Words and pics: Tim Britton
Have you ever moved house or workshop? I bet you have and it’s always an uncertain time – you know the move is going to be better, you wouldn’t have moved otherwise, but there is that adjustment period to contend with first.
So it is with the International Dirt Bike Show in its new home at Stafford County Showground.
The major uncertainty for 2019 was one that no event organiser can counteract… the weather!
In the weeks leading up to the new show dates of September 28-29, the weather forecast was horrendous as the effects on the motorcycle sports world spread.
In the end though, for the International Dirt Bike Show – this year backed by Central Wheel Components – the conditions didn’t cause too many problems, except when the Classic Dirt Bike editor had booked his test ride on the Electric Motion Trials Bike in the Inch Perfect demo area!
Also, the MX test session at the bottom of the showground had to be curtailed as the track cut up.
Okay, on the face of it you’d think there wouldn’t be much at a modern show for classic enthusiasts but there was – us for a start!
With Classic Dirt Bike magazine having a stand near the stage area and our Project IT465 on display, it was good to catch up with lots of readers who are looking forward to seeing the editor dangling off the back of it like a paper streamer in the wind as he attempts to tackle an enduro.
Elsewhere, amid the modern bikes on show in the Yamaha and Kawasaki displays – both makers supplying their bang-up-to-date MX ranges for the MX test sessions – there was plenty of stuff for us.
The obvious things were the vast ranges of riding kit and while the glitzy, colourful stuff attracted the younger element of our scene, as they excitedly exclaimed “Dude! It’s real bad, yah gotta get some…!” or something like that at least… all manufacturers have ranges more suited to the classic side of the sport.
This is an area where the 250 London range excels, with classic designs in modern materials that fit in well with our type of machine.
There is a lot of cross-over in machines too, as Yamaha and Kawasaki have been in the MX world for 50 years… yes, that’s right, so how classic is that!
In fact, CDB will be featuring a couple of Yamahas in coming issues, as we spotted Jim Shand’s YZs up on the balcony, where Darren Hudson and the National Twinshock series had set up shop.
Next to him were Owd Codgers, normally involved in trials demos at Stafford with solo and sidecars, this static display was a new thing to them though as ever there were stunning machines on show.
Also on the balcony were four superb KTMs belonging to Mark Gessey, formerly part of Suzuki’s youth squad more years ago than he claims to remember, the MG car specialist now races KTMs and we have got a couple of his bikes lined up for the next few issues too.
In many respects there was quite a bit for us in the technical side of things as handlebars are universal, many people use modern controls on older machines and there are developments for tyres.
Way back in issue 41, CDB featured a new idea for using tubeless tyres on tube type rims and this system, plus the next generation, is now handled by Central Wheel Components and promises to release tyre tech to us older riders, while retaining the classic looks we love.
Central Wheel Components have invited us along to check out the new system and it will be a tech feature for us in the near future.
View more images in the Winter 2019 issue of Classic Dirt Bike – on sale now!