Sunday, 6 July 2014

My first (two-wheeled) love.

Once a year the Ottawa chapter of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) holds a one-day rally in Oxford Mills, a small village about an hour south of Ottawa. There’s a lovely small tree-shaded park where owners can park their treasures, and themselves, to enjoy a few hours of showing off and gabbing with fellow vintage bike owners and anyone else who expresses an interest.

It had been many years since I’d attended this rally, and in fact the last time I was there I actually won a trophy for a cafe racer Norton Commando I owned at the time. But I digress.

At any rate Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day for a nice ride over to Oxford Mills, so we saddled up and went to pay a visit.


Enjoying the shade.

A nice AJS, a couple of BSAs, a Norton, and even a Harley on display.

Would have like to have heard this twin-engined Triumph’s bark.

A beautiful Vincent Rapide the owner rode to the rally.

A very nice Ducati 750. Not sure of the year, early 70s I think.

1953 Norton B52 in very nice condition.

Original and unrestored Norton. Don’t know year.

German WWII BMW sidecar outfit, complete with machine gun, rifle, hand grenades, etc. A very nice unit. The owner rode it to the show.

A row of Indians. (Or would that be a ‘tribe’?)

1947 Indian Roadmaster

1948 Indian Chief. Probably the nicest restoration I’ve ever seen. It was immaculate.

And now for my first (two-wheeled) love. Back in the late 60s friends who had motorcycles typically rode a 250cc Honda Dream, or maybe a 450 cc Black Bomber. There were some small Suzukis around at the time as well, and the tough guys were on Harley-Davidson Electra Glides. But then another friend showed up with with what I considered at the time to be a ‘real’ motorcycle, a brand new BSA 650cc A65 Lightning. Everything from the bright red paint to the chrome-sided tank to the tank badges that seemed a foot deep called to me. It truly was love lust at first sight. I never got to drive it but did get to ride pillion once or twice, and even as a passenger that big twin thumping along was music to my ears.

Since that time many, many motorcycles have passed through my hands (sadly no BSAs) but my knees still go a little bit weak when I see a beautifully restored A65 like this, one of the nicest looking motorcycles ever to cross the pond in my opinion.

Getting a chance to see this Lightning and relive some of those memories was worth the ride and price of admission alone.


  1. There were some real beauties there, a very rich bunch of treasured machines. I think I know how you feel about that A65, they were so very pretty.

    1. Coop - Unfortunately there weren't as many bikes as I was expecting (the Ottawa chapter is quite large) but those that were there were amazing.

  2. Wow, some really nice machines in those pics. I love to wander the vintage shows looking at the bikes.

    That BSA is pretty sweet.

    1. Trobairitz - It seems there's always something different and original at those meets. A great way to spend a few hours. And it IS sweet, isn't it?

  3. Dave, I wonder how often the guy with all the serious WWII firepower gets stopped here.

    In the US the cops would just give him a high five. Here, well, the reception might be a little different. I'm guessing the machine guns were neutered, but how could you tell just by looking at them.

    1. David - I asked about that and he basically said never. But he showed me how the weapons were visibly made inoperable (welded pins thru the barrels, etc) so he had no issues importing them or displaying them on his bike. I suppose it would be different if someone was sitting in the sidecar sighting along the barrel of the machine gun as they blasted along the 401 though.


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