The 2008 'Legend of the Motorcycle' Concours d'Elegance was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay for the third consecutive year, with several thousand vintage motorcycle fans and collectors in attendance, under overcast skies, and seasonal California-coastal fog and drizzle.
The featured marques for this year's event were Norton and MV Agusta, with over two hundred entries representing vintage marques from Vespa scooters to Harley Davidson, to a stunning reproduction of a Hildebrand & Wolfmller, the world's first mass-production motorcycle.
1973 MV Agusta 750S
This year's honorary judges included the legendary Giacomo Agostini (photo above), Phil Read, Malcolm Smith, and Mark Wilsmore. Industry judges included Erik Buell, Claudio Castiglioni, Matt Chambers, Michael Lock, and Tom Purves; and the special Norton judges were George 'Flat Tank' Cohen, Kenny Dreer, Mike Jackson, Ken 'Kiwi' McIntosh, and NOC President Brian Slark.
2008 Legend of the Motorcycle at the Ritz-Carlton
The bronze 'God of Speed' Lifetime Achievement award went to legendary grand prix racer Giacomo 'Ago' Agostini who won a total of 15 Grand Prix World Championship titles in his career.
Giacomo 'Ago' Agostini receives Lifetime Achievement award
The new "Elvis" award was presented by Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl), who also unveiled his new 'Bullet Falcon' custom motorcycle built by Ian Barry of Falcon Motorcycles.
Actor Jason Lee
Jesse James of West Coast Choppers
Along with the vintage bikes their was a diverse collection of custom motorcycles from Jesse James of West Coast Choppers, Paul Cox, Roger Goldammer, Shinya Kimura, and Billy Lane.
Legend was sponsored this year by Dainese Leathers, who displayed a collection of their racing suits worn by Agostini, Sheene, Lawson, Spencer, Kenny Roberts, Schwantz & Valentino Rossi.
Odds & Ends: 1913 Aero Bike
This year's Bonhams & Butterfields auction had a significant increase in inventory, with several entries from the Mike Corbin collection, a rare 1909 Monet Goyon, some Bud Ekins' bikes, a Harley Davidson owned by Evel Knievel, and a 1940 Indian Scout once owned by Steve McQueen.
Bonhams & Butterfields Auction
The annual Sunday vintage tour (photo below) had around 50 bikes departing from Half Moon Bay at 8:30 AM, for a 40-mile+ loop along Skyline Ridge, past Alice's Restaurant in Woodside, and back to the Ritz-Carlton.
40 mile Sunday vintage ride
Judging by this year's high turn out, the 'Lengend' event will be here to stay. The featured marque for next year will be Indian, and maybe we will have a repeat appearance of Burt Munro's "Munro Special" Indian streamliner.
2008 MV Agusta F4
If you are planning on attending next year's 'Legend of the Motorcycle' event, you will want to book your reservations at the Ritz-Carlton well in advance.
Vintage Motorcycle Event Links
Legend of the Motorcycle - Official Site
Bonhams & Butterfields - Vintage Motorcycle Auctions
Petersen Automotive Museum - Bonhams Auction
MidAmerica Auctions, Inc. - Vintage Motorcycles
Misc Vintage Motorcycle Collectors & Collections
Jay Leno's Garage
Motorcycles of the 20th Century
All photos from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle' Concours D'Elegance were taken using Nikon D3, D2Xs, and D200 camera bodies, with Nikon 300mm and 105mm f/2.8 VR telephoto lenses, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lenses, and Nikon 14mm f/2.8 and 18mm-35mm f/3.5-4.5 wide angle lenses.