Motorcycle show at North Carolina Transportation Museum draws a crowd

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 14, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SPENCER — Pat and Bill Betts haven’t crashed through any fences or been chased by soldiers like Indiana Jones, but they ride the same type motorcycle as Indy did in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The couple rode three hours Saturday from Smithfield on Bill’s Russian Ural sidecar motorcycle.
The two participated in the 6th Annual Carolina Classic Motorcycle Show at the N.C. Transportation Museum.
There were hundreds of bikes on display for the show, which featured bikes of all makes and models, built between 1900 and 1992.
The event is hosted by the Triad Classic Motorcycle Club.
This is the second time the Betts have participated in the show. Bill bought the bike in 1996 from a seller in Abbeville, SC.
“We normally take it to the Blue Ridge Parkway,” he said.
The couple hit the road, take their time and camp out.
“It’s not made for high speed. It’s made to go on gravel,” Bill said.
The motorcycle averages about 55 miles per hour.
The motorcycle is like Bill’s truck, he said, he’s gone to the hardware store and put his items in the sidecar.
“I ride all over town,” he said.
Jimmy Brown, who is from the China Grove/Mooresville area hauled his two rat rod bikes using a 1940 Chevy that once belonged to his father.
Many rat rods usually have a “rough” or unfinished look even though they maybe restored.
“People will like them passionately or wonder ‘why is he on that piece of junk,’ ” Brown said.
Brown was told the 1930s bike was from a motor pool at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC.
He brought another bike, a Simplex 1940s that he completely rebuilt with the help of friends from the Odd Balls Car Club in China Grove.
“I got it back to riding condition,” he said.
You can’t put a price tag on the amount of money that goes into some restoration projects, according to Rob Duffy of Salisbury.
Duffy entered a motorcycle he restored after retiring from Freightliner. He bought the bike on eBay in 2004 and throughout the years bought parts including a fuel tank and seat.
The motorcycle is built with parts from three other motorcycles.
He never had time and finally after retirement had the time to work on the bike. He worked on it last summer.
Tito Ferrari and wife, C.C. Ferrari, brought their son, Sig, 4, to the show.
Tito is president of the Queen City Aces in Charlotte.
It’s his third year attending the event.
“I just like to look,” he said.
C.C., an artist, designed the club’s logo and said she just attends shows because of Tito.
“If you love different classic motorcycles and things you don’t see on the roads everyday,” Tito said on the reason why he attends.
He owns a Yamaha Cafe Racer and a 1971 Norton Commando.
Reitta Owens of Stanly attended the show for the first time with her husband. They didn’t attend to compete just to look.
The couple ride all the time and her husband participates in the Patriot Guard Riders, an honor guard motorcycle club whose members attend the funerals of soldiers, firefighters and police.
“It’s really awesome to see,” she said.
She marveled at the way motorcycles have changed over the years, which were represented at the show.
Her husband owns a Harley Davidson Street Glide.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.