Rain showers inaugurated the 2nd Vintage & Classic Motorcycle show today here in Jaipur. After a heavy rain last night, the sky was looking washed and clear, and so did the event venue. Though, the very day when the event was to start went cloudy and hazy, thus delaying the start of the event. When we reached there, around 70 bikes and their proud owners were already there. Lucky were we to meet Mr. Birju Singh the first person at there.
Mr. Birju Singh is a bike enthusiast, one of the oldest bikers, standing tall and strong at 78. Surprising is his enthusiasm for the bikes, such is his knowledge, love and passion for bikes that the younger generation stood silently listening to him. Mr. Singh owns several vintage bikes including a 1933 made Villers Corgi Parachute bike, 1942 BSA 550cc and others. Today he came to attend the show with two of his bikes. His Villiers Parachute bike was the star attraction today and every single visitor was asking about that bike, clicking pictures, wanting him to show them if this small piece of machine ever works!
He gave us a few minutes, he answered a few questions. When we asked him about biking, he said, "I was hardly 13, when I rode a bike for the first time, and I fell in love with these mean machines. It was the era when India got independent and bikes were not that famous. I joined army and after preliminary retirement I joined intelligence but my love for bikes have been increased day-by-day." Quite stunned were we with his passion for bikes. When asked about the most lovable and fascinating thing about the bikes, he says, "These machines are so adorable because these are reliable, rigid and important, I have tonnes of memories with these bikes and bikes have become a part of my life." After this short conversation we start to look for another bikes. We found some wonderful war bikes there, including a 1942 BSA side car, BSA Bantam, 1938 James 150cc Hand Gear, 1942 BSA 550cc, 1942 Triumph 350cc, 1948 BSA 350cc among many others.
Along with these vintage war model bikes, there were some classic bikes as well on display including Rajdoot GTS 175cc (also known as Bobby, because of its appearance in the Bollywood movie, Bobby), Royal Enfield bikes, many Jawa and Yezdi 250cc bikes, Yamaha RD 350 and others. Mr. Raja Kaka was one of the participants and had brought 5 war bikes including a 1938 James, 2 BSA bikes and a 1942 Triumph. Mr. Sandeep Jethwani brought two unique bikes including a 1939 Norton 16H 550cc and a 1954 BSA 612cc bike, which are among the 6 bikes, which were imported to India.
Along with these vintage and classic bikes, the visitors were much amazed to see some beautiful classic scooters. We saw a 1963 Vespa scooter, owned by Mr. Ravikant Sharma, who had maintained it so well that to belive that it belonged to an era dating back to 50 years! We could not help likening it to the latest Vespa offering. We also saw a pretty rare 1954 Lambretta D scooter, along with two other Lambretta scooters. We were quite impressed by a 1967 Vespa scooter, which was brought from Delhi and can you imagine its owner Mr. Fakruddin rode this scooter to Jaipur to participate. To our astonishment, the scooter pumps a mileage of 55 kmpl!
The first day ended with the judges Mr. Vikram Singh and Satish Jangir, judging all the bikes on the basis of their age, condition and maintenance. The results will be announced in 5 different categories tomorrow by Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur. A bike rally will also be flagged-off tomorrow.