This winter was not bad. Besides a few periods of super cold, we managed to slip in rides here and there. They were short, but they were rides. However, it was winter, and there is a psychology to when the riding season begins. Riding friends have points of demarcation, like the first time you don't turn on the heated grips, or the date of the Equinox, or as soon as the salt is washed away.
In these parts, an unmistakable official launch of the riding season is the Gathering of the Nortons event at Washington Crossing. Organized by the Delaware Valley Norton Riders (DVNR), it is certainly the premiere gathering of the Norton marque in the area and has been featured here before (see the Gathering of the Clans or Gathering 2015). It is always great to see multiple variations of vintage Nortons rumble in. Commandos are always most plentiful, but this is also the place to see Dominators, JPNs, ES2s, Atlases, and more.
But this event has grown to become much more than just a Norton event. It is a British bike event, to the extent that this year a regional Triumph dealer showed up with the new Thruxtons on display. This show is more about vintage iron though. Old Triumphs, Velocettes, BSAs, Matchlesses, and such formed the core of a large show field.
Surrounding the core is a crazy wonderland of hundreds of machines from all over the world. A Bultaco circled the field early in the day before the crowds gathered leaving a light mist of two stroke haze hovering above. The first sighting on the road of a Ducati 900e Desmodue, a hot rod Honda CBX, a distinctive blue BMW K1, a Super Cycle, a pristine Suzuki Water Buffalo, a Benelli Cobra, and on and on. Forget Mods vs Rockers, we had Sears vs Wards with an Interstate and a Riverside in attendance ! BMWs peppered the field with the Red Toaster, the two-tone R1150RS, the aforementioned K1, a few /2s, and an orange RT to name a few. As usual, this event exceeded expectations with the unveiling of winter projects, and the return of nice specimens from the region under their own steam. At the Moto Equinox, trailers are not welcome.