Motorcycle Classics

Must-See 2012 Motorcycle Classics shows

Reader Contribution by Mc Staff

The 2012 show season is in full swing, and three shows sponsored by Motorcycle Classics are right around the corner.

National Motorcycle Museum Vintage Rally: First up is the National Motorcycle Museum Vintage Rally June 1-3, 2012, at the museum’s new digs in Anamosa, Iowa.

This will be the second annual show for the museum, which last year celebrated the grand opening of its new 36,000-square-foot facility. The museum houses a collection of 325-plus motorcycles, ranging from early board trackers to homegrown racers and popular classics including Ducati, Honda and Indian, to name but a very few. It also boasts one of the most incredible collections of vintage motorcycle-themed toys in the world, not to mention an impressive display of vintage bicycles.

Motorcycle Classics is sponsoring the Vintage Bike Show awards, which feature 40 awards in multiple classes for 1986 and older bikes, including a special best “original unrestored” award. Ace Café will give out a special Café Racer award. Attendees can search for missing parts in the swap meet, and inside, the museum will have a special exhibit of artifacts from the cult classic TV show Then Came Bronson, along with Quarter MileStones, a new exhibit featuring 20 vintage drag bikes, plus photos and vintage film footage from the early days of drag racing. John Stein, author of the recently released Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History, will be on hand for the dedication of this special exhibit, with a special timeline tracing the tuners, their machines and the riders who stormed the strip.

There will also be a Sunday morning ride and lunch sponsored by Motorcycle Classics, followed by the 63rd Annual Motorcycle Hill Climb, which will feature a special Vintage Hill Climb class sponsored by the museum and featuring a $500 cash purse.

HOAME Rally: That same weekend also sees the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts 21st Annual Vintage Motorcycle Rally, at the National Airline History Museum in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, June 3. This is a spectacularly cool show, held in the cavernous hold of one of the old 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 as it does 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, starting around 6 p.m. 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.

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.

Road America Motorcycle Classic: A week later it’s time to point your scoot north to find the best route to Elkhart Lake, Wis., for the 3rd Annual Road America Vintage Motorcycle Classic at Road America race track.

The inaugural 2010 event drew an estimated 5,000 classic bike fans, and an estimated 7,500 people showed up for last year’s event. Vintage racing returns for 2012, with rounds seven and eight in the 2012 American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s (AHRMA) CPL Systems National Historic Cup Roadrace series. Other AHRMA action includes round seven in the National Vintage MX Series, round four in the Speed & Sport National Vintage Trials Series and round nine in the Penton Owners Group National Cross Country Series.

The classic bike swap meet also returns, as does the Motorcycle Classics Road America Ride & Show. Occasional rain kept a few show attendees on the sidelines last year, but that didn’t stop many owners from joining us for a beautiful 40-mile ride through Wisconsin’s incredible Kettle Moraine area. Bikes participating ranged from a Laverda SF2 to a Benelli Sei and a Honda CB400 Super Sport, and following the ride our show awarded 10 trophies in five categories, including People’s Choice.

Great vintage racing, a swap meet, a show and the chance for great riding through the Wisconsin countryside all add up to make this one of the great weekends of the year. Don’t miss it!

  • Published on Mar 27, 2012
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