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Ponoka Vintage Rally celebrating 100 years of BMW

Rally chair Bill Hoar: ‘Modern Beemers come in all shapes, sizes and colours’
Bill Hoar’s 1950 BSA B33. (Photo submitted)

The Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group’s (CVMG’s) 27th annual Ponoka Vintage Rally and Tailgate Swap Meet is set for July 21, 22 and 23 at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds, and this year the Central Alberta Section is celebrating 100 years of BMW.

“This year’s theme features the BMW marque signifying 100 years of manufacturing of BMW motorcycles — six years before the first BMW cars were produced,” said Bill Hoar, one of the chairs for the rally.

Hoar is also the national past president and a founding member of the Central Alberta Section.

“All motorcycles, new and old are always welcome to the event and likewise for visitors and spectators who can come up to the Ponoka Stampede Grounds and view the bikes at no charge,” he said.

According to Hoar, about 140 people have registered for the event, coming from western Canada and the United States, which is similar to registration from past events.

“Favourite bikes of mine that have showed up at previous Ponoka rallies … would have to be Jim Green’s 1913 Ariel (British marque) from Vernon, B.C.,” said Hoar.

“Jim literally unearthed the parts for this bike near Merritt, B.C., by searching a 15-by-25 foot by six foot deep area to enable Jim to put the bike back together, get it running and then bring it to Ponoka.

“The other bike would be a local story with a BMW connection. Roy Manicke from Lacombe has engineered a single cylinder diesel into a BMW chassis complete with shaft drive,” said Hoar.

“I recently returned from a Manitoba rally and several enthusiasts there asked me about this bike as they too remembered seeing and hearing this unique motorcycle. If rumour holds true, both bikes should be at this year’s rally in 2023. A steam powered motorcycle from Edmonton may even make its debut this year, adding to my list of favourite bikes.”

Hoar added visitors may have a chance to see anything from ‘belt drive’ teen’s bikes right up to modern day cruisers, café racers, trikes and sidecar units at the rally.

“Motorcyclists love to customize, show-off and talk about their rides so do not hesitate to ask questions if up on the grounds,” he said.

“Expect to see plenty of BMW’s at this year’s rally. Typically these will be all black or all white in colour with an air cooled horizontally-opposed twin engine with shaft drive, but modern Beemers come in all shapes, sizes and colours these days.”

The event kicks off with a pot luck on Friday night, followed by a poker rally and show and shine on Saturday as well as a full course diner.

On Sunday, the festivities continue with a breakfast, jeopardy and awards.

Admission for spectators is free. Participants must register and pay an entrance fee.

To register for the 2023 Ponoka Rally, or for more information, visit

This year, organizers have added a twist to the poker run by incorporating a Century Ride pin into the mix for CVMG members who have a combined bike and rider age of 100 or more years.

Rising Star awards are also available for younger, less seasoned bikes and riders.

“Visiting the show ‘n’ shine, motorcycle jeopardy and the fabulous food from Bob Ronnie Catering are always hits with registrants,” said Hoar.

The CVMG, one of Canada’s largest communities for motorcycle enthusiasts, is a not-for-profit organization with over 2,000 members dedicated to the preservation, use and conservation of motorcycles.

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I'm a reporter for Ponoka News and have lived in Ponoka since 2015.
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