PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The list of rare and historically significant Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson motorcycles that will be on display at this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days featuring Kawasaki, Marque of the Year, continues to grow, with a championship winning RR 250 heading the bill for the July 22-24 event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
“We’ve got some great bikes,” said John Basore of the Aermacchi-based group that is serving as this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Classic Club. “I’ve probably got one of every racer Aermacchi ever had lined up.”
Every year at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the Classic Club display rounds out an exciting experience for vintage fans, many of whom will be attending to honor Kawasaki as the Marque of the Year. Aermacchi Harley-Davidsons, sold in the 1960s and ’70s, were the result of a unusual partnership between the quintessentially American motorcycle company and a small-bore Italian bike brand that introduced thousands of new riders to the Harley-Davidson name.
“At the time, Aermacchis may have seemed like an unusual choice to put in Harley-Davidson dealerships,” Basore says. “But the fact is that, when AMF bought Harley-Davidson, it allowed Aermacchi to win world championships for the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. That’s most impressive.”
The RR250 is a water-cooled two-stroke, twin-cylinder roadracer with a cassette transmission, an eccentric swingarm adjuster, dual front disc brakes and a full fairing. “It was comparable in every way to the best Yamaha of that time period,” Bashore said.
In addition to the RR 250, bikes planned for display include: a 1965 250CR, a ’65 250CRTT, a ’67 250H, a ’69 350SS, a ’70 350SS, a ’76 SS250, a ’78 MX 250, a ’73 SR100 and an all-original 1961 250C Sprint-one of the first models imported.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will also feature other activities celebrating Kawasaki as the 2011 Marque of the Year. These include displays, demo rides, seminars and autograph signings. Grand Marshal Jeff Fredette, a multi-time national and international off-road champion, will be on hand to reminisce and sign autographs, as well as compete in several vintage racing classes. Enthusiasts will also have an opportunity to win a new Kawasaki Z1000 and a classic Z1, given away together in a single raffle that benefits the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Held at the world-class Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days includes vintage and post-vintage competition in motocross, trials, hare scrambles, roadracing and dirt track. The three-day event will also feature North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, bike shows, demo rides of current production bikes, motorcycling seminars, the new product Manufacturers’ Midway, and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs.
Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is located on the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio. The mission of the Hall of Fame is to celebrate, elucidate and preserve the rich tradition of motorcycling in America. Its exhibits honor the distinguished men and women whose competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship have played a vital role in shaping the sport, lifestyle and business of motorcycling. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at MotorcycleMuseum.org
Tickets to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can be purchased online at MidOhio.com
For more information about the event, visit AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.com