Riders rev up for Goodwood Revival

Famous names racing on vintage bikes makes for a great show!

GOODWOOD REVIVAL is the annual celebration of all things vintage.

Cars, motorcycles, planes, steam trains and tractors from yesteryear lined up at the Chichester festival this weekend, while thousands of well-dressed individuals milled around the motors.

Among dozens of classic car races, there were but two motorcycle races – the two-part Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy. For motorcycles of a type that raced up until 1954, this event featured 30 bikes – each with two riders, swapping halfway through the race –  with a race taking place on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

On both days the race began with a Le Mans style start, the riders running to their bikes and jumping aboard as soon as the flag dropped. From then the races were fought in close contention, with Norton Manxs of the 50s racing against Brough Superior SS100s and BMW R57 Compressors harking from the 1920s.

And two of the latter models were ridden by none other than Troy Corser and Maria Costello.

In fact, the line-up was full of famous names. Also competing were John McGuiness, James Haydon and James Hillier, both aboard different 1953 Norton Manx, Lee Johnston on a Matchless G4, Jenny Tinmouth and Steve Parrish on two separate 1954 Norton Dominator 99s and Connor Cumins on a 1953 Norton FAN Manx.

Suffice to say, the racing was exhilarating, as bikes reached speeds in excess of 120mph around the 3.8-kilometer circuit.

Saturday’s race was won by John McGuinness and his co-rider Glen English aboard their 1953 Norton Manx. But it was one of the oldest bikes in the grid that took victory on Sunday – Troy Corser’s 1929 supercharged BMW R57 Compressor, ridden by the Australian and co-rider Herbert Schwab.

And while there weren’t many motorcycles on track, there were plenty on display around Goodwood. Just check out some of these beauties…

Retro bike group test: Yamaha XSR700 vs Ducati Scrambler vs Bonneville Street Twin vs Guzzi V7 II