Clubman Classic Motorcycle Show

Sep 5, 2014
Funny story. Apologies for the post length.

A few months ago, a friend in the Northern California Norton Owners Club asked me to bring my 961 Café Racer to the Clubman Classic British Motorcycle Show in San Jose, CA on March 28. He said that the club would have their usual booth and wanted to display a new Norton to demonstrate that Norton is back in production.

Shortly before the show, I confirmed that my friend in the club, who recently took delivery of a 961 Sport, still wanted me to bring my bike. So confirmed, I got to the show early and learned that there was only enough room at the club display for one new Norton, my friend's Sport. So, I waited at the door for my friend to show.

Those working the door were very helpful and quite interested in the Café Racer. They asked whether I was taking it inside. After explaining, they said that if I paid $20, then I could display the bike along with the other bikes in the show. That seemed like a good solution, so I took it inside.

This is a great classic bike show. Although the BSA club sponsors the British show, there are other clubs there representing Japanese and European marques, so something for everybody. After wandering around a bit, I came back to where my bike was "displayed" and it had a blue ribbon on it. I asked one of the official looking guys what that meant and learned that the bike had been "judged". I'm new to all of this, but figured that was a courtesy given it is a classic bike show.

After taking in everything of interest and after about four hours or so, I decided to leave, so said my goodbyes and proceeded to walk my bike out.

A couple of weeks go by and I get a package in the mail -- a beautiful plaque claiming that my 961 Café Racer won the Electric Start, Open Class. Had I waited until the end of the show, I would have had a nice, professional picture taken with the bike. Click on “Trophy Winners” at this site , fifth line.

Many thanks to the BSA and Norton clubs and very sorry I left early. Live and learn.

How many bikes can you take to a show like this, virtually new (3,000 miles) and mostly stock, and come away with a trophy? Speaks volumes on the desirability of the bike, and that's when it's standing still. It remains my #1 favorite ride.


Aug 25, 2009
Country flag
This just confirms that the boys in the BSA club have excellent taste.

Apr 22, 2015
Country flag
I've been going to the clubman's show for the three years I've had a Norton again. the shows great the people outstanding and the morning after ride great, I got a blue ribbon for displaying my 961 Sport and had a great day talking to people at the NCNOC booth.
Jan 5, 2014
Country flag
Your story reminds me of a friend of mine and myself entered his 63 Chevy Impala into a show. It was a plain jane but in great shape. Thinking he had no chance of winning, we were doing donuts in the mud when they announced his winning the unrestored class. Funny driving up in his mud covered Chevy to accept the trophy amidst a lot of thumbs up and laughter. Hey. Ya never know.