Motorcycle judging is one of the most visible programs of the AMCA. For spectators, a trip to the judging field at an AMCA National Meet can be as good as, or better than, a visit to a motorcycle museum display. But the judging program also offers an opportunity for the Club to recognize the efforts of members to preserve significant pieces of motorcycling history.
Unlike many motorcycle shows, the AMCA does not judge machines against each other to pick a winner. Instead, antique motorcycles (those 35 years old or older), are judged against the way they would have appeared when they were first delivered to the dealer decades ago. Each motorcycle starts with a perfect 100 points, and points are deducted for incorrect components ranging from parts to paint.
Motorcycles are judged in two broad categories: restored or unrestored. Restored motorcycles are those machines that have been returned to their original appearance after many years, while unrestored (formally known as original) motorcycles are those rare machines that have survived the decades with their factory paint and equipment intact. Within those broad categories, there are classes divided by decade from the beginning of the motorcycle era through the most modern motorcycles eligible for judging.
Motorcycles entered in the AMCA judging program can progress through four award categories, each with more-stringent requirements: Junior Second, Junior First, Senior and Winners Circle. After that, an owner can continue to earn Winners Circle Preservation Awards by maintaining the bike in award condition and entering it in the judging program at subsequent meets.
Getting involved in the AMCA judging program is simple. If you own a motorcycle that fits the age restriction, you can pre-register to have it judged at upcoming events for the entire year by going to the Judging Pre-Registration page. Before entering your bike for the first time, though, you might want to download the official AMCA Judging Handbook that discusses the rules, the awards and the entire program in much greater detail. See a sample Judges Form to get an idea of procedures.
Note: Honor Competition has been discontinued. The AMCA has an additional class of judging specifically for racing motorcycles of the past. The Honor Competition Class is open to machines that have a history in dirt track, speedway, road racing, hillclimb, TT/motocross, drag racing or observed trials competition. All motorcycles entered in the class must be certified as eligible for judging through a formal application process before the machine can be judged at an AMCA National Meet. AMCA members can get an application to enter a motorcycle in the Honor Competition Class by going to the Judging Pre-registration page. For all the details on the new class, download the Honor Competition Class guidelines.
At all AMCA National Meets, additional National Recognition Awards are presented to the oldest motorcycle, the most unique motorcycle, the three motorcycles ridden the farthest distance to the meet and the three top-ranked Period-Modified motorcycles entered.
Together, those classes provide a variety of ways in which you can earn recognition for preserving and restoring classic motorcycles. And whether you end up with a near-perfect Winners Circle restoration or you just like looking at beautiful old bikes, the AMCA Judging Program is a great way to get in touch with the past.