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Thread: judging frustration

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
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    399

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    Yes, some great points of discusion surfacing here. Preserving the machines as they left the factory has been the much debated criteria of our AMCA Judging System. Should the machine be based on how it left the dealership, or ,the factory was the basis of much discussion and debate from your over burdened Judging Committee over the last few years. Much thought and reflection goes into delicate wording to reflect what we all hope will result in the successfull fruit of all our labors and passions; the correct example of a machine to serve as reference for future generations.
    I think we all understand how & why the rules work with original machines; ie; original paint bikes as we used to call them. They are judged against how they left the factory, and are somewhat pardoned on wearable features, or items serviced or replaced for maintanance; tires, rubber grips etc.....
    But onto the catagory at hand here; machines that are restored to represent the crisp example of "correctness" that is so miss-construed. By "correctness", I mean the accepted criteria previosly mentioned; the basis of the current, and evolving AMCA Judging System.............striving for how the machine left the factory. One must draw a line in the sand somewhere, and a hermetically sealed bike in a time capsulled crate would be the ultimate example. The true testimate of the machine, bar none!
    But how many sealed crates have we witnessed? Actually, I've seen more than a few, but that's another story. What about the '36 Knuck that got "up graded" with Flanders bars & risers, and perhaps a set of 18" beauty rings on the wheels by Uncle Geofroe. Said bike was used & abused, acquiring usage patina & damage accordingly to the mild temps, and round the year riding season of SoCal perhaps. Uncle Geofroe (obviously the Black Sheep of the family) goes to jail during the War Years for tax evation. After the war, Geoffy Jr takes his Pa's Knuck out, and decides it needs to be up-dated to suit his modern tastes, and the fashion of the day. On goes the favorite color of his girl friend in war surplus paint that looks to be applied by a rake. But that original speedo seems to be surviving all this tom-foolery...........so far. The bike is evolving, experiencing "period modifications" as it ages. We have the makings of a Period Modified here; so relished, cherished, and respected by the Club. Not a problem. We just have to define the actual "Period" of the modifications; easier said than decided on sometimes though.
    Now let's change the story to Uncle Geofroe's younger brother, Sid. Young Sid, being more respectable, and smarter, buys a new'41 Chief from San Francisco Indian dealer Hap Jones. Young Sid, the uncle you never got to meet, opted for the "Full Monty" and got all the options; windshield, saddle bags, spot lights, the works. You never knew Uncle Sid, because he was called to duty for WWII six months latter, and was killed in a horrible ammunition accident in boot camp as an innocent by-stander.
    The '41 Chief never saw use since, but was improperly stored by the family in the basement, where the un-vented dryer lived. Years of family curtain crawler abuse, ex-felon uncle Geoffy's attempt at re-vitalizing the bike after his prison release, the dryer moisture, and the flood from the broken water pipe caused by the '57 earthquake has not been kind to his poor, low mileage, original Chief. In fact, the plumber who fixed the pipes after the quake, swiped the spotlights in an effort to illuminate the crawl space under the house during the repair. The six volt lamps didn't like the 120 volt house system, but the plumber held on to the lights anyway, figuring he could just change out the bulbs.
    The years of un-vented dryer moisture took it's toll on that front fender also. Yep; a fine pattern of metal lace adorns that front wheel now. One can't even find a trace of paint on it. The front tire is petrified, and the wheel & hub are like a statue.
    Now along comes young Tom, of the present day, but so respectull of his family history, and vintage machinery in general. He wants to do the right thing, and please his Grandma who still feels that the bike is a family jewel. In Grandma's eyes, it deserves to be all "gussied" up, and painted, and "restored" to it's former glory when Sid wheeled the magnificant stead about.
