Grand National Champion Gene Romero Marshals AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days At Mid-Ohio

PICKERINGTON, Ohio-The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that 1970 Grand National Champion Gene Romero will be a grand marshal at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 25-27, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in central Ohio.

Romero will be honored as grand marshal along with seven-time AMA Grand National Enduro Champion Bill Baird. Each racing star rose to prominence riding Triumph motorcycles, the Marque of the Year for this summer's AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

Now in its 16th year, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is expected to attract 60,000-plus motorcycling fans from throughout the Midwest and both coasts to view scores of classic motorcycles, finagle good deals at the world's largest vintage swap meet and rub shoulders with fellow riders. And many will seek out an autograph from the affable Romero, nicknamed "Burrito" in his heyday for his love of Mexican food.

Romero was a force to be reckoned with in the 1960s and '70s. Not only was he a terror on dirt ovals, he also saw success on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway, where he won the 200-miler in 1975. Not surprisingly, he gives credit to Triumph.

"Riding for Triumph was really cool, they were wonderful," recalled Romero. "I had been on multiple brands with factory rides, but I kind of grew up around the Triumph thing, and I have some really fond memories of them. It's funny. The real hell-raisers were kind of thought to be on the Triumphs, and that suited me just fine."

Romero also tips his cap to a number of motorcycling icons that lent him a hand on his climb up the competitive ladder. "Guys like Skip Van Leeuwen, Dick Hammer, who were kind of the real pioneers on Triumph, and Neal Keen and Evel Knievel, who actually sponsored me for a year. Knievel impressed on me the whole idea of promoting yourself, and the fact that if you ask for the moon, sometimes you'll get it."

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days offers Triumph fans a number ways to consummate their love affair with the brand, according to Frank Covucci, AMA senior director of riding, tours and special events.

"Throughout the three-day event, Triumph motorcycles from past and present will be featured at the Marque of the Year display," said Covucci. "Plus, there will be a Triumph-only bike show, and the Vintage Triumph Roadshow will feature Triumph expert and Baxter Cycle owner, Randy Baxter, appraising classic Triumphs and Triumph memorabilia."

Motorcycle enthusiasts of all brands will have plenty to do as well, with bike shows featuring American, British, European and Japanese bikes, the popular Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em show and a cafe racer display.

The biggest draw of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is Swapmeet(tm), sponsored this year by Motorcyclist Retro magazine. Vendors and collectors from throughout North America will fan out over Mid-Ohio's 35 acres in search of hard-to-find bikes, parts and bits of nostalgia.

"What makes Vintage Motorcycle Days special among motorcycling events is that the AMA reinvents it every year," said Covucci. "Each year we feature a different marque, stage a variety of stunt shows and entertainment, offer a mix of seminars and invite a different classic club. It's a big melting pot of enthusiasts who accept each other and embrace a cross-section of bikes that you won't see anywhere else in the world."

Other AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days activities include:
* Motorcycle demo rides provided by Triumph, BMW, Buell, Can-Am Spyder, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, KTM, Kymco, Moto Guzzi and Vectrix.
* The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Auction
* Motorcycling seminars sponsored by Kymco, featuring noted world travelers, authors, writers, builders and experts such as Zack Coffman, John Healy, Don Hutchinson, Clement Salvadori, Mike Seate, Alice Sexton, Ted Simon, Bob Vail, Craig Vetter and Mark Wilsmore.
* A special display by the North American Laverda Owners Club, featuring Laverda founder Piero Laverda.
* American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association road racing, motocross, cross-country, trials and dirt track.
* 2002 World Champion Triumph stunt rider Kevin Carmichael, Team FMX freestyle, Team Extreme Motosphere and Ryan Young's Trials Stars Show.
* Guided rides of the rolling countryside around Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

All proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the non-profit Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in nearby Pickerington, Ohio. Advance tickets to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can be purchased at or by calling (800) MID-OHIO. For more information, visit .

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has promoted and protected the motorcycling lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life and they navigate many different roads on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycle organization with nearly 300,000 members, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition events than any other organization in the world. Through the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, visit .