The Classic Race Bikes of Catalina Island

OW7 As part of our ongoing coverage of the historic return of the Catalina Grand Prix, it’s time to look at some of the classic bikes that graced the island.  If you were born after the 1970s, the bikes displayed below may look almost other-worldly.  However, if you are a child of 60s, 50s, or even a true antique from the 40s or before, the bikes will tug at your motorcycling heartstrings.

Accenting the beautiful scenery on the island were old British bikes that oozed old world charm (and of course, oil).  There were great examples of early American bikes.  There were German, Japanese, and Austrian classics.  There were some old bikes so pieced-together; their county of origin was a mystery to me.

The coolest thing was that these were true race bikes.  The owners rode them hard and put them away wet.  These were not pampered show bikes…no, these classics were ridden, jumped and thrashed around the rugged course on Catalina Island by their owners.  They were used as they were intended.

Here are some of the classics that graced my camera lens at the Catalina GP.  Enjoy!


Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of

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