2013 Corsa Moto Classica

Willow Springs Raceway hosts AHRMA round.

As a vintage rider, I look forward to attending the Corsa Moto Classica each year as much as a get together for the vintage motorcycle scene and seeing old friends as for the actual event activities.  It’s often a chance for me to see friends I haven’t seen for months—often since the previous year’s event.

[ Judges, Yoshi Kosaka and Tom Okada of Garage Co. and Mars Webster carefully inspect and trade notes on Bob Ives' 1952 Norton International.

Started in 1995 by Yoshi Kosaka of Garage Co., the two-day event is now in its 18th year and going as strong as ever. Among the attractions are a vintage bike show, swap meet, and two days of American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) racing action. Where else are you going to see—and, more importantly, hear—a 1937 Indian Scout ripping around a historical track like Willow Springs?

[ These Indians, a '39 and '29 Scout, are raced by Ralph Wessel who came out all the way from Florida.

[ The pits: A misnomer if ever there was one, it's where at least half of the fun is.

The wide-open and welcoming attitude in the pits and the camping scene at Corsa give the event a down-home, festival feel that's a big draw for me as well. This year I was lucky enough to not only be able to spend some quality time with my friends from Cretins Racing, but also my colleagues, Ari Henning and Zack Courts, who were pitted right next door with contributor Ed Milich. Motorcyclist magazine was on site in force, it seemed.

On Saturday, while I was busy taking photos, "networking", and remaining focused on proper hydration, Ari raced and won (handily) the Sportsman 350 and Sportsman 500 races, despite having a gaping hole in his leg from a recent press-launch crash. He rode his dad's legacy Honda CB350 which he had just finished rebuilding.

[Zack raced Battle of the Twins Formula 3 on Saturday on a Ducati 750SS loaned to him by Ed Milich and finished 4th after a race-long battle with Billy Hamill, former FIM Speedway World Champion.

On Sunday, Ari handed his beloved CB350 off to Zack, who completed the Sportsman 350 sweep of the weekend, also winning with a commanding lead.

Apart from AHRMA national championship racing, Zack also took part in mini-bike racing organization M1GP's round at Willow Springs Kart Track, where he competed on Ari's Honda CRF50. Zack suffered a crash in race 1 of the CRF50 class, but regrouped and won race 2 on the last lap.


It was good to see old friends, of course, and it never ruins your day when a complete stranger asks if you want to ride their 1939 Velocette GTP. By the way, the answer to that question is always "Yes." Big thanks to Jeff Scott for his generous offer. Corsa Moto Classica never fails to disappoint with things to do and see, and considering there’s a couple of hours of Angeles Crest canyons that lie between L.A. and Willow Springs, there’s really no reason I’d miss it.

Look for results and upcoming AHRMA events at ahrma.org.

Photos by Thomas Kinzer, Zack Courts and Paul Buck.