Reviving classic rides, stories, maintenance tips

Reviving classic rides, stories, maintenance tips

Spotting a rare vehicle on the street is an exciting experience that taps into our love for the extraordinary, the beautifully designed and the unexpected. Similar to how “The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride” (DGR) revs up each year, blending retro charm with a powerful message on men’s health, Cebu’s streets have witnessed a rolling celebration for a cause that catches everyone’s attention.

Picture the epitome of classic charm with names like Chappy, Dax, V50, C70, Royal Enfield, Classic 350, Lambretta and Vespa. DGR enthusiasts revel in their ever-expanding vintage lineup that parades through the streets each year.

Riders’ stories

If you’re new to the community, riders hit the gas looking like they just stepped straight out of a 1920s fashion magazine. Wearing their finest suits and polished shoes, they rally behind a relentless call to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer research and men’s mental health initiatives.

Andrew Ford U. Guardo, DGR co-founder, is living the dream in more ways than one. Not only did he bring the dapper ride to Cebu, but he also checked off a major bucket list item. He recounted the fulfillment of a lifelong dream: restoring a rare classic motorcycle, the Zundapp Super Sabre 250cc from the 1950s in West Germany. For him, it was the resurrection of a piece of history, brought back to its former glory.

He shared that the original owner was an Italian parish priest who brought the motorcycle with him to the Philippines. When the priest was reassigned to Butuan City in Mindanao, a friend of his — an engineer — purchased the motorcycle.

“When I acquired it in 2018, I found the original deed of sale and registration, revealing the transaction details. It was purchased for P2,000, a price that was considered quite hefty back in those days,” said Guardo.

The motorcycle was brought to Cebu in the 1980s, where it was actively used until 1993, when the second owner passed away. After that, it spent 25 years as a garage queen, preserved but not running.

“I’ve always harbored a profound longing for any of those European classic motorcycles like a Puch, DKW, Ducati or a classic Triumph, and acquiring this Zundapp has truly fulfilled that dream,” said Guardo.

Additionally, in 2018, Honda C70 owners in Cebu, known as the “Ubec Cub,” officially formed a group with a motto to live by: “Anti Pakusog-Pakusog Club.” Guardo also mentioned that Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes is an honorary member of this group, having ridden the vehicle since his high school days. To this day, he occasionally rides it to City Hall.

“This story of restoration and perseverance is a testament to the values Mayor Cortes embodies — dedication, hard work and the importance of remembering one’s roots. It’s a story that continues to inspire many within the community and group members,” said Guardo.

The custom motorcycle community in Cebu continues to support and inspire each other with their unique creations, transforming bikes into Classic Cafe Racers, Bobbers, Choppers and Scramblers.

Maintenance tips

When it’s vintage, it’s delicate. Guardo admitted that keeping these classic machines running smoothly often feels like a dance with time, a fragile balance that can be quite the challenge. However, for someone deeply immersed in restoration and a passionate enthusiast of all things vintage, Guardo has discovered a winning formula and invaluable tips for bringing these classic beauties back to life.

“Firstly, it’s essential to keep spare parts in your inventory,” advised Guardo. Classic motorcycles often require specific parts that can be hard to find, so having them on hand can save you a lot of time and frustration.

Secondly, make connections with old motorcycle stores. They might have hidden gems in their inventory that could be exactly what you need for your bike.

“Thirdly, learning to fix your bike on your own is crucial,” he emphasized. The old mechanics who understand these machines are becoming rarer, so being able to do your own repairs can save you money and keep your bike on the road.

Guardo also warns that neglecting maintenance can easily turn your classic motorcycle into a garage queen again. “Ultimately, how well your bike runs depends on you,” he said. Some owners are content to restore their bikes and keep them safe in the garage, especially since finding parts for these rare machines can be expensive and difficult these days.

These hard won possessions, both delicate and dear, deserve every cheer and applause they receive as they glide through the streets. For the vintage-wheeled owners, this positive feedback is a source of joy that keeps their spirits high and their passion alive.

“Each custom bike is a unique expression of its owner’s personality and style, adding to the diversity and excitement during the ride. These custom builds showcase creativity and craftsmanship, making them stand out amidst the crowd of classic motorcycles,” shared Guardo.

Given their deep bond with their motorcycles, it’s nothing short of a labor of love. Guardo like any of the motorcycle owners got a quirky habit of talking to their vehicle like it’s a trusted friend. It might look funny to some, but it’s all in the name of getting that smooth, cooperative ride through the motorcade.

Future trends

Motorcycle manufacturers are embracing a nostalgic trend, focusing on classic aesthetics that catch the eye on the road.

Among these, Guardo highlights the iconic Triumph Bonneville from Triumph Motorcycles by Motoprime PH. Corp, and the Royal Enfield, exclusively distributed by Motorace. Harley Davidson, under the dealership of RDAK Global Motors, has also joined this trend with the exclusive unveiling of the Hydra Glide Revival. This model, based on the timeless 1950s design, retains the simple yet elegant DNA that made it famous and was famously ridden by Elvis Presley, adding to its iconic status.

Additionally, there has been a resurgence in popularity of Lambretta scooters from Italy, distributed by Ropali Classics, alongside the beloved Vespas. Japanese models like the Honda C90 and Yamaha PG-1 have also returned to their original designs.

As the DGR Cebu chapter approaches its 10th anniversary next year, it’s clear that the fascination for retro motorcycles is not fading away. Guardo and the community are excited to witness a growing number of participants who share their appreciation for the engineering and artistry of these timeless machines through and through.


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