As I mentioned in my story about showing an inappropes bike at the Quail, neither Fish nor I won anything this year (or in years prior and likely future), although Fish’s SnoMoChop was rightfully given high marks by some judges (the cool ones) and fascinated showgoers all day.

Here are the actual winners, starting with the three featured classes for 2019: the 50th Anniversary of the Honda CB750, Off Road Wonders Through the 90s, and the 100th Anniversary of the Brough Superior. Clickety-click to see bigger photos.

Best in Show & 50 Years of the Honda CB750 Award: 1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast

I had a suspicion that something was up as I watched Sam Roberts ride his ’69 CB750 Sandcast off the stage and then loop back behind it after picking up his 50 Years of the CB750 award, so I wasn’t surprised when he rolled back on stage to win Best in Show. There was some grumbling, both on the green and on Instagram—where the smartest folks engage in the most well-informed debate—about his win. I get it—after all, wasn’t I just yakkin’ about Excessive Classic British Bike Boredom? Lots of sweet, classic Hondas everywhere these days.

But word from the judges was that Sam’s sandcast was one of the best examples they’d ever seen, and it was goddamn gorgeous. Sam also gets extra points from CityBike for riding his bike on to the stage, the way God intended.

Off Road Wonders Through the 90s Award: 1969 Cheney/Triumph 750cc Scrambler

Former CityBike cover model Scott Dunlavey won the Off-Road Wonders Award with this Cheney Triumph from the days before “scrambler” and “desert sled” were just hollow marketing jibber-jabber.

100th Anniversary of the Brough Superior Award: 1925 Brough Superior SS100

One of two Broughs that graced the stage this was Larry Bowman’s immaculate ’25 SS100.

HVA Preservation Award: 1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV

The Historical Vehicle Association’s Preservation Award was one of the top moments of the award presentation for me, not because I’m particularly interested in ancient, exorbitantly-valued motorcycles, but because owner Bryan L. Bossier, Sr. of Loozee-anna was entertaining and genuine on the mic, a much-needed respite from the forced “humor” employed by the presenters throughout the ceremony. Bossier, who owns many of the Broughs on display, described the 680, a custom-ordered machine, as—I’m paraphrasing from memory—looking like “the north end of a southbound goat.” Or maybe it was a sheep, maybe even headed a different direction. You get it.

Spirit of The Quail Award: Castle Family Private Collection

I had a good chuckle while checking out the Castles’ congregation of combat cycles, and there was some corny joking on stage as the Spirit of the Quail Award was bestowed upon the private collection—something about how the guns had nothing to do with the win. This joke was at least funnier than the hackneyed, oft-repeated cracks about tolerant wives.

The motorcycle/trailer combo that represented the collection for the award ceremonies was a Cushman paratrooper bike, apparently dropped in behind enemy lines on one chute with the trailer on another.

The Quail Ride Award: 1986 Bimota DB1R

The Quail Qrew hosts a 100-mile ride the day before the event each year, and joining that ride gets you in the running for the Quail Ride award. This DB1R, an amalgamation of owner Adam Cecchini’s “favorite parts” from various DB1s, is a hard choice to argue with. As with the Best in Show winner, Cecchini gets top honors from CityBike for firing up his bike and riding it on to the stage.

Significance in Racing Award: 1967 Honda 450 Daytona Racer

Ron Mousouris’s 1967 Honda 450 Daytona Racer was a real beaut, one of several exceptional racebikes on display. Later, I watched from afar in what felt like a voyeuristic intrusion on a private moment as the bike’s fairings and tank were removed during load-out, presumably for safe transport.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award: 1970 Jawa 652

American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman presented this year’s Hall of Fame Heritage Award to mid-Seventies International Six Day Trials rider Chris Carter (who won Competition Off Road 1st Place last year with his BSA BB34R flat tracker) for his cool “banana frame” Jawa.

