MC Events
Reviews and Notices of Upcoming Classic Motorcycle Shows and Events

Upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Events: September/October 2017

Jim and Carolyn Venable took home the Best Ducati award for their 1974 Ducati 750SS at the 2016 Motorcycle Classics show at the Barber Vintage Festival. Join us this year, Oct. 6-8. Motorcycle Classics archives

Featured events

Sept.1

Back for its 12th year, join us for the fun at the Bonneville Vintage GP, Sept. 1-3, at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah. Norton will be the featured marque of the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Motorcycle Show on Saturday, celebrating 50 years of the Commando, plus trophies in six classes and a People’s Choice award. Sunday will feature a custom bike show. Both days will feature AHRMA racing, along with the CB160 races with Le Mans starts both days.

Sept. 2

Visit the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine, for the Vintage Motorcycle Festival and Antique Aeroplane Show, Sept. 2-3. Owners of pre-1997 motorcycles are encouraged to exhibit and will be admitted free of charge. In 2016 the show attracted more than 400 exhibitors throughout the weekend, along with antique planes and more.

Sept.10

Visit the 35th annual Battle of the Brits Motorcycle & Car Show and Swap Meet at Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan. This event regularly draws more than 200 bikes and 300 cars. Classic British, European and pre-1984 American bikes are invited to be a part of the show. Food and beverages will be available, along with on-site camping.

Sept. 16

Join all the good folks and classic bikes at the Modern Classics Ride-In on Saturday, Sept. 16. More than 200 vintage and custom bikes are expected. No judging, no classes and no awards, just a fun day of checking out vintage bikes with friends, food and more.

Sept. 24

Visit the 34th Annual Italian Motorcycle Owners Club 2017 Rally in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All Italian bikes and scooters are invited, and the show benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Judging is at noon for rally classes.

Sept. 24

Join the Old Capitol Lions Club for their 2nd annual Vintage Bike Show and swap meet on the Monterey Peninsula on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Del Ray Oaks, California. Bring your vintage bike to display. All proceeds benefit The Blind and Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County. More info: john.dick@mountztorque.com.

Oct. 6

Join us for the 13th Annual Barber Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama. The show runs through Oct. 8 and will feature AHRMA road racing, the American Motor Drome Wall of Death, Ace Corner, the swap meet and more. Our Motorcycle Classics bike show will feature more than a dozen awards, with the Norton Commando as our featured model

Oct. 20

Attend the 15th Annual Harvest Classic European & Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Registration starts Friday afternoon, and you can camp at the location Friday and Saturday night. The swap meet runs both days. Friday afternoon the 100cc Fun Run will take place, and Friday evening enjoy the Ben Beckendorf Band. Saturday is the big day, with the bike show, vintage trials, a home-cooked barbecue, music, raffles, a live auction and an outdoor motorcycle movie on the big screen that night. The Globe of Death will also be running shows both afternoons.

More events

Sept. 8-10
21st Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance
Malvern, Pennsylvania

Sept. 8-10
Thunder in the Smokies Rally
Maggie Valley, North Carolina

Sept. 8-10
AHRMA Roadracing at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway
Munford, Alabama

Sept. 9-10
28th Annual Classic British Motorcycle Club of Cincinnati Vintage Motorcycle Rally
Burlington, Kentucky

Sept. 10
Rice-O-Rama Vintage and Custom Japanese Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet
Spencer, Massachusetts

Sept. 21-24
Retro Affair Vintage Motorcycle Show at AIMExpo
Columbus, Ohio

Sept. 23
Vicksburg Vintage Motorcycle Show
Downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi

Sept. 28-30
9th Annual SLO Classics Motorcycle Rally
San Luis Obispo, California

Sept. 29-30
Antique Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet
White Rose Motorcycle Club
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Nov. 5
38th Annual Hansen Dam All Brit Ride
Near Glendale, California


Motorcycle Classics wants to know about shows, swap meets, road runs and more for classic motorcycles. Send details of upcoming events at least three months in advance to lhall@ motorcycleclassics.com.

