Bikers and their Vespa-loving siblings are set to swarm LeMay: America’s Car Museum Aug. 24-26 to celebrate classics on two wheels during the museum’s first Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Festival.
The event will have makes and models from all sorts of manufacturers made before 1980. Standout models in the show include makes from BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Lambretta, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Vespa and Royal Enfield.
“This show will exemplify America’s love affair with the motorcycle just as ACM puts a spotlight on America’s love affair with the automobile,” said David Madeira, ACM president and CEO. “I’ve been a vintage motorcycle aficionado since the ‘70s, so my focus is to create an unrivaled vintage bike show in the Pacific Northwest.”
In addition to judged classes, the event will include a concours, motorcycle-related movies, live music and a Sunday “Ride to Rainier” in conjunction with the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club. Attendees can also enjoy panel discussions centered on the film “On Any Sunday” and a slideshow retrospective presented by Ace Cafe London Managing Director Mark Wilsmore.
“The Pacific Northwest has a strong motorcycle and scooter community, which puts this event in a position to become a staple of ACM for years to come,” said Burt Richmond, vintage motorcycle and scooter promoter and member of the ACM board of directors. “Our Concours, open to all makes manufactured prior to 1980, is a judged vintage motorcycle and scooter exhibition that will present awards for various classes.”
Musical performances are on tap by the Kim Archer Band and Tacoma’s top rock cover band Kry.
Headlining the event will be author, journalist and biker Mark Gardiner, whose exploits at the International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy road race are the subject of his book “Riding Man.” Gardiner will be a featured guest and judge.
“Back when I was club-racing in Calgary in the early ’90s, I always loved getting a spring tune-up race in Seattle,” said Gardiner, who has written three books about motorcycles. “If anything, the motorcycle culture in Seattle is even more vibrant these days. I know Seattle’s avid cafe racers will come out to ‘Meet at the Ace,’ and I can't wait to hang out with them again.”
Ten years ago Gardiner quit his job, sold everything he owned and moved to the Isle of Man to study the famous course and train there. His goal was to see if an ordinary motorcyclist could qualify for, and finish, the notoriously dangerous track. He did it. The Tourist Trophy – which began in 1907 – is the oldest motorcycle racing circuit still in use. It’s famous for high-speed racing along very narrow, twisting streets, roads and lanes flanked by stone walls and buildings, as well as “Mad Sunday,” when any member of the public can ride the mountain section of the course.
Gardiner, who was a staff writer at Motorcyclist and test rider for Road Racer X magazine, currently writes the monthly Transatlantic Notes column for the UK magazine Classic Bike and posts his monthly Backmarker column on http://www.MotorcycleUSA.com.
“The Summer Shakedown” is co-sponsored by Ace Cafe, a London-based cafe with a prominent motorcycle following, which re-opened in 1997 after originally operating from 1938 until 1969. The event will mark the first time Ace Cafe London has produced a vintage motorcycle event in America.
Scooter clubs dot the South Sound and gather at least once a weekend somewhere in the region, from Chehalis to Seattle for group rides and shop talk about their latest purchases or repairs much the way car clubs or motorcycle club hold rallies. There are two distinctions, however. Tops on the list is that road trips are much cheaper on a scooter, since trips to Seattle might require just $3 in gas. But the road trip likely won’t involve Interstate 5 traffic since most scooters top out at about 50 miles per hour, requiring intercity journeys to use old Highway 99 or back roads.
Reylan Tubig Fernandez, the front man for the Dignitaries rock band is also a founding member of Tacoma’s F---| Yeah Scooter Club, a gaggle of folks who honor their under-powered crotch rockets as if they were muscle cars.
“They are just fun,” he said. “I don’t know. They just are.”
“Meet at the Ace – A Summer Shakedown 2012” Vintage Motorcycle & Scooter Festival
When: Saturday, Aug. 25 – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 2702 E. ‘D’ St.
Featuring: Vintage (pre-1980) motorcycles from BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Lambretta, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Vespa & Vincent. A judged Concours with awards, swap meet, motorcycle-themed movies, beer garden, food vendors, live music from Kim Archer.
Ticket prices (includes admission to LeMay – America’s Car Museum): Adults $25; military/students/seniors (65+) $18; Youth (age 5-12) $8; under 5 free. Tickets available at event.
Participants can obtain registration forms online at http://www.lemaymuseum.org/events.php
A “Ride to Rainier” will take place Sunday, Aug. 26 as part of the motorcycle festival and in conjunction with Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts. All proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors charity.