If racing antique motorcycles isn’t challenging enough, try getting younger generations involved in the sport!
Passing on the torch is exactly what we here at 20th Century Racing live for, as both Matt & Brittney Olsen have both served as Youth Program Coordinators for The Antique Motorcycle Club of America.
Last year, Bike Days race promoter Scotty Brown had a nice chat with me after the races about how the 165cc Vintage Lightweight class was down to three racers and was on the verge of vanishing. It just broke my heart because this is a great class for youngsters to get in and get their feet wet, especially when it comes to racing old bikes.
Matt, my husband and I allowed that conversation to sink in. What does it means if a class at the vintage races were to just disappear due to no racers? It’s a scary thought especially if you are on the young end of the antique racer spectrum. It is our job as young antique motorcycle enthusiasts to make it possible for the upcoming generations of racers to learn how to build these bikes, to feel welcomed and help them become capable of racing old bikes in order to preserve the history and form of racing.
This is were we grabbed the bull by the horns and came up with a plan to boost the 165cc Lightweight class with the kids! The first thing on our list was to mention the shrinking class in my column in the Antique Motorcycle Magazine. I explained how this class is great for young first time motorcycle racers to get into because of the size of the motorcycles and how parts are pretty cheap, easy to find as well as build.
With in a few weeks, I received a call from a young AMCA club member’s grandfather stating how they have purchased a vintage Harley Hummer and wished to race it. They were looking for all the information they could on the class and parts for the bike. What great news huh!
The second thing on our “Save the Lightweight Class” list was to dig out Matt’s 1948 Harley-Davidson Hummer from the shed. This is the first Harley that Matt built with his dad Carl. He started on it when he was ten years old and finished it when at the age of eleven. He rode it around, as a kid, for a few years and it has been rotting away in the corner for 15 years.
We are proud to announce that we loaning our 1948 Harley out to 14 year old, Megan Brown from Ohio. 20th Century Racing is providing her with a budget and parts to use for upgrades. She will race it at vintage flat track races in the165cc Lightweight Class in the 2014 . We are really excited to see it get put to use again, especially for a good cause, RACING!