Dingman was at this year’s Quail to present the AMA’s previously announced Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award to legend Malcolm Smith, who was the sole reason Red Boots An made the trek from The Sac for this year’s Quail.

While he was in the neighborhood, Dingman presented Liza Miller of Santa Cruz-based Motorcycles & Misfits podcast and Re-Cycle Garage with her also-previously announced Friend of the AMA Award. Yep, that’s AMA Hall of Famer Craig Vetter on her right.

Incidentally, we interviewed Dingman as the bikes were being rolled off the green—stay tuned for that article soon.

Custom/Modified 1st Place & Design and Style Award: 1981 Honda XL500

Niki Smart’s XL500-based build was refreshingly inspired, displaying creativity and craftsmanship. It was so popular it was hard to get photos of—even before the show officially opened, it was constantly mobbed.

Custom/Modified 2nd Place: 1966 Honda S-90

OK, so Dustin Kott’s ’66 S-90 was purty pretty too.

Antique 1st Place: 1928 Douglas 4 ¼

Who’s got the 4 1/4? Bill Wheeler! (Only Black Flag fans will get that… maybe.)

Antique 2nd Place: 1918 BSA Model H

Budd Schwab brought a helper on stage to collect his award.

There were almost as many dogs on the dais during the awards ceremony as women. International Female Ride Day indeed!

American 1st Place: 1953 Indian Chief

Matt Blake’s ’53 Indian was a handsome example of why people still pine for these bikes over half a century later.

American 2nd Place: 1970 Indian Little Indian

Clive Belvoir’s Indian was displayed on a tiny tabletop last year and scored the “children’s choice” Why We Ride award. This year, it took home American 2nd Place.

British 1st Place: 1964 BSA Lightning Rocket

Beauty, thy name is Beezer. Owner, thy name is Robert Ives.

British 2nd Place: 1952 Triumph T6 Thunderbird

Check out those shapely sidecases. The TSW Collection’s T-bird has appeared on the green before, which makes me wonder if simply bringing my Rosso Mandello back a few years in a row will get me on the stage.

Italian 1st Place: 1972 Ducati 750 GT

Though modern Ducatis—and Ducatisti—are all about the L-Twin, it wasn’t always that way. Stewart and Renee Garrison’s 750 GT is a second-year example of the first Ducati with a 90° V-Twin, which Ducati has insisted on calling an L-Twin for the last 15-20 years, I guess so everyone knows it’s special.

Italian 2nd Place: 1961 Ducati Bronco 125

The fact that Kenneth Davis’s Bronco, a single-cylindered Ducati considered by many to be nearly disposable, was able to fire up and motor on stage reinforces my position that if a bike can’t rumble up the ramp under a rider and its own power, it shouldn’t be eligible to win.

Other European 1st Place: 1976 BMW R90/S

Mark Francois rode his ravishing R90S up the ramp to receive his Tiffany plate.

Other European 2nd Place: 1968 BMW R60/2

Kenneth Morris did the same—is anyone surprised that both the winning Beemers ran?

Japanese 1st Place: 1974 Kawasaki H1E

Both of the Japanese winners were ridden on stage too! Here’s Owen Bishop on his widowmaker.

Japanese 2nd Place: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R

Trace St. Germain, who I assume based on the sound of his name is a former porn star, perhaps in the “bearded blue collar fetish” genre, fired up his beautiful blue Z1 to collect his award.

Competition On Road Award: 1979 Kawasaki AMSA Superbike

Kevin McKee’s AMSA Superbike was one of my favorites, both from the winners’ circle and the show at large. Very cool racebike and even cool story behind it, which I can’t remember well enough to tell right. Perhaps someone can enlighten me in the comments?

Kevin also won Competition On Road 1st Place last year with a 1980 CB750.

Extraordinary Bicycles & Scooters Award: 1957 Lambretta LD150 MK3

I would’ve loved to see the Honda Kick ‘n’ Go take this award, but Eric Lussier’s ’57 LD150 was really, really nice and hard to deny.

