Led by Grand Marshal Don Emde, the vintage bike column will lead off with a 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA, ridden by owner and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Buzz Kanter. The parade of historical bikes will navigate the sinuous curves of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course before coming to a stop on the front straight, creating a striking display of motorcycling history.
"As the most recent custodian of this wonderful old machine, I have owned the JD for more than 15 years but seldom get to ride it," Kanter said. "It is a great honor to be participating in the AMA's 85th anniversary festivities on a motorcycle from the year the AMA was founded. I look forward to meeting a lot of old and new friends among the fellow enthusiasts at the event."
Kanter is a longtime motorcyclist and collector. In addition to being inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002, he is the owner and editor-in-chief of American Iron Magazine and RoadBike magazine.
Kanter says he found the JDCA when an inquiry into what he was told were "a couple old Harleys for sale" -- which he suspected were probably just 10-year-old Sportsters -- turned out to be the '24 JDCA and a 1929 Harley JDH two-cam, which now sits in his office at American Iron Magazine.
"They're some of the earliest bikes I own," Kanter said. "I have huge admiration for the people who made and rode them. Personally, the vintage bikes I prefer to ride are Harleys and Indians from the 1940s and '50s. They are as comfortable as modern motorcycles and are reliable enough for the job. You can ride them cross-country."
Kanter says he's looking forward to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, particularly the opportunity to meet other vintage enthusiasts and to see other classic motorcycles of all makes.
"Everybody raves about how incredible (AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days) is," Kanter says. "I love old machinery and the romance of it. There's just something very honest about a lot of these uncluttered old bikes. Jay Leno says he doesn't trust a motorcycle (engine) he can't see, and I'm the same way."
Volunteers interested in participating in the AMA 85th Anniversary Parade are encouraged to contact the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, which is organizing the parade, for information about participating in it. Information is at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
About AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, all proceeds of which go to support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, includes national-championship vintage racing, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet, bike shows, demo rides of current production bikes, motorcycling seminars, stunt shows, the new product Manufacturers' Midway and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs, and the AMA Used Bike Corral.
The Marque of the Year for 2009 is BSA, whose bikes became synonymous with racing in the United States when the brand swept the top five positions at the Daytona 200 in 1954. The Classic Clubs this year will be the Sandcast Only Owner's Club (SOOC), and the International CBX Owners Association.
More information about AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can be found at AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.