The Coolest Vintage Motorcycles from AIMExpo 2017

Timeless classics adorn the convention center halls in Ohio.

When you think of the AIMExpo, you probably think of countless vendors all touting their wares in front of eager crowds of motorcyclists. Waxed and polished bikes make up the majority of eye candy on the floor, but tucked away in the back corner, I happened across a metaphorical treasure chest of classic motorcycles. Many, if not most, of these bikes are ancestors of the brand-new models on display in the booths, and if you take some time to look, you’ll be able to see certain similarities in design. Out of everything on display, these were the ones that stood out to me most.

This 1929 Harley-Davidson Hill Climber was beat up and well-worn—no doubt having seen battle on many a hill in its time. Check out the massive rear sprocket!Brody Cox
I won’t even begin to guess what year the tires are from, but judging by the extreme decay, I’d say they haven’t been replaced in an easy half-century. That, and the hill climb bikes usually had aggressive rear tires that featured an almost tractor-like tread.Brody Cox
If you’ve never heard of the Cleveland brand of motorcycle, don’t worry—their impression in motorcycle history has been somewhat sparse. The Ohio-based brand began in 1902, and lasted through 1905, and then saw a brief resurgence from 1915 to 1925.Brody Cox
Check out the hand-painted lettering on the rudimentary gas tank, as well as the remote needle/float setup on the carburetor.Brody Cox
This 1949 Velocette LE first saw production one year earlier—and it lasted all the way through to the ‘70s.Brody Cox
The Velovette LE featured a water-cooled, horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine that displaced a whopping 150cc, and resulted in a brisk top speed of around 50mph—thanks to the 6hp on tap.Brody Cox
Who doesn’t love a small Harley-Davidson from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s? These Rapidos were produced from 1968-1972, and were sold under the Aermacchi name by Harley-Davidson in an effort to compete with the quick-growing Japanese small-displacement market. This particular model is from 1968.Brody Cox
This 1963 Honda Superhawk is a beautiful example of what eventually became known as Honda’s first production “sport” bike, cementing the brand’s knack for making enjoyable yet reliable motorcycles. Its performance was on-par with larger British motorcycles of its time—a bit of a rude awakening for the Brits.Brody Cox
This gorgeous BMW R67 was in pristine condition, and even featured a set of hard luggage from the same era. The R67/3 was the end of the plunger-type rear suspension.Brody Cox
There were only 700 recorded R67/3 motorcycles made—making it their rarest post-war model, just as the company was making a switch to the Earles fork and swingarm suspension systems.Brody Cox
This 1969 Suzuki TR500 was a factory race bike that featured a two-stroke twin, 500cc engine that breathed through a pair of Mikuni VM32SC carburetors. It made around 63 horsepower at 8,000rpm, and weighed in at just under 300lbs.Brody Cox
This Yamaha RZ350 looked as if it had just rolled off the showroom floor minutes prior! This Kenny Roberts edition bears the signature of the King himself.Brody Cox
Remember the original Honda Goldwing? This specific GL1000’s serial number ends in 000002, and is an actual prototype from 1973, before production officially began.Brody Cox
While not original, this is an exact replica of Webco’s Rickman-framed Hodaka. The original was built by Webco in California in 1970 in order to showcase their aftermarket parts that were availableBrody Cox