Relax! Well some of us anyway


The latest A.M.C of America (Antique Motorcycle Club) quarterly magazine has arrived & as always is a great read I only buy it only for the articles and the pictures, the editor Richard Spagnolli has a very good editorial on “Why we don’t want to lose the next generation” and basically this is effecting almost all Clubs worldwide. Some one make clubs the two VOC’S ,Velocette & Vincent owners club have this problem already and they reflect this by the pseudonym “Very Old Children” a “in” joke with their members they were the largest one make club in the world in the sixties only the Vintage Club UK was larger, unfortunately the ranks are diminishing rapidly as they grow older, the obituary column in the hallowed MPH magazine every month reflects the inevitable they are “dying off”. We are not as badly off in the IIRA as now new Indians are available new blood is starting to flow through as we accept all versions, the point Richard raised was there is a huge swing in the “Bobber or Custom” groups in the States and this appeals to the younger generation as buying a fully restored machine is out of reach financially for most riders getting into old machines so bikes from the seventies old choppers or cafe racers are bought cheaply and not restored but modified & ridden. Some riders I know from this era admit to chopping a machine from 70’s era & now repent by purchasing an exact model to restore, many such people are respected as “Guru’s” now started as chopper builders hmm, shows here such as ‘Oily Rag” attract many of the younger group that have a spare $3,000 or $4,000 to spend certainly not $35,000-$70,000 one recently asked me was it worth buying a fully restored bike to modify, as a restored motorcycle was “cool but not cool enough”. So does this mean your lovingly restored Flying Merkle, Indian 4 or 1959 Triumph Bonneville will eventually be bought by a Gen Y or X and chopped, maybe but that wont matter as you are only another of the many that have already owned your machine and it will have had a life both before and after you. Meanwhile your still alive so start encouraging the younger riders into your hobby they may “take up the reins” and become interested enough for them to buy your machine and care for it even if that means modifying your treasure we need the next generation to join us then you can relax. I bet that Sportster owner isn’t relaxed.