Last Call for the 2017 Barber Vintage Festival

A sweet Ducati 900SS in front of the Motorcycle Classics tent at last year’s Vintage Festival. Motorcycle Classics archives

We’re making final preparations for our annual pilgrimage to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama, and the 13th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, Oct. 6-8, 2017. The 2016 event had an estimated attendance of 73,000 bike fans, making this the largest vintage motorcycle event in North America.

The event’s almost explosive growth is easy to understand. To begin with, there’s the world famous Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, an amazing collection of 1,400-plus motorcycles spanning every decade of the industry from its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago to today, all housed in a spectacular, state-of-the-art, 144,000-square-foot building. And it just got bigger, thanks to a new five-story, 86,000-square-foot addition.

Then there’s everything else happening during the Barber Vintage Festival, including the American Motor Drome “Wall of Death” — a 15-foot-high wooden bowl that daredevil riders run on vintage Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Over at Turn 17 is the Ace Corner, an event within the event, packed with custom builds and cool café bikes — not to mention food and the only beer sold on site! — while on the other side of the park you’ll find the AMCA and VJMC shows. Motorcycle manufacturer KTM will host demo rides in Lot D, and new this year is a Ferris wheel that’s going to be set up in the Fan Zone, giving attendees a chance to take in the event from high in the sky. Oh, and did we forget to mention the regular motorcycle stunt shows and the Globe of Death?

Metal Rescue is back as the title sponsor of the annual swap meet, Mecca for owners looking for parts for their vintage bikes, whatever the make. There’s also the annual Century Parade, an exhibition race for motorcycles 100 years old or older, and AHRMA racers fill Barber’s famed 2.3-mile track the rest of the weekend as they compete in rounds 19 and 20 of the National Historic Cup Roadrace Series. Meanwhile, the surrounding fields and woods will showcase AHRMA vintage motocross, observed trials and cross country races.

We’ll be there as ever, hosting the 13th Annual Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show, this year featuring the Norton Commando to celebrate 50 years since the model was first introduced at the 1967 Earls Court Show in London, England. We’ll award a trophy for the Best Norton Commando, plus trophies for Best Restored and Best Rider in five other categories. Barber restoration expert and former Norton employee Brian Slark will join us as this year’s special judge, and we’ll hold technical seminars throughout the weekend. 

If you can make only one event this year, this is the one. For more info and event updates, go to barbermuseum.org — see you there!

A Quail Tale: The 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Ducati motorcycle

The grandpappy to the modern Ducati Scrambler. All photos by Corey Levenson.

Once a year a posh and tranquil golf course is transformed as it hosts a dazzling collection of exceptional motorcycles and colorful people. No one element — machines, people nor venue — makes the Quail Motorcycle Gathering special; it’s the resulting concoction that’s so intoxicating. A day at this event is like a blissful mini-vacation in one of those pristine little snow globes, except there’s no snow and the little sphere is full of fascinating two-wheeled machinery.

The 2017 edition of the Gathering took place on a gray and windy day in May on the manicured greens at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California. Like that other bird, the phoenix, the Quail event rose from the ashes of another premier West Coast motorcycle-only concours, The Legend of the Motorcycle. Initiated in 2006, that event went great guns for three years but folded after the economy took a nosedive in late 2008. Fortunately, lifelong motorsports enthusiast Gordon McCall stepped in, moving the focal point for the classic motorcycle scene down the coast from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Bay. For nine years running, Gordon has done an impressive job hosting the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Bikes in cocoons

Bikes in cocoons before the show opens.

Motorcycles are also displayed at another event Gordon runs in conjunction with Monterey Car Week in August, the Quail Motorsports Gathering. The motorcycle-only event in the spring serves as a fitting bookend to the existing summer event, which is more focused on classic automobiles. The Motorcycle Gathering this year featured two highlights: one a remarkable American motorcycle racer and the other a classic British motorcycle, the Norton Commando.

