GRR

200 bobbers and choppers open the Goodwood Revival

09th September 2023
Andrew Willis

All three days of the 2023 Goodwood Revival awoke to the low rumble of more than 200 pre-1966 motorcycles. Paying homage to 1940s, ’50s and ’60s bike ownership, a huge group of bobbers, choppers and their riders opened the festivities in unique style.

track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-06.jpg

This opening slot is developing into a Revival favourite, with the empty morning circuit reserved to celebrate icons of the automotive industry, or key moments in time. In recent years, the opening parade has illuminated the Fiat 500, classic Minis and the Austin 7, among others. 

This time around, a massive horde of two-wheeled machines – the biggest collection of individual vehicles the Revival has ever seen on a track parade – included BMW Motorrad, Royal Enfield, Indian Motorcycles, Triumph and BSA bikes. Most notably, the parade was led by a huge variety of Harley-Davidsons, the marque so strongly associated with bobber and chopper culture.

track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-02.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-03.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-05.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-08.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-28.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-29.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-30.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-31.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-32.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-34.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-35.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-36.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-37.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-38.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-39.jpg

It was the bobber that arrived first, taking advantage of the estimated 90,000 redundant Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycles that were produced in WW2 to meet the needs of a mechanised modern army. Here, demobilised soldiers and ex-dispatch riders with money to spare snapped up the glut of bikes and set about customising them for civilian needs, eager to explore their hard-fought freedom on two-wheels. The bobber was born. 

Choppers, inspired from these same beginnings, would evolve from bobber culture into the 1960s, when bikes were becoming more powerful, and the modification of frames and geometry became more extreme.

race-results-main-1.jpg

2023 Goodwood Revival results

09th September 2023

track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-41.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-42.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-43.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-45.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-46.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-48.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-51.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-53.jpg
track-opening-revival-2023-toby-whales-54.jpg

Forming part of the 75 years of motorsport at Goodwood, and the 25th anniversary of Revival, many of these parade bikes also contribute to the 100 years of BMW Motorrad, 120 years of Harley-Davidson and 130 years of Royal Enfield celebrations throughout the weekend. 

And don’t fret, if you weren’t here early enough to see them leave a trail of engine oil around the Goodwood Circuit, the track parade bikes and the many stories associated with them will be discoverable at the Earls Raceway.

For those of you not in attendance, take the time to enjoy the gallery before you start enquiring about your nearest motorcycle club. 

Photography by Toby Whales.

  • Revival

  • Revival 2023

  • march-motor-works-revival-2023-main.jpg

    Goodwood Revival

    March Motor Works celebrates Mini and BMW Motorrad at Revival 2023

  • earls_court_goodwood_revival_08092023_listjpg.jpeg

    Goodwood Revival

    The cars of the future in Earls Court at Revival 2023

  • bonhamscars-revival-sale-main.jpg

    Goodwood Revival

    Porsches, Spitfires and more at the Bonhams|Cars Revival sale