1938 Brough Superior SS80 DeLuxe

Indian motorcycle cyclinder block

Not the largest motorbike show in the UK, taking just one of the ExCel’s four halls this year, but with plenty of bike art on display. There’s a current fashion for retro styling of new bikes, so including numerous restored “classic” bikes on the stands fits well. This makes an opportunity to explore the visual aspects of motorcycle engineering over the years from a 1938 Brough Superior model SS80, similar to that owned by TE Lawrence, through the first 1970s Kawasaki models to the latest production Suzuki GSXR.

Suzuki 2018 GSXR

Kawasaki Z900 indicator

Kawasaki KH250 exhaust

Family at the London Motorcycle Show

JH with KH250

I’m a bit resistant to seeing the label “classic” applied to bike models that I have owned and enjoyed riding but it was fantastic to see - at last - a KH250 virtually identical to the one on which I learned to ride in 1977, passed my test in 1978, and learnt to service my own bike. The KH250 of 1976 looks primitive now: note the kick start. As a 2-stroker, it had a vicious power band that earned it the title of “Fastest away at the lights”; the brakes were ineffective and the suspension harsh but that bike was a lot of fun for me, living the dreams of “If you want to get about, get a bike” and “Live to ride - ride to live”.
And a picture of what you might call “resposible parenting”: biker, partner with crash hats hanging on a buggy.
A visit with a small group from GBMCC London.