    Tom accessed the damage; original paint, only 12% survives, and most of that is inside the tool box. Front fender is now a powder trail that has ruined the carpet of the in-law apartment that now separates where the bike/laundry room, and out-side world (of which the tenants aren't too thrilled). It's already missing the spotties from the plumber, and the front wheel is useless, having shed a dozen spokes from it's rusty rim caused by it's close proximity to the dryer. A shame, as the rear of the bike hasn't suffered, not even the muffler!
    What is young Tom to do? It's his first vintage bike; a family hierloom, and he wants to do his family, and Indian Proud. Everyone is counting on young Tom to take the "Best in Show" as a tribute to Uncle Sid. Tom can't really enter it as original un-restored; especially since the same plumber who snatched the spotties dropped solder on the seat & saddle bags whilst repairing the pipes. The dents in the tanks from Grandma placing the laundry basket on it for 70 years has taken it's toll also. This bike needs to be properly restored. What is young Tom to do?
    I actually faced a very simalair dilema on my very first bike I "restored". It was an old re-paint of a great, matching #s machine I found at D'port many, many years ago. In fact, it was only $3000. That's how long ago it was. It was mostly all there, and then some (lots of extra gadgets), but nothing really serviceable, yet the bike deserved the full Monty of a restoration. Most everything could be un-cerremonously restored, and brought back to life. My life-long collection of NOS parts were willingly sacraficed for this all out effort of the ultimate '47 Chief. It was missing it's front fender, but came with an NOS replacement, although horribley warped as if in a very hot enviornment. My NOS front fender light graced the crest of the fender after I so carefully mounted the repro side trim. (I just couldn't find any originals that were useable). I could not make myself mearly toss on a repro speedo face however. Sure, this face only saw 6 months of use, but it did show some signs if weathering. A simple slap of a new repro face would have given me that 1/4 pt that robbed of a perfect score. But I had my priorities. I happily took the penalty.
    I wonder what young Tom will do with this Laundry Room Relic of the family. Does he hang is on the wall as is? Does he source a Honda front wheel and just get the thing back going? Does he do a "Full Monty" on it, making Grandma proud with some extra chrome bling here & there where it doesn't belong? Of does he find a repro fender & wheel, and stick that on?
    It's now Tom's bike, and sometimes it is actually fun to do the research, parts hunting, and creative mechanical activities envolved in "restoring" a peace of our history; especially one that you can get on and USE!
    Sure hope Young Tom doesn't screw things up, with HIS bike.
    RF.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    San Francisco
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    Yep, young Tom here sure has his hands full. He could try and restore the Chief to it's correct factory settings (where the accesories are welcomed, but not judged against the bike). In doing so, he would not be up against any peer pressure, or competition from any other bikes on the field. The bike is judged against itself. It is not a trophey dash. Sure, the hosting chapter may have a "People's Choice award", but that does not reflect on a correct restoration.
    Tom could finnish the bike off as a period modified if he wishes, and again, this is recognized, and relished by the Club. Or, he could succomb to his low budget, and just get the bike back on the road using what ever front wheel he can find, and perhaps some of our advertizers products to improve the performance. Now he has a bike to enjoy for the Road Runs put on the by the Club.
    What ever Tom does with HIS bike now, will most likely not please all the people, all the time. But as long as he gets it out there, enjoys it, and lets others see it, then some form of the mission is accomplished.
    It's real easy to bitch, moan, and complain from behind a keyboard. Perhaps the un-happy few who do, should opt to serve a judging apprenticeship to really know what they are talking about. Especially the ones who have never had anything to do with the Judging. It is an amazing learning experience. One that I thought I would have absolutely no interest in back in the day when all I was interested in was building bar hoppers. Judging has changed me. I no longer destroy good bikes to make hot rods. Thus, saving history I would say?
    Just like in the car world. If I come across a Model A coupe that has already been chopped, the floor is hacked out of it for a channel job, and big V8 is already in place, then I continue in the spirit and make a hot rod. But if said Model A comes ticking along with it's little 4 banger, and un-molested sheet metal, then I respect that, and would not inflict any harmful modifications. But that's just me, and I'm sure I pissed some complainer off.