Innovation Award: 1989 Norton F1 Pre-Production Prototype

Stephen Haddad’s rotary-powered, pre-production F1 scored the Innovation Award, presented by Alpinestars.

Why We Ride Award: 1962 Mustang Stallion

The kids are all right—they chose Jim Taylor’s miniscule Mustang for the Why We Ride Award.

Industry Award: 2019 BMW Prototype BMW Boxer

The Industry class wasn’t sponsored by BMW, at least there’s no evidence of such sponsorship that I’m aware of, but much like all the buzz surrounding this apparently non-functional “motorcycle” commissioned by BMW, the presence of Revival Cycles’ expensive engine stand on the stage felt an awful lot like a promotional placement. Yes, it’s an interesting exercise, but non-functional art pieces should win awards at the “Vaguely Motorcycle-esque Sculpture and Pop Art Show,” not motorcycle shows.

Spirit of the Scrambler Award: 2016 Ducati Scrambler (Surprise!)

I almost didn’t include this one, because brand placement masquerading as a class that rewards use of the word “build” to describe bolt-on “mods” isn’t that interesting. Tom Zipprian’s Scrambler was all right, but Quail stage-worthy?

Maybe we’ll dip into our reserves to sponsor a “Those Jerks at CityBike” class next year so one of us can ride on to the stage.

Can’t All Be Winners

I’d be remiss in my duty as a serious moto-journalist if I didn’t include a glimpse into the trials and tribulations of the real Quail, so here’s a photo of Robert Horn’s RoHorn racer, shortly after it ended up on its left side.

And here’s what it looks like upright, without a bunch of people “helping” pick it up.

13 Responses

  1. Alan Stulberg

    Having you bash the BMW Bridcage we built for being “non-functional art” makes it even more satisfying that it fooled you and many others into believe it doesn’t run. Not only does it run, but we’ll soon be landspeed racing it in Cali and laughing hardily at your vitriol for it. <3

    • Surj Gish

      Perhaps I touched a nerve. And perhaps you mean vitriol, which is inaccurate description of my point of view on the thing. I called it interesting and intriguing as well, and I’ve heard from many, many people with a similar take on the bike: cool, but not very useful.

      It may well run now, but did it run at The Quail? I didn’t see fuel lines. Admittedly, I didn’t have a ton of time to examine it on site but have reviewed our photography since. So how’s fuel getting into the fuel system? And if it ran, why was it being pushed everywhere, and how come there are so many photos of it being pushed around, but none of it being ridden?

      • Alan Stulberg

        Thanks for the typo correction. Perhaps you have a real future as a copy editor. I edited the spelling so maybe you might feel better about my comments. Perhaps you are confusing sarcasm with sounding informed or intelligent.

        “Vitriol” is the precise word I would use to describe the caustic words of an ill-informed person who presents themself as an informed motorcycle expert that implies the he/she knows what belongs and doesn’t belong at a motorcycle event. You clearly lack creative or literal vision for anything outside the normal outlines of a standard motorcycle. Next thing you’ll spout about is that creative gods like Arlen Ness doesn’t deserve his place on the grass at Quail because his bikes weren’t all worthy of an hour long commute in the bay area.

        You should expect that the creator of any machine that you suggest might win an award because BMW paid for it to win would be pretty damn offended. That insinuation is CLEARLY uncalled for and accusatory. It’s an insult to me, my team and to the Quail event in general.

        Also, I reread the above to see if I missed something, but I definitely can’t find the part of the article that says anything about it being “interesting and intriguing”.

        The bike was built solely as a design exercise…..much like concepts and prototypes have been for decades. Regardless, it does run, but was not running at the Quail as the battery was removed and fuel was drained for transport from Texas. Also totally normal protocol. There is a fuel tank under the rider’s seat with a high pressure fuel pump and CLEARLY seen in any close up images or even the faintest of visual examinations would reveal braided black fuel lines going from the fuel pump to both direct injectors into the head ahead of the intake manifolds. Your eyes might be failing you or our ability to hide the unsightly mechanical bits is better than you’re used to.

