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6 PERSPECTIVES Editorial Director Mitch Boehm 8 AMA INSIDER Managing Editor Joy Burgess 10 BACKFIRES Membership feedback on the August issue 12 THE GREAT LEAD UPRISING A decade ago the AMA killed a misguided “Lead Law” that could have destroyed youth riding and racing 20 COVER STORY: THIS IS US Celebrating 2021 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in all its glory • Moto • Gravity • Pavement • Friends • Balance

• Stuff • Speed • Mud • Shenanigans • Thanks!




48 DAVID ALDANA: NO QUIT! At nearly 72 and still racing, VMD Grand Marshal David Aldana exemplifies the concept of “total enthusiast” 62 EVENT CALENDAR AMA-sanctioned rides, races and events you just can’t miss 70 FLASHBACK: THE WAY WE WERE A look at the first VMD held in 1992, and why the event was bound to be a hit ON THE COVER: From racing moto to hanging with friends, finding treasures at the swap meet to meeting Hall of Famers, and vintage bikes to late-night shenanigans, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a three-day event that brings together everything we love about motorcycling. It’s tough to sum it all up on the cover, which is why we’ve dedicated 28 pages to celebrating America’s best vintage motorcycle event. Published by the American Motorcyclist Association 4




Mitch Boehm Editorial Director Todd Westover Creative Director Joy Burgess Managing Editor Kali Kotoski Editor-at-Large Chad Fulton Graphic Designer Gina Gaston Web Developer

Contact any member of the AMA Board of Directors at

Steve Gotoski Director of Industry Relations and Business Memberships (951) 491-1910, Forrest Hayashi Advertising Manager (562) 766-9061, Lynette Cox Marketing Manager (614) 856-1900, ext. 1223, All trademarks used herein (unless otherwise noted) are owned by the AMA and may only be used with the express, written permission of the AMA.

Russ Ehnes Chair Great Falls, Mont. Gary Pontius Vice Chair Westfield, Ind. Byron Snider Assistant Treasurer Newbury Park, Calif. Jerry Abboud Executive Committee Member Thornton, Colo. Paul Vitrano Executive Committee Member Medina, Minn. Brad Baumert Louisville, Ky. Hub Brennan Robert Pearce Amherst, Ohio E. Greenwhich, R.I. Tom Umphress Christopher Cox Jordan, Minn. Florence, S.C. Faisel Zaman Mark Hosbach Franklin, Tenn. Dallas, Texas

American Motorcyclist is the monthly publication of the American Motorcyclist Association, which represents motorcyclists nationwide. For information on AMA membership benefits, call (800) AMA-JOIN or visit Manuscripts, photos, drawings and other editorial contributions must be accompanied by return postage. No responsibility is assumed for loss or damage to unsolicited material. Copyright© American Motorcyclist Association, 2021.

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Rob Dingman President/Chief Executive Officer James Holter Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wolens Chief Financial Officer Donna Perry Executive Assistant to President/CEO Danielle Smith Human Resources Manager/Assistant to COO

Michael Sayre Director of Government Relations Nick Haris Western States Representative Tiffany Cipoletti Government Relations Manager, On-Highway Peter Stockus Government Relations Manager, Off-Highway Erin Reda Grassroots Coordinator

RACING AND ORGANIZER SERVICES Mike Pelletier Director of Racing Bill Cumbow Director of International Competition Michael Burkeen Deputy Director of Racing Erek Kudla Off-Road Racing Manager Ken Saillant Track Racing Manager Joe Bromley Program Development Manager Alexandria Kovacs Program Manager Connie Fleming Supercross/FIM Coordinator Lakota Ashworth Racing Coordinator Olivia Davis Racing Coordinator Serena Van Dyke Recreational Riding Coordinator

MUSEUM Daniel Clepper Collections Manager Paula Schremser Program Specialist Ricky Shultz Clerk Alys Horne Clerk

MARKETING AND MEMBER SERVICES Amanda Donchess Director of Membership Marketing and Services Jennifer Finn Event and Member Activity Planner Lauren Snyder Marketing and Advertising Coordinator


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American Motorcyclist magazine (ISSN 0277-9358) is published monthly (12 issues) by the American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147. Copyright by the American Motorcyclist Association/American Motorcyclist 2021. Printed in USA. Subscription rate: Magazine subscription fee of $19.95 covered in membership dues. Postmaster: Mail form 3579 to 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147. Periodical postage paid at Pickerington, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices.




t’s been fifteen years since that crazy VMD weekend at Mid-Ohio, and the memories are as fresh as if it all happened yesterday. And how could they not be? After all, what transpired over those three days alongside that bunch of Wisconsin-area wackos was easily one of the wildest weekends of my life — and that’s saying something for a guy who’s attended well over 100 Grateful Dead and Dead and Co. shows over the years. It all started with a call from Wes Orloff, a Wisconsin road racer and H-D engineer who, along with the aforementioned wackos (which included his Harley-engineer thengirlfriend Leah, who’s now his wife), came up with a seriously twisted story idea. Which, in a nutshell, went like this: Gather everyone at the upcoming VMD event, yours truly included; find and buy a suitable motorcycle from the swap meet; race-prep it using swap-meet parts; and have me race it that weekend for a magazine story. This talented group of engineers, racers, fabricators, mechanics, accountants, videographers, teachers, cooks, roller-derby queens and bartenders even had a name for the crazy plan: MOMBA, short for Mid-Ohio Motorcycle Build Attempt. Pretty hard to turn that down, right? The original idea was to buy something common and capable, with Kawasaki’s GPz550/KZ550 — which fit nicely into the then-new Middleweight Superbike class — at the top of the list. Problem was, the group couldn’t find a single standardspec GPz/KZ for sale, even after scrounging every nook and cranny of 6

the swap meet for the entire first day of the meet. “Thursday evening was the low point for me,” Orloff remembered, “and I was close to panicking. I’d dragged all my friends down to this god-awful-hot swap meet and we still hadn’t found a bike. I had a national magazine editor flying in. I’d signed up every sponsor, friend and family member I knew to help support an attempt that was fizzling in front of my eyes.” So with race-prep time running out, the Mombites did the next best thing — or so they thought. They bought a KZ550 LTD, a cruiser with a pull-back bar, 16-inch wheels and a teardrop tank, which of course presented a whole range of challenges. For the group, already tired from the lead up to Mid-Ohio and the overnight drive there, Friday and Saturday were non-stop blurs of manic activity — rebuilding engines, making uncountable trips to the swap meet to find useable wheels, suspension and the like, fabricating this (grinders, lathes and welders!), modifying that, and all with very little sleep and lots of stress, as Mid-O’s track announcer was in on the story and broadcasting updates as the production-chopper-turned-roadracer got torn apart and slowly rebuilt. I will never forget the cheers that went up from the 75 or so folks gathered around our pit just after midnight Saturday when Orloff lit the thing off for the first time, the LTD featuring a fresh top end (albeit one with a bent oil-control ring on one piston), motocross shocks and a Frankenstein exhaust fabricated from three different systems. The thing smoked, was wildly


Team MOMBA, VMD 2006, what a rush!

undergeared and weaved drunkenly during my first practice session on Sunday morning, so there was plenty more to do before that afternoon’s race. But after machining a new spacer to put the wheels actually in line (ha!), running thicker-vis oil to control the piston-ring blowby, and giving the thing a lime-green Team Kawasaki-esque rattle-can paint job, the team had itself a passable race bike — one that even passed tech inspection. The race itself was a bit anticlimactic; I finished eighth out of a field of 12, dicing the entire time with a GPz550 and Moto Guzzi. The Kawasaki smoked, wallowed, didn’t carburet well and was terribly undergeared, but a top-three finish wasn’t the point. Competing, and actually getting the thing on the racetrack, was, and somehow the team accomplished that. And what a trip it was! AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is truly a magical event, and in so many ways. I hope you enjoy our coverage of this year’s blockbuster gathering.

Mitch Boehm is the Editorial Director of the AMA




two-wheeled woodstock BY JOY BURGESS


othing — and I mean nothing — prepared me and my son for our first AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. I’d heard about the event for years, and even seen photographic evidence of all the fun. But whoa. “It’s like Mad Max meets Woodstock,” several people told me. Great description, but it still didn’t prepare me for what I saw and felt. It all felt a bit like the summer camps I’d go to as a kid…except there were about 40,000 people, and everyone was on motorcycles. It was that same vibe, though; the feeling that time had stopped for a bit and your friends were all there and you didn’t want those long, warm summer days and evenings to come to an end. What really grabbed my attention was the kids racing around everywhere on minibikes, and not a parent in sight. I felt like I’d timemachined back to the ’80s when kids (like me) ran around ’til dark when they had to get home for dinner. It was a simpler time, and man, I miss those days! Seeing all those kids ripping around also got me pumped for the future of motorcycling. I caught a glimpse of that future in the laughter of the two kids who crashed into each other right in front of me (they were fine); the tiny kids getting a first taste of two wheels at the Kenda Kids Area on STACYCs; and in the unbridled joy on the face of the little girl who left me in the dust when she ripped by on her 50, pigtails flying behind her. Meeting AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and Grand Marshal David Aldana and watching On Any Sunday — a film that completely changed my life the first time I saw it — with 8

hundreds of fellow motorcyclists were highlights for me. Aldana’s stories were captivating and became the catalyst for writing the feature story on page 48, and it’s something I count as an honor. For my son, Ty, attending Vintage Motorcycle Days meant his very first airplane flight. And while we’ve been to Supercross and Daytona Bike Week and other bike events, when we first cruised around Mid-Ohio he literally didn’t know where to look… there was so much to take in. Day one, all the noise and smells

— gotta love those two-strokes! — took a bit of getting used to for him (he has Down syndrome and autism), but by day two he was living his best moto life: cheering on racers at the motocross track; watching some road racing; and checking out all the vintage bikes at the Old Bike Barn bike show. The hardest part was letting him know that, no, sorry, all those bikes could not come home with us. The swap meet...well, that may have been his favorite part of the whole darn thing. With about


everything motorcycle-related you could dream of for sale there, my goal was just to get out fast before his eyes outspent my wallet. His favorite find? A flat-black helmet — so we got him a new one just like it — and I have to admit, looks pretty badass. Most of all, for both of us, we were made to feel like family. Dressed in his AMA shirt, he felt like he was a part of something cool, and that was pretty special. That family feeling…it’s a huge part of what drew me to motorcycling in the first place. And if there’s one place that takes everything that made me fall in love with motorcycling and brings it into one place, it’s Vintage Motorcycle Days.

