit Bike.” It’s the stripped-down Vincent Black Shadow that Rollie Free rode clad in nothing but a small bathing suit, a pudding-bowl helmet and slip-on beach shoes on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948. To boot, Free is stretched out like Superman as he blazes down the Salt laying on his stomach at a record-breaking 150.313 mph. The shot easily ranks up there with the most famous motorcycle photos of all time and the Black Shadow in the picture will be one of the stars of the 2011 Gathering.

Another iconic motorcycle scheduled to be at the Quail is Steve McQueen’s 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross. It is the same motorcycle McQueen is pictured riding shirtless on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971. McQueen’s Husky and a collection of his trophies and other memorabilia highlight the Bonhams & Butterfields auction that is taking place at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering. A custom Yamaha R1 signed by six-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi is also up for auction, with proceeds from its sale benefitting Riders for Health, a non-profit organization that provides health workers in Africa reliable, motorized transportation.

This year’s Gathering is also offering the opportunity for bike owners and builders to have their motorcycle receive full “Concours” judging and a chance to compete for blue ribbons in their respective classes. Blue ribbons have a

Quail Motorcycle Gathering
From the rare to the exotic, to motorcycles that have made history to models that will make history, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will feature an eclectic assortment of motorcycles. Quail Motorcycle Gathering

tendency to increase a motorcycle’s market price. Entry isn’t mandatory, but if you’d like to have your bike assessed by professionals to see how it stacks up against other comparable bikes, here’s your chance. In addition to the motorcycle exhibition, enthusiasts can check out the latest products from a list of manufacturers and vendors scheduled to attend. To round out the festivities, live entertainment and a Southern-style BBQ lunch are on the activity-packed schedule. Tickets are $65 per person or $15 for kids 12 and under.

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is conducting another unique experience called The Ride on Friday, May 13. On the day before the Gathering, 50 lucky people will take a ride through the scenic Monterey Peninsula on some of the area’s best backroads. The route will take you to nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where participants will get a chance to spin some laps on the legendary race course. The package includes a gift bag, lunch at the famous Corkscrew and track time at Laguna Seca to start before culminating in an intimate dinner reception featuring special guest speakers as well as a private sneak preview of the bikes in the Bonhams & Butterfields Auction. Icing on the cake is a ticket to The Quail Motorcycle Gathering and an invite to display a bike in the event. The Ride will be limited to 50 people and the fee is $250, but considering admission to the Gathering and a chance to turn laps at Laguna is included in the price, this sounds like the way to go to us.

Custom motorcycle debuts, appearances by memorable motorcycles, period pieces and rare collectibles are all part of The Quail Motorcycle Gathering. Celebrities who are motorcycle enthusiasts frequently stop by. Live entertainment, finger-lickin’ grub and a chance to ride around the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in the spring help seal the deal. Mark your calendars for May 13-14. The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is an event you won’t want to miss.