    RF
    various show bikes,
    various hot rods,
    a bike for every mood.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,343

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    Chris!

    Those rules make tax codes seem scrutable.

    RF!

    Is there a 'punch line' to all that?

    Seriously Folks.
    Seriously.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bothell, Wa
    Posts
    33

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    Just stumbled onto this thread. I've never had one of my bikes judged nor have I had an interest in the whole judging thing as to me, it kind of smacks of the political "insider good old boy" network. That said, as a long time observer of the process, I have always thought that there should be a class for "correct daily riders" that must be correct for parts, finishes, fasteners, correct paint color for year and so on but with allowances for reliability and safety items such as safety rims or modern tires of the correct sizes, 12 volt electrical systems (not to include a rack of flame thrower driving lights or accessory lights adorning every bracket), cast iron front brake drums to replace the early stamped style and the like, but no bling or disk brakes or electric start conversions etc., only year correct accessories. Allowances also made for rocks chips and scuff marks (not to include any kind of unrepaired crash damage) or the worn parkerizing or cad plating on correct for the bike fasteners or parts that get that way with regular maintainance.
    Everyone knows that you can't ride 50 to 70 year old bike every day and have it meet existing AMCA judging standards. I'm not referring to unmaintained, dirty, ill kept bikes, just bikes that actually get ridden a lot and accumulate a lot of enjoyable miles and hours for their caretakers both in the saddle and with a wrench and cleaning rag. We do it for love of the involvement with our chosen machines.
    I know of where of I speak as I put thousands of miles and gladly hundreds of hours in upkeep each year on my vintage bikes, however there is no place for my bikes at an AMCA meet except in the parking lot. Any thoughts on this subject?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    2,797

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    Only one, National Road Runs, the best fun in the club and no issues with equipment upgrades. Old bikes having fun, period!
    Robbie
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    Ronald!

    We must remind ourselves that the AMCA judging system stems from a half a century past, and the Founders had no idea of the many new marques and models to come, nor the possibilities for storing knowledge that would come about.

    The amount of Historical evidence that had a chance of being logged, but lost, is staggering.
    By practical limitations of the day, the system lacked science from the start. Instead it relies upon memory and hearsay.
    There is no database.

    This is somewhat tragic, when today the total sum of recorded knowledge for dozens of marques wouldn't fill a thumbdrive. That same thumbdrive would make anyone a "judge".

    So it remains just a trophy-driven activity anyway.
    And that is exactly what a "daily rider class" would reflect.

    The latest issue of the Magazine had a finely produced article about AMCA judging, with lots of scientifical graphs and things. I haven't seen that much lipstick on a pig since they cancelled the Muppet Show.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    941

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronald View Post
    ...I have always thought that there should be a class for "correct daily riders" that must be correct for parts, finishes, fasteners, correct paint color for year and so on but with allowances for reliability and safety items such as safety rims or modern tires of the correct sizes, 12 volt electrical systems (not to include a rack of flame thrower driving lights or accessory lights adorning every bracket), cast iron front brake drums to replace the early stamped style and the like, but no bling or disk brakes or electric start conversions etc., only year correct accessories. Allowances also made for rocks chips and scuff marks (not to include any kind of unrepaired crash damage) or the worn parkerizing or cad plating on correct for the bike fasteners or parts that get that way with regular maintenance.
    Everyone knows that you can't ride 50 to 70 year old bike every day and have it meet existing AMCA judging standards. I'm not referring to unmaintained, dirty, ill kept bikes, just bikes that actually get ridden a lot and accumulate a lot of enjoyable miles and hours for their caretakers both in the saddle and with a wrench and cleaning rag. We do it for love of the involvement with our chosen machines.
    I know of where of I speak as I put thousands of miles and gladly hundreds of hours in upkeep each year on my vintage bikes, however there is no place for my bikes at an AMCA meet except in the parking lot. Any thoughts on this subject?
    What you described is egg-zackly the bike I ride, every day, or near-as-possible: a 12-volt, kickstart '37 UL. But I've never thought it was anything but a fun rider, surviving long past its expected "use-by-date" by the grace of me, equipped with wrenches, and the modern repop industry, that makes about any part it might ever require only a Fedex Overnight away, if necessary.

    By my reckoning, there is a class that already exists for these bikes. It's called "Ridden Longest Distance to the Meet," in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Those are Chapter Awards, administered and judged by the chapter sponsoring the national meet. It gives owners of everyday riders a chance to prove that they've built reliable riders, and makes all the allowances for modern safety that you list, like 12-volt electrics and iron brake drums in lieu of earlier, stamped ones.

    The "restoration" classes do not pit individual motorcycles against each other, but each only against the imagined "perfection," the factory-fresh ideal. Ridden Longest Distance could be considered the opposite of that, pitting the endurance of both the bikes and the riders against each other (usually with no prior knowledge of what any other rider might be planning) on the basis of distance to be covered to get to any particular meet, testing the ingenuity and the mettle of the owner/riders to endure a multi-day road trip in today's traffic.

