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Classic bike owners are gearing up for the 2017 motorcycle ride out and rally season.

One of the big early highlights is the 69th annual Banbury Run of classic vintage bikes on Sunday, June 18.

Organised by the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), with 500 machines roaring and ready to rumble it is the largest gathering of pre-1931 motorcycles and three-wheelers in the world.

The veteran and vintage motorcycle ride out starts at 10am with bikes leaving the 65 acres of parkland housing the British Motor Museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire in batches.

The classics will wend their way majestically along a 12-mile route to Banbury and back with thousands of well-wishes along the way.

2017 motorcycle ride out.

We’ll meet again… A classic sets off for last year’s Banbury Run. Picture courtesy of VMCC.

2017 motorcycle ride out and rally season kicks off with a sleep-out

Back at the museum there will be hard-standing for viewing the bikes, more than 100 autojumble pitches, free spectator parking close to the main entrance and camping is available for both Saturday and Sunday night.

The VMCC has in excess of 14,000 members and it aims to promote and preserve all makes of motorcycles over 25 years old.

The club was founded in 1946 by 38 enthusiasts at the Lounge Cafe, Hog’s Back, near Guildford in Surrey, for owners of motorcycles manufactured before the end of December 1930.

Many of the founders rode to the first meeting on vintage motorcycles and had travelled from around the country in poor weather conditions.

2017 motorcycle ride out.

Lining up for the start of the 2016 Banbury Run. Picture courtesy of VMCC.

First meet was organised by wartime despatch rider “Titch” Allen

The first meeting had been organised by former journalist and wartime despatch rider, “Titch” Allen, with the aim of promoting the use and preservation of vintage motorcycles.

Activities have expanded over the years to include rallies, hillclimbs, trials, a library and museum.

All makes are catered for irrespective of the country of origin. The VMCC has also broadened the 1930 rule to include all motorcycles over 25 years old.

And you no longer need to own a vintage motorcycle to be a VMCC member – you simply have to have an interest in older bikes.

Read our experts’ line-up of the country’s top seven 2017 motorcycle ride outs and rallies.

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