Vintage Motorcycle Days 2021: Back to Normal

Vintage Motorcycle Days 2016

After 2020’s COVID-induced cancellation of VMD, we were back to Lexington, Ohio for 2021 to enjoy the biggest non-Harley vintage bike and swap meet gathering—to my knowledge—in the United States. Although now rivaled by the Barber Vintage Festival, VMD is still the king of all-around old bike events. Here’s a walk through the event, as […]

Restoration Project: Hodaka “Combat Wombat”

Restoration Project: Hodaka "Combat Wombat"

Hodakas incorporated competition-proven frame geometry, while at the same time attending to required street-legal equipment—though with minimalist (lighter weight) treatment. Built from 1964 through PABATCO’s demise in 1977, Hodakas were loved, at least initially, by the press and the riding public—possibly for relating to buyers as riders rather than simply customers—and filled a role in motorcycling not unlike American Motors Corporation in the automotive world: a small energetic competitor nipping at the heels of a sometimes deaf and monolithic establishment.

There’s a Club for that:

AMCA's Perkiomen Chapter Annual Oley Meeting

Up front, let me state that from nearly any direction you arrive from, to reach the small town of Oley, the ride will almost certainly be beautiful. The old villages of southeastern Pennsylvania, settled by German immigrants in the early 1700s, contain surviving period stone houses and original hardwood barns that continue to be studied by historians and sociologists

The Triumph and the Chocolate Milkshake

on the road Triumph motorcycle

A “Good news, Bad news” very short story for very young motorcyclists. Once upon a time, a nice man went on a motorcycle ride. It was a very nice day–the last warm day of fall! The man rode the motorcycle up and down hills, through the mountains, into the country. It was a very nice ride.  As […]

“Wow, I’m in the lead! Hope I don’t f…”

The story behind an iconic motorcycle photo Do you remember this magazine, this monthly feature, and this particular photo? If you were riding dirt bikes in the 1970s (or desperately wanting one), of course you do! The magazine was DIRT BIKE, the feature was the last-page monthly “Crash and Burn” tidbit, and the photo was…well, […]

Innocents Abroad: The American Motocross Team in Europe

“. . . the American character is in a large measure a group of responses to an unusually competitive situation.” David Potter While the new off-road sport of “Moto-cross” was sweeping across the United States, the presence and superiority of the elite European stars (brought over to publicize the sport and the European purebred bikes) […]

Early Motoring in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

early map harrisburg pa

An examination of the advent of motorized transportation  in and around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the early 1900s Introduction For most of us, owning and operating an automobile is a requisite and routine aspect of living in modern America. We depend on our cars for all but very local and very distant transportation; our ability to […]

SMALL MAICOS: THE 125s (Continued)

A continuation in our investigation of 125 Maicos; the first part of the series you can find here. Preparation: Getting Ready to Ride             The 125 Maico was a dichotomy. On one hand, it used a superb, unbreakable, fine handling frame. It had excellent suspension. It was light, and the engine produced the most horsepower […]

SMALL MAICOS: THE 125s

Maico 125

Chapter 2.3 Part 1 SMALL MAICOS: THE 125s             Although known primarily in the United States as a producer of large, powerful, off-road motorcycles, Maico was certainly no stranger to smaller bikes and road motorcycles. As we have seen, the company began by manufacturing small motorcycles, 200cc-and-under, which were initially used as personal transportation in […]

Great Collections: A Visit with “Yankee Bob” Fornwalt

A continuation of our third installment of epic motorcycle locations. We’ve previously documented such iconic north-eastern bike garages as those of Mike Schantz and Stacy Clark. If you are a serious old motorcycle enthusiast and you live in the northeastern part of the greatest country on earth, you likely have heard of “Yankee Bob” Fornwalt. […]