Kenny Roberts, three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion and two-time AMA Grand National champion, was the guest of honor and “Legend of the Sport” at this year’s Gathering. It was great to see “King” Kenny being recognized for his many achievements. With a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous smile on his face, he seemed to be at ease and enjoying himself. A nice three-bike display on the lawn represented various phases of Kenny’s long career: a Yamaha TZ750 flat tracker, a TZ750 road race bike and a Team Roberts KR Moto GP bike as raced by Kenny’s son Kurtis.

Brough Superior

Contemplating a lovely Brough-Superior.

Other moto-celebrities in attendance included Wayne Rainey (also a thrice crowned 500cc Grand Prix World champion), Mert Lawwill (AMA Grand National Champion in 1969) and Craig Vetter. Gordon emceed a brisk outdoor panel discussion among Kenny, Wayne and Mert that enthralled and amused in equal measure. These luminaries were very generous with their time, hanging around on the lawn and chatting with the rest of the moto-nuts.

Vintage bike restorer, authority, and collector Somer Hooker serves as Chief Judge for the event. In an apparent fit of recklessness, he invited me to be a judge this year, telling me it was a great way to make new enemies. How could I refuse? In addition to 11 traditional motorcycle classes (American, British, Italian, Japanese, etc.), there were 10 special categories including the Spirit of the Quail Award, the Cycle World Tour Award, the Innovation Award, the Significance in Racing Award and the Historical Vehicle Association (HVA) Preservation Award for the best unrestored machine. The Best of Show Champion was the motorcycle considered to be most significant in terms of presentation and historical significance.

Norton Commando 750SS

Norton Commando 750SS displayed on the lawn.

I requested assignment to the Norton judging group mainly because I’ve owned three 750 Commandos and a P11 over the years and, to the extent I was qualified to judge any motorcycle, I felt most comfortable scrutinizing that particular marque. Judging was “French” style which is less technical, more subjective and reliant on overall elegance and visual appearance (no need for straw hats, blazers or ties). One of my six fellow judges was Jerry Kaplan, a Norton owner and friend for more than 30 years. This was Jerry’s third year as a judge and he offered to show me the ropes.

Brian Slark, AMA Hall of Famer and currently Technical Advisor at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, was our team leader. In the late 1960s he managed the service and competition department for Norton in the U.S. and later became marketing communications manager for Norton-Villiers. Brian was the perfect choice to be alpha dog in our pack.

Norton judging team

The Norton Judging Team working under Brian Slark’s leadership (he’s the one sitting).

After being briefed by Chief Judge Hooker, all 48 judges were given cards to fill out for each bike listing several categories to be evaluated on a numerical scale. We had three hours to complete our judging — some quick math revealed we had an average of six minutes per bike. No way could we fill in the all the blanks for each bike in that amount of time (plus our hands were too cold to do that much writing!). We decided to resort to Alternate Plan B in order to get it all done in time. Since we only had to choose one bike from the Norton group to be “Best in Class,” our strategy was to review all the bikes as a team, discuss our observations/thoughts and assign a single aggregate score (1-10) to each bike. We’d then go back and review the top ranked bikes in the class to pick a winner.

Needless to say, as a novice judge, the last thing I wanted to do was come off as a gormless twit, feckless dolt or utter pillock. I had brought photocopies of various appendices to Roy Bacon’s excellent books on Norton twins (just in case I needed to verify engine numbers for specific models or know what colors were correct for which years). That turned out to be a complete waste of time and paper — the collective knowledge of our judging group ensured that I never once needed to refer to any of those pages.

Norton and transport vehicle

Classic bikes deserve classic transporters.

This year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Norton Commando, arguably the best of the big British twins of the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1968 and 1972, it won the Motor Cycle News’ “Machine of the Year” award five consecutive times. With assistance from the Norton Owners Club Northern California Chapter, the Quail organizers had at least one example of each of the many Commando models on display.