Joy Burgess is the Managing Editor of the AMA

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BACKFIRE S UNDERINSURED MOTORISTS Great article on Brittany Morrow, and an outstanding individual. But you missed one item: Legal but too-low liability insurance minimums. A lot of folks buy the minimum ($100,000, I believe) because that’s all they can afford, or they don’t really think about it. When you buy liability insurance for a bike or car, the typical policy includes coverage for uninsured motorists, but not underinsured motorists. Buying coverage for underinsured motorists on a bike can double the premium. And there are far more underinsured individuals than uninsured individuals out there. I had a friend who bought a brandnew Harley CVO Ultra Glide and rode it helmetless, shirtless and without boots. He was rear-ended by an underinsured individual in a pickup truck at a stop light and

lasted about a week in the hospital. His wife lost their house trying to pay off the three-month-old bike loan and medical bills, as the person who hit him had no assets. Illustrating the financial costs and risks of riding without gear, or being ignorant of insurance ramifications, is an important point that should be addressed. Pat Dundon I believe you just did, Pat. Thanks. —Ed.

my bike in rural Missouri. Unlike Brittany’s situation it was my fault (going too fast on a country road that turned to dirt unannounced), and my injuries were not near as serious, though I did need surgery, and my wife got a concussion. I did, however, receive the same treatment from family and friends when my immediate response was to purchase a new bike, fly 800 miles to get it and ride it home, all with a tube in my leg still draining the surgery site. They thought I was crazy, but I had to do it. It was the therapy I needed to return a little bit to normal. My wife’s concussion caused some PTSD, too, and her invisible injuries in some ways had more lasting negative effects than my very visible wounds. Thank you, Brittany, for educating people and being so brave.

GETTING BACK ON THE HORSE, AND PTSD Thanks so much for the feature on Brittany Morrow. There’s a lot to respond to in it, but I wanted to zero in on what she said about her need to get back on the bike. In spring of 2018 on the 20th day of a 22-day trip from Colorado to Appalachia, I wrecked Terry Hills #2952336 Lakewood, Colo.

LETTER OF THE MONTH BRITTANY MORROW: SOUL SURVIVOR eally enjoyed reading about Brittany Morrow (August, 2021). She’s an impressive young woman who’s accomplished a lot since her accident, and I wish her luck with her “Look for Me” kit for educating car drivers. I know this will draw criticism, and this is in no way aimed at Miss Morrow, but there comes a time when we need to hold some riders accountable for some accidents, as it’s not always the driver’s fault. I am a rider and a former MSF RiderCoach from Tampa. During my classes I really pressed the importance of being seen, because despite all the bumper stickers and billboards, no one looks out for us. My favorite is wearing day-glow yellow when I ride. I taught my students that they have a responsibility to themselves to make sure they’re seen, and the


need to wear bright colors such as day-glow because bright colors draw attention. How many times have we done a double take because our eyes caught someone in day-glow? This is not the golden BB to end all accidents, but I can speak from experience, it will lower the potential for an accident significantly. Problem is, no one wants to wear bright colors because they don’t look cool. Riders must realize that survival tactics will trump cool every time.  Collin Roller #670104 Apollo Beach, Fla. Conspicuity, of course, is often a key to survival, Collin. Thanks for the reminder. —Ed.

Letters to the editor are the opinions of the AMA members who write them. Inclusion here does not imply they reflect the positions of the AMA, its staff or board. Agree? Disagree? Let us know. Send letters to or mail to American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147. Letters may be edited for clarity and brevity.



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A decade ago the AMA successfully killed a misguided “Lead Law” that applied to motorcycles, which could have destroyed youth riding and racing BY KALI KOTOSKI t is hard to imagine how close American kids and parents were to losing their favorite two-wheeled pastime. But it is even harder to imagine what youth riding and racing would look like today had the AMA, its members and industry supporters not come together to strongly oppose the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which would have banned the sale of dirt bikes for kids under the age of 12. Would youth racing even exist today? Would parents be able to purchase dirt bikes for their kids? Would manufacturers have given up on the segment due to economic pressure? What would the future of the sport look like if athletes had to wait until they were old enough to



ride adult-sized dirt bikes? There are a lot of unknowns, but the nightmare scenarios at the time were hardly alarmist. Better known as the “Lead Law,” CPSIA would have effectively banned the sale of kids’ dirt bikes over concerns about components that carry lead, typically trace amounts found in engines, brakes, suspensions, batteries and other parts, for example. The law itself wasn’t diabolically crafted, just another unintended consequence of government policy that would have unreasonably ensnared an industry already reeling from the economic calamity of the Great Recession. In 2008, CPSIA was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The impetus for the legislation was


over growing concerns that kids’ toys manufactured particularly in China were shown to contain unacceptable amounts of lead. Because children are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, which can cause profound and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system, parents and lawmakers swiftly acted to prevent potentially harmful imports. But in doing so, not only were kids’ dirt bikes caught in the firing line, but also ATVs, books, bicycles, telescopes and microscopes — all products that kids would likely never chew on or ingest. Plus, it also would have curtailed the ability of parents to make parental decisions, banned the sale of certain helmets for kids even if they weren’t the ones behind the handlebars, and decimated the ATV industry.


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AMA Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith at his dealership in March of 2009. Smith held a highly-publicized media event in direct defiance of the “Lead Law,” which banned him, as well as countless dealers across the country, from selling youth motorcycles to kids.

letters and e-mails to Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — the agency charged with enforcing CPSIA. In a great act of protest, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith flouted the law with seventime motocross and AMA Supercross champion and Hall of Famer Jeff Ward and other luminaries and defiantly and openly sold bikes at Malcolm’s California dealership in March of 2009. “You all going to visit me in jail?” Malcolm asked a packed crowd that turned out. “I hope that is not the case and they wake up and change the law.” Under the law, Malcom was liable for a $100,000 fine and time in federal prison. While he was not charged,


As implementation of the law neared in 2009, dealerships across the country started to pull bikes from the showroom floor while replacement parts vanished and consumers were forced to order from Canada. The economic fallout was predicted to be immense. According to reporting by American Motorcyclist at the time, the industry estimated that it could lose up to $1 billion in revenue annually. “The potential losses for the powersports industry are massive at a time when this country cannot afford additional economic losses,” Paul Vitrano, then-general counsel for the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) and the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), told American Motorcyclist. Vitrano is currently a member of the AMA Board of Directors, Senior Assistant General Counsel for Polaris, and the current MIC Chair. The AMA and its Government Relations Department, however, were quick to act and spread the word among its members in preparation for what ended up being a blistering three-year fight. Dealers were only told in January of 2009 that their products would be subject to the law, with the law set to take effect in February. With the industry in crisis, the AMA rallied its members and within a month parents wrote more than 70,000

In response to the limited reprieve, the AMA recognized kids as the 2009 AMA Motorcyclists of The Year. With that temporary victory, the issue started to fade from the public’s consciousness as the AMA and industry affiliates began the laborious lobbying process of creating a permanent exemption. “It is not an understatement to say how close we all were to losing the right for kids to ride,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “It really came down to the wire, and the two-year stay was a huge victory, but it wasn’t the end of the fight.” As the end of the two-year extension approached, bureaucratic wrangling only complicated the issue. There were disputes over CPSC’s

Nancy Sabater (left) speaking with a lawmaker at the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb in 2011.

his event helped galvanize the riding community and helped spawn the next generation of motorcycle advocates. Motorcyclists even took their opposition to the steps of the Capitol with the AMA organizing rallies in hopes of overturning the law. Kids who spoke during the events adopted a winning phrase: “Please give me my dirt bike back. I promise not to eat it.” Under pressure, the CPSC relented, albeit temporarily. The agency granted a two-year stay of enforcement meant to give the industry time to comply with the law, which would have cost untold sums in R&D and in developing manufacturing processes with costs handed down to the consumer.

ability to rectify the matter and numerous delays that impacted some parts of the law, such as enforcement, while others, such as testing, were not affected. “It became clear that we had to push for a wholesale change of the law to limit confusion and prevent this arbitrary attack on the sport,” Dingman said. So in 2011 the AMA again tapped into its greatest political contingent — its members — and focused its efforts on raising grassroots support through messaging campaigns and action alerts calling on members to contact their lawmakers. Completely flabbergasted with the



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make change happen.” “It was just amazing to see how people from every corner of the political spectrum came together and agreed that kids should be able to ride, and kids’ dirt bikes should not be illegal,” she said. In some respects, efforts to overturn the Lead Law’s misguided assault on kids’ dirt bikes culminated in the 2011 AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb in Washington, D.C. The mission was to cement the passage of the Kids Just Want To Ride Act — an amendment to the 2008 law that would exempt youth dirt bikes and ATVs from excessive lead law restrictions. “That day at the Capitol was incredible. We had kids [roaming] the halls and addressing their congressman and pitching them for why they need to support the Kids Just Want To Ride Act. They also promised they wouldn’t eat their dirt bikes,” Nancy said with a chuckle. “At one point, the congressman asked for the kids to get up on the [main hearing room] desk. There they were,


all dressed in colorful motocross gear, advocating for their rights.” With hundreds of kids at the capital putting a face to the issue, the fight came to a swift end in August of 2011 as the act steamrolled through the House and Senate and was then signed by then-President Barak Obama. “We really couldn’t have done it without our members and all the grassroots support,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Had we not succeeded in getting the law changed, it is hard to fathom where we would be today. It is difficult to think about what would have happened if youth riding was effectively banned.” For the AMA’s efforts, Dingman received the 2012 PowerSports Business Executive of the Year award. Nancy Sabater was named the 2011 AMA Motorcyclist of The Year for her impressive efforts. Looking back on the fight 10 years later, she has an important message for motorcyclists and AMA members: “We need to know our history to not repeat it! We have to remember our victories and celebrate them! Too often, we live in our own bubbles and don’t realize how quickly things can change. It is easy to get comfortable and think everything is fine…until one day you wake up and it isn’t fine and you are kicking yourself for not doing something when you could have.” “To this day I tell people to stay informed and remain vigilant, and if you are passionate about something, be prepared to act even if it isn’t an easy fight,” she said. The AMA’s Government Relations Department continues to fight to protect and preserve the rights of motorcyclists. Visit https:// to get involved. AM ARCHIVES

situation, Maryland’s Nancy Sabater became a key warrior in the fight. “I remember hearing about the ‘Lead Law’ when it first passed and thought it was resolved,” she recently told American Motorcyclist. “But when I saw that it was still an issue in 2011 and was closing in fast, I just couldn’t imagine how devastating it would be for kids. It would be so unfair to have robbed kids of such amazing memories and childhoods.” With the AMA’s help, Sabater started spreading the good word. She spent day after day calling individual dealerships hoping that they would take up the cause and enlist their customers. She went to races and got into the announcer’s booth to speak; she contacted racers and asked them to get involved and to educate their fans; and she amassed a huge number of petitions in opposition to the law. “Never before was I so passionate about a motorcycle-related issue,” Sabater said, explaining that fears over the worst possible outcome fueled her determination. “I don’t know what it was, but I just felt I could do this and get involved and approach people over this upsetting issue and

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British Government to Ban New Petrol-Powered Motorcycles by 2035 Under a recently published Transport Decarbonization Plan, the British Government is calling for all new motorcycles sold to be zero emission vehicles by 2035. Although plans to end production of new internal combustion engine cars had already been proposed for 2030, this is the first time that specific proposals have been made for motorcycle production. In the plan, the Department for Transport states that zero emission motorcycles and other powered two wheelers are an efficient and clean form of mobility that can reduce congestion, improve urban air quality and reduce noise. There will soon be a consultation on a phase-out date of 2035 for the sale of new non-zero emission powered two and three wheelers. As of 2020, there were 1.4 million licensed motorcyclists in the UK.

