motorcycle touring holiday Germany Europe classic Ducati Bimota Superbike experience
A truly excellent tour to Montlhery, just to the south of Paris in France for the 3rd edition of the Cafe racer festival held on the historic Autodrome de Linas-Montlhery banked circuit.
Montlhery has become one of those 'must see' events and is still growing in popularity due to its' originality and refreshing French charm.
We can't even get in the gate before we are stopped by a beautifully prepared Ducati Cafe from Radical Ducati.
Harley Davidson Sportster Cafe on the prowl.
The French Triton owners club put on one of the best shows which also included any type of 'British' Cafe racer and sportster such as this Egli Vincent and Rickman.
Some real quality bikes to be seen.
Sweet Velocette heading a line up of British sportsters.
And a whole flock of Rob North style Triumph triples.
There is also always plenty going on to stop and watch, final tuning on a triple racer.
Newer and just as attractive are some of the modern style of custom bobbers.
Rare, partly because I have never seen one before, Harley Davidson Aermacchi Cafe racer is a real treat.
John Player Norton amongst the paddock finds.
Period Norton Dominator racer looks just the part.
This one looks a little neglected but just as enthraling, I would be happy to have any of them in my barn:
Just imagine to take this up on the Montlhery banking.
And a superb Norton Internationai (or is it actually an ES2 ?) to round the collection off.
We found this perfect Norton Commando 850S in the bike park, so plenty more to see there too.
The track session participants gather in the pit lane before their group is given the green flag.
A great view from the pit lane roof.
The famous 'Lucky Cat' garage BMW streamliner prepared for the sprint races.
Plenty of activity around this bike which has been wowing the visitors to sprint events in Europe since it was first shown in Glemseck back in 2013.
The Montlhery banking looks to be about 10 metres high, it's a brave man who takes his machine up to the top.
But there's no hurry to do anything quickly at Montlhery . .
Harley Davidson XR750 racer going into the chicane after the banking.
And again, being prepared in the paddock.
Olivier brings his Moto Guzzi Le mans 3 safely through the chicane.
Sylvain, close behind on the Ducati Mike Hailwood replica.
How about that challenge to bring 3 Hailwoods to Montlhery next year ?
We are definitely ready to go for it.
A rare Bimota HB2 making light work of the Montlhery circuit, here through the chicane on the start/finish straight.
Voxans are rare outside of France but there are plenty to be seen here, on the circuit and around the paddock area.
Whoever called the bevel gear window on a Ducati a 'bevel gazer' certainly got it spot on.
Myself, Olivier, Sylvain and Michael 'gazing' into the bevel 'magic'.
Cool Ducati 750 round case which was entered in the circuit sessions and the sprint races.
Inspiration for us all.
Another bevel Ducati in the paddock, converted to SS look.
A 750 Sport and little brother Pantah in the bike park.
Look closely, not a Ducati Monster, but a mini replica based on a Honda Cub engine.
This Paul Smart Sport Classic was turning in quick laps on the banking all weekend.
And an excellent condition 900SS in black and gold in the bike park.
The BMW R nine T custom bikes were also on display.
The best of the bunch for me is the Hide Motorcycle version with nice proportions and some unexpected details in the treatment. The most fun to look at !
A great selection of bikes on this dealers stand.
Gorgeous Guzzi Falcone Cafe racer conversion, or is it indeed a period racer?
An MV Agusta or two to make my day complete. Also to be seen on the banking and in the sprints during the weekend. Using them for the purpose they were made for.
The sprints were organised perfectly without wasting any time, each pair of bikes being flagged off as the next lined up behind.
This Yamaha V max put on a great show, spinning the wheel off the line.
Triton vs Triumph, what it's all about.
Gentlemans GT Laverda.
More Velocettes in the paddock.
As well as an impressive variety of classic Triumphs.
The face of Cafe racing is alive and well and indeed prospering in a suberb of Paris, France.
Montlhery is such a unique and fascinating event, we will be definitely be going back next year for a week long tour, with plans to pass by the Nürburgring, on to the Champagne region and coming back trough the Vogesen national park with visits to the French national car and train museums in Mulhouse added in.