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Thread: What is the appeal of judging?

  1. #11

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    Jimlee,

    Good topic for conversation.
    I think the best thing about antique motorcycles IS the fact that it means different things to different people, and for some the philosophy changes over time. Alot of guys who get older and can't ride so much anymore, can still enjoy restoring a bike for points, it's good therapy, and gives you an interest to keep you going. From a financial aspect, the closer to "correct" a bike is, the more resale value it has, for the day you eventually sell it. I've never had a bike judged, but I'm glad that the club spends the time to keep it going, cuz some day I may take advantage of it.

    Antique bikes are both a sport, and a hobby. Some people complete high speed runs, or land speed records, some roadrace or flat track, or engage in coast to coast competitions, or vintage motocross, and trials events. Some people restore them, and keep them, some sell them, some get them judged.

    All of those uses are good for antique motorcycling, and keep strong interest in the sport/hobby.

  2. #12
    Join Date
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    Tom, I think your view of the "antique motorcycle" hobby is spot-on.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #13
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    High in the B.C. Rockies....
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    I think you nailed it Tom.
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  4. #14

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    My thought has been this - this from the old car side, not (yet) the old bike side...

    Build them so they run, and are "mostly" correct. Drive (OK, ride) them, and keep working on it. Someday you'll have a 95 point rider that you KNOW runs. It may not be a museum piece and a 100.1 point vehicle, but you know it will do what it was meant to do - get you from point a to point b.

    I remember one concours that implemented a rule that the vehicle had to be started and run to be judged, and driven under its own power to collect an award. If it didn't, then it didn't qualify... and I've seen vehicles that were otherwise 100 point vehicles not get "best in class" or "best in show" because they were 100% perfect, down to the cotter pins and valve stem valves, but wouldn't start or run well enough to get from the field to the stage and back... one of which died and would not restart (not for lack of fuel, BTW) 100 feet from the dias. Pretty embarassing.

    To me - while a fully restored trailer queen which is dying from Museum rot and won't run for whatever reason isn't a faithful representation of the way the car (or bike) came off the assembly line. Because they had to run to be sold. And driven.

    They were built and engineered to run, not to sit. While they sure are cool with 143 miles on the ticker, in original paint and factory decals on the motor, frame, etc., (and if I had one I'd be tempted to museum rot it muself, honestly)... where's the joy in just sitting and looking at it, kinda like that '09 Rolls on Mr. Selfridge last night... Beautiful workmanship, but it's not built to sit, it's meant to RUN... just like these bikes.

    One other thing... you have a perfect trailer queen car. You find this amazingly cool aftermarket turn signal for the car - right year and everything, NOS for darn near nothing - heck, even the nickel plate is perfect. Or (like my bike) you have a magneto Harley that someone adapted electric lighting to or (my old car) a vehicle built in 1915 that has accessories up until about 1924 on it. Again, era correct. But to be a "pure" 100 point car, don't you dare put that on. To me - that's just not fun.

    So I say... Build it to ride first, to win shows second, but don't let #2 ever stop you from #1!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Thought I would put my 2 cents in here. I also am more interested in riding my bikes instead of having them judged. That being said, I do have an org paint 65 pan that I have had judged twice hoping to at least own one winners circle bike. The 1st time out was a jr 1st, so I was pleased. I thought just correct the gigs and no problem next time a senior, right? WRONG big time. It seams that different judges have different opinions. I know 65 pans as well as ANYONE, I have owned more than 10 of them. Some things that were docked, I know for a fact are correct, ie; no battery cover, it was an optiion, spotlite switch on the handle bars, which is correct, however was docked. So you can see my frustration, dont get me wrong, I admire and respect the judges, I know a lot of time and effort is put into it and I appalude those who do it. I guess all I am trying to say is, when a bike is judged and the gigs are corrected for the next time, the bike should move up, not stand still or go down, thanks for listening, Larry

  6. #16
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    I have had bikes judged since the 80s when it was more of a "Good Ol Boys" routine. Boy, was that an experience when an unknown person showed up with a very well known bike. No one would even talk to me. LOL. When it changed over to the point system I feel it is a better system and gives it more credibility. None of my judgable bikes are restorations as they are OP examples. I have experienced the different judges see different things and do not have a major issue with it to a point. However when I questioned a judge on the finish of a particular nut on my bike that he docked me for as to the reason why, his answer was, "It isn't that way on my bike". Well, needless to say I wasn't happy with that answer as it was the 7th time judged by some more knowledgable people than him and was always above 99 pts. Last time I have that bike judged. Also, what is considered normal wear and tear on an original paint bike?? There is a small 1/4 in. cut on my seat that is 45 yrs old. Is that normal wear and tear on an original 45 yr old bike??? My original goal was a 100 pt bike but it seems too elusive to me. Believe me I am not complaining as I have reached 99.5 if I remember correctly.I wouldn't change the system as I think it does put goals that are able to be realized. I also ride all my junk and will continue to do so until I am just not able to. Then someone can shovel me into my sidecar and ride me around. The system is set up nicely where after reaching winners circle, if that is your goal, you should ride the heck out of them. That is what they are for. Oh, and welcome Susanne. They do require the bikes to run to be judged which is a recent addition to the judging requirements..
    Last edited by D.A.Bagin; 04-23-2013 at 07:07 AM.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  7. #17
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    I think the most important thing about AMCA judging is that it gets old motorcycles out of their caves so people can see them. If it takes a trophy to get an owner to bring his bike to a meet then everyone is a winner.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #18
    Join Date
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    The teeming metropolis
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    Where can you see an original paint, original as it left the factory antique motorcycle? Where can you see a restored bike that your peers agree is as correct as can be? Where can you get several (sometimes conflicting) opinions as to whether or not you got it right or your machine, after you worked your ass off all winter? Judging at an AMCA meet. No place else. Oh, and bring your camera...
    A. Bernhardt
    AMCA# 9726

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Lots of excellent discussion outlining the motivation for judging. Agree the same logic applies to cars as it does bikes. Being new to old bikes and speaking from the car side, I'll ad that the comprehensive judging program serves as a catalyist for promoting the authenticity and preservation of the machines as the years go by. Few bikes are in good enough original condition to remain that way so must be fully restored or have some level of restoration to have any hope at all of ever being ridden. When that work is done its serves the hobby well to have standards to which all are measured.

    By nature humans like challenge and building a high point bike not only gives one personal satisfaction, pride, and recognition among peers but also in the process drives authenticity which continues the standard long after were dead and gone.

    Having said that I am personally a fan of driving the high point cars I have restored. I have never trailered to a meet and some people have called me a fool for doing so. Having been there and done that with highly authentic restoration on cars, I have no desire to make my 48 chief a point bike but have seeked out high scoring machines so I know what is correct when working on mine so am thankful for those that do it. At my age of 51 I realize riding while I'm physically able is most important but having been around so many over the years who have a show car or bike that sits locked in a garage and don't even make it to local shows for fear of something happening I understand "different strokes for different folks"............. otherwise what would we have to talk about.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  10. #20
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    Well I can only speak for myself on why. I like to look at it in pristine condition, not for judging purposes. One bike may have more sentimental reasons then the next. I have plenty of resto riders and wanted to have a decoration so to speak. Having alot of paper tied up in it and not wanting to have it friged up does it to you as well. Just my reason right or wrong i guess.

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