“The Commando was introduced as a stop-gap model intended to last for two years until Norton designed a new engine and model. It was basically an old power unit in a new chassis. It’s amazing that it was competitive up until 1975, essentially in its original form,” Brian Slark said. “They’re one of the few British bikes of that era that can be run under modern high-speed traffic conditions without vibrating apart. For a motorcycle introduced 50 years ago, it’s pretty remarkable how well they’ve survived.”

Vincent in Chinese Red

A stunning hot-rodded Vincent in Chinese Red.

The Commando has stood the test of time and remains a popular classic bike. They’re still relatively affordable and easy to work on. Spare parts and aftermarket bits are readily available and there’s great support via the various Norton Owner’s Clubs which host rallies worldwide. Commandos look great, handle well and make nice noises. The event T-shirt this year featured a Commando Production Racer and the phrase “Celebrating 50 Years of the Norton Commando” and the official program had a cover photo of Gordon McCall’s immaculate silver metal flake 750 Commando “S” Model featuring both pipes high on the left side of the bike. There was a rumor that local megastar, Clint Eastwood, might show up with his own 750 S Model — sadly, ’twas not to be. Maybe next year?

Forty-two Nortons were entered in the class but 11 were for show only, leaving 31 bikes to judge. All but five of the Nortons being judged were Commando derivatives. In the non-Commando group, we had a 1951 500T trials bike, a 1951 International (a 500cc single with a bevel-driven overhead cam), a 1952 Dominator Model 7, a 1988 Classic Rotary and a 1989 F1 Rotary pre-production prototype. Talk about apples and oranges.

Velocette KTT 350cc racers

Velocette KTT 350cc factory racers in a tidy row.

Our task as judges was simplified by the fact that, out of all the bikes we examined, we only found three to be faultless and only one of those was a Commando. So, given the special significance of the Commando in 2017, our choice was clear. We awarded Best of Class to a stunning green 1968 Commando Fastback, one with the early round plastic tank badges, before they went to decals.

I was surprised by how many non-standard bikes were entered for judging. Many were beautiful machines I’d be proud to own, but they were nonetheless not correct. There were 750 Commandos with 850 Commando forks, Nortons with Mikuni carburetors, even a lovely full-on Colorado Norton Works Commando with every optional accessory in the book. Unquestionably stunning, but it should’ve been entered in the Custom Class if it hoped to win anything. I think folks simply wanted to have their pride and joy seen and appreciated and, in that, they certainly succeeded.

Honda CBX

A Honda CBX gets a facelift — those titanium pipes made wonderful music.

Our task was comparatively easy. My friends Vicki Smith and Rich Lambrechts from DesmoPro in Florida were on the team judging the Custom Class. I didn’t envy them — how do you judge a class where there are no objective standards? You’ve got to rely on intangibles like creativity, visual impact, degree-of-difficulty and the quality of fabrication.

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering offers an impressive collection of motorcycles of all ages and nationalities in a well-groomed venue that was big enough to allow space around each bike but small enough to see it all comfortably. In addition to the visual treats, many of the machines were briefly awakened from their slumber to disturb the peace. The Honda CBX with full titanium exhaust brought by Imagine Vehicles International (IVI), John Bennett’s naked Motus MSTR special built by customizer Bryan Fuller and John Goldman’s 1957 Mondial GP bike were particularly spine-tingling and ear-shattering. Virgil Elings brought his spectacular Britten V1000 (one of ten made) up from his Solvang museum and fired it up for the crowd. It was wonderful to hear these magnificent beasts — the snarling sounds of these machines is a big part of what excites and captivates us.

Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Mert Lawwill

Three Californian moto-legends: Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Mert Lawwill.

