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When is a racetrack not a racetrack? when the pitlane becomes a custom bike show. In another twist of venue for the ever-evolving Kickback shows it was a good choice. It seems each venue, Town hall, Prison, football stadium, museum or conference centre bring their own style.

On a grey blustery day (typical English summer) the bike and car park was filling up fast as I arrived and already, I could tell this was going to be good, by the bikes pulling in including randomly several Yamaha BT1100s. One my return the field was ful

My personal favourites of the day not in the show was a clever Honda custom with no tank, sounded awesome too as it rode from park to pitlane. Luckily the back up plan of all bikes heading to pits if damp wasn’t needed.

Kickback prides itself on featuring the finest cafe racers, brats, trackers, choppers, bobbers and custom-built bikes and there certainly was a great collection.  After you had wandered the pit lane, there were a few stalls, owners’ clubs, the two brothers stunt show and if you could cope with queues a café, a second coffee van would have been useful.

Being at a race track it seemed to bring forth along with more wind, more muscle style bikes or as I believe the current term is “Butchered classics” with some great big bore GSX and Kwak Zeds one of the first builds though to catch my eye was a huge bikes called zen, which was almost as tall as me, but when rider is 7ft 1 it looked normal when ridden, and so cleverly nothing wider than the cylinders.

Along with Paul Millburn, Larry Houghton and Tom I was asked to Judge the bikes, a far tougher job and seems we all had different ideas. Steve Berry managed to avoid this by taking lots of photos, and I left Larry telling awful jokes (yes that’s ripe coming from me) to Paul and Tom, and reviewed bikes on my own. It was a right mix of responses but Lorne the organiser sorted the results out which are at the bottom. Alan Millyard rode in on one of his creations, while Guy Willison seemed to be fascinated in Larry’s engineering skills.

For me the bike of the day was a simple Moto Guzzi V65 which oozed ride me, but there was also a lush Triumph which I had seen at Dorset NCC show last year that seems to look better and better. There were also two lambretas with Yamaha engines which owner said was his go to machines even with Ducati’s in the garage.

There was for me a better vibe about this show than some of previous shows, and there was some great feedback from those I heard on the day

Judges Excellence Awards.

Custom Performance:

1st Jed Thompson - Lambretta (pic courtesy Bosunbikes)

Runners up Chris Forward (Triumph Thunderbird) and Luke Castles (Suzuki Bandit).

Custom Freestyle:

1st place Steve Anstis - Laverda Jota 120

Runners up Paul Clark VW Beetle bobber and Stuart Wallis Harley Davidson.

Classic Bike:

1st place Justin Keen - 1961 Norton 750 Atlas

Runners up Jonny Angel's Cotton and Vince Previtt's RD 350

Classic Racer (cafe / fighter style)

1st place Andy Bint - BMW R80

Runners up Nic Beard Suzuki GT550 and Steve Conway GSXR nitrous special

Best Young Builder:

Jordan Bowen for his fabrication and engine tuning work on the turbo charged nitrous injected Honda Grom.