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3:13 3:04PM P

Pan America In The Alps

What Milwaukee’s new adventure tourer is like and how it works BY MITCH BOEHM ith their rougher-than-usual pavement, curvestrewn — and diabolically switchbacked — routes and the occasional gravel or cobblestone section, the Alps are a perfect place to ride — and evaluate — an adventure-spec motorcycle. And that’s precisely why we borrowed one of HarleyDavidson’s all-new Pan America 1250s for the AMA Alps Challenge Tour we did in late August with a handful of AMA members and the folks from Edelweiss Bike Travel. We’ll cover the tour and the Pan Am in much more detail in an upcoming issue, but we wanted to put some of our first impressions on paper after a few days in the saddle as we rode south from Munich, Germany into Austria, Italy and Switzerland — and the heart of the Tyrolean region. From a big-picture standpoint, the clean-sheet Pan America — developed over the course of several years and designed totally in-house — is a functionally stunning motorcycle, a bike with a whopper of an engine, a feedback-intensive chassis, tons of comfort and a host of technological and electronic wizardry. And it needed to be, too, as the fallout from a failure here would have been catastrophic for the Motor Co. given the financial investment made and the need for Milwaukee to




successfully grow its market reach to an area other than custom cruisers. Fortunately, the Pan Am’s engineering and design teams got things right, all of which was easy to grasp during the first few days of our Tour. On the choppy-surfaced switchback roads of the many passes we summited the Pan Am was totally calm, sucking up the bumps, braking forcefully and easily, and even in Sport Mode, delivering gobs of useable, tractable power over a wide RPM range. In the smoother, meandering routes down in the valleys (coffee or apple strudel, anyone?) the engine and chassis’ smoothness were front and center, as were the roomy ergos and well-padded saddle. And when the roads opened up and traffic cleared, and I was able to ride the thing seriously hard, the Pan Am’s monster motor, great brakes and amazingly high level of chassis feedback made that more enjoyable than I would ever have imagined. Big adventure bikes might look cumbersome and unwieldy, but they are way more fun and capable in this environment than most folks know, and the Pan Am has gotta be ranked right at the top of the list here. More to come on all this, but for now I need to grab some breakfast and head for the Passo Del Stelvia. Ciao!


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But nothing prepared him and his family for what happened in 2021. “Someone staying at a nearby campground stopped early this year,” Wyatt’s mom Robin told us, “and she put it on her Facebook page. Then it was posted on a Rally website; someone took her post and added to it, and that post kept going. Our son’s lemonade stand was showing up all over Facebook, and we starting getting more visitors.” As the lemonade flowed, the visitors and the bucks just kept adding up. One of the thousands of bikers who stopped by to chat with Wyatt was South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem,



and his parents had much to say about her kindness. At the last minute, with some serious dollars in the till, Wyatt decided that 50 percent of his earnings — not 35 percent — would go to St. Jude this year, which means that, after it was all said and done (and mixed and poured), he’ll be donating a whopping $30,000 to help sick kids. Mom and Dad used to ride, so it’s no surprise to hear he added a dirt bike to the “gotta have” list this year (although many of the Sturgis faithful lobbied jokingly for him to get a Harley!), and he’ll be putting a tidy sum into his college account, too. “We wanted to teach him about saving, spending, and giving,” Robin said. “Saying thank you to the biker community just isn’t enough,” she added. “We personally know how generous this community is, and I hope that this spreading to the national level will show people that bikers are an amazing group of people.” We asked Wyatt if he’ll be out selling lemonade next year during the Sturgis Rally. “Yep, I’m gonna do it ’til I move out,” he said, “or until I’m 12.” So if you head to Sturgis for the 2022 Rally next year, be sure to stop by for some lemonade!


ack in 2020, young Wyatt Dennis was sitting with his mom on their deck noticing all the bikers riding by for the annual Sturgis Rally. “I told my mom I wanted to do a lemonade stand,” Wyatt told American Motorcyclist, “so I could earn enough money to get the LEGO set I wanted.” Wyatt proceeded to go through 20 gallons of lemonade last year and earned $700 for his efforts, plenty for the LEGO set and more — including 50 percent going to his college fund, 35 percent to St. Jude and 15 percent towards his LEGO set.



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Eight-year-old Wyatt Dennis ran a lemonade stand at Sturgis and raised enough from big-hearted bikers to donate over $30,000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital



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Mud Meets Ministry

Fuel Ministry holds summer instructional camps for riders and offers trackside ministry at racing events

uel Ministry provides trackside ministry at more than 40 racing events each year, and in 2021 held six weeks of instructional camps. With the help of volunteers the group builds relationships, facilitates chapel services at the racetracks, promotes its summer instructional camps, and has prayers before races. According to the group’s cofounders, it’s an opportunity to love people and to meet them

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where they are, rather than wait for them to enter a place of worship on a Sunday morning. “While we are determined to provide great instruction and awesome riding, says Mark Nichols, who co-founded Fuel Ministry with his wife Leslie Nichols, “our deepest motivation comes from sharing [our

faith] with campers.” Fuel Ministry uses dynamic trackside ministry and life-changing camps with the mission of drawing racers and their families to faith. In 2020, Fuel Ministry had three instructional camps. Then, in 2021, Fuel Ministry increased its offerings to six instructional camps

in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio. Fuel Ministry offers both MX and off-road camps for riders of all ages. Fuel Ministry’s goal is to be able to offer 10 camps per summer in the next four years. If you would like more information regarding Fuel Ministry, visit their website,





f you thought long and hard about your ideal

motorcycle weekend, your utopian collection

of everything you love about motorcycling and

racing and riding and camping and bike watching and people watching and parts swapping and bike buying

and, basically, just having one hell of a good time on two

wheels, it’s a pretty good bet you’d conjure something like AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

And why not? VMD has all that and more.

Held on the lush and expansive grounds of Mid-Ohio

Sports Car Course near the tiny village of Lexington, a place with its own share of Trans-AMA and USGP

motocross history, VMD is a veritable smorgasbord of

two-wheeled wonderfulness — most of which is vintageflavored in the extreme.




For veterans, newbies and everyone in between, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a great escape pilgrimage like no other — especially this year

Folks who’ve attended know this, but you’ve got vintage racing galore, the biggest and best swap meet anywhere, bike shows, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame speakers, exhibits and Grand Marshals, raffle bike drawings, awesome camping, On Any Sunday movie screenings (a first this year!) and all sorts of crazy, after-hours shenanigans including barrel racing, bonfires, impromptu rock ’n’ roll performances…and maybe even some adult beverage enjoyment. (It’s been known to happen.) But what’s really epic about VMD is the daily scene, and the sheer number of older motorcycles you’ll see there, many of which get ridden all weekend. So when you ride your Honda CT70 or Hodaka Ace 100 or Suzuki Trailhopper or Rupp Roadster or Yamaha DT1 or Briggs & Stratton special up or down the main thoroughfare, or

what’s really epic about VMD is the daily scene, and the sheer number of older motorcycles you’ll see there, many of which get ridden all weekend. through the massive swap meet, your head’s gonna spin like a top, so it’s best to warm up them neck muscles properly before you take off. This year was extra special, of course, with COVID-inspired cabin fever making things a whole lot more exciting, and also due to this year’s 50 years of On Any Sunday theme. To honor AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bruce Brown’s achievement, a remastered version of the movie was screened on Friday night. At one point during that screening I was standing off to the side with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and Grand Marshal David Aldana, sipping a beer and taking it all in. The weather was perfect, the OAS vibe was in full force, and the crowd was into it, with laughter and applause rippling through the crowd when something funny happened. “This is pretty cool,” I said to him as he looked toward the screen, the moon shining nearly full behind the spectators. “It is,” he answered. “And you know why? Because this is us. This is who we are, right here!” Pretty hard to argue with that. Enjoy the section! —Mitch Boehm





moto It’s the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s all over again at VMD’s two-day vintage MX fest

Check out the vintage winners at



he Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s motocross track is a few miles removed from the now-defunct Mid-Ohio Moto Park, the hallowed ground (now just an empty field) that hosted those famous Trans-AMA and 125cc USGP races back in the MX-glorious 1970s and early ’80s. But if you close your eyes during Saturday and Sunday at VMD and listen to the sounds


of classic Maico, Husky, Elsinore and YZ two-strokes ripping around, and breathe deeply the burned castor molecules wafting through the air, you can very nearly transport yourself back to Pete Weidner and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster’s nearby rolling-hills MX venue in, say, 1975. And that in itself, especially for those who attended those epic races, is a wonderful thing. Saturday at VMD is for true vintage

bikes, the air-cooled, twin-shock, minimally suspended motorcycles that got the whole motocross thing going here in the States during the 1960s. On Sunday it’s the more modern bikes’ turn, the longer-travel, water-cooled and single-shock machines that powered American riders to world domination. Racing or watching vintage motocross at VMD is a true throwback thing, and the thousands that take part each year wouldn’t have it any other way. Brrrraap!





ven from a distance it’s a visual assault on the senses, an imposing, carnival-esque red, white and blue, wood-and-tented behemoth just calling your name for a closer look. And if you’re lucky enough to actually catch a show, well, that’s when the real fun begins, as you simply won’t believe what goes on inside. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days wouldn’t be complete without the gravity-defying Wall of Death thrill show from the American Motor Drome Company, which features vintage Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles — and more — ripping around the plank-lined cylinder. From the Wall of Death’s physical assembly (a skill in itself), to the carnival-barker spectacle outside the doors before the riders show off their skills, and to the action inside, you will shake your head in near-disbelief.


gravity Let the Wall of Death daredevil show whisk you back to the crazy carnival days of the early 1900s

Dating back more than 100 years, the motordrome show transports viewers back to the dangerous days of the boardtrack and motordrome craze of the early 1900s, when motorcycle racers went all-out on banked and super-fast board tracks until the venues eventually became so dangerous they were nicknamed “murderdromes.” Riders start off on the flat surface in the middle but quickly gain the vertical wall via a 100-degree transition, where they’re held there by centrifugal force and friction alone. Once they get over their astonishment, fans hold one-, five- and 20-dollar bills over the railing as the AMDC daredevils blast around and around — and you can see the wonder on fans’ faces as their money is effortlessly snatched away. As one little kid remarked as he left the show, “I wonder how they do that, Mom.” So do we, buddy! AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021


