The 2023 Permco AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Royal Enfield brought tens of thousands of motorcyclists from around the country and the world to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The event is one of the largest single-weekend events in all of motorcycling, including North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, and the three jam-packed days of racing, riding and vintage-bike fun took place July 21-23.
Organized and co-promoted by the American Motorcyclist Association, along with facility owner and co-promoter Green-Savoree Racing Promotions, the annual event raises 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 and preserve the history and heritage of motorcycling in America.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without a long list of partners, supporters and volunteers,” says Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the AMA. “We appreciate them all, and everyone who attended from the diverse motorcycling community, for enabling us to raise money for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
The Grand Marshal for the 31st running of the event was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and jack-of-all-trades motorcycle racer Steve Wise, who spent time greeting fans, participating in question-and-answer sessions and signing autographs. Each day, he also led the Lap of History aboard a Royal Enfield kindly provided by the presenting sponsor of the event — Royal Enfield North America.
“A huge thank you to Permco, who was our Title Sponsor this year,” says Michael Kula, business development manager of the AMA. “We also greatly appreciate Royal Enfield, who stepped up as the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Old Bike Barn, Biltwell, Federal Motorcycle Transport, ICON Motorsports, Kenda Tire, Total Energies, B’laster, Triumph, American Motor Drome Company, Bad Ass Gnomes, Classic British Motorcycle Club, Concerned Veterans of America, Glockner Oil, Iron Pony, Vapor Honing Technologies, Mimi & Moto, Moto Motion, Skidmark Garage, Smart Massage, SSR Motorsports, Motorcycles and Coffee, Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club and Vintage Rides all generously supported the event.
“Our friends at Royal Enfield and Triumph,” she continues, “also had demo bikes for attendees to test ride all weekend. We can’t thank them, and all of these companies enough, because all the proceeds help support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
Kula added his appreciation for the hundreds of vendors who made up the country’s largest motorcycle swap meet. They not only provide financial support for the AMA Hall of Fame, but they bring a fun, distinct atmosphere to the event that motorcyclists won’t find anywhere else.
Royal Enfield also brought its one-of-a-kind Project Origin bike — an authentic, working replica of the company’s very first motor-bicycle originally constructed in 1901, which was painstakingly rebuilt using old photographs and promotional ads from the turn of the century — to the event. Project Origin was on display throughout the event, and on Saturday evening, Royal Enfield historian Gordon May, one of the only people who can operate the motorbike, rode the bike on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course track, which was its inaugural ride on North American soil. The motor-bicycle also closed out the final Lap for History on Sunday with another lap around the track for cheering fans.
“Project Origin has been a 30-year passion project of Royal Enfield historian Gordon May,” says Joy Burgess, director of marketing and communications, AMA, “and we’re grateful that Royal Enfield brought this piece of motorcycle history along to the event. To see the 1901 replica get a push start and go around the 2.4-mile roadracing track was a special moment, and it only seems appropriate that Royal Enfield history would be made at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.”
“It’s always great to meet and hear from our members at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days,” says Amanda Donchess, director of membership, AMA, “and they showed up in a huge way this year. We appreciate all the members who came out, and the new ones who joined. A record-breaking number of members joined over the weekend and we’re already looking forward to seeing them next year.”
Several AMA Board members were in attendance volunteering and supporting the event, including Directors Brad Baumert, Chris Cox, Mark Hosbach and Gary Pontius. They supported the event in racing, swap meet operations and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame collections management, among other activities. Many AMA members, as well as AMA-chartered and partner organizations, showed up to the event as volunteers as well.
“Over 100 volunteers — including 84 AMA member volunteers, volunteers from our partner Motorcycle Ohio and from AMA-chartered organization the Christian Motorcyclist Association — came out to help with the event,” says Bob Davis, volunteer coordinator, AMA. “We can’t thank them enough for committing their time and effort to help make the weekend a success.”
Vintage racing at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days brings in thousands of race entries every year in vintage motocross, trials, hare scrambles, flat track and road racing. “We enjoyed one of the most successful events in history,” says Mike Pelletier, director of racing, AMA, “and none of it could be accomplished without the support of our racing partners and volunteers. They provide the foundation needed to put on this great event every year, and we appreciate their efforts. The Roadracing World Action Fund is one of our most important racing partners and we appreciate them providing us with soft barriers for the road-race course.”
Pelletier also thanked BAJA MX Inc. for motocross operations and racing registration, WERA for road race operations, Mandy Mastin for hare scrambles operations, announcer Kevin Kelly, Trials Inc. for the trials event, the Christian Motorcycle Association for flagging duties, motocross track builder Jeff Beerbower/Log Road MX, MX Referee Ray Bergeron, Race Line Ministries (Mark and Dawn Merical) and Rapid 2-Way, Brian Kozicki Events for AV assistance, Ryan Rutkowski and Connor Torrel for installation and maintenance of soft barriers, and the many race officials.
For flat track racing, the AMA thanks to Chris and Jamie Daronco and Ashland County Fairgrounds for racing registration and scoring, and all the flaggers and race officials who made the evening a success.
“Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is one of the few facilities in the country that can accommodate all the activities that make AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days what it is – motorcycling’s most varied event,” says James Holter, chief operation officer, AMA. “That wouldn’t be possible without the experienced and professional team that runs the track. Led by Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust, track personnel work behind the scenes to make sure fans, sponsors and AMA staff are safe, entertained and free to have fun and do their jobs.”