Good Times at Classic Motorcycle Day

May 20, 2024 | By Mike Seate

Cafe Racer magazine has been invited to Maryland’s Classic Motorcycle Day for the last 10 years or so, and until now, we’ve always been too busy to attend. The ride from Pittsburgh through rural West Virginia to the leafy hills of Mount Airy is a fine one, and even taking mostly highway routes is a rolling, 250-mile tour through some of the best scenery the Mid-Atlantic region has to offer. Last weekend, Nick Coumos and I made the trek down and the annual event proved to be more than worthwhile. The assembled crowd was friendly, welcoming and their collective dedication to classic motorcycles was infectious to say the least. Though the morning broke foggy and the field wet from the previous night’s rain, some genuine rare two-wheelers began rolling in; not one but two Italian Bimota racers were in evidence along with a half-dozen Vincent twins along with more pre-WWII British singles than I’ve ever seen on this side of the pond.

Folks seemed genuinely surprised and supportive of CRM, hanging out at our booth to ask questions about the magazine and its contents, sharing their own stories of building and in many cases collecting, custom cafe bikes. Though Nick and I were determined not to work too hard as this was a weekend away from the office, we ended up photographing a couple of fine machines for later publication. York, PA’s Gary Jones had built a breathtaking BSA 650 twin custom with Honda CB650 front suspension and plenty of homemade parts. Sean Skinner from Virginia’s Motorelic was on hand, taking home a trophy for a wild and wacky custom machine he’d cobbled together utilizing the most unexpected array of parts we’ve yet seen. Imagine an oversized 1970s mini-bike, only this one is powered by a two-stroke Yamaha snowmobile engine mated to a Harley-Davidson big twin transmission and Honda ATC wheels. Crazy? Oh hell yes. We also caught up with Irish expat Kevin McCready from Thumper’s Motorcycle Workshop who was on hand with a pair of beautifully restored T140 Bonnevilles, both of which will appear in the mag later this year.

And who could resist food trucks offering everything from gourmet hot dogs (never knew that was a food sub-genre!) to soft serv ice cream, making fora fun afternoon. If you’re missing the Cafe Racer Reader’s Ride-In Show which is postponed for the time being, you’ll want to mark your riding calendar form Classic Motorcycle Day, 2025. It’s a corker.