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

Colin Seeley at the Barber Vintage Festival

Barry Schanberger

Barry Schanberger took top honors for his 1968 Norton Fastback at last year’s Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show at Barber.

The 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, the largest vintage motorcycle event in North America and attended by 70,000-plus enthusiasts in 2017, happens Oct. 5-7, 2018, at Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama, with famed British builder Colin Seeley this year’s Grand Marshal. A successful AJS dealer, Seeley raced sidecars in the late ’50s and early ’60s before moving into frame building. A huge fan of then-popular British singles, he bought all the tooling and spares for the overhead cam Matchless 350cc and 500cc singles (and the Norton Manx; he later sold those rights) after AMC closed its race shops in 1963. He started producing complete bikes in 1966, and his Seeley specials represented the very best in handling and were raced at tracks across the U.K., Europe and the U.S. He later produced frames to house Honda’s CB750 Four.

Seeley will also be guest of honor at the Barber Museum’s Friday night Motorcycles by Moonlight fundraiser, and we’re anticipating his presence at the Motorcycle Classics tent during our Saturday Vintage Bike Show, which this year puts the spotlight on Triumph and BSA triples, with triples of all makes encouraged to join us. We’ll award trophies in five categories, plus special awards for Best Triple and Editors’ Choice. Barber restoration expert and former Norton employee Brian Slark will join us for judging.

This year’s Motorcycle Classics technical seminars will be led by vintage Japanese motorcycle electrical specialist Rick Shaw from Rick’s Motorsports Electrics, explaining what you need to know about vintage Japanese charging systems and how to improve them, and Race Tech Suspension’s vintage suspension guru Matt Wiley, who will discuss the ins and outs of vintage motorcycle suspensions and how to improve them.

Colin Seeley

Racer and builder Colin Seeley is this year’s Grand Marshal.

The Motorcycle Classics Sunday Morning Ride, sponsored by our good friends at Hagerty Motorcycle Insurance, also returns. The ride leaves our tent at 10 a.m., Sunday, and will take us on a fun, 35-mile run through the surrounding backcountry, including Alabama’s “Mini-Dragon,” a reference to North Carolina’s famous Tail of the Dragon.

Racers will take to Barber’s 2.3-mile track in AHRMA’s National Historic Cup Roadrace Series, with vintage motocross, observed and cross country races happening in the surrounding fields and woods. The American Motor Drome Company’s Wall of Death returns, as does the Globe of Death, and look for the Ace Corner at Turn 17, where you’ll find a show within the show featuring café racers and custom builds. There will also be a Monster Energy Stunt Show, and KTM and BMW will host demo rides in Lot D.

Finally, Bonhams will host its first-ever auction at the Barber Motorsports Museum on Saturday. The featured lot for the auction is the second-ever Vincent Black Lightning, engine No. F10AB/1C/1648. Built in 1949 for NSU factory racer Hans Stärkle, the Vincent was converted to road trim in 1952, but is now in its original factory racing form. No word yet on how many bikes will be offered, but given Bonhams’ reputation for rare and significant motorcycles you can bet it will be an interesting sale.

We say this every year, and we mean it: If you can make only one event in 2018, this is the one. For more scheduling information and event updates visit barbermuseum.org and MotorcycleClassics.com/2018-Shows

Upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Events: September/October 2018

upcoming events September October

8/31 Back for its 13th year, join us for the fun at the Bonneville Vintage GP, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah. Triumph and BSA Triples will be the featured marque of the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Motorcycle Show on Saturday, 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.

9/1 Visit the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine, for the Vintage Motorcycle Festival and Antique Aeroplane Show, Sept. 1-2. Owners of pre-1998 motorcycles are encouraged to exhibit and will be admitted free of charge. In 2017 the show attracted more than 400 exhibitors throughout the weekend, along with antique planes and more.

9/9 Visit the 36th annual Battle of the Brits 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.

9/15 Join all the good folks and classic bikes at the Modern Classics Ride-In on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. More than 100 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.

