Getting their motors running in Mansfield

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MANSFIELD — The engines and bodywork of more than two dozen vintage motorcycles glittered under the breaking clouds at the Mansfield Municipal Airport on Saturday.

The flow of spectators steadily began to increase after 10 a.m., as did the number of motorcycles joining the inaugural Vintage Motorcycle Show, sponsored by the Mansfield Rotary Club, to the joy of coordinator and Rotary member Bob Moreau.

“This is awesome,” Moreau said as more and more motorcycle enthusiasts poured in. “The more foot traffic, the better.”

From American-made Harley-Davidsons to the European models, such as a Spanish Bultaco and German BMW, along with the Japanese-made Yamahas and Hondas, the spectators appreciated the “eclectic” mix of motorcycle models.

Among them was Russ Demar of Dighton, who was admiring a Honda 750, which belonged to Paul Paddock of Sandwich.

“It’s the one I could never afford,” Demar said.

Paddock was proud of his 1971 Honda CB 750, which took two years of restoration from “a total pile of junk,” as the motorcycle’s show tag read.

This particular model is among the 10 most influential motorcycles made in the world.

“It was a beaut,” Paddock said of the restoration process.

Paddock’s motorcycle was one of many that had been restored, but one motorcycle garnering a bit of attention was a green 1977 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH, which was in its original condition with only one minor modification.

The unusual color made this motorcycle sought-after.

“I used to imagine my bicycle as a motorcycle,” said Peter MacMurray of Hollister, owner of the 1977 Harley-Davidson. “They’re visceral…it’s like you become transformed when you’re riding one. The dynamics of it are so different; I find it more akin to flying than anything else.”

Another spectator and enthusiast, Ken Cleary of North Attleboro, concurred. “It’s the sheer joy of twisting the throttle and feeling the power.”

Cleary has been riding motorcycles since the age of 16, when he received a Honda Z50. “For me, riding is like therapy,” Cleary said. “If you have a bad day, you get on the bike, you go for a ride, and you feel a lot better when you come back.”

Moreau hopes the event will “balloon” in the years to come, to the point where there will be no more room for motorcycles on the pavement.

In addition, an aircraft fly-in was scheduled, but was postponed until later in the day due to the morning’s low cloud cover.

Proceeds from the event, which Moreau hopes will be at least $ 1,500, will benefit the Mansfield Rotary.

Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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