Date: Tuesday, August 22 @ 20:49:25 EDT
Topic: Rally News
When I arrived at the Eurotreffen 2006 venue with my daughter Stephanie Thursday afternoon there was already a crowd, a good sign.
The Danish CBX club had appropriated one corner of the campsite and marked their territory with their intimidating club flag. They probably had the best sense of order since they all parked their bikes in a line in front of their territory.Their number kept growing throughout the afternoon until they eventually had to enlarge their territory.
Just opposite the Danes, the Germans set up camp. With their usual talent for organisation they soon had a cosy lounge area set up and no sooner had the tables been put into place, the beer bottles appeared – cold beer naturally.
In the other corner of the campsite, a large tent was erected with a banner that read “UK CBX Club – Scottish Division. I wondered to myself which was the operative word, Scottish or Division. Apparently there was beer in that tent (warm?) and this must have attracted other (non Scottish) English speakers because soon the UK/Scottland/Ireland clan had grown impressively.
Not to be outdone, the French and Belgians set up camp in the last remaining corner. They were fewer in number than the other contingents but what they lacked in numbers they made up in sophistication. Instead of beer (warm or cold) they produced bottles of French wine, Foi-gras and other culinary delights.
The four corners having been claimed by other nations the Dutch decided to create their own site in another field. And just as well because the Dutch are not only professional campers, they have the very best in caravans and camping cars and would have been completely out of place amongst the humble tent dwellers. A few (without caravans and camping cars) set up their tents amongst the others in the main campsite.
Thursday evening was spent meeting old friends and getting to know new friends. Mostly each nation kept to themselves and much later, as the beer supply dwindled and the women started to complain, they started to drift to the bar. This is when the party really started – and went on to after 3am.
For obvious reasons Friday morning started off very slowly, with mostly women and children making an appearance. Breakfast in the bar must have put many a merrymaker off.
A rideout was organised for 12:30. About 25 hung-over riders made it to the departure area. The noise and vibration of 25 CBX’s revving up was an unforgettable moment for me, and made me forget all about my beer induced headache.
Riding through the local town, people stopped and looked in amazement at the
(rare) sight of 25 six cylinder bikes filing noisily through their streets. I felt so proud my head nearly burst through my helmet. Or maybe it was just the hangover.
Essentially the ride was a visit to Six Center Motoren, Bert Wonderman’s bike shop dedicated to six cylinder bikes (Benelli, Honda and Kawasaki). Bert has an impressive setup: a cosy showroom with a dozen bikes for sale, a spares section, and a well equipped workshop.
Although many CBX owners in Europe have heard of Six Center Motors they were amazed at the setup. Bert has been a CBX owner for over 20 years and has been making a living from six cylinder bikes for a decade and a half. Besides his encyclopaedic knowledge of the CBX he is also a great guy, always ready to help.
When we returned from the rideout the camping had swelled and was reaching capacity. The Dutch CBX club (of which I am a proud member) had received 96 inscriptions via the internet. By Friday night there were already 124 people registered.
There were already over 60 CBX’s present.
Live music and a campfire were on the agenda after dinner (which, as with breakfast was included in the participation fee). As always it is not easy to please everyone – the French complained about the food (naturally) and the English about the music (naturally). The only thing that no one complained about was the beer. The atmosphere was decidedly lower key than the previous night.
A rideout of about 100km was on the agenda for Saturday morning, and as the departure time grew near it became evident that there was going to be a large
number of participants. By 10:30 there were already a total of 58 bikes of which
49 CBX’s lined up and ready to go The sound of everyone starting up was unbelievable. The first part of the rideout was through a suburban area and since the line of CBX’s stretched back for nearly a kilometre, many cars and pedestrians had to wait quite a while to cross intersections. They were however rewarded with the unbelievable spectacle of seeing this most impressive sight of CBX after CBX passing by, and each one more beautiful than the next. The route was planned to cause as little disruption to local traffic and to give riders the opportunity to see the wonderful Dutch countryside. At the halfway stop everyone had the same pleased look on their faces. They were part of something incredible, and it showed.
On the return we were treated to a stunt demonstration by Jonny Do, Holland’s 21year old stunt champion. In contrast to the docile old men on their graceful but clumsy machines, Jonny Do made his bike do some incredible things. Very daring and most entertaining – a fitting conclusion to a wonderful rideout.
When we got back to the clubhouse there was a dyno session where anyone could have his bike tested for €20. A professional photographer was on hand to take pictures of the bikes. There was also a demonstration of the Marktronics ignition system and TSL oil additive. Throughout the day Six Center Motoren sold spares and accessories to CBX’ers.
The announced burnout competition failed to attract any participants but there were two riders who burned a bit of rubber just the same.
Saturday evening was the traditional tombola and prize-giving. Each registered participant could vote for the three best standard Z, the three best Prolink and the three best custom bikes. The vote and the prize-giving was a little confusing (because of the language problems) so all I can say is that there were winners in each category.
I think that each bike that participated in the meeting was worthy of being a winner in its class because each one, from a project bike (like mine) to the most exotic custom belongs to someone who is passionate about the Honda CBX motorcycle.
A Norwegian that had ridden 1200kms to participate justly won a prize for his effort. On a less joy full note a French rider was given a prize for participating despite being involved in an accident with another CBX rider (who was hospitalised) and having to leave his bike behind and complete the trip in a sidecar.
During the evening we were treated to a spectacular burnout by Bert Wonderman on
his specially painted orange CBX. Wearing his traditional Dutch wooden shoes he showed everyone how a burnout is done.
It was a late night, good live music in the background, CBX people cementing old friendships and laying the foundation of future good friendships - telephone numbers and emails were exchanged, rides planned, help offered ….
CBX people are a special breed. I wonder if it is the bike that attracts them, or if they are attracted by the bike, or if it is that they become special because they are CBX’ers. The caption on the front of the bright orange tee shirts handed out by the organisers reads “I don’t want to go back home”, and that’s exactly how I felt when the time came to pack up and say good bye.
Looking on the bright side it is only another year till the next Euro meet – in SWEDEN
P.S. A very special thanks to the Dutch CBX Club who organised the event and to the Gasschoeve motorcycle club who let us use their wonderful clubhouse and grounds for this event.