Craig Vetter Picked As Grand Marshal At AMA Vintage Days

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member and noted designer Craig Vetter – whose contributions to motorcycling range from the iconic Windjammer fairings and the Triumph X-75 Hurricane to the Mystery Ship limited-production high-performance motorcycles and a number of high-profile motorcycle fuel-economy contests — will be honored as this year’s grand marshal at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days featuring Rockers and Mods, July 20-22, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Craig Vetter in 1976

Vetter has been a member of the American Motorcyclist Association and a designer since 1965, and his varied background gives him a unique alliance to both the Rockers and Mods motorcycle subcultures. His design projects over the years have involved café racers — the motorcycles of choice for Rockers — and scooters, which are favored by Mods.

“AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days has become the high point of my summer,” Vetter said. “Rockers and Mods will be fun for me since I raced my Rickman Café bike to victory in AMA competitions in the 1970s. And my current favorite ride is a scooter, though many Mods would probably not recognize my fuel-economy streamliner as a scooter, at least not at first glance.”

Vetter’s Rickman, now on permanent display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, is one of the finest original examples of an American café racer of the era. That machine will be on display at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, along with a Triumph Hurricane, Mystery Ship No. 1 and various classic Vetter fairings. Featured too, will be some of the new streamliners, fresh from Vetter’s Fuel Economy Challenge on Friday, July 20.

Celebrating his 70th birthday at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, Vetter will tell some of his many stories from his storied design career. As grand marshal, he will lead special laps around the sprawling Mid-Ohio roadracing track. Fans will have plenty of access to meet the motorcycling legend, including special autograph signings.

“Craig Vetter was a man ahead of his time back in the day — and he remains that way today,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “If you ride a faired motorcycle today, there’s a very good chance that its design reflects the inspiration of Craig Vetter, and his recent focus on motorcycle fuel economy runs demonstrates how prescient his events were in the ’80s. It will be an honor to provide attendees at this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days with an up-close-and-personal experience with a living legend of motorcycling.”

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. It features classic motorcycles and scooters of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities include the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, which include amateur national championship roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt track; North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet; bike shows and awards; stunt shows; demo rides of current production bikes; an AMA Life Member breakfast; and seminars on a number of topics by noted motorcycling experts.

In addition to perusing the swap meet, which is Vetter’s favorite place to cruise, enthusiasts who are swap meet vendors also can camp for free in their swap meet space. If you have some vintage parts, bikes or memorabilia that you would like to sell while immersing yourself in the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days experience, be sure to submit a swap meet vendor application, available at AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.com>Vendor and Swap Meet Info.

Making plans now to attend reaps big dividends for AMA members, who, for a limited time, can purchase a weekend pass for $35, a $10 savings off the regular advance rate, and a one-day pass for $20, a $5 savings off the regular advance rate. The AMA member discount is in addition to the regular $10 savings on advance ticket purchases, and there is no service charge for AMA members when purchasing through the AMA.

AMA member pricing, available through May 28, is only available by calling the AMA directly at 800/AMA-JOIN (262-5646). Non-AMA members can buy tickets directly from MidOhio.com.

For updates about events and activities, as well as information about past AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, visit AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.com.

 

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Jon Langston is the Associate Editor of RoadBike. Originally from Huntington Beach, California, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife Colleen, a fashion designer. He has a Harley, a Mazie, and an '83 KZ1100 LTD that doesn’t run.

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