There were too many notable motorcycles to describe them all here. Among the most memorable “theme” displays was a stunning collection of five rare 350cc KTT Velocette production racers with bevel-driven single overhead-cams. Built over a 20-year span between 1929 and 1949, they all had megaphone exhausts, matching black livery and gold pinstriping. There was also a line-up of four Honda CL350 K4 “Flying Dragons” (the ones with the rare psychedelic paint jobs), one in each of the four known color schemes — not something you see every day.

The Quail brings together outstanding motorcycles and interesting people in an attractive and relaxed setting. Vendors and sponsors have tents set up, there’s live music throughout the day and a mighty fine BBQ lunch is included in the price of admission. Cycle World magazine also organized a pre-show ride for those wishing to enjoy some of the great riding in the area.

BSA with two motors

When one BSA engine is not enough …

The quality of bikes and number of sponsors grows every year. This year 350 machines were displayed and 3,000 people attended. When asked to describe his vision and goals for the event, Gordon said: “To constantly evolve and continue to grow conservatively, staying relevant to the sport, hobby and business. It’s key that we attract new enthusiasts and those who don’t yet know that they’re going to become enthusiasts, across all age groups with an emphasis on the next generation.”

He continues: “The motorcycle industry was hit particularly hard in the ’08 economic meltdown — many segments of the industry are struggling to recover. What has remained constant is the motorcycle community and its never-ending interest in motorcycles. Honoring iconic figures that have helped to shape the historic path of the sport, interacting with manufacturers and industry vendors, as well as providing a beautiful venue for all to enjoy whether as an entrant or a spectator is extremely satisfying. So many motorcycle shows have gone out of business over the last few years — we’re extremely proud to be able to carry the torch forward.”

1957 Mondial DOHC 250cc

Firing up the Best Of Show 1957 Mondial DOHC 250cc ex-Tarquinio Provini GP race bike.

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is a fairytale event — a moto-oasis that provides welcome and much appreciated respite in an often chaotic and stressful world. It’s a perfect opportunity for die-hard motorcycle fanatics to gather in idyllic surroundings, admire the machinery and share their vision and skills with fellow enthusiasts and enthusiasts-to-be. Long may it fly!

For more information, visit The Quail Motorcycle Gathering at http://signatureevents.peninsula.com/en/Motorcycle/Motorcycle.html

The 2018 event takes place on Saturday, May 5.

Mark Atkinson on his BMW special

Somer Hooker, Gordon McCall and Craig Vetter look on as proper riding position is demonstrated by Mark Atkinson on his Innovation Award-winning BMW special.


The Quail Motorcycle Gathering
2017 Award Winners

Best of Show 1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam John Goldman – California
Spirit of The Quail Award 1948 Triumph T100
Tiger
Jonnie Green – California
50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando 1968 Norton Fastback Jeff McCoy – California
Industry Award 2015 Prototype Fuller Moto Motus Naked John Bennet – California
Innovation Award 1991 BMW Alpha Mark Atkinson – Utah
Design and Style Award 1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Untitled Motorcycles – California
HVA Preservation Award 1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout Gary Landeen – South Dakota
The Cycle World Tour Award 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Trevor Franklin – British Columbia
Significance in Racing Award 1995 Britten V1000 #10 Virgil Elings – California
Why We Ride Award 1978 Yamaha XS750 Fernando Cruz – California
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award 1983 Honda Factory RS 750 Flat Tracker Anthony Giammanco – California
Extraordinary Bicycles/Scooter Class Award 1971 NYPD Lambretta LI150 Special Siobhan Ellis – California
Antique 1st Place 1918 BSA Model H Bud Schwab – California
American 1st Place 1937 Indian Chief Kalle Hoffman – California
British 1st Place 1939 Brough Superior SS100 William E. “Chip” Connor – Hong Kong
Italian 1st Place 1959 Moto Parilla 99 Olimpia Vincent Schardt – California
Japanese 1st Place 1976 Yamaha XT500C Owen Bishop – California
Other European 1st Place 1976 Hercules W2000 Wankel Stephan Haddad – California
Competition Off-Road 1st Place 1975 Husqvarna 360 Flat Tracker Clyde Williams – California
Competition On-Road 1st Place 1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam John Goldman – California
Custom/Modified 1st Place 1958 Triumph Tiger Bryan Thompson – California

Vintage MotoFest and Rockerbox 2017

Russ Larabee

Russ Larabee took home top honors in two categories — Best Café and People’s Choice — for his 1978 Honda CB750 café crafted by Godffrey’s Garage.

