Motorcycles

Here’s What Happens When You Ride Classic Motorcycles On a Race Track

Café racers and classic bikes ruled on Bristol’s Track Day.
IMAGE Cyrian Agujo
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Heavy traffic and sky high gas prices. These are probably the two biggest reasons why two-wheelers have increased in numbers in recent years. But even on a motorcycle, you can only go so fast on our pothole-ridden roads. Wouldn’t it be nice if riders could stretch their powerful motorcycles’ legs once in a while? 

That’s exactly what Bristol did when it brought riders on a fun ride one Sunday morning at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. Dozens of Bristol enthusiasts arrived with their gorgeous bikes, ready to take their machines to the redline safely on the track.


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Cool bikes

Bristol is a boutique motorcycle brand from Europe that has just recently set up shop here in the Philippines. Its bikes have high-quality, retro-inspired styling—the kind of motorcycle that would instantly make you look cool, or cooler. Imagine lazily riding on a long stretch of road, with your leather jacket, black-as-night Aviators, and a supermodel grabbing you by the waist and you get the idea.

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You’d be forgiven though if you think that the supermodel reference is actually for the bikes themselves. Participants arrived on either the Bristol Classic 400i or the Bristol BR 400i Café racer, and there’s really no going wrong with either. Most of them were also customized by their owners – from subtle accents to all-out chrome galore.


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Despite looking like showroom models, the bikes were ridden hard by the participants on the track. The participants were a mix of beginner and experienced riders, so they were carefully instructed by the track marshals and taught the right cornering and maneuvering around the track.

Still, it was anything but a chill ride, and most of them reached speeds of 120 kph and above.

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“It was exhilarating. I didn’t even notice I was going above 120 kph!” said one ecstatic Bristol owner.

The Track Day also proved that no matter your skill level, Bristol bikes are easy enough to learn and can be used on and off track.

“This is actually my first bike and I had zero experience prior. For a 400-cc motorcycle, it’s very forgiving, especially for a beginner like me,” said sales executive Alexander Choa.


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Lady on a bike

Aside from the track experience, the riders also got to meet Binibining Pilipinas 2019 candidate Samantha Lo. Representing Cebu in this year’s pageant, Lo is a motorcycle aficionado and rider safety advocate who was able to put together a motorcycle engine in her teens. Talk about unique. 

“It’s my advocacy to really promote safe riding, and riding Bristol on a race track is a good way to do that,” says Lo, who has her own Bristol motorcycle in Cebu. “We’re also always going on about women empowerment, and what’s more empowering than saying ‘Hey, I can ride a motorcycle, too.’” 

According to Anthony Chua, President and CEO of Bristol distributor Sinski Motorcycle Philippines, Inc., Bristol’s Track Day event was more than just testing the performance of the bikes.


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“Some of you were asking why we are on a race track. This is because we wanted to show you that your relationship with Bristol didn’t start and end when you purchased your motorcycle. This is actually just the beginning. You didn’t just purchase a beautiful machine, you also became part of the Bristol community,” said Chua.

While 400cc models are what most riders covet these days because they can be ridden on highways, Bristol is planning to also offer lower displacements models to increase its market base and introduce the brand to those who might be a bit intimidated by its current lineup.

“We’re going to come out with a 250cc and 150cc models. We’re also going to release a 150-cc classic scooter within the year,” says Sinski Motorcycle Philippines Inc. Operations Manager Andrew Sy. 

With all the road construction going on in the city we will hopefully experience less migraines in just a couple of years. However, there’s something different and liberating about riding motorcycles, heavy traffic or not. And if you can look supremely cool while riding (not to mention save tons of gas) then get me on two wheels anytime.

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Cyrian Agujo
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