Author Archives: David Russell

Of Rare Orange Bikes and Wondrous Barn Finds

Harley-Davidson MX250

Our good friend Pete Noneman—who you may know from his work supporting the Legends and Heroes program—was recently fortunate to avoid the northern cold for a bit and be in Daytona, Florida. Pete attended the 4th annual Daytona vintage motocross, run inside the famous stadium. Besides the usual mixture of interesting motorcycles, Pete is one […]

Hershey 2021

Preparations started months—years—before, of course. There were discussions with local government and corporations, evening phone calls, maps and diagrams, disagreements, more phone calls. Retired club members worked out the plan with busy younger members—who later enlisted even younger volunteers to help with the grunt work, as well. Thousands of theoretical little two-dimensional squares on paper […]

Back to New Jersey: Nesco 2021

Hammonton, NJ

Recently I’ve encountered many grateful motor enthusiasts from the Northeast area. They recognize how fortunate we are, not only to be finally post-COVID, but to be in such an epicenter of vintage motoring activity. After all, (and especially if you’re in the southeastern PA area, as we are) we’ve got the The Big One—the Fall […]

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

“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 […]