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Mods and Rockers to take center stage at this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

Classic Brit-bike café racers and vintage metal-body scooters to be featured

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association is pleased to announce that the 2012 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days rally — the country’s grandest celebration of old bikes and the people who love them — will highlight the classic “Rockers and Mods” two-wheeled subculture that is presently undergoing a popular resurgence in America.

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, set for July 20-22 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will shine a spotlight on British café-racer motorcycles and Italian metal-bodied scooters made popular by the self-described Rockers and Mods of the early 1960s.

“If you’ve ever seen the TV show Café Racers, or watched the movie Quadrophenia, you know the amazing impact the British Mods and Rockers had on motorcycle culture,” said Grant Parsons, AMA director of marketing and communications. “At this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, it’s not just about the custom café racers and blinged-out Lambrettas and Vespas, but also the crazy and wonderful people who are bringing these icons back to life 40 to 50 years later, an entire ocean away from where the craze got its start.”
High-profile characters in one of motorcycling’s most colorful bits of history, Rockers sported pompadours, wore leather jackets festooned with pins, and rode Triumph, Norton, BSA and other Brit-bikes chopped into café racers. The Rockers stood in stark contrast to the Mods of the same era — dapper-dressed riders who prized the glorious cosmetic and performance enhancements of Italian metal-body scooters like Vespas and Lambrettas. For a Mod, the more shiny-chrome rear-view mirrors mounted on the front legshields, the better.

Both groups — and their machines — will be honored as the 2012 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days “Marque of the Year.” The Rockers and Mods showcase at Mid-Ohio will be most evident in bike and scooter shows focused on the two groups, and in a special tent devoted to the Mods and Rockers, with machines, memorabilia, history displays and live interviews and entertainment throughout the three days of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

All Mods and Rockers, and everyone else who enjoys vintage motorcycle racing, riding, building, watching and bench-racing, are invited to the family-friendly event in Central Ohio July 20-22. Tickets are available now to the general public through www.midohio.com. AMA members can get a special discount through May 28 by calling the AMA directly at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646). Kids 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Get your tickets today.

Heading up the café contingent and coordinating bike shows and memorabilia displays is Mike Seate, motorcyclist, author, founder of Café Racer magazine (www.caferacermag.com) and star of the Café Racer TV show (www.caferacertv.com) on Velocity.

“We’ve had a significant presence at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days for several years now, and we love the crowds, the energy, the fun and the very cool vibe you get there,” Seate said. “We’re glad to be at the forefront of the modern resurgence of the café racer motorcycle, and taking that enthusiasm to the next level by being front-and-center at this event will be awesome.”

Spearheading the Mods and their scooters will be Phil Waters of the Pride of Cleveland scooter shops (www.clevelandscooters.com), who is working with scooter clubs like the Columbus Cutters in Ohio, XYL in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Vintage in Pennsylvania, to create one of the most unique opportunities for scooter enthusiasts to come together in years.

“This thing is just going to be great,” Walters said. “Scooter riders — all scooter riders but especially those who love vintage metal-bodied scooters — will find plenty to love with everything we’re pulling together for this event. We’ll even have a special area for the scooter crowd to camp, and a few surprises that I don’t want to give away yet but definitely involve field games. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and new ones from six states at this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.”

All of this adds up to a three-day event like no other, and one that is sure to be memorable, said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“We’re confident this edition of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will be even a bigger success than the events in years past,” Rust said. “The focus on Mods and Rockers will bring a ton of interest and fans to the facility, and we’re thrilled to transform our grounds into a motorcycle mecca for three days this summer.”

Parsons noted that all types of riders, fans, motorcycles and scooters are welcome at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

“While the focus at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is clearly on vintage and classic machines, we also welcome riders with today’s interpretations of café-racer machinery and modern scooters, and all other motorcyclists as well,” Parsons said. “Some of the bikes being built in the café style from vintage and modern Japanese bikes are out of this world. At the same time, modern scooteristi and every kind of scooter imaginable will receive a warm welcome at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.”

A number of special events and enhancements are planned for this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, and they will be announced in the coming weeks.