Perry King takes the racing challenge

Long-time motorcyclist and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Board Member Perry King has battled injustice as Cody Allen in the NBC series "Riptide," global warming as President Blake in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow," and societal norms as Chico in "The Lords of Flatbush." But the accomplished actor has faced few challenges that stack up to the one he’ll tackle this July 24-26 at the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio: racing a vintage off-road bike.

"Vintage racing seems fitting to me," said King, who has raced cars but never competed on a motorcycle despite decades of riding experience. "I’m pretty vintage myself now. I feel like a vintage guy, and I love motorcycles, so it seems like a perfect fit."

Accepting the invitation of fellow AMA Board member and vintage motorcycle racer Charles Goman, King will line up with Goman to race in the vintage hare scrambles and motocross programs at the event, which are part of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, a three-day celebration of motorcycling heritage that includes bike shows, seminars, North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet and vintage and post-vintage competition.

Goman said that King showed particular enthusiasm in vintage racing at a recent AMA Board of Directors meeting. Goman was happy to oblige King’s interest.

"Perry and I just hit it off, and I let him know about coming out and vintage riding," Goman said. "I offered him a ride on one of my bikes, and he was very interested in doing it. I told him I normally ride the hare scrambles and then vintage motocross, and he was game."

While King said he’s thrilled and excited to compete at the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, he doesn’t intend to ride on the edge in either the woods during the hare scrambles or on the track during motocross.

"There are just three rules: don’t crash, don’t crash, don’t crash," King said. "You just can’t heal the way you can when you’re young. I do tend, certainly in cars, to find it hard not to go for it. But I want to make sure I have many years left of fun. I’m not looking for the red mist to descend over my eyes."

Goman is an Ossa aficionado, and will likely loan King a 1974 Ossa Phantom 250 to ride at the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships.

"I don’t know much about it, but I love everything with two wheels, so I know I’ll love it," King said. "If I were Charles, though, and I had more than one race bike, I’d give the other guy the more difficult one to ride."

King said that the vintage racing program isn’t the only activity he’s looking forward to at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

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