    --"Sarge, Gerry Lyons, #601
    "Ridden Longest Distance:" Empire, Wauseon, Davenport.

    I've done it, and it's a lot of fun, and you have a good chance of earning "recognition," just like any other entrant, when you arrive at the destination and turn in your mile statement.
    Last edited by Sargehere; 03-27-2012 at 11:36 PM.

  8. #28

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    The one thing that bothers me about the whole process more than the ego-political wrangling of the last couple years, that no matter how you whitewash it has damaged the integrity and quality of the process, is the whole mindset of just-can't-give-a "100", no matter how nice or "correct" it is. These things were never all exactly the same, if you took 10 from the same day's production when brand new, you'd be able to see subtle "differences" if you nit-picked long enough. My feelings about this were underscored in the article that was mentioned, with the young gal with the very nice Cushman getting a 99-3/4.. Really? 99-3/4??? How many nits had to be picked to find a quarter point to make sure it wasn't "100"? I wonder, can anyone tell us the heinous infraction that was worth a quarter point? C'mon, really?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    5,464

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronald View Post
    Just stumbled onto this thread. I've never had one of my bikes judged nor have I had an interest in the whole judging thing as to me, it kind of smacks of the political "insider good old boy" network. That said, as a long time observer of the process, I have always thought that there should be a class for "correct daily riders" that must be correct for parts, finishes, fasteners, correct paint color for year and so on but with allowances for reliability and safety items such as safety rims or modern tires of the correct sizes, 12 volt electrical systems (not to include a rack of flame thrower driving lights or accessory lights adorning every bracket), cast iron front brake drums to replace the early stamped style and the like, but no bling or disk brakes or electric start conversions etc., only year correct accessories. Allowances also made for rocks chips and scuff marks (not to include any kind of unrepaired crash damage) or the worn parkerizing or cad plating on correct for the bike fasteners or parts that get that way with regular maintainance.
    Everyone knows that you can't ride 50 to 70 year old bike every day and have it meet existing AMCA judging standards. I'm not referring to unmaintained, dirty, ill kept bikes, just bikes that actually get ridden a lot and accumulate a lot of enjoyable miles and hours for their caretakers both in the saddle and with a wrench and cleaning rag. We do it for love of the involvement with our chosen machines.
    I know of where of I speak as I put thousands of miles and gladly hundreds of hours in upkeep each year on my vintage bikes, however there is no place for my bikes at an AMCA meet except in the parking lot. Any thoughts on this subject?
    Ronald,
    First off I would suggest that you sign up as an apprentice judge and learn how the system works. You will then learn that it has nothing to do with Good Ole Boys.
    There are different classes of judging. In the restored class then machine must appear exactly as it left the factory with no upgrades. In the un-restored class you are allowed to have "Service items" replaced. These are the type of things that are routinely replaced during a motorcycles lifetime. Tires, Spark plugs, Rubber Fuel and oil lines and clamps, Light bulbs, Chains, ETC.
    An interesting thing is that an un-restored machine must have all original parts while a restored bike is allowed reproduced parts, as long as the are the best reproduction available. On a restored machine every part must be restored. You can't have a great looking speedometer with great patina on a restored machine. This because a new bike didn't leave the factory sporting a speedometer with great patina.
    Another class is "Period Modified". These are the bikes with bling, upgrades and custom parts. There is no difference between restored and un-restored in this class.
    Come to a meet. Go to the judges meeting and learn how it works. Once again there is no Good Ole Boy judging system.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeanGene View Post
    The one thing that bothers me about the whole process more than the ego-political wrangling of the last couple years, that no matter how you whitewash it has damaged the integrity and quality of the process, is the whole mindset of just-can't-give-a "100", no matter how nice or "correct" it is. These things were never all exactly the same, if you took 10 from the same day's production when brand new, you'd be able to see subtle "differences" if you nit-picked long enough. My feelings about this were underscored in the article that was mentioned, with the young gal with the very nice Cushman getting a 99-3/4.. Really? 99-3/4??? How many nits had to be picked to find a quarter point to make sure it wasn't "100"? I wonder, can anyone tell us the heinous infraction that was worth a quarter point? C'mon, really?
    Gene,
    I don't know the machine you are talking about. I do know one that got 99 3/4 because the reproduction decal on the odometer was incorrect.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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