Retro Moto host Matt Smith with a Manx Norton featured in the first episode.
Well known vintage bike enthusiast and founder of the Chadds Ford Classic Motorcycle Auction John Lawless is dipping his toe – or more like his entire body – into video with the premier of a five-minute mini-episode of his planned new show, Retro Moto, on PBS’ Motorweek, January 5 and 6, 2013, and again January 15 at 8 and 11 p.m. on the Velocity network.
Matt Smith plays host in the new series, produced by Lawless, Sheldon Brown and Ed Buffman, who say the show is about classic motorcycles “and their timeless art and beauty, as well as the people that appreciate and love them.” We’ve checked out a couple of trailers for the new show, and we like what we see. Fans of Orange County Choppers won’t be tuning in, but those of us who love old bikes and the people who keep them running will. Lawless and crew’s new show looks like the perfect tonic to the sort of tired, overwrought and over-hyped crap that typically defines TV. Real enthusiasts already know that old bikes are cool, and we don’t have to be hit over the head with hyperbole to appreciate what we’re seeing. Fortunately, Lawless and Smith don’t, instead keeping the viewer focused on the real point of interest, the motorcycle.
“We're testing two Norton Manx and a Yamaha TZ750 in this show,” Lawless tells me, adding, “We're trying to get folks to give some feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can continue to air episodes.”
This is definitely vintage motorcycle TV worth watching: Go to Motorweek to check local listings, and follow updates on the show on the Retro Moto TV Facebook page. You can also contact Lawless directly at email@example.com – Richard Backus