American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 24-26 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, offers a destination this summer where fans of motorcycling can get up close and personal with the people who have shaped the sport and industry into one of America's favorite pastimes.
"For those who can't get enough of motorcycles, motorcyclists and the motorcycle lifestyle, the seminar program at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can't be missed," said AMA Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa. "Whether you're interested in technical info from the top authorities in a particular field, or want to meet the brains behind significant machines from years past, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will satisfy your appetite."
The seminar lineup this year highlights the contributions of individuals connected to BSA, which is the 2009 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Marque of the Year, plus Honda's groundbreaking CB750, which is celebrated by one of this year's Classic Clubs, the Sandcast Only Owner's Club (SOOC). In addition to a display of BSAs under the Marque of the Year tent, the SOOC, and the International CBX Owners Association, will have their own display tents at the event, as well.
The attractions begin with AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Grand Marshal and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Don Emde, who grew up riding and racing BSA motorcycles. Emde will be on hand for discussions and autograph signings all weekend. Emde also will take to the track, riding classic BSA motorcycles during mid-day breaks in the vintage road racing on the Mid-Ohio track.
A BSA seminar focusing on the brand's racing success will also be a big draw. It will feature four of the top-five finishers of the 1954 Daytona 200 that cemented BSA's reputation as a racing breed. That year, BSAs swept the top five spots in the historic race. On hand will be Ken Eggers, Bobby Hill, Dick Klamfoth and Tommy McDermott. Moto Retro Illustrated Editor Mitch Boehm will moderate the discussion.
CB750 Honda fans will be in for a huge treat at "Birth of the First Superbike, the Honda CB750KO," where Mark McGrew and Robert Jameson will detail the developments that led to the introduction of this pioneering motorcycle that many contend established the inline-four as the de-facto standard in the sportbike market.
Also for the Sandcast crowd, noted restorer Vic World will offer valuable tips and inside advice at "Restoring Honda's Sandcast CB750." If you have plans of restoring one of these significant models on your own, or just want to learn more about the bike from someone who has possibly rebuilt more examples than anyone else on the planet, don't miss it.
Those interested in the history of women in motorcycling will certainly be drawn to Cristine Sommer-Simmons' talk based on her new book, "The American Motorcycle Girls: 1900 to 1950." Sommer-Simmons will reflect on well-known women riders, such as Dot Robinson and Bessie Stringfield, and also relatively unknown women riders who nevertheless have great stories to tell. A book signing also will be available after this seminar.
Of course, not all seminars are tied to a particular marque or model -- or even focus on the past. Longtime industry innovator Craig Vetter will be on hand to discuss the next generation of motorcycle streamlining and fuel economy in "The Future of Streamlining and Motorcycle Design."
Other seminars will include "Finding the Motorcycle of Your Youth: A Great Memory or Possibly a Case of Amnesia" by David Hellard; "Building the Vincati: Tips and Stories from Six Decades of Wrenching" by Matthew and Sid Biberman; "The Last BSA: The Triumph Hurricane" by Vetter; and "Triumph Technicalities" by John Healy and Don Hutchinson.