        Running videos will be released soon.

        You didn’t hit a nerve of any kind other than the one I have for people who make declarative statements and accusations of which they clearly know nothing of. All things are not obvious to all people. If you can’t appreciate something outside your scope of the world perhaps you should stick to your vision of normalcy and average and all will be copacetic.

      • Surj Gish

        Oh, I get it: people who aren’t creative visionaries like you aren’t allowed to comment. Get over yourself, maestro.

        But thanks for admitting the bike wasn’t running at the Quail. Lulz. I saw the tank and the lines—I guess your ability to hide the unsightly mechanical bits isn’t as good as you think—but the lines don’t appear to connect to the injectors on each side, or at least didn’t at the Quail, where we’ve already established that the bike wasn’t running. Which is what I originally said, and what you got your undergarments all bunched over.

        If you’re gonna complain this much, you really ought to get it together a little better—the text you originally got butt-hurt about is a hyperlink to another article about this year’s Quail (which will probably piss you off further). I’ll stand by my opinion that bikes should have to be functional to ascend the stage at the Quail (as did many bikes that were—gasp!—transported with fuel and a battery) but I’ll also point out that we spoke highly about Arlen Ness’s bikes at last year’s Quail. So you’re just making shit up, like your nonsensical accusation about my vision of normalcy. For someone so concerned about inaccuracy and bashing, you’re surprisingly eager to go there yourself.

        I didn’t say BMW paid for your bike to win. I said it felt like a promotional placement. If you’re insulted that your bike got called as what it is—a promotional device—I’m not sure what to tell you. Also, I doubt the Quail will be offended at that “insinuation,” what with the existence of the Ducati Scrambler class (and the Monster class last year) where Ducati literally did exactly that—paid for a class in which their bike would win. More lulz.

        Look, just because people don’t agree with your vision doesn’t mean they “know nothing” or “lack creative or literal vision,” the latter of which I guess would make them blind. Your unrideable engine stand isn’t the be all, end all of future motorcycle design, Tex.

        Which reminds me, I’m more than a little surprised that a Texas guy is such a precious crybaby.

      • Gareth Roberts

        And Surj, it seems you’re the one who’s getting all butt hurt here just because someone challenges your misconceptions.

  2. Gareth Roberts

    The Revival Birdcage is a fully functional motorcycle. Do your research and don’t; let your prejudice write your articles.

    • Surj Gish

      Maybe the bike runs now, but wasn’t running at the time of the Quail and this article.

      I did my research (and you may want to research the word “prejudice” if you’re gonna throw it around like you’ve done here). See the deleted comments above, where mine are still left—where you just also commented in your campaign on behalf of your bros at Revival? That was Al Stulberg from Revival essentially confirming the bike didn’t run and admitting the bike didn’t run at the Quail, saying that a “running video” would be coming soon. (before deleting his comments).

      By the way, I’ve largely stopped paying attention to this particular “motorcycle” but I have yet to see that video and a quick look at Revival’s YouTube and website doesn’t reveal it.

      I get that you’re all about the “mystique” of the “builder” but some of us still want to actually ride, and my comments and opinions on corporate-sponsored builds and non-running “motorcycles” stand even if they don’t jive with the perspective you’re pimping in your documentary.

      • Gareth Roberts

        Well the bike runs now, as it was always designed to, and you’ve made no attempt to update your article. In fact if you’d been at Quail this weekend you’d have seen it run. Have you actually seen my documentary? I’d wager you haven’t, so your assumption of what I’m ‘pimping’ is again based on your own prejudice and half-assed misconceptions. rather than any kind of in-depth research. As for your ‘some for us still want to actually ride’ schtick, yeah, we do. I’ve been riding daily for the best part of forty years, and have ridden pretty much every kind of motorcycle you’d care to mention. As for corporate sponsorship, your site is plastered with it.