Legendary motorcycles tackling a historic racetrack… What could be better? oad racing is a big part of VMD, and Mid-Ohio’s legendary road course is a willing partner. Built during 1961 and open for club-racing business in ’62 by Mansfield farmer Les Griebling, the circuit is one of the country’s most challenging, beautiful and beloved. “I wanted it to be difficult,” Griebling said of the track’s twists and turns, many of which he graded himself, “and it came out my way. The driver is busy all the time.” Riders are busy, too, the rollercoaster-esque layout featuring fast sections, slow sections and a whole host of tricky elevation changes tossed in. The only real place to rest is the long downhill — and slightly kinked — back straight, although with a hard-braking, right-hand turn four and the tricky, updown-left-right-dropaway turn-five section — appropriately called “Madness” — lying in wait for you at the end, relaxation is not something that comes easily. Mid-Ohio’s autoracing history is immense, with IMSA, Can-Am, CART, IndyCar and even NASCAR paying visits. There’s plenty of motorcycle-racing history, too, the venue hosting its first AMA Superbike event in 1983, with multi-talented Team Honda rider — and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer — Steve Wise grabbing top honors. A prime viewing spot during VMD is on the hillside surrounding the turn-five “Madness” zone, where you can watch the bikes brake from high speeds into turn four and then negotiate the upright-down-left Madness corner. There are trees for shade and a snack shack nearby, so you’re bound to be comfy. Mr. Griebling would agree.


pavement Check out the vintage winners at





friends At AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, strangers are just friends waiting to happen



f a single element best characterizes the VMD experience, it’s the trifecta of camaraderie, friends and family. And that’s why Rod McKuen’s quote (left) about strangers and friends is so darn appropriate. You might arrive on Thursday or Friday with friends and family, but it’s a good bet you’ll have a few more buddies when you leave on Sunday. It’s just that sort of weekend. A lot of that has to do with the “great escape” feelings VMD seems




to generate each year —and especially this year — with most everyone needing to get the heck out of the house, enjoy motorcycling in its most basic form and let loose a bit. From the swap meet mini city at the top of the rise on the south end to the shady, tree-lined campgrounds on the north end and everything in between (and there’s a lot in between), it’s literally one big smile-fest. A great example might be that of Cheryl Erwin, whose son Collin, racing for the first time at VMD this year, crashed and broke several ribs and a

collarbone. Undaunted, he returned to the track after being released from the hospital to finish what he’d started two years earlier when he met Miranda Morr at VMD 2019. “The two joked and talked the night away back in 2019,” Cheryl wrote to us, “and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the photo (right) what was going on and why it was so important for him to return! It seemed only fitting that he popped the question at the place where they’d first met. Seven broken ribs and he still did it right!” Yes, he did, Cheryl. You go, Collin!

it’s a good bet you’ll have a few more buddies when you leave on Sunday. It’s just that sort of weekend



“Trials riders, the violin players of the motorcycle world.” BRUCE BROWN MA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bruce Brown didn’t spend a whole lot of time on observed trials in his epic moto-documentary On Any Sunday, just two minutes, but what he captured did a pretty fine job of explaining this very unique motorcycle competition. “This fellow is a trials rider,” Brown voiced, “the magicians of the motorcycle world. Good trials riders can do wheelies like this for miles, around corners, everywhere, just bopping along, watching the scenery. In riding trials events all you have to do is get through a difficult section of terrain without putting your foot down. A good trials rider’s ability to do this is amazing.” Then he added, “It looks easy…don’t believe it.” And truer words have maybe never been spoken. What mystifies a lot of non-trials-riding (or -understanding) motorcyclists is the extreme amount of precision and skill it takes to get through some of these sections in a competition. You really do have to see it to


BALANCE appreciate it, and many never do. A good number of trials fans (and non-fans) took in Sunday’s trials competition at VMD, and were rewarded with great weather and some really impressive riding. What many don’t realize about modern trials competitions, however, is the physical strength required to do what these folks do, whether on vintage machinery or newer bikes. It’s clearly not just slow and methodical riding over smaller obstacles anymore, as it was back in the day. “Try this someday if you want to do something really difficult,” Brown voiced in the segment as Malcolm rolled up — and then back down — a small incline. “Neat, Malcolm.” Neat indeed.



Check out the vintage winners at AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021


From bike-specific bits to fully restored classics, there’s almost nothing you can’t find at the VMD swap meet or a decent portion of the 40,000 or so enthusiasts that flow into Mid-Ohio’s grassy environs for two or three (or four) days of semi-reckless abandon (or simply some relaxing racewatching, hanging out and BBQ), the VMD swap meet — easily the largest and most dynamic in the country — is a prime attraction. It’s massive, for sure, nearly 80 acres worth, but it’s the stuff available there that really matters, and that’s where the VMD swap meet really resonates. From early-century parts and hulks to classic ’80s and ’90s sportbikes, from ’60s and ’70s and ’80s motocrossers to all the classic minibikes many of us grew up with


stuff back in the day, you’re bound to find the parts, memorabilia or complete motorcycles you’re looking for there — or just something thoroughly fascinating. The stories of people stumbling onto something they just gotta have — and then trying to find a way to get it hauled to one of the coasts, or Montana, or New Mexico — are the stuff of legends. Look hard enough and you’re likely to find someone with room in their trailer from where you’re going. Come with cash, too, although more and more folks are carrying card machines these days. Many of us have gotten lost in those seemingly never-ending lanes of legendary mechanical loveliness, and we have to tell you, there are far worse ways to spend a few hours.





Stuff 38





speed Vintage dirt track racing at Ashland County Fairgrounds is plenty fast — and well worth the trip



kay, yes, we’re well aware that roadracing typically involves more pure MPH than dirt track, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it, especially on a vintage flat track racebike — of which there were plenty at Ashland County Fairgrounds during VMD 2021. Of course, that is not to say vintage flat track racebikes are less-than-speedy, or that the riders aboard them are similarly sluggish. Much like at an AFT National, you’ve got 100-horsepower twins ripping around the Ashland half-mile oval and you’ve got plenty of 50- and 60-horse singles, too, many ridden by some very fast riders.


One of those speedy pilots this year was VMD’s Grand Marshal David Aldana who, at nearly 72 years old (see the No Quit feature on page 48), can still run with the young and talented bucks of the sport on occasion. Aldana is the Energizer Bunny of the vintage flat track set, a reputation that was fortified yet again when he drove from his Atlanta home to Sturgis two weeks after VMD and raced six events there. There’s just no quit in the guy. Stroll through the pits at Ashland and you’ll get up close and personal with a wide range of riders, mostly older, some younger, many quite fast and others just out to have a great time

and compete with whomever they end up tangling with. The vast majority work out of vans and trailers, not big-buck transporters; these folks represent the everyman element of the dirt track set, the glue that’s held this very close-knit community together for many a decade in America. And really, there’s not a competitive sport that’s more American than dirt track motorcycle racing. If you’re there next year, go ask On Any Sunday alumnus David Aldana what he thinks. He’ll be right over there, under that big tree up against the fence at the exit of turn four. He’ll tell ya straight.

Check out the vintage winners at



mud Whether you call it cross country or hare scrambles, it’s a great way to get dirty



or the uninitiated, a hare scramble (or cross-country) race can be described simply as a longer version of a natural-terrain motocross (like motocross used to be) race, usually 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length. Speed and skill are important, of course, but so is endurance. VMD hare scrambles events start on the grass just adjacent to the motocross course, but then dive diabolically into the woods, where moisture, logs, slime, trees, rocks, foliage, frogs and all sorts of slippery goodness do their best to bounce you off two wheels…softly, of course. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeff Fredette, who earned a reputation as “Mr. ISDT/ISDE” during a career filled with


Six Days gold medals and off-road championships, took part again this year, and put a pretty good spin on things for us. “Why do I go? [Laughs] Well, once a year you get to become a kid again! I don’t ride much anymore; VMD was my second time all year. But it’s great fun…You go out, ride around, and if you end up getting a good start or running up front, you take it from there.” “I ride the 60-plus class,” he added, “cuz I’m old now [laughs], and I don’t really want to get in the way of anyone looking for a championship or anything. It’s a good place to be.”

Fredette is nothing but modest, as he won his class and looked to have a ball doing so on his 1974 Kawasaki KX250, holeshotting the start (he’s #69 in the large photo below) and trying to not slip on the grass and get run over by hordes of Can Ams, Bultacos, Pentons, Ossas, Huskys and YZs. The champ still runs his Fredette Racing Services offroad performance outfit in Beecher, Ill., and says business is better than ever. “It’s been crazy since COVID,” he told us, “and we’re really busy. People are loving it out there!” And at the VMD hare scrambles races, that was certainly true!

Check out the vintage winners at AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021




hen the sun starts to go down,” said one AMA staffer whose name has been withheld to protect the innocent, “it’s a whole different world at VMD.” And that’s a seriously true statement. As dusk approaches on those warm summer evenings, impromptu barrel races break out with kids and adults on bikes — and, apparently, groups of people in golf carts, too! — ripping around in circles and having a great time. We’re not sure if there’s an actual winner or trophy presentations of any sort, though there’s plenty of hilarity along the sidelines by spectators. Wander into the campground area late


at night and you’ll be treated to burnout contests, or heck, jump in yourself and see how much smoke you can create. Campers with guitars, amps and drum sets break out in spontaneous concerts, and the adult libations flow (so we hear) as the fun continues well into the night…or morning. If you were lucky — or unlucky, depending on how you look at it — this year you may have caught a glimpse of a man on fire (right), boldly riding around totally naked. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world, which is really saying something for someone who’s on fire. But at the end of the day… what happens at VMD stays at VMD. True story!

