The biggest bash in vintage motorcycling — AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, presented by Royal Enfield — reached new heights in 2021 as motorcyclists from coast to coast descended on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 23-25, for three days of racing, riding and out-of-this-world fun.
The annual event is organized and promoted by the American Motorcyclist Association to raise funds for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps fund the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s mission to promote the heritage of motorcycling in America.
AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman thanked all who helped make the event possible.
“Tens of thousands of motorcyclists enjoyed one heck of a party at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, celebrating motorcycling’s heritage, spending time with good friends and enjoying the freedom of two wheels,” Dingman said. “The AMA takes great pride in organizing this event, where motorcycling’s diverse community comes together like nowhere else, raising money for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. None of it would be possible without a long list of partners, supporters and volunteers.”
With the support of presenting sponsor Royal Enfield, this year’s event honored the impact of the iconic motorcycle movie On Any Sunday. The storied film marked its 50th year in 2021, and its feel-good vibe was the perfect companion to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. Todd Huffman’s Pipeline Digital Media, which holds the anniversary distribution rights to On Any Sunday, was on hand to promote the re-release and host a screening of the digitally remastered version on Friday night.
The grand marshal for the event was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer David Aldana, who had a central role in On Any Sunday. Aldana greeted fans, signed autographs, led the Lap for History, conducted interviews and participated in vintage flat track racing at the nearby Ashland County Fairgrounds half-mile.
“If there is a consummate representative for an event like AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, David is it,” Dingman said. “Not only is he a motorcycling legend, but he’s full of first-hand knowledge and experience about vintage motorcycles and racing, loves to talk about the history of the sport and his role in it, and he’s endlessly patient and accommodating to fans. From everyone at the AMA, David, thanks for enhancing our event this year and supporting the Hall of Fame.”
AMA Director of Industry Relations and Business Development Steve Gotoski thanked the companies that provided financial support for the event.
“Royal Enfield, GEICO Insurance, Old Bike Barn, Kenda Tire, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Biltwell, Blendzall Oil, B’laster and American Honda, who was on site with demo bikes, really stepped up to back the event this year, which of course helps the Hall of Fame,” Gotoski said.
In addition to sponsoring the event, Kenda Tire, along with STACYC and Iron Pony, also organized a kids’ area that included tracks for kids to experience STACYC’s electric bikes.
Gotoski also thanked companies that displayed in the Old Bike Barn Crossroads, including Red Roof Inn, Evil Coffee Company, Skidmark Garage, Tommy O’s, Motorcycle Ohio, artist Wayne Mauro, Worldwide Auctioneers and North High Brewing.
“Of course, we can’t forget about the hundreds of vendors who populate the immense swap meet every year,” Gotoski said. “Not only do they provide critical financial support for the event, but they bring products and an atmosphere that attendees simply won’t find anywhere else.”
AMA Director of Membership Marketing and Services Amanda Donchess said that she appreciated the display partners who helped enrich the infield experience this year. They included AMA-chartered clubs that displayed at the event: the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, the Classic British Motorcycle Club of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Café Racers.
Infield partners also included Liza Miller, who produces the Motorcycles & Misfits Podcast. Miller curated a moto-film festival at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days that entertained guests throughout the long weekend. The Rev Sisters Moto Film Festival included several films, both long and short, that celebrate motorcycling.
Other partners included American Motor Drome Wall of Death, Mark and Dawn Merical and the judges for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Ride-in Bike Show, presented by Old Bike Barn: Bear Haughton, Casey Cooper, Tom Heil, Mike Grudewald and Mark Mederski.
“AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a community event, and it would not be what it is without the AMA clubs and other partners contributing to the good vibes that we all experience here,” Donchess said. “Safety is a critical component of any event, and Motorcycle Ohio’s expert riders deserve a big thanks for helping maintain order during the Lap for History. I’d also like to thank former AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, as well as Motorcycle Ohio, for planning and staffing what many participants said was the best Ashland Dinner Ride they had ever attended.”
Vintage racing is one of the key activities at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, drawing thousands of race entries each year in vintage motocross, hare scrambles, trials, road racing and flat track. This did not disappoint in 2021, with participant counts up by as much as 50 percent in some disciplines.
“Simply put, without our key racing partners, this event could not happen at the scale it does,” said AMA Director of Racing Mike Pelletier. “Among the most important is the Roadracing World Action Fund, for providing soft barriers for the road race course.”
Pelletier also thanked WERA for road race operations, BAJA MX Inc. for motocross operations, Rosanna Gzebinski in racing registration, Mandi Mastin for hare scrambles operations, Trials Inc. for the trials event, announcer Kevin Kelly, motocross track builder Jeff Beerbower/Log Road MX, MX Referee Ray Bergeron, Saddleback East for the pit bike race setup, the Christian Motorcycle Association for flagging duties, RaceLine Ministries, JCR Studio and Rapid 2-Way.
Off-road racing volunteers included Kurt Mosher, Terry Bernard, Joy Barnard, Adam Johnson, Chad Bailey, Perry Lundsford, Mikah Cole, Doug Vann, Kenny Held, James Rose, Trevor Barrick, Luke Sanford, Scott Denney, Greg Schlabach and Jon Martin.
Of course, the most critical partner for AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is the facility itself, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The team, led by Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust, excelled in 2021, helping the AMA produce the smoothest, most efficiently run AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in recent memory.
“The operations and security teams for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course did an exceptional job helping us run a multi-faceted and energy-packed event,” said AMA Director of Operations Steve Austin. “Dave Schwall and Brian Sipes are a valuable resource to us for this event, and it was a pleasure to work with them this year.”