Surely by now you’ve heard about the American Motorcyclist Association’s Vintage Motorcycle Days, held each summer at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. For those of you haven’t, well, as the great Mr. T would say, we “pity the fool.”
This year’s show runs from July 28 through July 30, and the featured Marque of the Year will be MV Agusta. Look for three bike shows hosted by Motorcycle Classics along with the annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum Auction.
The event also hosts North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, demo rides of new bikes, stunt shows and a full slate of American Historic Motorcycle Racing Association action, including road racing, motocross, flat-track and trials. A new annual activity at VMD beginning in 2006 will be the introduction of a Classic Club. This year, the Classic Club will be the Hodaka enthusiasts group, which will hold its annual national Hodaka Days gathering at VMD.
And come and enjoy Motorcycle Classics’ “Ride ‘em, Don’t Hide ‘em” Ride and Show on Saturday, July 29. Registration goes from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.; the ride leaves at 10:30, and judging will begin around 1 p.m. It’s a great chance to get your classic on the road where it belongs!
DetailsWhat: 2006 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days
When: July 28-30, 2006
Where: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio; www.amadirectlink.com
Classic bike auction, Las Vegas styleAs one of the last bastions of excess, Las Vegas is a natural for high-dollar auctions. Last January’s 15th Annual MidAmerica Auctions Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction saw over 400 classic bikes come up for bid, and true to expectations, some of the prices were nothing short of stratospheric. Triumphs of all stripe were hot at the auction, with close to 20 percent of all bikes on the block bearing that name. And while we all know that values for certain classic bikes are on the rise, more than a few attendees were stunned by the $22,500 a 1957 Triumph TR6 Trophy pulled down. Even more surprising was the $25,000 paid for a 1957 Ariel Square Four. Other high-end rollers included the $71,000 claimed by a 1929 Indian Crocker OHV, one of six replicas built by Gwen Banquer in Florida. The bike was certainly stunning, but that’s still a boat load of money for what, in the end, is a replica.
Vincent’s have been getting the green for some years now, so nobody seemed surprised by the $60,000 paid for a 1953 Black Shadow Series C with matching cases and upper and lower frame numbers. It also came with a letter of authenticity from the Vincent Club.
On the other end of the spectrum were the bikes most of us might buy, like a 1980 Yamaha SR500G that went for $4,600. That price might seem high until you realize the bike’s as-new condition, backed up by a mere eight miles on the clock. Seven Honda CBXs were on hand, including the claimed 10th built. Lightly modified and in need of some work to be perfect, it fetched $4,500.
There were other low-mileage bikes on hand, but we were more than a bit puzzled at bikes like a 1978 Benelli Sei, billed as “never started” but showing 10 miles on the clock and missing one spark plug. And the Benelli wasn’t alone, with similar claims made on a Harley-Davidson XLCR and others. Even so, the Benelli drew a winning bid of $10,500. Total sales for the auction were just short of $4,500,000, with 92 percent of all bikes sold. Love it or hate it, classic bike values continue to climb. And for classic bike owners who like to exercise their machines, rising values can present a challenging question: Is that old bike too valuable to ride? MC