Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally Faces Tough Competition

The Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally celebrated its 50th anniversary this year so I figured it was time to check it out. But first, you have to find Hanford. It is unlikely that you’ve ever passed through Hanford on your way to anywhere else because it is off the beaten path. The town sits in the south central portion of California’s San Joaquin Valley, 28 miles south-southeast of Fresno and 18 miles west of Visalia. This location could actually work in favor of vendors because the riders who attend are serious…

Old Bikes, Older Racers And Fast Laps At The 2018 Corsa Motoclassica

Has it really been 12 years since I last attended the Corsa Motoclassica at Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, California? A lot of things have changed and a lot of things have stayed the same. Willow Springs still feels (and looks) like the place I raced a box stock Suzuki GS550 in 1978. There are new attractions around the main road circuit (the Walt James Stadium, a kart track, skid pad, the Streets of Willow) but Big Willow is still the raceway’s heart and little has changed. It is at…

Manco Minibike Hits The Road

A buddy (thanks, Byron) found me an old Manco mini with a seized engine and some missing pieces but it had potential. A Harbor Freight 6.5 HP, 212 cc Predator engine fit in the frame nicely (once the fuel tank was removed) and a call to AZ USA Parts (thanks, Horton) got me all the little pieces needed (clutch, throttle and chain) plus they were really helpful people. I still need to find a gas cap that fits (my gas cap is cracked), but this thing is a torquey beast…

Cycle News Releases 2018 Buyer’s Guide

Just got the Cycle News 2018 Cruiser Buyer’s Guide and it is impressive. The CN Editors did a fine job of rounding up a comprehensive collection of cruiser motorcycles with pricing, specs and descriptions. But they didn’t stop there. They included a bunch of bike tests and an accessory guide as well. All that would have been enough, but the CN gang kept going and dug deeper. They include an extensive collection of motorcycle rallies including dates and what to expect from each experience. They detail some of their favorite…

Media Watch: Save Up To 25% On Your Motorcyclist Subscription

Want to save bucks on your subscription to Motorcyclist? All you gotta do is toss the blow-in subscription card that fell into your lap (and lists a $19.97 price) and read the small print. The small print at the back of the mag (page 98 in the March/April 2018 issue) lists the subscription at $18. But wait, there’s more! You can go online and get the sub for $14.97 (that’s a 25% savings or a cool $5). Guess Motorcyclist is hoping you’re too busy or lazy to look this close,…

David Mann Chopperfest Breeds Creativity, Ingenuity and Superior Workmanship

Ventura California, Sunday, February 4, 2018: The gates to the 14th annual David Mann Chopperfest were supposed to open on December 10th, 2017. Problem was, the Ventura County Fairgrounds were full of Thomas Fire evacuees and first responders. The event’s promoters got the word out that everyone had an extra two months to get their choppers ready for the show. They moved the event to the first weekend in February and with the weather cooperating, it felt more like June! Does that mean if the promoters move the event back…

A Beginner’s Guide To The Mecum Motorcycle Auctions

The Las Vegas Mecum Motorcycle Auction that ran from January 23rd through the 27th was my first time attending a motorcycle auction of this magnitude. I’ve got a feeling it won’t be my last. The 5-day auction will feel like nirvana to any self-respecting motorcycle enthusiast and if that sounds like you, you need to go. Attending an auction for the first time can be a bit intimidating so here is what to expect and how to survive. Cheap admission to a great show Twenty bucks gets you in the…

1979 Fantic Chopper Is Italy’s Take On Easy Rider

Never saw one of these on the road back in the 70’s and I know I would have remembered seeing it. This is a spectacular motorcycle that was produced by Italian motorcycle company Fantic to capitalize on the 70’s chopper craze in America (and probably Italy where they must have sold thousands of these ape-hanging, sissy-barred beauties). The asking price of $7500 is about what a Triumph Bonneville from the same era would go on the block for. That’s a bit steep and might explain why this bike has shown…

Godspeed, Bruce Brown, 1937-2017

Bruce Brown, a documentary movie icon who transformed two misunderstood and shunned activities, surfing and motorcycle racing, into popular American pastimes died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 80. I made a request to interview Bruce in 1996 for Motocross Journal (November/December 1996). My motivation was not an On Any Sunday 25th anniversary feature (On Any Sunday was released in 1971). I simply wanted to meet the man who helped shape my lifelong love of motorcycling and at the time, not a lot was being published about Bruce…