Got one of these around the garage? You could win an award at an Antique Motorcycle Club o
Motorcycles have always been a form of personal expression. And that's something the Antique Motorcycle Club of America is celebrating with a new exhibition class of bike judging at a pair of National meets this year.
In addition to the club's normal classes for beautifully restored classics, perfectly preserved original condition machines and period-correct modified bikes, two of this year's AMCA Nationals will feature a special Custom Culture Class, designed to highlight ways that motorcyclists express themselves through their machines.
The class will focus specifically on the era of the 1960s and early '70s, when the custom-bike movement blossomed across the United States. And it was prompted by the Club's successful Basket-Case Contest, in which young riders wrote essays in an effort to win a collection of parts from an authentic 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA model-the bike used by U.S. armed forces in World War II-plus the chance to assemble those parts into a bobber-style custom under the guidance of experts.
"One of the things we learned from the 90 entries we got in that contest," said Matt Olsen, AMCA youth director, "is that there's a lot of interest in older motorcycles among young people who may not have the financial ability to own a true classic. They're out there, buying up machines from the past that they can afford, and turning them into their personal vision of a cool motorcycle."
The Custom Culture Class recalls the era when the custom-bike culture really took off, culminating in the development of the American-style chopper and the European cafe racer. The only eligibility rule is that bikes must have an engine that was sold in a production motorcycle sometime between 1960 and1975, the most recent machines that fit the AMCA's 35-year rule for antique designation. And although choppers and cafe racers were the major trends in custom machines during that time, entrants are free to take the concept in any direction they choose.
The Custom Culture Class will be sponsored by prominent motorcycle publications at two of the AMCA's premiere National Meets this season. Hot Bike magazine will sponsor the class at the AMCA Fort Sutter Chapter National Meet June 18-19 in Dixon, California, and Cycle Source magazine will sponsor the class at the AMCA Chief Blackhawk Chapter National Meet September 2-5 in Davenport, Iowa.
Entry in the Custom Culture Class is free, and entrants do not need to be members of the AMCA. Best of all, the winning bike at each event, as judged by magazine editors, will be the subject of a feature story in the sponsoring publication.
"Rare and expensive machines from the distant past get the most attention in the antique-motorcycle world," said Olsen. "But we know that a lot of today's classic-bike experts got their start messing around in the garage with whatever old motorcycles they could afford. We want to help develop the next generation of enthusiasts by recognizing the bikes they're building now."
Do you have a bike that fits the definition of the Custom Culture Class? Why not roll it out to one of these AMCA meets during the 2010 season. You could find your creation featured in the pages of a major motorcycle magazine.
For more information on the Custom Culture Class at this year's AMCA meets, contact the following organizers:
Fort Sutter Chapter Meet, June 18-19, Dixon, CA: www.amcafortsutter.org; (916) 455-7398 or (209) 368-7259
Chief Blackhawk Chapter National Meet, September 2-5, Davenport, IA:www.chiefblackhawk.org
The Antique Motorcycle Club of America is the nation's largest organization for vintage-bike enthusiasts. Its sister organization, the AMCA Foundation, is dedicated to preserving the history of motorcycles and educating the public about the heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.antiquemotorcycle.org.