January 26, 2023

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

On Two Wheels in Carmel

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering shook off its pandemic hibernation and returned to the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, CA on May 14th. After a two-year hiatus, the event rebounded for its 12th year with record crowds and 250 luscious motorcycle entries. 

Best of Show honors went to a ‘51 Vincent Rapide-engined hand-built creation by Max Hazen of California. The same bike was honored with the Top Design Award. 

Best in Show: 1951 Vincent built by Max Hazen

The annual event remains the premier American concours event dedicated solely to motorcycles, attracting builders, restorers and collectors from all over North America. It takes place on the same golf course venue as the August Quail Motorsports Gathering

This year’s Motorcycle Gathering honored builder/designer and former professional road racer Roland Sands as the guest “Legend of the Sport.” On hand were examples of his varied custom motorcycle builds, built with a wide variety of style and purposes, but all with a unique perspective of performance. 

Going back 25 years, Sands won his first-ever pro race at nearby Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Following his successful racing career, Sands re-invented himself in the industry, with work ranging from designer motorcycle apparel to sport bike and big twin aftermarket accessories.

Classes and Awards

On Saturday morning, the California sunshine gleamed off the polished chrome and paint of many of the world’s most rare and beautifully crafted bikes. Featured classes included Harley-Davidson XR750 racers, BMW R75/5, Minibikes/Big Fun, Two-Stroke “Braaaps” and a host of specialty awards that recognized outstanding design and workmanship across the entire show. 

Roland Sands and Barry Weiss alongside the custom ’63 Triumph Thunderbird

While traditional classes offered period restorations of production motorcycles of different eras, many top trophies went to exotic marques or modern interpretations of classic bikes. Reality TV personality Barry Weiss brought a tastefully customized 1963 Triumph Thunderbird, which was chosen by Roland Sands for his eponymous award. 

Several other exquisite custom creations graced the victory platform, including the Ducati “Fuse” built by Revival Cycles of Austin TX, which earned the AMA Hall of Fame Heritage Award. Bryan Fuller’s radical Vincent Black Flash Custom took the Art Center Award, and the “Why We Ride” award, chosen by youth judges, went to a nifty Yamaha YSR-50 Mini road racer presented by Californian Kristen Skvorak.

Antique Class competitors

“The success of the Quail Motorcycle Gathering was truly overwhelming,” said show organizer Gordon McCall. “We are so proud to have come back stronger than ever and are excited to see what 2023 will bring.” 

Next year’s Motorcycle Gathering is slated for May 6th, 2023, and tickets go on sale in the fall.