9/16 Visit the 35th Annual Italian Motorcycle Owners Club 2018 Rally in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, with Laverda as the featured marque. 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.

9/30 Join the Old Capitol Lions Club for their 3rd annual Monterey Peninsula Vintage Motorcycle Show on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Del Rey Oaks, California. Bring your vintage bike to display. All proceeds benefit the Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County.

10/5 Join us for the 14th Annual Barber Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama. The show runs through Oct. 7 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 on Saturday will feature more than a dozen awards, with the Triumph and BSA Triples as our featured models.

10/19 Attend the 16th Annual Harvest Classic European & Vintage Motorcycle Rally in Luckenbach, Texas. 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 live music. 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 that night. The Globe of Death will also be running shows both afternoons.

Sept. 7-9 — 22nd Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance. Malvern, PA.

Sept. 7-9 — Southern California Norton Owners Club High Sierras Ride. Leaves from Mariposa, CA.

Sept. 7-9 — Thunder in the Smokies Fall Rally. Maggie Valley, NC.

Sept. 7-9 — AHRMA Roadracing at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway. Munford, AL.

Sept. 8-9 — 29th Annual Classic British Motorcycle Club of Cincinnati Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Burlington, KY.

Sept. 9 — Rice-O-Rama Vintage and Custom Japanese Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet. Spencer, MA.

Sept. 15 — 10th Annual Central Coast Classic Motorcycle Show. Paso Robles, CA.

Sept. 23 — 7th Annual Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show. Santa Fe, NM.

Sept. 28-29 — White Rose Motorcycle Club Antique Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet. Spring Grove, PA.

Oct. 13 — El Camino Vintage Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet, Torrance, CA.

Nov. 4 — 39th Annual Hansen Dam All Brit Ride. Near Glendale, CA.


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

2018 Vintage Motorcycle Days and Ride & Show

Motorcycle parts at the swap meet

Engines, forks, frames, fenders … if you can’t find it at the Vintage Motorcycle Days swap meet, well, good luck!

The 2018 Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 6-8, lived up to its reputation as one of the largest and greatest vintage motorcycle events in the country, drawing thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for a weekend of riding, racing and sharing their passion for motorcycling. Vendors packed the field for the annual swap meet — the largest in the U.S. — and attendees checked out the bike shows and other vendors at the Old Bike Barn Crossroads in the infield.

Motorcycle Classics pitched its tent in the Old Bike Barn Crossroads, organizing Friday’s Ride & Show, with a leisurely 25-mile ride through the surrounding Ohio countryside followed by a short recognition ceremony for the winners in our three categories, Best Restored, Best Rider and Editors’ Choice. Last minute changes in our plans meant we had to fly to Ohio instead of drive, but our good friends at Janus Motorcycles came to the rescue, loaning ad man Shane Powers and editor Backus Janus bikes for the Motorcycle Classics ride.

Organized by the American Motorcyclist Association, Vintage Motorcycle Days was founded in the 1990s as a way to raise money to support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which promotes the heritage of motorcycling in the U.S.

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days 2018

Motorcyclists in a group

Make plans now to join Motorcycle Classics at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 6-8, 2018. We’ll host the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show on Friday, July 6, the perfect way to kick off an incredible weekend of all things vintage motorcycles, including the largest motorcycle swap meet in the U.S., with motorcycles and motorcycle parts spread over a staggering 35 acres adjoining Mid-Ohio. The granddaddy of all vintage motorcycle events, you need to put it on your calendar.

The Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show begins at 10 a.m. in the infield, with bikes and riders gathering at our tent before heading out at noon for a 50-mile ride on the area’s back roads, and returning to the show grounds for a recognition and awards ceremony. Trophies will be awarded for Best Restored, Best Rider and Editors’ Choice. No additional fee or preregistration is required to participate.

