Music and automotive machinery have been around for since time immemorial really.
Think of pictures of the Montgolfier Brothers and their balloon, Stephenson and his
Rocket, the launch of the Titantic there were bands there to celebrate.
When we head to rallies we expect some sort of musical interlude, even those bijou
rallies still seem to have someone with a guitar somewhere.
So it is no surprise that there should be a club just for motorcyclists who are musicians
and indeed MUSOS on Bikes is such a collective of folk.
Now in its 5th year the Musos on Bikes show was once again held on a glorious spring
day, at the rather splendid Shelley Arms near Horsham.it really is one of my favourite
one day events, its relaxed, friendly, is in a great location, easy to find and there
is just a certain something about it that’s make folk smile.
The sunshine also brought out some of the best custom bikes I have seen in one car
park for a long time, including a few that have been seen in this very magazine,
P & D Customs Cheap Trick (issue 181) and Chris from NCC Kent XV1600 Wildie (issue
It didn’t take long for Frontman and Tub-thumper to find me (I have never yet won
at hide and seek yet) and they asked if I would judge the show, and at the time not
knowing I was doing it solo I said yes, what had I let myself into.
As soon as I had said yes some even more drop dead gorgeous bikes arrived, while
enthusiastic morris dancing took place, I retired to the bar to find thinking liquid
and chat to more friends.
The trophies once again were superb, leather shields which were seriously smart,
and ultimately practical for carrying home.
I glimpsed outside the bikes were still there, oh bother it wasn’t a dream I would
have to judge the show.
So armed with a pen and scrap of paper I started to look for Best Oldie (there wasn’t
room to fit classic on the shield) Best Rat, Best Chop, Best Street and best trike.
Now my good lady wife told me that there was only one bike that would take best rat,
and I have never seen her so enthusiastic towards a bike in a long time so that was
easy and so the black nasty hard tale with ratnav and yellow wheel and grass seat
Ooh this is easier I thought just a few to go, and with Mrs B beside me we pondered
and pondered until we had a list of winners, and then crossed some out and recreated
a list. So in the end we ended up with best rat as above.
Best Oldie a cute little Francis Barnett, which as much as being a tidy bike had
character, as in when asked how the guy stopped the engine and the rear wheel spinning,
he said wait until the engine dies.
Best Trike, well a picnic hamper swayed the balance there
Best Chop, to me a chop has to be classic lines and so Black Magic a tidy XS650 chop
Best Street now this was very difficult as there was the gorgeous chromed Honda 750
café racer, but ultimately I went for Grubbs Sportster, which had the most incredible
sound to it as well as looking great.
Best Paint now here was a challenge but in the End Cheap trick won but a close call.