Old Crocks – When the Motorcycle came of Age

Oil leaks from all over the place. The engine runs smooth like a charm, though. With a beat you can follow bang by bang. Bappp-bappp-Babappp. The whole bike vibrates to this rhythm, shaking the accessories. However, there´s not much to shake: Two wheels, a solid frame, saddle, gas tank, handle bar… All powered by a tiny, bubbly engine. It´s a 600 cc V2, built by René Gillet in Paris, back in 1905. Yes, that´s a whopping 113 years ago! This unbelievable machine will start in just a second. Many others will follow. They all share the same age.

This moment is exemplary. “The Old Crocks Trial” celebrates the moment when, by 1914, some British blokes finally realized that motorcycles had become a mirror of the passing time – testimonies of innovation, progress and speed. They started the very first “classic bike” event more than 100 years ago, with the build year limit set at 1906.

The recreation of this event is regularly held in the Hessian mountains near Frankfurt. And – honestly – once in a lifetime, you should watch these old jalopies fighting against seniority. It´s just wonderful.