The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

Paris, Ontario that is.

I was gagging for a ride and Saturday had nice weather, sunny and not too hot. There was a big Vintage Bike gathering and swap meet in Paris, Ontario about an hour and a bit west of me. I like old bikes and you never know what you’ll come across. Vintage meets always make me wish I had a bigger garage, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t.

At the very least it was a good excuse to ride the Strom even if the majority of it was on highway. I’m constantly surprised by the different buildings you come across in Ontario. And as the signage for the Paris Fairgrounds pretty much sucks I did a couple of loops through town before just following gut (which found the fairgrounds pretty quick actually) but in my circling I got to see an impressive mansion that had been turned into a retirement home and a few other pretty large and in good condition turn of the century homes. As there is a large weir in the center of the river that runs through the town (disappointingly not called the Seine) it used to be a mill town. Wiki tells me it was Gypsum that was processed here… Hence the name from plaster of Paris.

Once I had made it to the fairgrounds and paid my $8 to get in I realized this was more swap meet than bike meet. And there were people selling from one side of the fairgrounds to the other. Right off the bat my resolve was tested.

A vintage and very nice Katana… Looks like the 750 to me. No engine but the race frame beside it was fully loaded. I walked away quickly before my heart defeated my brain. Though I know I’m probably not the guy for a four cylinder carbureted engine after being spoiled for so long with my FI V Twin. But I do so love the old Katanas…

Another coveted bike a Dakar BMW

This particular collector is all about the Nimbus a rather successful Danish bike. It has an inline four motor and is shaft driven. He owns two 1946 models on with a sidecar and this early model. I like the integrated gas tank frame. After WW2 the frame became made from flat bar because round tube was scarce, the gas tanks also became a separate unit.

A closer look at the motor and shaft drive.

I love the Speedo and how it’s driven from the shaft output.

And it’s a suicide shifter!

Also came across this 1972 KH400 (Mine was a later 1976 model) I checked the pipes and as expected they were damp with unburned fuel. Still a cool if not mad bike and nice to see it in metallic purple.

I didn’t stay long, it was kind of muggy and I wanted to get riding again but it’s always nice to stroll down memory lane and see some cool old bikes. I hope buddy sold the two Katanas… I don’t need that kind of temptation in my life…

As always, Devil’s Gambit my technothriller is available in print and Kindle version on Amazon and it’s still less than a cup of coffee..

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