Wild Ones; A Short History of Racing Motorcycles
~ Walnut Creek, California ~
[Bedford Gallery @ Dean Lesher Regional Center For The Arts - March 30 - June 1, 2003]
Pix courtesy: Steve Allen - updated 4/5/03

Good fun was had by all at the opening party for the Bedford Gallery "Wild Ones - A Short History on Racing Motorcycles" motorcycle exhibit in Walnut Creek, CA.

Saw a couple listers there - John Goldman had a couple of his bikes on display..... I forgot to write down the specifics so John, will you chime in here? Anyways, a Mondial and a Moto Guzzi..... beautiful bikes. Ran into Hans Mellberg and Keith Hale as well. Ivan Thelin, myself and our buddy Fredrik took a nice ride previous to the show. Ivan on his GT me on my NCR Replica and Fredrik, well, he suffered along on his H*nda but we don't hold it against him.. The East Bay hills are green as green can be, everything is blooming - it was 73 degrees. Oh what fun it is to ride....

About 30 or so bikes on display including Kenny Roberts TZ750 flat tracker, Nicky Hayden's RC51 superbike, a Brittin, a few Harleys, Cyclone, Indian, Ceccato, Laverda, Ducati, Benelli, Girela, Motobi Zanzani, MV Agusta, Vincent Black Lightning, Parilla, Norton, Bultaco, BMW, BSA, .... All race bikes, all beautifully taken care of. A foto exhibit by Tom Riles, video.... The exhibit will be on display for a couple of months and is located on the corner of Locust and Civic in downtown Walnut Creek.

The official event poster - Yes, that is John Goldman's 1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino

I have some pix of the event posted below, please send yours in as well and I will add them.

Bevel Content - Ivan and I parked out bevel drives right by the front door - Ivan got a door price as BEST RESTORED and I think won a Guggenheim ART OF MOTORCYCLE book.

Pantah Content - none. There wasn't one at the show [inside or in the parking lot] which bummed me out, the only thing missing. Come on guys, get those bikes fixed up and take them out for a ride!

Hi, Steve and others:

I have three bikes at the show: 1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino (which is a flat 500 single long distance road racing bike); 1951 Mondial 125 double overhead cam Grand Prix (this is Carlo Ubbiali's world championship winning Grand Prix bike) and a 1979 Laverda Formula 500. The Formula 500 is a parallel twin 500 designed for the Laverda Cup one marque racing series.

I was happy to see so many bikers show up - must have been at least 200 bikes in front at one point. A fun time was had by all. . .

John Goldman [email protected] 

Viewing Tip for images on this page: For Internet Explorer, click an image below and a new window will open up.  Resize the new window so the picture fits nicely.  Close the window after viewing it and click on another image from the gallery.  The new window should open up the same size as the picture each time....

Outside the gallery, a couple hundred bikes parked on the sidewalk

John Goldman in front of his 1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino

HD XR750, 1971 450 Desmo [top, center]

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

John's 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Rich's SD Darmah

Britton #8

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino & 1951 Mondial 125 in the background

Nicky Hayden's 2002 RC51

1921 Indian & 1914 Cyclone

1962 Parilla Gran Sport & 1966 Bultaco TSS

1951 Mondial 125

1956 Gilera Saturno Piuma Electron

1914 Cyclone, 61ci

Guy Webster's 1959 100cc Ceccato GS

Mike Baldwin's 1975 Kawasaki  KR750

Kenny Robert's TZ750 dirt tracker

1957 MV Augusta CSS Squalo et. al.

1957 MV Augusta CSS Squalo

1941 HD  XR750

Harley Davidson superbike

1921 1000ccc Indian

1914 Cyclone

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

HD Superbike w/Nicky's superbike in the background

1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino

1914 Cyclone

1951 Moto Guzzi Dondolino & 1951 Mondial 125 in the background

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

Bird's eye view down into the gallery

Wild Ones: A Short History of Racing Motorcycles presents thirty magnificent historic racing motorcycles.  Each one of the bikes in this international selection was chosen as an object of beauty, as an extraordinary performer, and because it occupies a significant place in the development of motorcycle design.

Most of the bikes are on loan from California’s community of collectors, who range from the owner and former racer of a single, well-cared-for, meticulously restored 1981 speedway bike to the passionate enthusiast whose 75 rare and valuable bikes comprise what amounts to a private museum.

The earliest bike in the exhibition is the Cyclone, a legendary American pioneer, built in 1914.  Next in line, a beautifully restored 1921 American Indian, was modified and raced by Noel McIntyre and won so many races against its chief competitor, it was known as “The Harley Eater.”  Other American bikes in the show include Harley-Davidson’s 1975 XR750 flat-track racer, the overwhelmingly dominant bike in its genre, which was a dedicated factory racing motorcycle, never produced for street use.

Italian bikes from a well-known California collector include a rare 1955 Ceccato GS that set a world record as the fastest 100cc bike of its time.  The other Italian bikes include a 1956 Gilera Saturno Piuma (featherweight) Eletron factory race bike, which is one of only four in the world, and a 1957 MV Agusta CSS Squalo, the winner of 37 championships.   English bikes include a 1950 Norton Manx 500, the bike that dominated racing worldwide in the 500cc class.  Among other English bikes are a 1957 BSA 500cc Gold Star Flat Tracker, and a 1960 Matchless G50, a magnesium-cased, single-cylinder motorcycle capable of sustaining speeds of 135 mph. 

The Japanese bikes in the show include a 1982 blazing yellow, championship-winning Suzuki that was raced by Brad Lackey and a 1975 Kawasaki KR750 raced by Mike Baldwin. 

Notable bikes from other countries include the 1966 Bultaco TSS from Spain; a highly modified 1978 R100S Bonneville BMW racer (a land-speed-record challenger) from Germany; and the exotic Britten motorcycle #8, one of the few hand-built Brittens designed by the late brilliant John Britten of New Zealand.

Special Events  

Opening Party
Sunday, March 30, 3-5:30 p.m. 
Admission: $6

Music, hors d'oeuvres and other refreshments; 
"VIP parking" for motorcycles 

Art & Wine with Vicky Jackson Bell, professional racer 
Thursday, May 8, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Admission: $
Wine, hors d’oeuvres, and an informal discussion about her life and racing history with a woman who has achieved national distinction in motocross racing and more recently on her RS125 Honda. 

Art Morning for Seniors
Wednesday, April 30, 10 a.m. Free
Knight Theater, Stage 3, Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts
Sponsored by the Minnie and Samuel Feldman Family Charitable Trust.
Motorcycle collectors, shown on videotape in a theater adjacent to the Bedford Gallery, tell the stories and point out the special features of motorcycles on view in the Wild Ones exhibition. Refreshments in the gallery and a docent tour of the exhibition follow.

About Bedford Gallery

Bedford Gallery, a program of the City of Walnut Creek, also receives substantial funding from Diablo Regional Arts Association.

Bedford Gallery is located in the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, four blocks south of the Walnut Creek BART station.

Bedford Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings 6–8 p.m. and other evenings 6–8 p.m. when there are theater performances in the Regional Center. Call 925/295-1417 for information about specific evenings.

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