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Experts & Legends at AMA Vintage Days

2011 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

What do you do when you can’t ride motorcycles? You talk about them.

At AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days featuring Kawasaki, Marque of the Year, July 22-24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, there will be plenty of both – including numerous experts – thanks to a stacked seminar schedule at the world’s coolest gathering to celebrate motorcycling’s heritage.

Industry leaders, experts and Motorcycle Hall of Famers will be front and center to talk about motorcycles, classic races, restoration tips, the evolution of technology and to speculate about the future.

Jack Penton (AMA Director of Operations) says: "The AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days seminar program is one of our most popular attractions for good reason: Motorcyclists are always eager to expand their knowledge about motorcycle history and technology.

"We have experts not only on the history of motorcycles, but many who helped to write that history as well. These are experts who know the details of classic models, and have restored examples of these machines from the ground up."

Seminars are 60-90 minutes in duration and are located in the Goodyear Tower on the fourth floor, or the Kawasaki Marque of the Year tent. A detailed schedule is available at the event.

A highlight this year will be Randy Hall and Norm Bigelow, who will discuss the storied racing history of Kawasaki. Both Hall and Bigelow have long histories with the Kawasaki roadracing program, but they’ll be able to talk about the key moments in all disciplines, from roadracing to dirt-track to motocross to off-road. For Kawasaki fans, this will be a unique opportunity to get the inside story on some of the greatest racing accomplishments of all time. "Racing History of Kawasaki: The Beginning" will take place in the Goodyear tower at 11:30 a.m. On Friday, July 22; 1:30 p.m. On Saturday, July 23; and 11:30 a.m. On Sunday, July 24.

Long-distance riders will want to hear Tim Yow, who recently completed an epic 23,000-mile circumnavigation of the United States and Canada on a Kawasaki KLR650. Yow will talk about his journey on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Goodyear Tower, and then return on Sunday at 1 p.m. to offer his tips and tricks for a successful long-distance ride.

Also featured will be Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the 2011 Classic Club, in a talk by John Basore on Saturday at noon in the Goodyear Tower.

Hall of Famer and perennial AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days speaker Craig Vetter returns this year to discuss motorcycle streamlining and fuel economy. Vetter will present his ideas and lead an open discussion at the Marque of the Year Tent on Friday at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday at 3 p.m., Vetter will offer his advice on competition with "Racing for the Right Reasons."

Longtime moto-journalist Mitch Boehm will discuss the important role of today’s vintage motorcycle magazines, while offering an inside look at the mainstream motorcycle titles that baby boomers grew up with. Boehm will speak at the Goodyear Tower on Friday at 10 a.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Two other major highlights of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days are the bike shows and North America’s largest swap meet. Both, of course, inspire attendees to take on motorcycle projects of their own. If you want to do it right, you won’t want to miss "Triumph Technicalities" by John Healy and Don Hutchinson. Healy and Hutchinson are expert bike restorers. They will present their talk in the Goodyear Tower at 1 p.m. on Friday and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

In addition to these seminars, there will be ample opportunity for the public to interact with the grand marshal, Kawasaki off-road racing legend and Hall of Famer Jeff Fredette, as well as other Motorcycle Hall of Famers who will be in attendance.

The seminar program is just one element of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. In addition to honoring the Marque of the Year – Kawasaki – the three-day extravaganza includes vintage and post-vintage competition in motocross, trials, hare scrambles, roadracing and dirt track. Attendees also enjoy North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, demo rides of current production bikes, bike shows, the new product Manufacturers’ Midway, and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs.

Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is located on the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio. The mission of the Hall of Fame is to celebrate, elucidate and preserve the rich tradition of motorcycling in America. Its exhibits honor the distinguished men and women whose competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship have played a vital role in shaping the sport, lifestyle and business of motorcycling. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at

Tickets to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can be purchased at the gate. For more information about the event, visit

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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