Marvellous machines on display at motorcycle show

Visitors browse a small selection of the motorcycles on display in the upper concourse.

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Words and photographs: Colin Smeeton

A fine selection of rare and unique motorcycles from around the globe made this year’s annual motorcycle show at Arran Heritage Museum memorable.

Punching far above its weight, the motorcycle show featured a range of vintage, racing, off-road and modern motorcycles.

Among the highlights was a Royal Enfield WD350cc which was sent to Europe in 1944 with the Royal Signals and served as a dispatch motorcycle during the war. Another notable display was a NSU Superlux 200cc. Once owned by Adam Ant, the motorcycle is rare enough without its famous owner, coming from the NSU company which dates back to 1873.

Another interesting machine on show was a well-travelled Yamaha Tenere XT 660cc which started its life as a safari motorbike in Namibia, Africa, before travelling around Europe, finally settling in the UK.

Colin Turbett of Shiskine thrilled visitors with his Dnepr MT-11 650cc, made at the KMZ factory in Kiev, Ukraine, that still has under 2,000 kilometres on the clock.

But the star of the show was undoubtedly the BSA Empire 350 which took the Classic Prize and was voted Best in Show by the visitors. This motorcycle is owned by Ian McDonald of Arisaig who had three of this motorcycles featured in the show, including the Royal Enfield WD350cc dispatch motorcycle.

Unfortunately, as a result of ill health, Ian was unable to attend the event but his niece Lorna Blackwood, and Mark Pepper, both of Sliddery, brought the motorcycles for everyone to see.

Results: Classic, 1937 BSA Empire 350, Ian MacDonald; Modern, BMW 1000 SRR 190 BHP, Trevor Lamb; Connor Smith Trophy 1979 Honda Red Rocket, Neil Currie; Most Interesting Bike, 1956 NSU Super Lux, Elaine Wood; Race Bike, Aprilia 660, Scott Rankine and Lewis Kennedy; Museum Trophy/Best in Show, 1937 BSA Empire 350, Ian MacDonald; Peoples’ choice, 1936 Triumph 3/2 Single, Jim Ross. First prize for Post Classic went to a Yamaha AT 125.

In addition to the motorcycles on show, a number of rare, interesting and collectable vehicles made an appearance at the show.

This year, the highlight was an immaculate and original 2001 Mini Cooper Sport, owned by Angela and Chris Irving. Their little car has less than 16,000 miles on the clock and attracted a great deal of interest from the older generation and youngsters who were fascinated by the eye-catching red and silver vehicle.

Event organisers said: ‘Thank you to everyone for turning out in such rotten weather, all the willing helpers who directed traffic and helped owners and those who handed out entry forms and conducted the prizegiving. Thank you also to the judges for stepping up to the job when accidents and Covid ruled out three other events.

‘Thanks to everyone who displayed their bikes and cars – many making multiple trips back and forth – and museum staff, Arran Pipe Band and other musicians.’

Just before the heavens opened up with torrential downpours, visitors had been enjoying the vehicles on show, fine food from Cafe Rosaburn and live music from Keith Robertson. Arran Pipe Band also performed for the audience, drawing to a close one of the most fascinating motorcycle displays on Arran in recent years.


Arran Pipe Band round off the motorcycle show with an impressive and well-appreciated performance. 01_B26motorcycle01

Angela and Chris Irving with their desirable 2001 Mini Cooper Sport. 01_B26motorcycle02

A well-travelled Yamaha Tenere XT 660cc which had come from Africa and travelled around Europe before coming to the UK. 01_B26motorcycle03

Judges Nick Goatley and Ivor Ward award a 1956 NSU, once owned by Adam Ant, a first place rosette. 01_B26motorcycle04

A Royal Enfield WD350cc owned by Ian McDonald of Arisaig and which served in WW2. 01_B26motorcycle05

Visitors browse a small selection of the motorcycles on display in the upper concourse. 01_B26motorcycle06

A selection of off-road motorcycles on display, including a first prizewinning 1979 Honda CR250R Elsinore. 01_B26motorcycle07

Colin Turbett of Shiskine with his Ukrainian Dnepr MT-11 650cc. 01_B26motorcycle08

Lorna Blackwood and Mark Pepper with the 1937 BSA Empire 350 which won the Museum Trophy and the Classic category. 01_B26motorcycle09

Keith Robertson provided live music for visitors throughout the afternoon. 01_B26motorcycle10