Again in time: On the bottom on the 2023 Barber Classic Pageant


For baseball followers, it’s Fenway Park. For golfers, Pebble Seaside. However if you happen to’re a fan of classic bikes, the Barber Motorsports Museum is your mecca—and the Barber Classic Pageant is the occasion of the 12 months.

The 18th working of the pageant was no exception. Hosted on the 880-acre grounds of the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, and introduced by BMW Motorrad USA, the 2023 Barber Classic Pageant was three days of classic motorbike bliss.

Fanatics began arriving on Friday morning—and by the tip of the present on Sunday night an estimated 85,000 attendees had handed by way of the venue.

The Barber Museum homes greater than 1,600 bikes over 5 flooring, however for the Classic Pageant, the moto goodness spills over onto the encompassing grounds. This 12 months’s highlights included a BMW fan zone with a ride-in bike present, open to any BMW that rode in by itself energy.

2023 Barber Vintage Festival show report
Revival Cycles hosted it, providing a spot of their Handbuilt Present to the perfect BMW in every class. The combination was fairly eclectic, starting from a BMW R1200GS with a sidecar to an R90S café racer, full with stunning silver and gold leaf accents.

Elsewhere Vahna Journal and Triumph curated a group of 20 customized and traditional Triumphs on the ‘Isle of Triumph.’ Guests might scan a QR code to vote for his or her favourite bike; my vote went to the mint One in all a Thousand-made 1977 Jubilee Version Triumph Bonneville 750.

If that left you impressed, you would wander over to the swap meet space, which boasted over 500 distributors from throughout the US.

Whereas some festival-goers had been searching for that elusive half to complete a mission, others had been searching only for the sake of curiosity. And if you happen to had been and not using a mission, there have been loads of collectors who had been seeking to promote partially-built and full bikes too.

The swap meet generated such a buzz, that the social media was brimming with attendees attempting to attach with sellers after the occasion.

Whereas the camp areas and parking tons aren’t formally a part of the present, it pays to stroll round together with your eyes open. Barber’s Classic Pageant boasts a few of the widest choices of any motorbike present I’ve been to. From extremely custom-made mini bikes to a tenting space devoted solely to classic Nortons, there’s one thing for everybody.

It’s greater than only a huge conglomeration of traditional bikes although. Attendees to the pageant who had been seeking to advance their information might additionally absorb a wide range of seminars. Matters ranged from ‘Superbike: An Illustrated Early Historical past’ hosted by Kevin Cameron, John Owens, and Matthew Miles, to old-school pin-striping with Michael Swain.

For these searching for slightly extra pleasure, the American Historic Racing Motorbike Affiliation was on website with its classic race sequence. The weekend noticed 600 riders throughout 40-plus classes take to Barber’s 2.38-mile [3.83 km], 17-turn highway course.

These fortunate sufficient to stroll by way of the paddock had been handled to all kinds of bikes. From trendy liter sportbikes, to classic Ducatis, BMWs, and Nortons that show that classic iron nonetheless has loads to supply.

There was additionally a ‘Proving Floor’ demo space, the place marques like BMW, Ryvid, Indian, and KTM had literal truckloads value of bikes to test-ride. Lots of the demo rides had been booked properly prematurely and one might simply spend a complete day testing the most recent choices.

Should you’re contemplating attending the Classic Pageant subsequent 12 months, journey is straightforward. The Barber Museum is 15 miles from the Birmingham airport and two hours from Atlanta, Georgia, making it simple to get to. Barber does a fantastic job with scalable occasion costs too; attendance begins at $35 a day (with out admission to the museum), and children below the age of 15 get in at no cost, guaranteeing the subsequent technology of gearheads.

On-site tenting is obtainable for a further price for individuals who prefer to be near the motion, however there are additionally a wide range of accommodations in Birmingham, simply 25 minutes away.

My greatest remorse was not giving myself sufficient time to take all of it in. I might simply have spent three days within the museum alone—however with the pageant combined in, I might have stretched that to every week. Should you contemplate your self a fan of classic bikes, go forward and add the Barber Museum and its Classic Pageant to your checklist of must-attend occasions.

With because of BMW Motorrad USA | Photos by Tom Gosselin


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