AMA Vintage Days Mid-Ohio 2003
Date: Monday, July 21 @ 14:33:43 EDT
Topic: Rally News
Motorcyclist’s Heaven, July 17-20, 2003.
It’s always over too fast. Good times just fly by. This long weekend which marked the date for AMA Vintage Days at the Mid-Ohio Race Track in Lexington, was no exception.
We arrived Thursday afternoon. It’s only a short trip of an hour and fifteen minutes for us, so we put a few interesting bikes in the trailer, park the rig, leave it there and ride one of them back and forth every day. Coming early has several advantages. First you get the advanced admission rate at the gate if you buy a ticket before 5 p.m. on Thursday – which saves you $6.- off the $30.- weekend pass – and you also get a shot at browsing the swap meet for rare finds before “business” starts on Friday.
Each year, when we get the first look at the track on the approach from town on Steam Corner’s road, I am amazed how much the event has grown again. From far away, it looks like a huge refugee camp. Motorhomes, tents, canopies virtually cover the grounds as far as you can see.
There are several main activities going on during the three official days:
Swap meet: Almost 1,000 “vendors” offered their treasures. Everybody present, from the professional Honda and Yamaha NOS and obsolete parts dealers to the enthusiast who cleaned out his garage and the notorious swap-meet-pro who sells rusty Harley sprockets and chains. Because of the ever increasing popularity of the internet as a sales tool, the number of good parts at a good price has drastically declined in recent years. Nevertheless, it is worth browsing through it.
And once is not enough. You must go at least twice, maybe twice every day to make sure you didn’t miss anyhting and catch all the guys who keep coming in , even as late as Saturday. As far as CBX parts were concerned, I saw 3 tanks, a silver 79, red 79/80 and an 81 unit. All in mediocre shape with dents and scratches. No fading, though, on the red one and I made an offer. Too early for the seller to accept. An 81 school bike was offered for $4,500 and the seller indicated he would take “35” for it. Two brand new 81s, 2 miles on the odometer each, were sitting side by side at one end of the field next to the owner’s “daily ride” 81. The seller was quite evasive answering questions about the titles but he wasn’t shy asking 15 grand a piece for them. Don’t think he found a customer. One beautiful condition, low mile (5,000-some) 82 changed ownersip on the very last day for $4,200 and was being ridden to Indiana, as there was no place left on the trailer.
Lots and lots of junk parts, many complete and running bikes and as many projects. Some obviously very hard to resurrect. Not may CBXes to be seen riding around. The Ohio ICOA chapter had no spot where they congregated as far as I could see. One swap-meet vendor was hiding his own 81 tagged “MR CBX” in the trailer. Supposedly he owns 15 of them, hence the plate. One of them he claims to be a red 1980 “Marysville” bike. I made an effort to hitch up with another ICOA-member, Andy from New York and found him at the spot he said he would be. He was offering a completely rebuilt “sandcast” powerplant for sale. He also brought a pristine 1970 CB750K that he put in the auction. A friend of his sold a really nice looking turbo-charged Rickman-chassis CB750 SOHC.
Auction: Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Jerry Woods holds one of his famous auctions in a tent set-up in the infield. Bikes start coming in all day Friday and Saturday and are available for preview. Interesting items were: Two “Craig Vetter” Triumph Hurricanes, a 188-mile 1989 Honda GB500 (sold for $4,800), Andy’s 1970 CB750, several old BMW boxers, a Norton café racer and two ancient HD sidecar rigs. Nothing I desperately needed to have. Andy sold his bike the next day after it did not make the reserve. The buyer is going to take it to Japan.
Racing: Always worth watching. The paddock is packed with interesting and rare machinery. Rider skills vary quite a bit, so the fields are drawn out over the whole 2½ -mile course very quickly. Racing is going on all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the constant roar of the racers reverberates over the hillside at all times, except for a short lunch-break for the corner workers. One fatality was reported. Supposedly a rider had a heart attack while on the track. (no further details available at this time)
Bike Show: Two bike shows were featured. Saturday had an open ride-in bike show. Motto: Ride’em don’t hide’em. Participants have to join a 50-mile ride after which the bikes are being shown. Sunday had a judged show, with bikes seperated into classes. Some real collectables were present. Look for the pics in the gallery.
As usual, we stopped at the NAKTC tent in the infield and chatted with YT Bui a little. Keith had his big barbeque party for his AMA friends and the Classic Wing Club on Saturday. Great turnout.
Lots of old friends and aquaintances,great motorcycle talk for three straight days.
There is no way, you can get an idea of what is going on there by reading a description, no matter how detailed. YOU HAVE TO BE THERE!