The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is held in Monterey, CA each year showcasing the best and most unique motorcycles on the planet.
The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is one of those shows I’ve always wanted to attend, but never had the opportunity to do so. Finally, on a clear and sunny Saturday I headed down to The Quail Lodge to check out this well regarded event for myself.
One of the things I enjoy at motorcycle shows are all the interesting bikes that have been ridden to the events. There are always cool bikes and cars on display and The Quail was no exception as I found myself snapping shots of unique rides while I was still in the parking lot! Tickets to The Quail aren’t cheap at $65 a pop but when you consider the great lunch, live entertainment, and amazing bikes on display, it suddenly sounds pretty reasonable.
With lush grass covering the entire event area and all the bikes on display given plenty of room, The Quail is truly the polar opposite of big events like the IMS shows that travel the country. Here, each bike has plenty of space and since tickets to the event are limited, the vibe is relaxed and as cool as the rides on display. There were also a limited amount of vendors on site but since most featured unique motorcycles or accessories, it was simply an added bonus instead of the usual flea market feel you get with too many vendors.
This was the 6th annual show and celebrated the evolution of the motorcycle as well as 100 years of speed trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats. While there were many amazing motorcycles at this year’s event, the streamliners are always particularly interesting to see in person. They are built with such a pure and singular focus and it’s a rare opportunity to get so close to these amazing speed machines. One of my favorite bikes at the show was the Vincent HRD ridden by Roland “Rollie” Free to an American motorcycle land speed record in 1948 at the Bonneville Salt Flats where he ran 150.313mph lying flat on the bike and wearing a Speedo bathing suit and a shower cap. It’s one of the most famous motorcycling photographs ever taken and it was amazing to see the bike in person.
Another great thing about this show is the sheer variety of rides to check out. Whether you’re into classic Italian bikes, BMWs, historical race bikes or immaculately restored vintage dirt bikes, there was a little bit of everything at The Quail and it was all good. The event also brings out racing royalty and champions such as Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Doug Polen were a few of the legendary riders in attendance and mingling with the crowd.
The show states that their mission for this event is “Bringing together motorcycle enthusiasts for a day of fun in celebrating motorcycles and their heritage”, and they certainly accomplished that. Add in the great roads and riding that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer and this is definitely one event to mark on your calendar for next year.