      • Gareth Roberts

        Prejudice can refer to unfounded or pigeonholed beliefs and it may include “any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence”. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavourable, feelings towards people or a person. Pretty accurate use I’d say.

      • Surj Gish

        Why would I update this article? You comprehend that articles—like movies (or maybe you call them films) are artifacts, not “living documents,” right? It’s not like we had a fact-checking error—which we do update and notate on the rare occasions that happens. The bike didn’t run at the event this article is about, as verified by Revival via Stulberg, so this story is correct and stands. Do I seriously need to educate you on how this stuff works?

        I haven’t watched your film, that’s correct, because based on the marketing materials and website it doesn’t interest me. The reverence for the custom world has been done to death at this point, and come on: you were so short on meaningful quotes that blasé stuff like “The custom motorcycle scene has totally revolutionized the industry” made it into your preview. That would have been insightful in… the Seventies?

        There ought to be enough material information in your marketing efforts to understand the concepts you cover in the film, correct? Or are you saying that your marketing and site are inaccurate, and people ought to watch just ‘cuz?

        I’ll add “doesn’t let lack of knowledge stop him from opining vigorously” to the list of reasons I’m not gonna see your film. I have zero interest in dedicating my time and money to supporting the “art” of someone who can so rapidly demonstrate how unexamined their perspectives are.

        To wit: you keep using the word prejudice as if it’s meaningful, and you’ve even busted out the classical “here’s the definition” tactic, but your use of the word is semantically incorrect and conceptually irrelevant—I don’t hate custom bikes, or “art bikes” or whatever. I just think bikes should be able to run to get on the stage at the Quail (with some exceptions for super-rare or unrestored stuff, for example, not incomplete corporate showcase bikes). I also prefer bikes that are meant to be ridden, and as such, high-sheen, low-function art pieces such as the Birdcage leave me a little cold, especially when they’re as much (or more) about brand promotion than creativity.

        To draw from your conveniently-provided definition, though: you have yet to show me anything rational to resist, sir, but quite a bit of irrationality and ignorance. You—and Stulberg—would do well to supplement your whining with at least a cursory understanding of the words you choose. Same goes for “corporate sponsorship.” Show me a single instance of corporate sponsorship here and I’ll run a free ad for a month for your movie. Spoiler alert: advertising isn’t sponsorship.

        As for riding every day, well bully for you, amigo. As noted above, my comments about actually riding are about motorcycles that lack sufficient utility in that area, but thanks for affirming your motorcycling manhood.

      • Gareth Roberts

        I’m stating that you make assumptions and commit them to print, claiming to be a journalist, without conducting any meaningful research. Instead of measured and informed commentary, you resort to spouting angry, bitter scatter gun rants. The journalistic equivalent of an old drunk with piss-stained pants standing on the corner of the street shouting at passing traffic.

      • Surj Gish

        And I’m saying—again—that you don’t know what you’re talking about, as demonstrated in an ever-increasing number of areas here. Worse, your inaccurate accusations about the assumptions you think I’ve made are rife with your own utterly unfounded assumptions, some of which I’ve addressed, to no avail. Repeating “no research!” over and over in “no collusion” style doesn’t invalidate the research that was done, Filmmaker Trump.

        I’m sorry that CityBike isn’t the flaccid suck-up brand-submissive echo chamber that so many other publications are, but that doesn’t mean our stuff isn’t critically considered and extremely well-informed. I’d argue just the opposite, but you’ve already demonstrated that you’re not interested in anything beyond from your poorly-informed, pre-existing POV, so I’m not gonna bother.

        I don’t know why you’re white-knighting so hard for the Birdcage, but you have yet to address the factual issues you continue to ignore, starting with the fact that the bike didn’t run at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering—as confirmed by Stulberg—and running through all the nonsensical points you’ve raised and then abandoned in your attacks on me here. Solid showing, my good man.

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