Shenanigans From burnout competitions, live bands and barrel racing to movie screenings, moonshine and all manner of mischievousness, VMD nights are a world unto themselves

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bruce Brown’s epic moto-documentary On Any Sunday, Todd Huffman’s Pipeline Digital Media, which holds the anniversary distribution rights to the movie, was on hand to host a screening of the digitally remastered version Friday night. Despite a few technical difficulties, the feel-good vibe of the film was a perfect way to end the evening with friends. AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021



thanks! Sincere appreciation to the partners, vendors, clubs, volunteers and attendees who made 2021 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days a success MA Vintage Motorcycle Days, presented by Royal Enfield, is the biggest bash in vintage motorcycling — and maybe American motorcycling itself. The annual event, organized and promoted by the American Motorcyclist Association to raise funds for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps fund the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s mission to promote the


heritage of motorcycling in America, wouldn’t have been the success it was this year without the many partners who helped make it all possible. “Tens of thousands of motorcyclists enjoyed one heck of a party at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman, “celebrating motorcycling’s heritage, spending time with friends and enjoying the freedom of two wheels. The AMA takes great pride

in organizing this event, where motorcycling’s diverse community comes together like nowhere else, raising money for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. None of it would be possible without a long list of partners, supporters and volunteers.” This year’s partners include Royal Enfield, GEICO Insurance, Old Bike Barn, Kenda Tire, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Biltwell, Blendzall Oil, B’laster and American

Honda. Special thanks to STACYC and Iron Pony, who partnered with Kenda Tire to organize a kids’ area this year. We also appreciate all the vendors who attended — those displaying in the Old Bike Barn Crossroads and the hundreds of vendors who populate the massive swap meet. To the many racing partners, motorcycle clubs, VMD volunteers, and every person who attended the event, we say a huge THANK YOU! We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Special thanks to the photographers for this story: Gary Yasaki, Tiffany Cipoletti, Chad Fulton, Dave Funk, Gina Gaston, Lindsay Jordan, Kali Kotoski, Michael Sayre, Stephanie Vetterly, Todd Westover and Owen Anderson. 46




Still racing — and still fast! — at nearly 72 years of age, David Aldana exemplifies the concept of “total enthusiast”

David Aldana


no quit!




f you’re gonna embarrass yourself tipping over a bike, you better have a great story to tell. And for me, that meant laying one down for the very first time at this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days right in


front of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer — and VMD Grand Marshal — David Aldana. Aldana helped me pick the bike off the ground, then patted me on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ve always had a hard time touching the ground,

G A R Y YA S A K I , A M A A R C H I V E S

too, and I did okay.” Okay? That seemed like the understatement of the century from a guy who’d won four AMA nationals as an Expert, competed in nearly every form of motorcycle racing in the world, starred in On Any

Sunday, won the 1981 Suzuka 8-hour endurance race teamed with Mike Baldwin (something Aldana calls the highlight of his racing career), was a top-level AMA Superbike contender for years, and continues to race — a lot — at nearly 72 years of age.



Aldana in his 1969 amateur year when he was the top rookie and won seven nationals. Right: Aldana (83) after winning the Talladega 200, which was only his third Expert road race.


reminded him of those words as we chatted for hours about this story while he drove to Sturgis, heading there to race, of course. “Maybe that’s what you should title this story,” he said with a chuckle. “David Aldana — He Did Okay.” The Early Years While Aldana grew up around motorcycles, he wasn’t really interested in them at first. “I wasn’t paying much attention to bikes when I was young,” Aldana told American Motorcyclist. “That is, until I was at the races one weekend when I was 12 and my dad was with this man who had a Taco minibike. He let me ride it, and I didn’t come back until it 50


ran outta gas.” “When I was about 14,” he continued, “we went to a motorcycle shop and my dad said, ‘Any motorcycle you can start out there, I’ll buy for you.’ I didn’t know much about bikes, and I went out and tried to start a Vespa — I kicked and kicked, but luckily, I couldn’t start it. My dad must have admired my effort, though, ’cause a few weeks later he took me to a shop on a Sunday and bought me an 80cc Suzuki. We took it to Irv Seaver’s motorcycle shop, and Dallas Baker did the work on that bike to get it ready for scrambles.” “My dad took me to some races, but he couldn’t always go. We were

members of the Orange County Motorcycle Club, and some of those members had bikes to race but no way to get there. My dad would loan them our truck if they’d take me with them to the races.” At age 16, Aldana got to do “work experience” in high school, a chance to learn a trade and get work experience, and chose to work at Irv Seaver’s motorcycle shop. Soon he was working there part time, had saved up enough money to buy a 1962 Ford Econoline, and started going to the races every weekend. “I’d race at Alturas, California, on Wednesday night,” he said, “drive to Trojan Speedway on Thursday, then on Saturday I’d go to Lake Elsinore.

“I was at the races one weekend when I was 12 and this man had a Taco minibike. He let me ride it, and I didn’t come back until it ran outta gas.” We wouldn’t get done racing ’til 3 a.m., so we’d sleep in the van and go to another race on Sunday a few miles away. I’d have about $3 left on Monday, and that had to last me until next paycheck, but at least I got my race parts at a discount.” At around age 17 Aldana started getting recognition, doing pretty

well on his Suzuki. Kenny Clark, who went on to be Yamaha’s race manager when Kenny Roberts was No. 1, gave him an Ossa motorcycle. “I raced that bike against Roger Decoster,” he remembers, “and I was winning scrambles and racing motocross, doing halfway decent.” BSA had a program at the time for Novices riding at the entry level, and Dallas Baker — the same guy who’d worked on Aldana’s Suzuki — was choosing the riders for the program. “Baker chose me,” Aldana said, “and I got a ride on BSA’s 250 to race at Ascot as a professional, and I was finally making a few bucks.”



On Any Sunday and His Rookie Flat Track Season After getting a factory BSA ride and becoming the star of the Ascot TT races in the late ’60s, in 1970 Aldana became a rookie Expert on the AMA Grand National circuit. Arguably one of the most memorial rookie seasons ever, and one chronicled in AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bruce Brown’s On Any Sunday, he made a serious charge for the championship until a crash at the Sacramento Mile dashed his hopes of taking the title. Still, he won three AMA nationals that season, took third in the series, and won the hearts of flat track fans across the country with his carefree, often-brash attitude and win-at-allcosts riding style. “Being in On Any Sunday didn’t make me any more money,” Aldana said when I asked him how the film changed his life, “but — and it’s hard to say this humbly — it kinda made

“Being in On Any Sunday didn’t make me any more money,” Aldana said when I asked him how the film changed his life, “but — and it’s hard to say this humbly — it kinda made me immortal.”

me immortal. My name and my accomplishments were documented forever.” “The movie didn’t make me recognizable going down Sunset Boulevard in California,” he went on, “but surprisingly, when I went to Europe, people knew who I was, which sorta shocked me. I’d walk down the streets in Paris and people 52


Aldana (13) explodes the exit after diving under AMA Hall of Famer Kenny Roberts (1) aboard a TT-specific Norton at the Houston Astrodome.

“I think the biggest compliment I got was at the end of the season when Eddie said to his mechanic Steve Johnson, ‘Make my bike like David’s.’” would recognize me. I thought, ‘Wow, this is strange!’” According to Aldana, On Any Sunday changed his life more later than it did at the time of release, although starring in the movie did seem to help him out with the ladies. “Girls always fought over me at races,” he remembered with a laugh. “So I guess the movie did help in that sense. I had more girlfriends than you could shake a stick at thanks to the movie. It was crazy…it was the ’70s. But when the [’80s] came around, that’s when I settled down and got married.” “If You Don’t Fall Off Now and Then, You Don’t Know How Fast You Can Go!” Aldana had a reputation as a crasher, with some of his gnarliest crashes documented in On Any Sunday. “There’s a lot of truth to that,” he admitted to me, “but I want to differentiate my crashing. I crashed a lot, yes…but I never took anybody out. When I fell down, I fell by myself. I knew rough riders, and they’re dangerous and people don’t want to race against them. But people did get outta my way when they saw me

coming. I was gonna come through and get close, and I might rub tires, but I never t-boned a racer.” On crashing, he said this: “How do you know where the limit is until you find the edge of the envelope? How do you know how fast the bike will go until you find the limitations of the tire or ground clearance or your own personal limitations? I liked going really fast, and while I’m terrible on a short track, if you put me on a road race course with 160-mph corners

54 A M E R I C A N M O T O R C Y C L I S T • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1

with a wall that means if you screw up, you’re gonna die…well, that’s where I excelled. When I passed on road race bikes, I’d pass where others were afraid to go, or look.” He did chuckle about all the motorcycles he “wadded” through the years. “When I crashed, the motorcycle likely had to be thrown away,” he said with a laugh. “I remember riding an Ossa in the desert, going as fast as the cars were going, and hitting a manhole cover. I crashed, going end over end at about 90 mph. By the time I got that motorcycle back, you coulda put it in a suitcase, it was that crunched up.” Fans loved the crashing. “I remember at the Long Beach arena, I crashed probably three to four times on concrete. The promoter came over and gave me $50. The crowd loved it, so I got paid for crashing that time.” Despite crashing more times than he can recall, there’s still one crash he remembers vividly. “In Jakarta, Indonesia,” he said, voice turning sober, “I crashed in the last corner before the finish. That track had such big holes, a person could lay down in those holes and no one would see them. And with more than 100,000

Aldana in his signature bones leathers at Daytona aboard an early-spec Z1 Superbike. Top Left: Aldana in his Superman leathers at a race filmed by CBS where he remembers catching up to the race’s winner — AMA Hall of Famer Dale Singleton — but blowing up his bike with just two laps to go. Bottom Left: Aldana (40) dicing with Wayne Rainey (60) at Daytona in ’83. Rainey would end up winning the AMA Superbike title that year aboard an air-cooled Kawasaki.

people there, all they had between the racers and the crowd was a wooden snow fence.” “When I went down,” he remembered, “I had ahold of the bars with both hands and my face was by the gas tank and windscreen, and I could see where I was going. I went through the snow fence, and I could see people flipping into the air as I hit them. And when I picked up the bike, I could smell clothes and skin burning. It was terrible. But people just stood there like oh, it’s just another body. I found out a couple days later that a 14-year-old died, and no one felt it was a big deal. I still have that picture in my mind today...”

The AMA Superbike Years Riding as part of the Suzuki roadracing team, Aldana won the Superbike Production race at Daytona, which was the predecessor to the AMA Superbike series, which officially kicked off in 1976. For some time, he split his time between dirt track and Superbike racing, but in 1980 he got the offer to ride for Kawasaki on a team with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Eddie Lawson. “Kawasaki came to me and told me they had a KZ, it was fast, and Eddie Lawson needed someone to get his thumb outta his ass. If he saw someone go fast like me, they thought it’d motivate him. I was also AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021


there to help make the motorcycles better. I had experience with flat track and motocross frames. I knew geometry-wise what makes motorcycles work. I knew the right carbs, head lengths, megaphone sizes, etc. My job — along with motivating Eddie — was to make the bike better.” “[AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer] Freddie Spencer was just coming on the scene at the time, and he’d beaten everyone at Daytona and was winning races on the Honda. I noticed the Honda was leaping off the corners, so I had our team shorten the Kawasaki swing arm, putting our asses over the tire to give us more traction. I’d previously ridden Yoshimura bikes with big front brakes, so I had Kawasaki add big front brakes, and the bike got a lot better on the corners. I think the biggest compliment I got was at the end of the season when Eddie said to his mechanic Steve Johnson, ‘Make my bike like David’s.’” What many people don’t know about Aldana’s time as a part of team Kawasaki was what happened in the very last race of 1980. “It was all coming down to that last race to determine whether Eddie or Wes Cooley would be No. 1. I was locked in for third, but whoever finished ahead in the last race of those two would take the championship.” “Lawson parked his bike after his heat race and the exhaust pipe let cold air into the exhaust port, and that cold air on the hot motor caused the valves to bend. Our race manager was crooked. My bike was still running, and he said, ‘We need your bike. Eddie has a chance to be No. 1 and we need your bike.’ I told him I still had a chance to win the race and win $5k, so he told me they’d give me $5k for my bike.” “They closed the garage,” he remembered, “and switched Eddie’s number plate from his bike to mine. When they lined up for the race, Wes noticed the big brakes on Eddie’s bike — he knew I’d been 56


Top: Aldana wheelying out of Laguna Seca’s old Turn 9 aboard a privateer Yamaha. Right: Aldana reminiscing during a Q&A session with AMA Editorial Director Mitch Boehm at the 2021 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days event. The fans loved him. Left: Aldana (40) at Spa’s legendary La Source hairpin on a Don Vesco-sponsored TZ750 in the late 1970s.

