5th May 2019 - report from Moto Talbott Museum, Carmel, California, USA

After being blown away by the sheer numbers of incredible concours standard motorcycles at The Quail Gathering, we decided to spend Sunday visiting the Moto Talbott Museum in Carmel. I was not expecting what I was about to encounter.

Opened in 2016 as the physical manifestation of the imagination of enthusiast Robb Talbott, the collection now numbers 160+ machines. As Robb confirms “I don’t buy bikes, I buy history and stories”.

The bikes in his collection are truly eclectic, ranging from the gnarliest of all race machines - 500cc 2 stroke GP bikes - to ‘dustbin’ small displacement racers of the 1950s; the first ever Ducati model, to bikes from the pioneer years of motorcycling at the turn of the twentieth century.

The cycles that I was particularly smitten by were Wayne Rainey’s 1990 World Championship winning Yamaha YZR500 2 stroke, Kenny Roberts’ YZR500 from 1980, and Kenny Roberts Jr’s 2000 RGV500, one of the last 500cc 2 Stroke GP machines. Missiles from back when race bikes weren’t computers.

That’s without mentioning the pristine MV Agusta 750s America, the muscular Ducati 851, the 1960 BSA Norton Manx, a super rare 1932 Husqvarna Model 50, a 54 Bianchi 175, and a 1970 Jawa Ice Speedway racer.

My overall favourite is the totally original 1974 Laverda SFC750, one of the most gorgeous motorcycles ever made, flawless in the most glorious Laverda Orange.

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon and ta fitting close on a wonderful weekend.

See the wonderful bikes over on our Gallery page.

Oil in the Blood