Diamonds in the rough.
Access to vintage motorcycles hasn’t been the same during the global pandemic. With museums shutdown and social distancing mandates in place, enthusiasts have relied on the internet to brush up on the classics. Of course, the story is much different if you’re fortunate enough to have a vintage motorcycle collection of your own. For the rest of us, the Barn Find Hunter video series scratches that itch with its latest installment.
Presented on the Hagerty YouTube channel, the series lives up to its name. From uncovering a 1928 Ford Model A Roadster in the U.K. to doting over a Shelby GT500 in San Diego, California, host Tom Cotter focuses on classics of the four-wheeled variety. Luckily, the latest Barn Find Hunter episode is the first Barn Find Hunter dedicated to motorcycles, and it delivers the goods.
Starting at the residence of Steve Davis, Cotter picks through cluttered garages and dusty storerooms to bring us a trove of rousing relics. Whether it’s Honda’s CT minimotos, Yamaha’s SC motocrossers, or a Hercules Wankel rotary bike, Davis’ collection consists of the motorcycling’s legends and oddities. The North Carolina-based collector didn’t stop with fully-built bikes either. Davis dedicates one full barn to discarded exhaust systems and a pile of cylinders and heads for ‘70s Japanese motorcycles.
For some, the dusty, rusty, and bestrewn collection might border on hoarding. For others, the old bikes have aged to perfection. Regardless of your slant, Davis’s efforts are admirable, but they don’t include a Vincent Rapide or Velocette Venom. For that, Cotter travels to Davis’ neighbor. Simply referred to as Robin, the Briton also shows off his Norton Dominator and Tn original Triumph Bonneville.
Unlike Davis’s expansive collection, Robin’s manageable stable is masterfully curated and maintained. But, which would you prefer for your personal motorcycle museum: collecting as many motorcycles as possible or a select few that you can feasibly look after?