Monday, April 16, 2012

GATHERING OF THE NORTONS

The Delaware Valley Norton Riders held their 19th annual 'Gathering' at historic Washington Crossing State Park, which is neither in Delaware or Washington, but Pennsylvania. Having grown up in the great big state of California, it was novel crossing state lines several times in the course of a 75-mile ride from Manhattan to rural Bucks County.
The countryside, once we broached the vast conurbation of NYC, was still struggling into Spring, with trees yet branchy on the hillsides barring the occasional wild pink cherry, and bulbs throwing caution aside in clumps of brilliant yellow and white.  The threatened rain didn't, and a warm muggy day was our reward for venturing out amongst the valleys and rivers of New England's rolling hills.
The universal moto-greeting...done differently in every country.  In the US, its a low-key wave, maybe just two fingers, while in France one waggles a foot
I didn't hear an official count, but the Gathering is the first official Vintage event of Spring, and riders hungry for an excuse to bring out old iron take up the cause in droves, with typical attendance of 600ish bikes, which seemed about correct.  Vintage machines formed a nucleus on tarmac within the park, with more modern machines spread among the grass and trees in frankly prettier circumstances, and a walk to the 'other' areas revealed many a bashful old machine set alone to bask quietly in the sun.
52 Nortons at last count, including ES2s, Dominators, Atlii, Commandos, Kenny Dreer bikes (as above), and a solitary New Norton for display
The Internet is a modern boon for riding buddies, and notices in the NYCVinMoto and NYC Britbike riders e-groups made it easy for a complete stranger (albeit one with a distinctive website) to find like-moto'd company for the highway.  Thanks for keeping the freeway cruising speed down for my little Triumph Daytona, gents...
I've never had an issue with blued pipes per se; they're pretty
My '73 Triumph Daytona 500cc, the smallest bike on our ride...but totally reliable
A beautifully restored Norton Dominator 88 in wideline featherbed frame and chrom tank, ca.1955/6
The poetry of gear...
Plenty of rarities and oddities in the lineup, including this seldom-seen Benelli 250 'Quatro' with Guigiaro styling, and a Craig Vetter styled Triumph X75 Hurricane
This Tiger rider is a Lewis Leathers fan...
Trying out the new Norton Commando 961 Café Racer for size.
The fellow in blue brought 7 bikes of his own, by inviting 6 friends to ride with him!  Generous...
American Pastorale...Shovelheads amidst the trees.  The red one reminds me of 'Lee Roy'...
The evocative cockpit of a Laverda SFC production-racer
The equally evocative triple-pipes of an X75 Hurricane
No roads required; a pair of Brit cow-trailers par excellence.  A Royal Enfield Clipper and '74 Triumph TR5 'Trophy Trail'
A gleaming Triton, acres of polished alloy...
...offering a clear reflection!
Definitely rare and desirable; a 1928 Scott TT Replica, the hottest Scott around, which handles perfectly, and sounds amazing on the boil...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos - brings back great memories.
The roads along the Delaware River, on either side (PA or NJ), between New Hope and the Delaware Water Gap, offer some of the best motorcycling on the US east coast. I hope you got to stop for a hot dog at either Dilly's on the PA side, or Hot Dog Johnny's in Buttzville (yes, Buttzville) NJ.

Walt Branham said...

Wonderful photography and beautiful bikes. Like to make that event next year.

Anonymous said...

some more pics

http://s1189.photobucket.com/albums/z438/BillBraile/Gathering%20of%20the%20Nortons%202012/#!cpZZ7QQtppZZ24

Classic Velocity said...

This is a great event that I have been attending for years. Glad you made it out this year. More pics and coverage at

http://www.classicvelocity.com/broadcast-central/2012/4/15/norton-gathering-2012.html

<a href="http://www.classicvelocity.com/broadcast-central/2012/4/15/norton-gathering-2012.html></a>

adamrjordan said...

Great photos. Nice to see some coverage of this event which is one of the best in the Philadelphia area.