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Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic: Don’t Miss the Next One!

by Richard Backus

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Laverda at Road America 2011 
A Laverda 750SF keeps company with a Benelli 750 Sei and a Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica (sans fairing) at the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show at Road America, June 11, 2011. 

We’ve just returned from the 2nd Annual Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic, and if you weren’t there you missed another fantastic vintage motorcycle weekend. Last year’s inaugural event drew an estimated 5,000 vintage and classic bike fans, and our seat of the pants impression of this year’s show says a lot more people decided to point their bikes in the direction of Elkhart Lake, Wis., to immerse themselves in a weekend of vintage motorcycle fun.

Road America Ride & Show 2011 

A wet and rainy Saturday morning wasn’t enough to keep AHRMA vintage motorcycle racers from taking to the track and hardcore classic bike fans from showing up for the Motorcycle Classics Road America Ride & Show., with about 35 bikes in the show, 12 of which joined us for a 40-mile jaunt through the surrounding Wisconsin countryside. Among my personal favorites were a really lovely 1972 Laverda 750 SF, a 1977 Benelli Sei six-cylinder and a 1973 Harley-Davidson/Aermacchi Sprint. And the ride was a real high-point of the weekend, rolling our bikes down an endless series of fabulous little two-lane roads in Wisconsin’s famed Kettle Moraine area. What a treat. Ten rider/owners went home with trophies in five categories, including a trophy for People's Choice. Click here to see our show winners.

Road America Ride at the Ride & Show 2011 
Riders in the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show. Nice bikes + great roads = good times. 

It’s too bad the ride and show weren’t on Sunday, because compared to Saturday’s wet and cold, Sunday dawned bright and clear. It was still a little chilly, but brilliant blue skies beat dreary gray any day, and AHRMA vintage racers were definitely happy to see the change in weather; a dry track was a welcome relief from Saturday’s slick surface, which saw more than a few riders low-side their bikes during the day.

The swap meet was excellent, with close to 90 vendors on hand selling everything from small parts to complete bikes. That was about a 15 percent increase in vendors, certainly a good sign for a show that’s still very much in the making. The Road America track is beautiful, the AHRMA vintage racing is great, the swap meet is growing and our Ride & Show is a blast. Watch this space for more news on the show and info for next year. – Richard Backus