The 2017 Potomac Vintage Riders York Swap Meet and Bike Show

Triumph on display at 2017 Potomac Bike Show

Glad to Live in the Northeast A motorcyclist said to me the other day, “You know, we are so lucky to live up here in the Northeast! There were so many motorcycles imported here, bought here, ridden here…other than maybe Southern California, there is no place like here!” And, for those interested in old motor […]

Preservation and Restoration Part 1

 Motorcycles as Artifacts In the course of this article installment I have used the Maico motorcycle as the lens through which American sport motorcycle culture was examined. Now, looking back to this motorcycle—material culture, art object, utilitarian racing machine, or however else we may wish to think of it—what are we now to do with […]

A Short History of Motorcycle Handlebar Grips

In the beginning The covering of the end of a motorcycle’s handlebar, allowing the rider to “grip” the metal bar and prevent his or her hands from slipping off, has been made of rubber and known by its function since motorcycling’s beginning.[1] The handlebar grips on early motorcycles were a rather hard natural rubber sheath. […]

Ake Jonnson: King of Motocross Part 2

The 1972 American motocross season in a single image: after turn one, Jonnson already pulling away

RACING: HOPE, IMAGE, REALITY THE SUCCESS YEARS: AKE JONSSON   “Everything was possible:” the 1971 World 500cc Championship 1971 was another successful year for Maico and Jonsson. It did, however, also hold one of motorcycle racing’s bitterest stories of poor luck and defeat, for both him and Maico. Jonsson, while leading the 500cc championship series […]

Vintage Motorcycle Days 2016

Vintage Motorcycle Days 2016

A “Must Do” Vintage Bike Attraction   Another Vintage Motorcycle Days (VMD) event has come and gone, and it was great as always! The weather this year was as perfect as one could expect, at least for a field in the middle of Ohio in the summer. VMD is produced by the American Motorcyclist Association, […]

Ake Jonsson: King of Motocross

Ake Jonsson

Part 1: The Success Years: Ake Jonsson   “Watch Ake slice inside his line and pass him, seemingly with no effort. What makes a man ride like this?”[1]    “I think Ake was probably the best motocross rider, ever.”[2]   The Vintage Motor Company is proud to release part 1 of a 2 piece series […]

The German Side: A History of Maico Fahrzeugfabrik

Maico Logo

(From the Beginning to the 1970s)   The cubist, brightly-colored motorcycles that fascinated American racers originated in a small automobile repair shop in post-World War I Germany. Maico (“Maisch & Company”) was formed in Poltringen, an industrial town in the southwest corner of Germany. The year was 1926—the same year the reparations-wracked and starving country was […]

The Motorcycle and Man: A Social History (Part 2)

Maico Motorcycle

  The United States after World War II had become a consumption-oriented society. There were better wages for most workers, a high standard of living, inexpensive mass-produced goods, and a culture infused with the appropriation of material goods. Available to Americans at the time were a myriad of exceptional motorcycles from around the world.

THE MOTORCYCLE AND MAN: A SOCIAL HISTORY (BEGINNINGS, TO THE 1950S)

Motorcycle and Man A Social History

 T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia,” 1888-1935) loved to ride his motorcycle. On a damp early morning in 1925, former Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence, now living incognito as the lowly Royal Air Force enlistee Airman Shaw, rose and slipped into his breeches and puttees in the dark. By 4:00 a.m., Lawrence finished breakfast at his quarters. He […]

Motocross Looked Like This: Tim Hart

Tim with one of his Maico's

“We were just kids who wanted to race.”[i]   One of the most recognized images of off-road riding, and possibly the sport’s most iconic photograph, comes from the early years when motocross first captured the American imagination. It is that of a lone, airborne motocross racer. The image was first seen on the December, 1972 […]