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 […]

Go to a Vintage Bike Event!

Do you want to get started enjoying the fun of old motorcycles?  One of the best ways to learn about the hobby is to attend a vintage motorcycle event.  These are often referred to as “swap meets” or “bike shows.”  Let’s get started!

The T-shirt and its role in Motorcycle Culture

1920 Excelsior 20R t shirt

The Beginning of a Phenomenon The T-shirt with printed image—a phenomenon dating largely to the 1950s, exploding in popularity in the 1960s, and with its ancestral roots in post-World War I returning servicemen—is an ideal medium for proclaiming classic motorcycles. Interestingly, Marlon Brando, the actor whose portrayal of a motorcyclist in 1954’s The Wild One […]

The Motorcycle as Art

the motorcycle as art

Recently, while returning home from a business trip, I decided to take the long way home and visit my favorite art museum.  On special exhibit at the museum were tow collections of drawings and paintings—the first was an expansive collection of Andrew Wyeth watercolors, while the second consisted of a compilation of landscape paintings by […]

Definitions, and the Maico as Material Culture 1.1

1981 Maico 490 t shirt

A Social History of Motorcycle Technology This post and many to follow is a social history of a technology.  By this I mean that it examines an item of technology—in this case the German-made Maico motorcycle—and explores the links between the object and that segment of humankind who interacted with it.