The 2018 Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival Recap

The 2018 Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival Recap

A massive gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts, custom bikes, vintage motocrossers and road-racing machines from a revered era all mingled together in the punishing Alabama heat. REV’IT! was there to connect with the masses at the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival.
11-16-2018
Urban
Barber Vintage logo

Intro text

The Heat

About this page

Temperatures over the weekend were stifling even for the average show attendee; just browsing the event attractions in casual wear with a cold drink in hand was borderline bearable. Regardless of the temperatures, the REV’IT! Team had a great time chatting with enthusiasts and showing off our new [Fall/Winter Collection] in our space at the Fan Zone.

The Ace Corner and the crowded Barber Swap Meet were still bustling, attendance at the infamous Wall Of Death was steady, albeit most all show-goers wore t-shirts and shorts in attempts to stay cool. For the racers, however, it was a whole other story.

Highlights

About this page

The Warriors

For higher-level professional racing athletes, a climate controlled paddock and a small army of a support team help manage a racer’s condition and comfort level in hot track conditions. For the amateur vintage racer, the only support they really have is one another. While the competition is fierce when the flag drops, in the pits, it’s all about helping and looking out for each other.

If you think you’re local riding community is tight-knit, you’ve never seen racers bang elbows at max lean angles, drag knees around a corner one minute, and then help each other repair those very same bikes to grid up for the next heat. These Warriors embody the epitome of passion and forge the bond of vintage motorcycle racing.

Product images

About this page

Scott Kolb

Custom motorcycle builder, racer, and REV’IT! collaborator, Scott Kolb, definitely stood out from the field in his bright blue custom race suit. Although the rhythm and pace of the weekend ran quick and fast, we caught him for a moment to get his thoughts on the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival.

Scott said, “The Barber Vintage Festival is easily one of the finest motorcycle events in America. Well beyond a casual club racing event. It truly pushes the entire community to go all out. The paddock is gorgeous and the array of machines here are as eclectic as can be. If there’s a rare bike you have always wanted to see and hear racing on track, chances are good it will be here running at full pace.”

Highlights

About this page

About this page

The Machines

As awe inspiring as the immaculate 930-acre Barber Motorsports Park can be, and as beautiful as the world’s largest collection of timeless machines within the Barber Vintage Museum are, not all motorcycles live such charmed lives.

Some are throttled to within an inch of their mechanical lives, their controls showing the wear and tear of decades worth of inputs, engines weeping oil from the heat of being ridden at the limit and the patina of past battles worn like scars and badges of honor. They dutifully serve their riders, clad in colors reminiscent of cavalry of warhorses in years past. Matching the livery of their rider’s leather armor, these Machines and their years of character are the soul of vintage motorcycle racing.

Product images

About this page

Modern vintage

As far as #revitrider, Scott Kolb’s race machine was concerned.

He remarks, “The main bike I’m here campaigning is a 2002 Honda RS125. As modern as that may seem for a vintage race meeting, racing purists will know this version of the RS bike essentially dates back 25 years."

"It's a two-stroke race bike in the truest sense of the word; from its inception, it was solely designed to do one thing - go around a race track quickly. While its top speed capability won’t impress any modern liter sportbike riders, in capable hands, the corner speed is absolutely off the charts. Maybe not fast in a straight line, but very quick around a technical circuit like Barber.”

Product images

image alt text

About this page

The Armor

The act of a roadracer climbing into their leather suit is a process, both physically and mentally. Not only is it critical to staying safe when racing 50-year-old, two-wheeled metal, it focuses a competitor mentally. The mere act of zipping up in a one-piece race suit provides psychological security, as well as getting a racer into “battle mode.”

Full protection when pushing motorcycles to their limit, especially machines of this age, is an absolute must. Better wisdom wins among the competitors; while some don classic leathers, the majority of the field races in modern one-piece suits. Post-race we checked in with Kolb to see how his Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival experience went, and how his REV’IT! armor faired during the weekend.

Product images

About this page

Ending with a big bang

Scott recounts, “This year’s journey, which is the Kolb Racing Team’s sixth time attending, ended with a big bang. Actually, it was a crash; the back straight on the Barber speedway has a left-right chicane (turns 10/11), and I lost the rear tire at the apex, high-siding at over 100MPH while chasing the leaders in the Sound of Singles Class. Most of the resulting slide occurred on my back for who-knows-how-far, grinding against asphalt the whole way. I was extremely fortunate and walked away afterwards safely, albeit slowly."

"My REV’IT! leathers and gloves performed incredibly well, especially considering my speed and momentum at the time. They protected me so well it allowed me to be back at work by the time I got back to the machine shop in New York. Thanks to the REV’IT! Team for the support and for making a fantastic product!”

Highlights

@REVIT_URBAN

Follow us to custom motorcycle events around the world and stay up to speed with our REV’IT! Urban ambassadors on Instagram.