BSRA #1 WHITBY National Scooter Rally 2018 | RALLERY
Easter is a time of traditions and we’re not talking about overfeeding the kids on chocolate. For many of you reading this, Easter is all about blowing the cobwebs off after winter, getting those scooters out and riding with a bunch of mates to the seaside. In recent times that destination has been either Scarborough or Whitby. For 2018 it was the bi-annual turn of Whitby to host the first BSRA National.
Unlike most previous Easter events this one wouldn’t have an official rally campsite. A combination of VFM not being able to get the usual rugby ground and the early Easter meaning the weather could be less than ideal for camping. As it turned out it was pretty grim all weekend and any campers would have been truly freezing and miserable.
A tale of three scooters
Having only just got my recently commissioned and tuned S2 Eibar back and having only covered 70 miles or so I was looking forward to riding that to Whitby. It’s 9 pm the night before Good Friday and I’m in the garage fitting new front and rear BGM suspension to it. Managing to thread one of the bottom screw in damper studs in the process, a bodge wasn’t going to hold up so an early morning ride to see Rob Miller at local dealer, Simply Retro was on the cards. On the ride there the scooter had somehow developed a mystery misfire overnight, maybe caused by the previous day’s rain? Either way, I didn’t have time to fix it or investigate and wasn’t going to risk the new engine, so the trusty Series 1 was hastily fuelled up, checked over and loaded up instead.
All went well for the first 40 miles or so until that one started misfiring and losing power on the A1. I managed to limp to the exit where the old lady revved her tits off, I swapped a plug, had a fiddle around with the wiring and kicked it up again. Within a mile I knew it wasn’t cured and after another 10 miles, it lost power to the point of being unrideable. I tried a different HT cap, looked for signs of an obvious air leak (torn carb rubber etc.) but to no avail so I called Green Flag (usually pretty quick), sent the missus off on her Lammy with the rest of our crew and sat down for close to three hours to wait for recovery.
Moped enabled criminals
Thanks to everybody who either stopped to try and help, slowed down to see if I was ok, or stopped to take the piss whilst I was waiting on the A614. Especially the 8-strong gang of moped enabled criminals on an assortment of mostly red GTS’. I was quite happy not to get attacked by a claw hammer and acid when they swarmed around me, it turned out to be Shaun Hodgkin and friends on their way to Whitby innit bruv?
3 pm (5 hours after leaving home 50 miles away) and I’m finally in the back of the recovery truck heading back home with the Series 1. One hour later and I’m home and back on the road on my third scooter of the day, the Vespa GTS. That one got a proper thrashing to Whitby, less than two and a half hours from my house to the digs.
As a footnote the Series One problem wasn’t electrical as I thought but was actually an airlock in the tank caused by a blocked breather. If I’d taken the fuel cap off I’d have made it there and back no problem. You live and learn…
Winter in Whitby
We’d been hearing weather warnings for the Bank Holiday weekend for a few days, amber this, yellow that (why can’t we just get rain/snow anymore without a coloured warning?). Anyway, after a fairly spring-like ride there the weather worsened, the fog rolled in, followed by a bitterly cold wind and later that night some colour of sideways rain, rusty grey/murky brown? That weather was set to continue for the whole weekend meaning the rally became a bit more spread out with people staying in the pub closest to their B&B if possible. Even so, the VFM do on Friday night was fairly busy with a good atmosphere. The Rocker Covers playing an energetic set and giving tattoo loving middle-aged menopausal women hot sweats. The dancefloor was kept busy until kicking out time for a freezing cold, wet and windy walk home.
Trade & custom show
The Pavilion hosted the Saturday show, with the custom show downstairs and traders upstairs. SLUK joined up with our friends from ScooterNova Magazine for a few hours where we were able to show off our latest new product, the SLUK Driver, a remade 1980s classic for the Vespa PX and T5, to begin with, a Vespa GTS version will follow soon. The PX ones will be on sale in the SLUK Shop next week…
The show was fairly busy all day but certainly down on visitors thanks to the horrible wintry weather putting off many daytrippers. The show itself was well supported with a good selection of tasty machines on display. The new blue Lammy chopper Cerberus turned plenty of heads, twist clutch, suicide shift gear change and some lovely engineering and design went into that one. You can feast your eyes over the entrants in the Rallery at the end.
After a good few hours around the pubs closest to the do we ventured up to the Pavilion, it certainly wasn’t the busiest Saturday night I’ve been to and the Beautiful Sound tribute band played to a half-empty room, King Hammond and Jennie Bellestar didn’t fare much better later on either. It’s hard to build an atmosphere in a huge room with a small audience but they tried their best. To be honest Saturday night left me feeling a bit deflated, not the fault of the organisers but times they are a changing. Do we need to start looking for smaller evening venues again and making them ticket only? Rather than paying extortionate amounts to hire the biggest in town?
The ride home
Sunday morning started off dry, just as well really because we had another naughty scooter. Linsey’s Series 2 was playing up when she kicked it up. It would start for about 30 seconds then just die. We tried a different plug, cleaned the carb out, new HT cap, different CDI and eventually put it down to low tension coil. We didn’t have a stator but had a mate with a van so the scooter went home in shame and Linsey jumped on the back of me for a very wet, cold, snowy and miserable ride home.
All in all a good weekend of mixed emotions. Easter didn’t seem to have the same excited vibe about it, either leading up to or during the event. Our riding posse was down by about 12 scooters on previous years. With quite a few friends either choosing not to go or struggling to get accommodation. Even so, a good time was had around town but sadly the weather played quite a big part in spoiling the Saturday night. Let’s hope the Welsh weather Gods (and scooter maintenance Gods) are smiling on us for Tenby in a few weeks…
Words: Iggy, Photos: Giacomo Salici (additional photos Iggy & Col)
Rallery by Giacomo Salici
Rallery by Col
Custom show results and sponsors
Best engraving/plating sponsored by Lambretta Chopper Owners Club: Pretty Green
Best mural/paint sponsored by Mansfield Monsters: Scar Tissue Vespa
Best engineering sponsored by ScooterLab: Cerberus Lambretta chop
Best street racer sponsored by Doghouse SC: DTC Torque of the town
Best Mod/accessories Sponsored by PPS Security: Lambretta LI (entry 9)
Best original scooter sponsored by Classic Scooterist: Lambretta Series 1 Li (entry 19)
Best restored Sponsored by Scooter Restorations: Lambretta LD (entry 5)
Best display Sponsored by Crusader Promotions: Remember Them (entry 11)
Best chop/cutdown sponsored by K2 Customs: Pretty Green
Best auto/hybrid sponsored by Twist & Go: MLC (entry no 1)
Best Vespa Custom sponsored by VCB: Top Banana
Best Lambretta custom sponsored by LCGB: Atomic
Best ridden scooter sponsored by VFM: Nosferatu
Punters choice sponsored by Scootering: Peaky Blinders
Best of show sponsored by ScooterNova: Cerberus Lambretta chop
SLUK Shop armchair retail therapy for scooterists