Classic Bike Live 2017

Published: 12 October 2017

Glasgow-born Bob McIntyre was one of the finest motorcycle racers to have come out of Scotland, and Classic Bike Live – supported by Footman James – is delighted to be featuring a special display honouring the man who became the first rider to record a 100mph lap of the TT Mountain Circuit in 1957.

A hugely gifted rider, he rode works machinery for AJS, Gilera and Honda and was one of the finest riders never to have won a world title. But he came close – he was second in the 500 class (and third in the 350s) in 1957, and second in the 250cc championship in his final season of 1962 – injury denied McIntyre a world crown.

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McIntyre never lost his sheer enthusiasm for racing despite the inevitable setbacks and, whenever he was between works rides, he would ride machinery provided by Belshill garage proprietor Joe Potts. Potts, an old school engineer, was a genius at getting the best out of whatever machinery was available and some of the race machinery he prepared for McIntyre is on display today.

The last bike McIntyre ever rode is one of them. The heavily tuned Manx Norton was described by ‘The MotorCycle’ at the start of 1962 as being: ‘…as potent a 500 single as can be found anywhere…’ Also on show is the amazing 1958 desmodromic Norton developed by Potts for McIntyre to race when Gilera pulled out of GP competition at the end of 1957, plus a replica of the works Gilera McIntyre rode to record breaking victory in the 1957 TT, and a number of other machines from the Joe Potts stable.

And that's not all

Tickets are selling fast for this year’s Classic Bike Live with punters angling to see some awesome machines bursting into life in the Fire-Up Paddock. It’s your opportunity to see machines once raced by the biggest names in biking – Barry Sheene, Phil Read and Kevin Schwantz – up and running. Confirmed so far are Kevin Schwantz’s RGV500 XR94, Phil Read’s RG500 Mk1 and Barry Sheene’s XR27 RG500 as ridden at the 1979 Silverstone GP. There will also be an ex-Sheene Yamaha OW53 and Bazza’s old XR14.

This year’s event at the East of England Arena on October 28-29 is a must for fans of British machinery, with a display of many historic Nortons. Visitors to the show can see Ian’s 1926 Maudes Trophy-winning Model 19 combination, a 1927 Model CJ, a 1928 cammy CS1 racer and a 929 ES2 restored by the late Dr George Cohen.

From the ’30s, there’ll be a 1935 Model 20 twinport and the 1937 Model 35 that won best single at the Norton gathering at the 100th anniversary TT in 2007. Completing the line-up of Ian’s bikes are a ’56 Featherbed International, ’63 Atlas Scrambler, ’77 MkIII Commando and ’88 Rotary Classic.

TT legend John McGuinness will be ready to chat about his 23 wins on the island, and 1960s racer Colin Seeley – the man who’s done it all on two and three wheels – will be at the show, too.

Advance tickets are just £9 at www.classicbikelive.co.uk

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