Saturday, 8 May 2010

St Tropez H-D Euro Festival, Day 2 (Friday)

Today was a busy day. Up early for a quick ride, then back to the hotel to collect my wife Jackie and to walk around St Tropez. The town still has some of it's previous glamour, but is very tired and many parts are in need to fixing up in order to justify the ridiculously high prices this place charges. Overall St Tropez has a good feel.

The boats in the port are stunning, but it seems odd that despite their multi-million price tags, everybody in the town was, for today at least, ignoring those boats and looking at the motorbikes instead. Speaking to the local traders, they all adore this bike festival, for it is very good for business. Many of the cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels are full so the influx of bikers is very good for business and a welcome boost to the local economy to kick-start the tourist season.

There are Harley-Davidsons everywhere. Standard bikes, tourers and many customs, some good and some not so good. In their own way, all H-D's are interesting as almost nobody keeps them as they rolled off the end of the production line. Just about everybody changes their H-D in some way or another, so almost all of these bikes are worth looking at.

The seafront in the port was full of bikes, making a morning walk very enjoyable. This afternoon a few of us went to the custom bike show in Grimaud - a local village with the show taking over the town square. The weather was good, so the show was very busy. I didn't enter my bike this year (it did well in the show 2 years ago, so it would have been a bit cheeky to enter it again), but I enjoyed looking at some of the new bikes.

Here are some photos of the day....

Cool bikes with a stunning back drop

Big bikes and even bigger boats!

St Tropez Port, with its water facing cafes

I am not sure about the colour, but note the right side drive

Kilts for him and her

Those bars cannot be comfortable

The festival is very multi-national, with bikers attending from all over Europe

Le Mans has to be one of the coolest back patches

Geneva Chapter

This guy travelled a long way!

Nice paint job on a standard H-D bike

My red bike parked in the town square

The Village of Grimaud, where the custom bike show was held

Some of the longer custom bikes at the show

A very cool chain driven throttle to carb set-up

Sleek looking bike

I didn't get the bands name, but they were good, but a little loud!

Front ends at different rakes

Whole lotta bikes

Why would you take off the side stand on a road bike so you need to take a paddock stand with you?

The owner must have thought one day "Lets a a new light to the back of the bike" and it just grew from there

A young woman rode into the custom bike show on a "Chanel no. 5" bike. It looked good and smelled great!

My friend Ian on his custom bike in the show

This guy decided to rest, on his bike when it was in the custom show!

A very narrow street in St Tropez

Look closely - there is a dog in the buggy! It is 16 years old and blind, so its owner takes it for "walks" like this because otherwise it walks into things!

Some of the mega yachts in St Tropez


Bleiglass said...

Thank you for the great pictures

biker baby said...

The guy with all the lights probably wants to make sure no one rear-ends him while talking on a cell phone. Maybe I should put more lights on mine.

RoadTrip said...

I want a retirement like yours...

Geoff James said...

Wonderful post, wonderful photos. What a setting to chill out in! Thank you.

Unknown said...


very nice places, bike friendly too. Where is the photo of the Chanel girl ?

ditto to Radar's comment: I like your retirement

Wet Coast Scootin

irondad said...

Bikes are more exciting than big, expensive boats any day!

Were the kilted couple riding too? That would be interesting, I think.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Great coverage, great photos and a lot of cool as well as interesting bikes. Someday when I grow up, I want to be like Gary. Retired and chillin.

Nick said...

Your right the bars ain't comfortable!
Nick (Apegangers)

Anonymous said...

The bars ain't comfy but they sure look good!

Gary France said...

Bleiglass – Thanks.

BB – You may well be right! I think 2 more on each bike is ok, but some people just don’t know when to stop.

Radar – I have to say I am quite enjoying this retirement thing!

Geoff – We sat in a bar in the front at St Tropez watching the bikes, boats and people and somebody said “There is nowhere better to be at the moment”. I think they were right.

Bob – she was very nice….

Irondad – yes they did ride like that – in fact there were a whole group riding in kilts and as you can imagine, they got lots of looks and comments!

Mr Motorcycle – Thanks. I worried about if I would have enough to do to keep me busy during my retirement. I am busier than ever, but on much better things than when I was working!

Nick – are they yours and is that you in the photo?

Anonymous – You are right, they look really cool.

Oren said...

Gary, it was a pleasure meeting you and a bigger pleasure you buying me breakfast.
Thank you for including me and my gang in your pictures.
I hope to meet you again soon and gook luck and ride safely on your amazing trip.
We are all very jealous.

Gary France said...

Oren - It was terrific meeting you and your gang as well. Did you look at the video of the ride out? - I hope you spotted yourself at the side of the road at 8:57 minutes into the film. Take care and ride safe.

Sid Alerson said...

Great photos! Your bike looks really cool there. And the impression from the whole event is also very strong. You look like real gang, guys :)

Chuck Pefley said...

The very first photo is the very best ... I see a lovely Vespa GTS with matching top case tucked into that lineup!

Gary France said...

Sid - The whole event was great. Lots of bikes and terrific people. A wonderful combination.

Chuck - LOL. What am I going to do with you? All those stunning bikes and you go for the Vespa!