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Star names and champion riders ready for Bike Bonanza!

Saturday 29th June 2024

  • Unmissable motorcycle event returns to Shelsley Walsh on 29 June

  • Watch the UK’s fastest hill climb motorcycles tackle the thrilling course

  • Paddock displays of famous race bikes and incredible one-offs 

  • Plus Steve Parrish ‘meet n greet’, interviews, live music and more!  

Shelsley Walsh is gearing up for the return of its spectacular Bike Bonanza on 29 June. The high-octane event features on-track competition showcasing everything from classic motorcycles to roadgoing classes, plus star bike demonstrations. There will also be plenty of off-track entertainment for enthusiasts to enjoy, with live music, interviews and more!

More than 100 entries have been confirmed for the competitive hill climb, but there are still a limited number of spaces left. Those set to tackle the historic 1000-yard course range from Arthur Short’s 125cc Kawasaki to a brace of 1301cc KTM Super Dukes – plus trikes, sidecars and even Morgan 3 Wheelers.

The fastest riders will go head-to-head in the thrilling top-10 ‘runs offs’, with most of the top competitors using modified KTM SMRs. The original bikes were 560cc and built for racing in Open Class Supermoto events, but a change in regulations that reduced the maximum engine capacity left them largely redundant – much to the benefit of hill climbing!

Riders to look out for at Shelsley Walsh include Exeter’s Tom Short, who is the current National Hill Climb Champion and took Best Time of the Day at Bike Bonanza last year, and Tommy Hodges, who finished runner up to Short in 2023’s season-long standings. They will be joined in an exceptionally strong field by the likes of 11-times National Champion Paul Jeffery and versatile Jerseyman Marcus Bisson.

Unmissable demonstration runs include a first outing for the Yamaha XSR900 GP Edition, which will be ridden by journalist Simon Hancocks from Visordown. Presented in Marlboro livery and designed to evoke memories of a golden era in motorcycle racing, the XSR900 GP is the ultimate blend of heritage style and the latest in cutting-edge technology.

The ever-innovative Allen Millyard will also be at Shelsley Walsh with the ‘Flying Millyard’, which features a 5-litre V-twin designed around two cylinders from a Pratt & Whitney radial aero engine! Aside from being an engineering genius, Allen can often be seen gracing TV screens alongside his mate Henry Cole on Junk & Disorderly, The Motorbike Show, Shed & Buried and Find it, Fix it, Flog it.

Elsewhere in the paddock will be a mouth-watering line-up that includes racing thoroughbreds such as a 1980 Team Serg Zago Yamaha TZ500g that was ridden in the 500cc World Championship by Virginio Ferrari, Randy Mamola and Bernard Fau, plus a Championship-winning 1986 Scitsu MBA 125 that was designed and built in the UK.

Legendary racer Barry Sheene will be celebrated at Shelsley thanks to the presence of the last factory Suzuki that he ever raced – the XR45 on which he won the 1984 Scarborough Gold Cup. The same bike was also used by two other great names from motorcycle-racing history including Randy Mamola, who rode it in 1983 and Kevin Schwantz, who rode it at Mallory Park in 1986.

Other Bike Bonanza highlights will include a 2003 Suzuki GSXR1000 that was raced by TT legend David Jefferies. The Yorkshireman was the first person to lap the Isle of Man circuit at more than 125mph, and the first to win three races at the TT in three consecutive years. The bike on display at Shelsley Walsh is a production-class machine on which he set the fastest practice lap in 2003 at 122mph.

Star names who will be appearing at Bike Bonanza include event ambassador Steve ‘Stavros’ Parrish, who will be signing copies of his book Parrish Times: My Life as a Racer. Champion motorcyclist and truck racer, television presenter, practical joker and plain survivor: ‘Stavros’ has been them all. Parrish Times tracks his amazing, hell-raising journey, and is an entertaining account of life – and death – in the fast lane. Barry Sheene’s final words to his best friend sum it up: ‘Neither of us will die wondering.’

‘Stavros’ will be joining the action by doing demonstration runs on an evocative Texaco Heron Suzuki RG500, a model that achieved huge success in period thanks to riders such as Wil Hartog and Barry Sheene.

Elsewhere, there will be non-stop entertainment on offer around Shelsley Walsh. Actor, rider, mechanic and all-round motorcycle enthusiast Graeme Hardy will be starring as ‘George Formby’, complete with his very own replica of the Shuttleworth Snap – the bike that Formby rode in 1935 film No Limit. There will also be live music in The Courtyard from the Rhythm Slingers, plus club displays and trade stands, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable day.


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