The Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts 21st Annual Vintage Motorcycle Rally at the National Airline History Museum in downtown Kansas City, Mo., is this Sunday, June 3. A spectacularly cool show, it’s held in the cavernous hold of one of the old airline hangars at Kansas City’s Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
Described in an early 1960s Federal Aviation Administration memo as “the most dangerous airport in the country” — it’s directly across the Missouri River from downtown Kansas City — the airport has been rally headquarters for four years, and it’s proved to be immensely popular.
And for good reason. The National Airline History Museum is no ordinary museum, housing five classic airliners, including a spectacular 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation, which the museum has fired up during previous rallies. Old airplanes and motorcycles seem to be a natural match, and listening to the “Super-Connie” roar is as cool as the first time you hear a Vincent Rapide bark out its distinctive twin-cylinder beat.
Extend the weekend by getting there Friday, June 1, for the First Friday vintage ride-in block party in the Crossroads district of downtown Kansas City. K.C. Brake Service is hosting a motorcycle ride-in from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at 19th & McGee, right in the heart of the Crossroads. Food and refreshments -- including Boulevard Beer! -- will be provided. The Crossroads is just a stone’s throw from the Airline History Museum and downtown, and the ride-in will be a great opportunity to meet local riders and owners before the big rally on Sunday. Old bike or new, everyone's welcome to the Friday block party.
We’ll be at the rally as we have every year, along with thousands of other vintage bike fans who return for what’s become a seminal event on the classic bike calendar. Last year’s rally saw trophies awarded in 24 classes, and this year Motorcycle Classics will award the trophy for People’s Choice. Ducati is the featured marque, with special displays of classic and modern models of the iconic brand. See you there! – Richard Backus