2010 Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic

Elkhart Lake, Wis., motorcycle show is a hit

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The swap meet had bikes and lots of parts for sale.

Photo by Jeff Barger

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We’ve been crowing for a while now about our plans for the 2010 Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic motorcycle show, and it turned out to be quite a hit.

Nearly 5,000 classic bike fans enjoyed great AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Assoc.) vintage motorcycle racing, a swap meet, vendor booths, and of course the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show at Road America, the legendary road circuit near Elkhart Lake, Wis., June 11-13. The area has been home to racing since 1950, when a course was set up on public roads in and around Elkhart Lake. After a few years, popularity of the street course events (and a ban against racing on public roads) led to the construction of the Road America track, where the first race was held in 1955. The rest, as they say, is history. A walk around the quaint downtown allows you to follow signs marking the historic turns of the original circuit.

AHRMA practice started on Friday on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile course, and while the rain came and went, the swap meet filled up and campers readied their sites for the weekend. Saturday morning brought gray skies, but the weather stayed dry throughout the day as nearly 60 bikes turned up for the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show, including a great group of Yamaha dirt bikes (one of every model built for 1973!), Ducatis, Hondas and rarities like an Ariel Square Four, a Vincent Rapide, a Harley-Davidson VLD and more.

At noon everyone gathered for our riders meeting, then donned their gear, fired up their bikes and headed out for a 40-mile ride through Wisconsin’s unique Kettle Moraine, an area formed when the lobes of two glaciers collided. A quick stop halfway through afforded a chance to get in a group photo.

The end of the day Saturday brought our awards ceremony. Our Best Rider award, for the bike we’re most happy to see enjoyed and ridden, went to Mark Gardner and his 1978 Ducati Darmah. Jimmy Stock’s 1966 Suzuki Hustler, complete with custom paint and mods circa 1969, won Best Japanese. Best European went to Joe Block and his rare Wedgewood Blue 1953 Ariel Square Four. This was a one-year-only color, done in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Best Custom/Special went to Phil Taylor for his 1978 Yamaha XS650 café.

An excellent weekend of vintage racing and riding, plans are already in motion for next year’s event. We’ll announce dates here and on our web site. Don’t miss it! MC