“When I get on the motorcycle,” he continued, “I don’t feel any pain. The world and all its political nonsense — when you’re on a motorcycle, all of that is gone.” doing things to my bike — but I couldn’t say anything because I was getting paid to shut up. Wes knew something was up, and they did lodge a protest, but two laps into the race, Eddie went into the chicane after the oil cooler broke, crashing doing 160 mph. Because he crashed, it all got washed under the table, and Kawasaki simply told me I was too expensive to rehire the next year.” Team Suzuki Riding School Aldana “officially” retired in 1985, and about 10 years later he was trying to figure out what he was going to do with his time, so he went to visit AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer John Ulrich. “John lived in Elsinore, California,” Aldana remembered, “and I went and knocked on his door. I asked if he wanted someone to teach the Team Suzuki Riding School. He told me to write up a curriculum and meet him at Willow Springs in two weeks.” “I ended up taking over the school,” he continued, “and it went from having 14-17 students to later having two schools two days a week and turning down riders after 100 students.” For Aldana, teaching was a way of giving back to the industry. “When a light would come on for a student, not having children of my own,” he said, “seeing the light in their eyes and that ‘aha’ moment, it was so rewarding to watch. To see people trust me and use my techniques, that meant so much. And I still have students, years later, come back and say they remember

things I explained to them in the school and use that knowledge today.” David Aldana Today As the miles flew by as he drove towards Sturgis, Aldana reminisced about some of the key moments that made him into the man he is today.

“I have all these things that have molded me,” he said, recalling one specific incident. “I remember going camping with a bunch of buddies down in the desert to party around the Colorado River in Needles, California. We were partying, and I [was high] — I’ve had one bad trip and one good trip. On that bad trip, I saw myself and how I treated people and used girls for whatever I wanted. I saw myself as self-centered and egotistical…a bad person. I hated that and tried to roll myself in my

sleeping bag down to the water to drown myself, but got stuck on an exposed water pipe.” “That bad trip made me start thinking, ‘Is this what I want to be remembered for?’ I was really honest with myself then, and since then I’ve tried to be a better person. I wanted to be a better man than I was. Maybe that’s why I’ve related so well to other people. I don’t judge people. I can’t change anybody; I can only change myself. And I was able to do that.” About 20 years ago, Aldana moved to Atlanta, Ga. His wife was offered a job they couldn’t refuse, and they left So Cal behind to head south. “When I moved to Georgia,” he said, “about 20 years ago, I used do drugs and drink cheap beer — although I never did drugs when I was racing. One day I realized, I’m getting fat. I look like a gosh darn sumo wrestler, and so I stopped all of that stuff 20 years ago. That was when I started getting back into motorcycles, and that rejuvenated me.” Luckily, Aldana’s never really had to hold down a “real job” because he made some smart moves when he was young. “I thought early: do I want to make a living, or do I want to make money? I was risking life and limb racing to make a living, so I decided I wanted to make money. Some of the guys I went to school with were into real estate, buying houses and building houses. Back in ’74 or so, I handed them $25k and told them to build a house, and when it sold, I wanted half. I got involved



with building spec houses, and that’s where all my retirement money is now…in property and rental properties in California.” Wise money moves back then mean he gets to choose what he wants to do these days. “I’ve built some dirt bikes and been racing them,” he told me, “and I’ve also sold eight of them. They’ve got my name on them, and people sometimes buy them as a collector’s item or they want to race a bike that I built. So I make a bit of extra money on the side.” “I also work as an ambassador for AHRMA,” he continued, “and I make

royalties when people sell t-shirts featuring me. And I enjoy going to events like Vintage Motorcycle Days and having the honor of being the Grand Marshal. But motorcycles don’t come with a retirement plan, so I’m glad I planned when I was young to not just make a living, but to make money.” Looking back at one of Aldana’s AMA racing forms from back in the 1970s, when he was asked about his goals for the future, he wrote that his goal was to “quit racing.” And yet, here he is today — nearly 72 years old — and still racing. Why?

Aldana with Jimmy Walker (left) and Mack McElyea at the AMA’s Ashland dirt track event. The trio gets to as many races as they can. Right: Aldana, sporting the legendary “bones” leathers, ripping into turn one — and surrounded! — at the start of one of several races he competed in at VMD this year. Check out the eyes; think these guys aren’t serious? 58


“Because it’s still fun!” he said with a grin when I asked. “I continue riding and racing because I still enjoy that thrill I get going around a corner or riding on a trail on my motocross bike. There’s nothing I have to prove to anyone anymore. I’m just doing it for fun.” “You know, sometimes I make a good corner and drive it in deep and come out fast, and I think ‘Ahhh, that’s the feeling!’ I get that adrenaline rush. Of course, it’s also keeping me in the public eye, and I guess it’s my ego. I still like to be recognized and remembered.”

“You know, sometimes I make a good corner and drive it in deep and come out fast, and I think ‘Ahhh, that’s the feeling!’ I get that adrenaline rush. Of course, it’s also keeping me in the public eye, and I guess it’s my ego. I still like to be recognized and remembered.”

But it’s more than just the adrenaline. “When I get on the motorcycle,” he continued, “I don’t feel any pain. The world and all its political nonsense — when you’re on a motorcycle, all of that is gone.” So is Aldana ever going to hang up his “bones” leathers and quit racing? “Maybe that time will come,” he said, “I know my expiration date is getting closer. But I don’t see quitting anytime in the future. I often read about people who are riding at 85, and if someone says you’ll never ride

at 85, well I’m gonna make it a point to ride at 85. And honestly, if I’m gonna die, I hope I go out in a blaze of glory!” There’s just no quit in this man. He’s still having fun, still relishing the adrenaline that comes along with riding and racing, and enjoying being remembered by fans across the world. “I’ve left my mark in history on this third rock from the sun, and damn it, Joy, when I’m gone, people are gonna know I lived!” There is no doubt about that, David A. You really lived!



MAKE IT YOURS The AMA offers a variety of card types and designs for members. In addition to our standard card, we offer a number of themed cards that identify you as belonging to a specific group or speak to your passion as a motorcyclist. Call (800) AMA-JOIN (2625646) to request an affinity card at any time, at no additional cost.




Watch this space for updates about your valuable benefits as an AMA member.


Motorcycle Shipping

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AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021 For more information and the most recent listing of AMA Member Benefit Partners and discount codes visit



Be sure to check the event website or call the organizer for the latest information, including postponements or cancellations.

ALABAMA Adventure Ride: Oct 2-3. Stanton Perry Mountain M/C Club (334)-327-5086 Dual Sport: Stanton Oct 2-3.Perry Mountain M/C Club (334)-327-5086 ARKANSAS Road Ride/Run: Oct 2. Clinton Concours Owners Group CALIFORNIA Dual Sport: Oct 2. Jawbone Canyon. Chaparrals MC (562)-667-6039 Grand Prix: Oct 2. Ridgecrest. Off-Road Viewfinders MC Inc. (661)-433-6643 Road Ride/Run: Oct 3. Marina Del Rey.Bartels’ Harley Davidson (562)-866-8956 ext 6066 Road Rally: Oct 8-10.Borrego Springs Babes Ride Out 221 Palm Canyon Drive (321)-299-5676 babes-in-borrego Adventure Ride: Oct 8-10 Bishop. Ventura County Motorcycle Club Tri- County Fairgrounds 805-380-8262 Dual Sport: Oct 8-10 Bishop. Ventura County Motorcycle Club Tri- County Fairgrounds 805-380-8262 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 8-10 Lodi .Lodi Motorcycle Club Lodi Cycle Bowl (209)-368-7182 Road Race: Oct 16-17 Buttonwillow. California Roadrace Association Buttonwillow (714)-822-6053 Trail Ride: Oct 16 Santa Margarita. Central Coast Trail Riders AssociationTurkey Flats (805)-801-8829 Hare and Hound: Oct 23-24 Lucerne Valley. MC Johnson Valley OHV Area Flat Track – TT: Oct 23 Lodi .Lodi Motorcycle Club Lodi Cycle Bowl (209)-368-7182 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 23 Huntington Beach Roland Sands Design (800)-773-6648 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 24 Lodi .Lodi Motorcycle Club Lodi Cycle Bowl (209)-368-7182 Observed Trials: Oct 28-31 Pala. Fox Raceway (760) 559-5002276 Road Ride/Run: Oct 29 Santa Rosa. Big Time Speedway Presents (925)-768-3263 Adventure Ride: Oct 29 Santa Rosa. Big Time Speedway Presents (925)-768-3263 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 30-31 Santa Rosa. Big Time Speedway Presents (925)768-3263 bigtimespeedwaypresents. com COLORADO Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 2 Dacono. IMI Motorsports Complex 303-833-4949 Observed Trials: Oct 16-17 Silt. Mountain States Trials Association (720)-207-7715 FLORIDA Motocross: Oct 3 Orlando.Unlimited Sports MX, Inc. Orlando MX Park. Motocross: Oct 10 Waldo. Unlimited Sports MX, Inc. Waldo MX Park Motocross: Oct 17 Alachua. Unlimited Sports MX, Inc. 62


