Words and event photos compliments of Stacie B London
Time flies when you’re having fun and that’s how The Quail Motorcycle Gathering feels. The 15-category event is a unique combination of tradition, heritage, innovation and glamour honoring both pre and post-war eras of the world. It celebrates the evolution of the motorcycle by bringing together the finest sport and racing machines that are museum quality, obscure, or rare motorcycles alongside custom, handmade, and modified works. Regardless of one’s motorcycle compulsion, the gathering of interesting and beautiful machines is a sight to behold. There’s never enough time to take in all the superb machinery or people that love them and that is a sure sign of a great time.
The location of The Quail Lodge’s intimate lawn setting with ocean breeze creates an environment that encourages excitement and a uniquely pleasurable experience that is contagious. While navigating through the concourse of exquisite motorcycles, awe and wonder take over. It never ceases to amaze how so many interesting and historic motorcycles make the pilgrimage to Quail for the day. It’s a wonderful thing to meander amongst machines that are so loved when suddenly your gaze is captured, encouraging conversation, allowing stories to be shared, and bonds to be made.
The weekend starts even before the event. For most, the journey to Carmel, California is when the adventure begins. This was the first year where the stars aligned and I was able to ride up on my 1969 BMW R60US, perfect timing for BMW’s 100-year anniversary. On the Wednesday before the event Kurht and I departed for an overdue road trip up the coast from Los Angeles on our like bikes, him on his 1964 R60/2. If you are a rider, I highly recommend going on an adventure with a friend that rides the same bike. The subtle joy of shifting in the same places, taking inclines at the same speed, and whipping around turns with comparable (lack of) brakes resonates quietly at first, and then gradually the synchronized dance adds another level of enjoyment to the excursion.
Upon arrival to Carmel, the weekend kicked off on Friday with The Quail Ride; a 100-mile tour de force with some show bikes alongside other unique and rarified machines which were put through their paces on back roads of the Monterey Peninsula. The first stop is Laguna Seca Raceway for a few laps around the track. With the adrenaline kicked into gear, next came a picturesque ride through the grape vine countryside to the hillside winery. After a tour and much needed break which allowed for closer inspection of bikes and chats with the other riders, the next and last stop was a visit and preview of the much-anticipated new Talbott Motorcycle Museum helmed by collector and motorsports enthusiast Robb Talbott. As if the days feasting on landscape lined twisties and glistening chrome wasn’t enough, the action packed day closes with a banquet and presentation honoring and celebrating the legacy and motorcycle heritage.
Suddenly it was Saturday and the event was upon us for the 8th annual Quail. The BMW Classics section celebrating its 100-year anniversary was set up at the front of the show with machines representing different aspects of its legacy. Robb Talbott’s restored 1925 BMW R37 race bike took highest honors as Best in Show.
Full list of winners here
Save the Date for the 9th Annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, Presented by TUDOR, on Saturday, May 13, 2017. Tickets will be on sale starting October 2016!
On the road to Quail; Templeton, CA – 1969 BMW R60US and 1964 R60/2.
Quail Ride – getting ready for takeoff at Quail Lodge.
Laguna SecaRaceway – sharing the track with a current Morgan 3-wheeler and a 1964 BMW R60/2.
Keanu Reeves and the Arch Motorcycle Company team prepare for laps around Laguna Seca.
Quail’s Master of Ceremonies Paul d’Orléans aboard Bryan Fuller’s BMW Bavarian Knight.
Preview of Talbott Motorcycle Museum, Carmel Valley.
Stefan Hertal of Revival Cycles piloting Revival’s Buell Ulysses build.
Quail Motorcycle Gathering
Quail Motorcycle Gathering
Erik Ran starting up his BMW R90S RennsportReplica with handmade tank and bodywork by Evan Wilcox.
Bike EXIF’s area with Revival Cycles’ Design and Style Award winning 1960 Velocette.
Tim Stafford with his immaculately restored and prepared BMW R50s.
Event founder Gordon McCall announcing winners.
1925 BMW R37 race bike Best in Show winner with Robb Talbott, Bobby Weindorf, and family.
On the road home from Quail, visits in Templeton, CA.