Wisconsin was the place to be last weekend as thousands of vintage motorcycle fans gathered for the annual Vintage MotoFest and Rockerbox Motorcycle Show at Road America race track outside Elkhart Lake, June 9-11, 2017. Big winds on Saturday threatened to pull more than a few tents off their moorings — we almost lost ours! — but the sun shone brightly as AHRMA racers made their way around Road America’s epic 4-mile road course while attendees took in their fill of great custom and vintage motorcycles.

Always one of our favorite events, this year’s show didn’t disappoint. We don’t have a count, but it felt like there were more bikes than ever in the Rockerbox Motorcycle Show, with bikes parked check to jowl along the access road leading to the Road America Center, a scene reminiscent of Rockerbox’s roots as a street show in Milwaukee starting in 2003. Bands played on stage in front of the Center all day, and a mini brewfest inside the Center provided ample opportunity to sample some of Wisconsin’s finest craft beers.

Motorcycle Classics headed up the judging for the show, with Tony Prust from Analog Motorcycles, Peter Lund from Retrospeed, Kevin Frank from the Brewtown Rumble and Build Moto Mentor Program, Rockerbox co-founder Scott Johnson from Fuel Café, and Motorcycle Classics’ Richard Backus sharing judging duties.

We added two categories for 2017, Best Restored and Best Rider, plus Tony Prust awarded the Analog Motorcycles Best in Show along with a $250 gift certificate from Analog. Trophies were awarded in five other categories including Best Café, Best Rat Bike, Best Scooter, Best Chopper and Best Race Bike, plus we awarded our annual Editor’s Choice, which this year went to Gary King for his awesome 1984 Jamie James Yamaha RZ350, one of two made. And Gary owns the other one.

Great bikes, great weather and a great location, the Vintage MotoFest and Rockerbox Show at Road America is a highlight of the year. Don’t miss it in 2018.

Gary Pritts

Gary Pritts got the vote for Best Rat Bike with his funky — and we mean that in the best way — 1946 Velocette powered by a Briggs & Stratton V-twin! There’s a story there …

Dominie Garofalo

Dominie Garofalo won Best Scooter with his 2007 Ruckus. Look closely at the paint job; it was done with a Sharpie.

Kevin Baumgart

Kevin Baumgart got the nod for Best Chopper for his really tasty old school chopper. Based on a 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster, it was elegant and simple at the same time and really captured the essence of the chopper era.

Bob Martin

Bob Martin took top honors in the Best Race Bike class for his 1970 Bultaco El Bandido.

Eric Trosper

Eric Trosper shows his winning form after getting our Best Rider award for his unrestored and regularly ridden 1937 Moto Guzzi GTV500.

Steve Schilling

Our award for Best Restored went to Steve Schilling for his immaculate 1965 BSA Lightning.

Gary King

The Motorcycle Classics Editor’s Choice award went to Gary King for his spectacular 1984 Jamie James Yamaha RZ350.

Jake Drummond

Jake Drummond walked away with the Analog Motorcycles Best in Show award for his highly customized and beautifully executed 1973 Yamaha RD350.

Join Motorcycle Classics for the Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway

Vintage bikes, fine country roads and great company. That’s what you’ll find at the Motorcycle Classics Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway. Motorcycle Classics archives

The 2nd Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway at Seven Springs Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, is just around the corner, Aug. 4-6, 2017.

