Common Tread

You never know what you'll see at VMD

Jul 13, 2015

You don't have to love old motorcycles to enjoy AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. You can also have fun if you love oddities. Rarities. Stuff you can't even identify.

The parking lot at VMD has more diversity of motorcycles than most bike shows you could attend. Unless you're a leading motorcycle historian, you're probably going to see something at VMD that you've never seen before. This year, for me, it was this Japan-only 1954 Honda Dream that was for sale in the swap meet. Asking price? If you have to ask...

Honda Dream
A Japan-only 1954 Honda Dream was for sale in the swap meet. Photo by Lance Oliver.

VMD, a fixture for years at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, isn't quite what it used to be. Other venues noticed its success when it peaked about a decade ago, and now competing events, like the Barber Vintage Festival at the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park, have cut into VMD's attendance. The roadracing isn't what it used to be, either, since the AMA and AHRMA parted ways.

old and new at VMD
This hand-shift Indian is about to go racing. The modern bike inspired by its style sits awaiting the ride home. Photo by Lance Oliver.

But it's still a place you can see everything from an Ariel to a Zundapp, from a century-old hand-shift Indian to a fresh-from-the-factory KTM. Plus vintage motocross, trials and flat-track racing, the Wall of Death and — surprising to me — a swap meet that is still as big as ever, even in an era when Ebay and Craigslist are "old" technologies. The AMA says it is still North America's largest.

Wall of death
Charlie Ransom prepares to grab a tip offered by a spectator at the American Motor Drome Co. Wall of Death show. Photo by Lance Oliver.

I pulled 30 of my favorite photos from a day of shooting at VMD for the gallery at right. It's shameless eye candy. Click away and I hope you enjoy.