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Classic motorcycles ride out in Mandeville

Jarmila Jackson

Friday, March 30, 2012    

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THE Classic Motorcycle Association of Jamaica made its debut at the Second Annual 'Old Skool' Car Show in Mandeville on Sunday. The event saw the largest gathering of vintage motorcycles the island has seen.

A branch of the Jamaica Classic Car Club (JCCC), the association was conceptualized two years ago when JCCC member and motorcycle collector Mark Naylor had a conversation with then President of the JCCC, Merrick Reid.

"The matter of adding vintage motorcycles to the classic car events was discussed and afterwards vintage motorcycles in small numbers started to appear at the events," Naylor told Auto.

"We decided to come together out of pure love for these beautiful bikes. The crowd loved the display at the 'Old Skool' Car Show as many were seeing the motorcycles in upright riding positions for the first time," he continued.

Among the motorcycles on display at the event were a 1938 Norton 500cc, a 1972 Triumph Bonniville, a 1972 Norton 850 Commando, a 1972 Honda CL450 Scrambler, a 1974 Honda CB750/4 and a 1962 Triumph Thunderbird, said to be the only remaining one of a fleet that was used in the Jamaican Independence Gala in 1962. The arrival of a 2011 Harley Davidson Road Glide outfitted as a trike made the crowd go wild. This type of bike is rarely seen in the island due to the 700cc limit for motorcycle importation in Jamaica. Top priority on the association's agenda is an appeal to the Government for the limit to be revised.

"The association is of the view that the policy being over 20 years old should be revised and a horse power rating used instead of a cc rating. Ccs represent the size of an engine while horsepower determines its speed. An engine's size does not necessarily speak to its power, many small engines are now much more powerfull and a lot faster than older designs with twice the capacity as found in the Harley Davidsons, which are cruisers and not speed kings" Naylor told Auto.

"We understand that when the limit was imposed it was inteded to prevent law breakers from outrunning the Police and we would like it to be clear that we are not advocating for the criminals, we are simply asking that law abiding citizens be allowed to operate within the law," he added.

Naylor says a number of motorcycle owners would desperately like to have their bikes imported legally but simply cannot with the current restrictions. Bike enthusiasts can look forward to seeing members of the Classic Motorcycle Association of Jamaica present at all JCCC events and Naylor promises that they will also actively participate in these events whenever possible.

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