Gatorback Cycle Park. Adventure Ride : Oct 23-24 Barstow. Dixie Dual Sport, Inc. (727)-919-8299. GEORGIA Dual Sport: Oct 2 Suches. Fun and Reliable Tiddlers. Two Wheels of Suches. (770)-329-3259 IOWA Hare Scrambles/Cross Country: Oct 16 Mt Pleasant. Iowa ATV Hare Scramble Series. ILLINOIS Flat Track – TT: Oct 21 Belleville. Belleville Enduro Team Inc Belleville Enduro Team (618)-277-3478 bellevilleenduroteam. com Grand Prix: Oct 2 Coal Valley. Tri City Motorcycle Club. Tri City MC (309)-799-9449 Trail Ride: Oct 3 Ottawa. Variety Riders Motorcycle Club Inc. (815)-488-9562 Motocross: Oct 10 Walnut.4P Promotions, Inc.Sunset Ridge MX. (815)-379-9534 Flat Track – TT: Oct 16 Belleville. Belleville Enduro Team Inc Belleville Enduro Team (618)-277-3478 bellevilleenduroteam. com Motocross: Oct 16 Casey.Lincoln Trail Motosports (217)-9322041 Enduro: Oct 16 White City. Cahokia Creek Dirt Riders. 217-725-5048 Motocross: Oct 17 Casey.Lincoln Trail Motosports. (217)-932-2041 Observed Trials: Oct 23 Lena.NITRO-Northern Illinois Trials Riders Organization. (815)-703-6555 Motocross: Oct 24 Byron. Motosports Enterprises LTD Motosports Park (815)-234-2271 Observed Trials: Oct 24 Lena.NITRO-Northern Illinois Trials Riders Organization. (815)-703-6555 Trail Ride: Oct 24 Ottawa. Variety Riders Motorcycle Club Inc. (815)-488-9562 Observed Trials: Oct 25-26 White City. Cahokia Creek Dirt Riders (217)-725-5048 INDIANA Motocross: Oct 2 Akron. Reads Racing Unlimited, Inc. Hangtime MX Park (574) Enduro: Oct 3 Matthews Muddobbers MC Inc Covered Bridge in Matthews (765)-998-2236 muddobbersmc. org Hare Scrambles/CC: Oct 23-24 Crawfordsville.Racer Productions, Inc. Ironman Raceway (304)-284-0084 gnccracing. com Motocross: Oct 24 Akron.Reads Racing Unlimited, Inc. Hangtime MX Park (574)-893-1649 KENTUCKY Observed Trials:Oct 16 Bedford. Trials Inc (937)-516-2458 Observed Trials:Oct 17 Bedford. Trials Inc (937)-516-2458 MARYLAND Dual Sport:Oct 17 Little Orleans. Maryland Competition Riders. Little Orleans Campground (443)-324-9898

Adventure Ride:Oct 17 Little Orleans. Maryland Competition Riders Little Orleans Campground 443-324-9898 Facebook:@marylandcompriders MICHIGAN Motocross:Oct 30 Millington.Baja Acres. (989)-871-3356 MINNESOTA Motocross: Oct 3 Brook Park.Berm Benders Raceway. (320)-980-2680 bermbendersraceway. com Motocross: Oct 3 Brookston. Echo Valley Motopark, LLC Echo Valley Motopark (218)-391-8422 echovalleymotocross. com Observed Trials: Oct 9 Theilman Upper Midwest Trials Association (651)-2615977 Motocross: Oct 10 Millville HiWindersSpring Creek MX Park (507)-7532779 Observed Trials: Oct 10 Theilman Upper Midwest Trials Association (651)-2615977 Trail Ride: Oct 16-17Akeley.Paul Bunyan Forest Riders MISSOURI Road Ride/Run: Oct 16 Springfield. Ozarks On Two Wheels (417)-889-1400 NEW JERSEY Motocross: Oct 1-3 Englishtown.Raceway Park Raceway Park (732)-446-7800 Road Ride/Run: Oct 10 Branchville. Forever Friends Motorcycle Awareness. Sussex Co. Fairgrounds 973-670-0591 Adventure Ride: Oct 15-17 Cookstown Pine Barrens Adventures, LLC Quality Inn (732)-995-4343 pinebarrensadventures. com NEW MEXICO Road Race: Oct 3 Deming Racing Arroyo Seco Motorcyclist Association Arroyo Seco Raceway (575)-494-4794 Observed Trials: Oct 9-10 Roswell. New Mexico Trials Association. Haystack OHV Area (505)-780-2551 newmexicotrials. com NEVADA Dual Sport: Oct 16 Nevada City.Nevada County Woods Riders, Inc. Tahoe National Forest (530)-274-9943 NEW YORK Dual Sport: Oct 1-3 Pond Eddy Over and Out Productions LLC (908)-303-1582 AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021



Be sure to check the event website or call the organizer for the latest information, including postponements or cancellations.

Trail Ride: Oct 3 MedinaNiagara Trials Riders (716)-930-0766. Road Ride/Run: Oct 3 Massapequa Park Wildflower Productions Majorie Post Community Park (646)244-3034 Road Ride/Run: Oct 10 AmityvilleSouth Shore Motorcycle Club (914)-428-6887 Motocross: Oct 17 East Durham. Metropolitan Sports CommitteeDiamondback MX 845-554-8717 diamondback-mx. com Motocross: Oct 23-24 Wallkill Walden OHIO Family Enduro: Oct 9 Logan.Hocking Valley Motorcycle Club (614)-425-1943 Road Ride/Run :Oct 10 Portsmouth.Portsmouth Motorcycle Club Club House 101 Front Street Observed Trials: Oct 23 Toronto. Trials Inc. Cable Creek Campgrounds (937)-516-2458 OKLAHOMA Motocross: Oct 15-17 Ponca City MPG Creative Group LLC Ponca City MX (816)-582-4113 PENNSYLVANIA Motocross: Oct 3 Mt. Morris Racer Productions, Inc High Point MX 304-284-0084 Scavenger Hunt/Geocaching: Oct 8-9 Hershey Atlantic Coast Rally Rider’s Club (540)-809-2637 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 9 Shoemakerville. Shippensburg MC. Shelhammers Speedway (717)-796-0294 baermotorsports. com Motocross: Oct 10 Birdsboro.Pagoda Motorcycle Club Pagoda Motorcycle Club (610)-582-3717 Dual Sport: Oct 10 Pine Grove Reading Off Road Riders North End Fire Co (844) Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 10 Shoemakerville. Shippensburg MC Shelhammers Speedway (717)-796-0294 baermotorsports. com Motocross: Oct 17 Pine Grove. Dutchmen MX Park Dutchmen MX Park. Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 23 Delta. Mason Dixon Fair M/C Mason Dixon Fairgrounds (443)-553-0897 Motocross: Oct 24 Shippensburg. Doublin Gap Motocross, Inc. Doublin Gap MX Park (717)-249-6036 Flat Track – Short Track: Oct 30 Delta. E PA Piston Poppers MC Inc Mason Dixon Fairgrounds (484)-336-9160/484-880-5580 SOUTH CAROLINA Motocross: Oct 2-3 Gray Court Motocross The Vurb Company, LLC.(786)-402-8088 facebook.comxtlvl101sc/ TENNESSEE Dual Sport: Oct 1-2Hohenwald. Let’s Take a Ride (615)-3357644 Motocross: Oct 9-10 Blountville.Motocross Victory Sports Inc Muddy Creek Raceway (423)-323-5497 TEXAS Road Rally: Oct 1-3 Jefferson.North Texas Norton Owners AssociationDiamond Don’s Motorsports Park (214)-205-3861 Road Rally : Oct 22-23 Luckenbach Central Texas Motorcycle 64


Charities (512)-922-5494 Road Ride/Run: Oct 23 Alpine.Concours Owners Group. VIRGINIA Adventure Ride Oct 2-3 Natural Chimneys.Washington Area Trail Riders, Inc. (703)-596-2675 Dual Sport Oct 2-3 Natural Chimneys.Washington Area Trail Riders, Inc. (703)-596-2675 Motocross Oct 8-9 Disputana Middle Atlantic Motocross Association, Inc South Fork MX (919)-259-4890 Motocross Oct 30 Axton Lake Sugar Tree Motorsports Park Lake Sugar Tree (276)-650-1158 WASHINGTON Motocross Oct 9-10 Richard HRMC, Inc.Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex (509)-496-2958 Motocross Oct 2-3 Wittenberg .Fantasy Moto LLC Wittenberg Offroad (920)-419-2863 Dual Sport Oct 3 Merrimac. Driftless Dual Sport Riders Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area 321-217-0899 WISCONSIN Motocross Oct 9-10 Lake Mills. Aztalan Cycle Club Inc (414)-265-1582 Flat Track – Short Track Oct 9-10 New Richmond. Cedar Lake Arena. Cedar Lake Arena (715)-781-2026 Road Ride/Run Oct 9 Dodgeville.Concours Owners Group Road Ride/Run Oct 25-26 Lemans Corp DBA: Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Thor (608)-741-5380 Adventure Ride Oct 25-26 Lemans Corp DBA: Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Thor (608)-741-538 WEST VIRGINIA Motocross Oct 3 Hedgesville. Tomahawk MX, LLC Tomahawk MX (304)-582-8185 Hare Scrambles/Cross Country Oct 9-10 Newburg .Racer Productions, Inc (304)-284-0084 Motocross Oct 16-17Hedgesville. Middle Atlantic Motocross Association, Inc Tomahawk MX, LLC (304)-582-8185 SUPERCROSS: 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Round 1: Jan. 8. Anaheim, Calif. Angel Stadium Round 2: Jan. 15. Oakland, Calif. RingCentral Coliseum Round 3: Jan. 22. San Diego, Calif. Petco Park Round 4: Jan. 29. Anaheim, Calif. Angel Stadium Round 5: Feb. 5. Glendale, Ariz. State Farm Stadium Round 6: Feb. 12. Anaheim, Calif. Angel Stadium Round 7: Feb. 19. Minneapolis, Minn. U.S. Bank Stadium Round 8: Feb. 26. Arlington, Texas. AT&T Stadium Round 9: March 5. Daytona Beach, Fla. Daytona International Speedway Round 10: March 12. Detroit, Mich. Ford Field Round 11: March 19. Indianapolis, Ind. Lucas Oil Stadium Round 12: March 26. Seattle, Wash. Lumen Field Round 13: April 9. St. Louis, Mo. Dome of America’s Center


Round 14: April 16. Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta motor Speedway Round 15: April 23. Foxboro, Mass. Gillette Stadium Round 16: April 30. Denver, Colo. Empower Field Round 17: May 7. Salt Lake City, Utah. Rice-Eccles Stadium MOTOCROSS: MAJOR EVENTS: Thor Mini O’s: SX – Nov. 20-23. MX – Nov. 24-27. Alachua, Fla. Gatorback Cycle Park. FEATURED EVENTS: Gap MX Park. (717) 249-6036 45th Annual Kawasaki Race of Champions: Oct. 1-3. Englishtown, N.J. Raceway Park. (732) 446-7800 Top Gun Showdown: Oct. 10. Blountville, Tenn. Muddy Creek Raceway. (423) 323-5497 The Motoplayground Race: Oct. 15-17. Ponca City, Okla. Ponca City MX (816) 582-4113 California Classic: Oct. 28-31. Pala, Calif. Fox Raceway. (559) 500-2276 Cash for Class Scholarship Race: Nov. 13-14. Cairo, Ga. GPF. (810) 569-2606 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: AMA South Carolina State Championship Nov. 14. South of the Border MX. Hamer, S.C. (423) 3235497 Pro-Am Motocross Vurb Classic: Oct. 2-3. Gray Court, S.C. Nxt Lvl 101. (786) 402-8088 vurbmoto. com 45th Annual Kawasaki Race of Champions: Oct. 1-3. Englishtown, N.J. Raceway Park. (732) 446-7800 Big Bucks Pro-Am: Oct. 10. Birdsboro, Pa. Pagoda Motorcycle Club. (610) 5823717 Top Gun Showdown: Oct. 10. Blountville, Tenn. Muddy Creek Raceway. (423) 323-5497 MSC Championship Series: Oct. 10. Middletown, N.Y. Orange County Fair





Be sure to check the event website or call the organizer for the latest information, including postponements or cancellations.