Joining us this year is special guest Mark Mederski, the former executive director of the American Motorcycle Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame and now special projects director at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

The weekend event, centered in Southern Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, includes two days of riding, eating and just generally hanging out with like-minded vintage motorcycle enthusiasts. With help from Tom McKee, organizer of the annual All Brands Motorcycle Event at McKee’s Sky Ranch in nearby Terra Alta, West Virginia, we’ve mapped out a great Saturday ride taking us through the region’s mostly unknown Amish territory, an area punctuated by stunning farms and miles of incredible back-country roads. McKee helped map out last year’s excellent ride, and having just made the run with him, we can tell you this year’s event will be every bit as beautiful and relaxing as last year’s, which drew 83 vintage bike enthusiasts. 

We’ll kick off the weekend Friday evening with a welcome reception and dinner, and we’ll have a post-ride banquet dinner on Saturday, with Mederski joining editor Richard Backus for a relaxed discussion about the National Motorcycle Museum, vintage motorcycle collecting and Mederski’s decades-long career in motorcycling, one that’s put him face-to-face with some of the biggest names in the game, picking up more than a few interesting stories along the way.

We’ll take a shorter but no less exhilarating ride around the Laurel Highlands area on Sunday, leaving everyone plenty of time to make their way back home after a fantastic weekend of riding.

Can’t bring your own bike? Not a problem, because RetroTours will once again have a limited selection of classic 1970s motorcycles available for rent, including models from Ducati, Triumph, Norton and more. Check out the 25-strong RetroTours stable at retrotours.com, but don’t wait too long because rentals are limited on a first come, first served basis. And if you’re looking for total vintage immersion, check out the RetroTours Seven Springs ride, a 500-mile round-trip romp to our event from RetroTours headquarters in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, riding RetroTours’ classic ’70s motorcycles.

RetroTours joins us this year as an official sponsor of the event, along with the great people from Bonhams auction house, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Pecard Leather Care and Spectro Performance Oils.

August will be here before you know it, so reserve your spot for the 2nd Annual Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway now at MotorcycleClassics.com/PA2017, where you’ll also find event updates and interactive ride routes as we get them posted. MC

McKee’s Sky Ranch All Brands Motorcycle Event

The racing’s wild and wet at McKee’s Sky Ranch. Photo by Karl Jarvis

Vintage dirt bike fans won’t want to miss the 6th Annual All Brands Motorcycle Event at McKee’s Sky Ranch, July 27-30, 2017. Held at vintage bike enthusiast and former motocross racer Tom McKee’s 200-acre dirt bike refuge in the mountains outside Terra Alta, West Virginia, the four-day event features three days of AHRMA vintage offroad racing including Vintage Cross Country, Enduro, Vintage MX, Post Vintage Cross Country and Post Vintage MX. Former ISDT gold medallist Fred Hoess is this year’s Grand Marshall, and he’ll be racing as well, defending his title win from last year!

The weekend kicks off Thursday morning, July 27, with the Dual Sport Ride, a three-hour, moderately challenging ride offering mountain trails and varied terrain from single track to unimproved dirt roads, with elevation changes and stream crossings. Later that day riders can also participate in the Adventure Ride, tailor-made for bigger adventure bikes and riding mostly the dirt and gravel back roads that wind across the area. On Friday there’s an 80-mile road run for street and touring enthusiasts, plus an old-fashioned field meet, and the West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Program folks will have a riding simulator on hand, as well. The rides are open to everyone, with a $10 fee.

Sponsored by the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau, the West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Program and AHRMA, the weekend will include a swap meet, a vintage bike display, motorcycle art by John Panek, plus a photo exhibit by Karl Jarvis.

Entry is only $10 a day, or $30 for the entire weekend. If you like vintage dirt racing, don’t miss this event. More info: mckeeskyranch.com or ahrma.org.

Upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Events: July/August 2017

Participants enjoy the lovely roads during the 2016 “Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em” Getaway. Photo by the Motorcycle Classics staff

Featured events

July 7

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 7-9, 2017. Enjoy the AMA Vintage Road Racing Grand Championships along with motocross, hare scrambles, trials and a round of the AMA Vintage Dirt Track National Championship Series. The event includes America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, the Wall of Death, bike shows, stunt shows, demo rides, seminars and more.

July 14

Visit the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, July 14-16, for the 5th Annual AHRMA Vintage Motorcycle Festival. The weekend will feature plenty of vintage motorcycle racing along with 60,000 square feet of parts, bikes, merchandise and more.

July 27

Head to Terra Alta, West Virginia, for the All Brands Motorcycle Event, July 27-30. Enjoy four days of riding, offroad racing, displays and a swap meet. There will be a road run, a dual sport ride, an adventure ride, a field meet, AHRMA vintage cross country, enduro and vintage motocross, post vintage cross country and post vintage motocross racing.

Aug. 4

Join the editors of Motorcycle Classics for the 2nd Annual “Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em” Getaway. We’ll enjoy a relaxed weekend of riding and sightseeing in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, Aug. 4-6. We’ll stay at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, meeting up Friday and riding through the weekend.

Sept. 1

Back for its 12th year, join in the fun at the Bonneville Vintage GP, Sept. 1-3, at the Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly the Miller Motorsports Park) in Tooele, Utah. Norton will be the featured marque of the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Motorcycle Show on Saturday, celebrating 50 years of the Commando, plus trophies in six classes and a People’s Choice award. Sunday will feature a custom bike show. Both days will feature AHRMA racing, along with the CB160 races with LeMans starts both days.

More events

June 30-July 1
Rhinebeck Grand National Meet
Rhinebeck, New York

July 7-9
26th Annual MGNOC Iowa Rally
Elkader, Iowa

July 7-9
30th Annual Deep Forest Campout
Randle, Washington

July 7-9
British Motorcycle Club of Canada 34th Annual Vintage MC Rally and Camp Out
Riondel, B.C., Canada

July 13-15
45th Annual BMW MOA International Rally
Salt Lake City, Utah

July 14-16
New York Moto Guzzi Rally
Mountain View, New York

July 17-21
INOA Norton Thunder Rally
Buena Vista, Virginia

July 21-23
37th Annual British Biker Cooperative Rally & Show
Blue River, Wisconsin

July 23
Jeff Williams MC Swap Meet
Kansas City, Missouri

July 24
6th Annual Kansas City VJMC All Japanese Motorcycle Rally
Kansas City, Missouri

July 28-29
Rocker’s Roll Eight Ride and Show
Exeter, Pennsylvania

Aug. 3-6
5th Annual Massachusetts MGNOC Rally
Russell, Massachusetts

Aug. 4-6
2nd Annual Nova Scotia Moto Guzzi and Friends Rally
Near Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada

Aug. 4-6
33rd Annual Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Riders Rally
Lake Joy Campground, Belmont, Wisconsin

Aug. 5
5th Annual Kansas City VJMC Midwest Regional Show
New Century, Kansas

Aug. 5-7
Ohio Valley BSA Owners Club 35th Annual Rally
Toronto, Ohio

Aug. 17-20
MGNOC New Mexico State Rally
Datil, New Mexico

Aug. 20
British Iron Association of Connecticut 32nd Annual Brit Jam
Haddam Neck, Connecticut

Aug. 25-27
Ontario Guzzi Riders Rally
Lavigne, Ontario, Canada

Aug. 26-31
Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials
Wendover, Utah

Aug. 27
Jeff Williams MC Swap Meet
Kansas City, Missouri

Aug. 29-Sept. 2
GWRRA 39th Annual Wing Ding
Grapevine, Texas


Motorcycle Classics wants to know about shows, swap meets, road runs and more for classic motorcycles. Send details of upcoming events at least three months in advance to lhall@ motorcycleclassics.com.