The Len Manchester Motorcycles Classic Racing Team took on a challenge with a difference when they entered the International Moto Giro D’Italia Rally.
The world-famous rally, now in its 101st year, runs over six days and covers 940 miles, starting and finishing in San Marino, Italy.
The Melton team, consisting of manager Arnold Fletcher, Dick Healey and Geoff Fletcher rode classic British bikes with a combined age of 170 years.
Not content with just competing in the rally, they also rode their machines – a 1955 650cc Triumph T110, a 1960 650cc BSA Super Rocket and a 1960 650cc Matchless CSR – 1,250 miles to the start line.
Supported by Ron Hart, the team departed Dover on May 11 and reached San Marino in time for the start six days later.
The team had envisaged riding in warm, sunny weather through Italy, but instead encountered thunderstorms, torrential rain and gale force winds for much of the journey.
But their persistence and durability were rewarded with a second place finish in the vintage class.
Arnold said: “Even during the rally there were days when the weather was more like English winter than Italian summer, but the bikes and riders managed to keep going.
“We were one of the few teams to ride our machines to the event and covered 3,500 miles over 19 days in far from ideal conditions.
“It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done and that includes competing in the Isle of Man TT.”
The next outing for the Len Manchester Classic Team is at the Jerez circuit, in Spain, later this month where Ant Hart will ride the Yamaha TZ 350 (see above).