Motocross. (845) 554-8717 The Motoplayground Race: Oct. 15-17. Ponca City, Okla. Ponca City MX. (816) 582-4113 AMA District 6 Henrietta Classic MX Series Pro-Am: Oct. 17. Pine Grove, Pa. Dutchmen MX Park. California Classic: Oct. 28-31. Pala, Calif. Fox Raceway Battle of the South: Oct. 31. Kentwood, La. Wildwood MX. (504) 339-1197 (559) 500-2276 Thor Mini O’s - SX: Nov. 20-23. Alachua, Fla. Gatorback Cycle Park. Thor Mini O’s - MX: Nov. 24-27 Alachua, Fla. Gatorback Cycle Park. TRACK RACING: FIM Grand Prix World Championship. TBD. Austin, Texas. Circuit of The Americas. (512) 301-6600 circuitoftheamericas.comk 2021 American Flat Track. Round 17: Oct. 8. Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte Motor Speedway 2021 AMA Pro Hillclimb Bushkill Valley Motorcycle Club Round 7: Oct. 10. Oregonia, Ohio. Dayton MC Club/Devil’s Staircase OFF-ROAD: National Championship: AMA Grand National Cross Country Championship. Round 12: Oct. 9-10. Newburg, W.Va. Buckwheat 100 Round 13: Oct. 23-24. Crawfordsville, Ind. Ironman National Championship: AMA National Enduro Championship. Round 7: Oct. 3. Matthews, Ind. Muddobbers National Enduro.

(765) 998-2236 Round 8: Oct. 17. Sand Springs, Okla. Zink Ranch National Enduro. Round 9: Nov. 7. Stanton, Ala. Gobbler Getter National Enduro. (205) 340-4298 National Championship: AMA National Hare and Hound Championship. Round 8: Oct. 9-10. Lovelock, Nev. Rimbenders MC. (909) 953-1200 Round 9: Oct. 23-24. Lucerne Valley, Calif. 100’s MC. (760) 573-3191 National Championship: AMA National Grand Prix Championship. Round 8: Oct. 2-3. Ridgecrest, Calif. Round 9: Oct. 30-21. Blythe, Calif. Round 10: Nov. 12-14. Havasu, Ariz. National Championship. AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series. Round 2: Oct. 2. Amarillo, Texas Round 3: Oct. 9. Reno, Nev. Round 4: Oct. 23. Prescott Valley, Ariz. Round 5: Oct. 29. Denver, Colo. Round 6: Oct. 30. Denver, Colo. National Championship: AMA/NATC MotoTrials National Championship. Round 4: Oct. 2-3. Tillamook, Ore. Columbia Observed Trials Association. FEATURED EVENTS AMA Sprint Cross Country Championship. Round 7: Oct. 16-17 Round 8: Oct. 30-31 Round 9: Nov. 20-21 AMA Mid East Racing Championship. Round 12: Oct. 2-3. TBA Round 13: Oct. 15-17. Shelby, N.C. Round 14: Oct. 30-31. Hickory, N.C. REGIONAL SERIES AMA East Hare Scramble Championship. amaeastharescrambles.coms. Knox Trail Riders Association Inc. Rounds 8-9: Nov. 6-7. Stillwater , OK AMA West Hare Scramble Championship. westharescramble. com Round 5: Oct. 16-17. Boise, Idaho. OMC Round 6: Nov. 6. Stillwater, Okla.



Round 7: Nov. 7. Stillwater, Okla. Round 8: Nov 20-21. Wilseyville, Calif. North Bay MC State Championship: AMA Arizona Off-Road Championship. amraracing. com Round 6: Oct. 9. Kirkland, Ariz. Prescott Trail Riders. Hare Scramble Round 7: Oct. 23-24. Globe, Ariz. Rock Stars Motorcycle Club. Hare Scramble Round 8: Nov. 14. Oracle, Ariz. Xtreme Motorcycle Club. Hare Scramble Round 9: Dec. 12. Peoria, Ariz. Canyon Raceway MX Park in FAST’R Motorcycle Club. Hare Scramble RECREATIONAL:

Beta AMA National Dual-Sport Series. Sept. 11-12. LBL 200. Dover, Tenn. KT Riders. (270) 3506324 Sept. 18-19. Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure. Buck Meadows, Calif. Family Off-Road Adventures. (209) 993-7306 Sept. 18-19. Buffaloe 500. Columbus, Ind. Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club. (812) 342-4411, ext. 4 stoneylonesomemc. com Sept. 25-26. Show Me 200. Bixby, Mo. Midwest Trail Riders Association (314) 434-5095

AMA National Adventure Riding Series. Sept. 1-12. Blue Ridge. Pineola, N.C. Appalachian Trail Riders.

Sept. 25-26. Big Woods 200. Wabeno, Wis. Wisconsin Dual Sport Riders. (920) 350-2030

(704) 309-3271

Oct. 2-3. Perry Mountain Tower Run. Stanton, Ala. Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club. (334) 327-5086

Sept. 18-19. Buffaloe 500. Columbus, Ind. Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club. (812) 342-4411, ext. 4.

Oct. 2-3. Shenandoah 500. Natural Chimneys, Va. Washington Area Trail Riders. (703) 596-2675

Sept. 25-26. Show Me 500. Bixby, Mo. Midwest Trail Riders Association (314) 434-5095 Sept. 25-26. Big Woods 200. Wabeno, Wis. Wisconsin Dual Sport Riders. (920) 350-2030 widualsportriders. org Oct. 2-3. Perry Mountain Tower Run. Stanton, Ala. Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club. (334) 327-5086

Nov. 6-7. Hammer Run. Port Elizabeth, N.J. Tri-County Sportsmen MC. Nov. 6-7. Howlin’ at the Moon. Prescott Valley, Ariz. Arizona Trail Riders. (602) 692-9382 Nov. 26-27 L.A. - Barstow to Vegas Palmdale, CA. District 37 Dual Sport (626) 446-7386

Oct. 2-3. Shenandoah 500. Natural Chimneys, Va. Washington Area Trail Riders. (703) 596-2675 Oct. 15-17. Pine Barrens 500. Cookstown, N.J. Pine Barrens Adventures LLC. (732) 995-4343 Oct. 23-24. Cross-Florida Adventure. Bartow, Fla. Dixie Dual Sport. (727) 919-8299 Nov. 26-27. L.A. - Barstow to Vegas. Palmdale, Calif. District 37 Dual Sport. (626) 446-7386

AMA National Gypsy Tour. gypsytour Laconia Motorcycle Week. June 12-20. Laconia, N.H. AMA Vintage Motorcyle Days July 23-25. Lexington O.H. AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021



Be sure to check the event website or call the organizer for the latest information, including postponements or cancellations.

HALL OF FAME EVENTS AND EXHIBITS AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Main Hall: Now featuring the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, the main floor celebrates the heroes of the track, road, trails and halls of government who have elevated the sport, business and lifestyle of motorcycling to new heights. Founder’s Hall: Honoring the Hall of Fame’s generous contributors. The Birth of a Hurricane: How Hall of Famer Craig Vetter reimagined BSA for an American market. Sam Swope: Motorcycles that represent the generous, charitable giving of motorcyclist and philanthropist Sam Swope.

Lords of the Board Track: Board-track racing was one of the earliest formal motorcycleracing disciplines. It featured man and machine speeding around a simple wooden track while huge crowds cheered them on.

Learn why this form of racing dropped from sight almost as quickly as it emerged. Learn about the racers who dared to compete in this exhilarating sport and watch a video of actual racing from 1921.

It’s about the journey and the destination


AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST • OCTOBER 2021 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147 • #AMAHoF

MARKETPLACE AMA Grand Tours. grandtours March 15 - November 15. Texas. Motorcycle Grand Tour Of Texas. (210) 777-1434 January 15 - November 30. California. California Adventure Series Southern California Motorcycle Association. (818) 397-5738

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indsight, they say, is 20-20, and I get that. But still, reading this excerpt from a 1992 edition of American Motorcyclist, which reported on the very first AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days event (held at the AMA’s old Westerville, Ohio headquarters), was pretty eye-opening. “Vintage Motorcycle Days was


a gamble,” the editors wrote. “No one knew before July 25 of this year whether you could interest average motorcyclists in an entire weekend devoted to the heritage of motorcycling. There are plenty of antique and vintage shows that bring together old-bike enthusiasts from coast to coast. But could you come up with the activities that would interest those enthusiasts and also attract riders who don’t own and restore old motorcycles?” They answered the question pretty comprehensively in the piece (hell yes you could, even then), but the query is a bit humorous now that nearly 30 years of water has flowed under that bridge. “Motorcyclists started arriving at AMA headquarters after dawn and just kept coming,” the editors wrote. “By 8 a.m. the crowd already numbered in the

hundreds. By 10 a.m. the continuing stream of arrivals was being directed to overflow parking lots. And by noon, it was clear that Vintage Motorcycle Days was a success.” And it’s just grown in size, stature, reputation and impact from there. The also-excellent Barber Vintage Fest rivals VMD for sheer numbers, but that’s a different sort of event in terms of style and texture. Barber’s more buttoned up, more country club, while VMD is the fun Muni course you can wear shorts at and have a beer or three while you’re hacking away, Caddyshack-style. So we’ve got that going for us…which is nice. “I’m overwhelmed with the support the museum has received this weekend,” said then-AMA Museum curator Jim Rogers. “I’m just hoping Vintage Motorcycle Days will raise people’s awareness about the rich heritage of motorcycling.” Pretty sure you guys started a whole lotta historical awareness, Jim, and a whole lot more, too. Hope you enjoy this issue’s VMD coverage…all 30some pages of it!

Sounds a bit silly now, but nearly 30 years ago in these very pages we wondered if Vintage Motorcycle Days had legs. Doh!



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Profile for American Motorcyclist Association

American Motorcyclist October 2021  

Vintage Motorcycle Days…This Is Us! If you thought about your ideal motorcycle weekend, your collection of everything you love about motorcy...

American Motorcyclist October 2021  

Vintage Motorcycle Days…This Is Us! If you thought about your ideal motorcycle weekend, your collection of everything you love about motorcy...

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