Not sure your bike is show ready? Don’t sweat it, because the Motorcycle Classics Ride & Show is as much about the ride as it is the show, and maybe more. Whether you ride a ’54 Harley Panhead or a 2015 Ducati Monster, we’d love to have you join us. We don’t care what you ride, just as long as you do, and thanks to Janus Motorcycles, editors Hall and Backus will each ride one of Janus’ new hand built retro-vintage singles. Janus is also helping with a support vehicle in case anyone has trouble during the ride. If you don’t already know about these guys, check out our article on the new Janus Gryffin, and make sure to come check out the bikes and meet the folks from Janus at our show. They’re a great group of hardcore enthusiasts, something you have to be to do what they’re doing!

This really is one of the great events on the vintage calendar. A mecca for vintage motorcycle fans since its founding in the mid-1990s, VMD regularly draws crowds of 40,000-plus, making it second only to the Barber Vintage Festival in size and scope. Vintage racing fills the weekend, with riders competing on the 2.4-mile Mid-Ohio track in the AMA Vintage Grand Championship and out in the field in great motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt-track racing. VMD also hosts the largest swap meet in North America, covering some 35 acres! The amount of vintage gear being traded boggles the mind: If you're looking for that last obscure part to complete your restoration, chances are good you'll find it at VMD. An amazing event, it has a grassroots vibe that only comes from being the real deal. This is truly one of the greatest events of the year, and as always, proceeds from the event benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Events: July/August 2018

upcoming vintage motorcycle events

7/6 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 6-8, 2018. Enjoy the AMA Vintage Road Racing Grand Championships along with motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat track racing. The event includes America's largest motorcycle swap meet, the Wall of Death, bike shows, stunt shows, demo rides, seminars and the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Ride and Show on Friday. Join us in the infield starting at 10 a.m. for the show. Then at noon we'll head out for a 50-mile ride on lovely back roads to a lunch spot. After that we'll return to our show grounds for an awards ceremony.

7/13 Visit the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, July 13-15, for the 6th 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.

8/10 Join the editors of Motorcycle Classics for the 3rd 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. 10-12. We'll stay at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, meeting up Friday and riding through the weekend.

8/31 Back for its 13th year, join in the fun at the Bonneville Vintage GP, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, at the Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly the Miller Motorsports Park) in Tooele, Utah. Triples will be the feature of the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Motorcycle Show on Saturday, celebrating 50 years since the introduction of the Triumph triple, 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.

July 6-8 British Motorcycle Club Owners of Canada 35th Annual Vintage MC Rally and Camp Out. Riondel, British Columbia, Canada.

July 12-15 — 46th Annual BMW MOA International Rally. Des Moines, IA.

July 13-15 — 27th Annual MGNOC Iowa Rally. Elkader, IA.

July 13-15 — New York Moto Guzzi Rally. Mountain View, NY.

July 16-19 — INOA Tall Timber Rally. Elma, WA.

July 20-22 — 38th Annual British Biker Cooperative Rally & Show. Blue River, WI.

July 22 — Jeff Williams MC Swap Meet. Kansas City, MO.

Aug. 3-5 — Massachusetts Moto Guzzi Damn Yankee Rally. Heath, MA.

Aug. 3-5 — 34th Annual Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Riders Rally. Lake Joy Campground, Belmont, WI.

Aug. 3-5 — Ohio Valley BSA Owners Club 37th Annual Rally. Toronto, OH.

Aug. 4 —6th Annual Kansas City VJMC Midwest Regional Show. New Century, KS.

Aug. 16-19 — MGNOC New Mexico State Rally. Datil, NM.

Aug. 18 — Kansas City All 2-Stroke Rally. Lee's Summit, MO.

Aug. 19 British Iron Association of Connecticut 33rd Annual Brit Jam. Haddam Neck, CT.

Aug. 24-26 — Ontario Guzzi Riders Rally. Lavigne, Ontario, Canada.

Aug. 25-30 — Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials AMA Land Speed Grand Championship. Wendover, UT.

Aug. 26 — Jeff Williams MC Swap Meet. Kansas City, MO.

Aug. 28-Sept. 1 — GWRRA 40th Annual Wing Ding. Knoxville, TN.


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.

Alan Cathcart joins the Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway

sidecar

From left: Editor Richard Backus and son, Charlie, with Andrew Cathcart and his dad, Alan Cathcart, special guest at this year’s Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway, Aug. 10-12, 2018.

Alan Cathcart, unquestionably one of the — if not the — best-known motorcycle journalists in the world, will join us as our special guest for the 3rd Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, Aug. 10-12, 2018.

A recipient of the Guild of Motoring Writers Journalist of the Year Award, Cathcart, a longtime motorcycle enthusiast who started out pursuing a career in law and then working in the travel industry, has been an influential voice in motorcycling since diving head first into the scene as a journalist and test rider in the 1980s.

An accomplished rider who's raced against some of the best at circuits including Daytona and the Isle of Man, Cathcart started racing in 1974, aboard a Ducati 350 single. A winner of the Sound of Thunder World Series, he also raced for Yamaha, at the same time building his career as one of motorcycling's foremost journalists. His abilities behind the handlebars and the typewriter have earned him an enviable reputation, with invitations to ride everything from modern factory race bikes to historic vintage machines. A moving force in the British vintage bike scene, Sir Alan, as he's fondly called thanks to his British background and impeccable manners, continues to ride and test both new and vintage machines to this day, a job he's not likely to give up soon.

A regular contributor to Motorcycle Classics, Cathcart also helps with judging at our vintage bike show at the annual Barber Vintage Festival, and we're thrilled that he's happily agreed to join us for this year's Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway. We'll kick things off on Friday evening with a welcome reception and dinner, then rest up for the Saturday ride. After a full breakfast on Saturday morning, we'll head north to the historic city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a steel-industry town that at one time out-produced better-known industry leaders including Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Ohio. An 1889 flood devastated the city, but its steel industry rebounded.

Saturday's ride will see us riding down amazing back roads from Seven Springs to Johnstown, entering from the West for a lunch stop at the famous Johnstown Incline, followed by a ride on the incline. Built in 1891 and billed as the world's steepest vehicular inclined plane, the 897-foot-long incline has a 70.9 percent grade. A 400 horsepower electric motor pulls two cars, counter-weighted to balance out the load on the motor, one car going up while the other goes down. It's an incredible piece of vintage technology and the views of Johnstown and the Conemaugh River valley are amazing.

After lunch we'll head back to Seven Springs, taking a different but no less beautiful route, winding our way along the area's two-lane blacktop roads. Back at Seven Springs, we'll gather for a postride banquet dinner, with Cathcart joining editor Richard Backus for what's certain to be an entertaining and informative discussion of Cathcart's amazing career in the motorcycle industry as racer, test rider and journalist.

We'll gather again for breakfast on Sunday morning, then head back out on the road for another beautiful ride through the surrounding Laurel Highlands. We hope to offer two routes on Sunday, a shorter one for folks who need to leave early and a longer one for those with a little more time to kill before heading home.

Need a bike? Ride sponsor RetroTours has a limited selection of classic 1970s motorcycles available for rent, including bikes from Ducati, Triumph, Norton, Yamaha, Honda, BMW and more. Check out the 25-strong stable on its website, but don't wait too long, because rentals are available on a first come, first served basis. Want to pile on even more miles? RetroTours will lead a 600-mile round-trip tour to Seven Springs from its headquarters in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, through the seemingly forgotten backcountry of Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

We'll also be joined by our good friends at Bonhams Auctions, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Pecard Motorcycle Leather Care and Spectro Performance Oils, passionate motorcycle enthusiasts and enthusiastic sponsors of our annual ride. Reserve your spot now on the Seven Springs website, where you'll also find updates and interactive ride routes as we get them posted. See you there!

Motoblot 2018

Motoblot 2018 flyer

Make plans now to join Motorcycle Classics in Chicago, Illinois, for the Motoblot Urban Motorcycle & Hot Rod Street Rally, June 22-24, 2018. Motorcycle Classics is sponsoring the Motoblot Ride-In Motorcycle & Hot Rod Show, with a special Editor's Choice award and trophies in six other categories. The Motoblot Film Festival runs all weekend, and there's a beer hall, plenty of food trucks and vendors galore. Definitely not to be missed!