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Motorcycle classes


Bob Hill
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I have noticed all kinds of motorcycles at the National meets including some I would consider mini bikes. Anyway, the question I have is what constitutes a bike qualifying for entry (other than being 25 years old obviously)? Does it have to be street legal (I would assume so)? Does it have to be a certain engine displacement? What about Mopeds - can they be shown?

Guess I am just trying to figure out the rules here. I have several old bikes I have restored but not sure all of them qualify for AACA judging

Thanks

BOB

Edited by Bob Hill (see edit history)
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Here is the description of the different motorcycle classes:

5a. Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . Through 1919

5b. Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . . . 1920 - 1945

5c. Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . . . 1946 - 1959

5d. All motorized bicycles and mopeds including

Whizzer, Sportsman and Ambassador models. . . Through 1986

5e. Cushman Eagles. . . . . . Through 1965

5f. All motor scooters and other 2 or 3- wheeled vehicles with small diameter

wheels (ex.- Mustang cycles). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Through 1960

5g. All motor scooters and other 2 or 3- wheeled vehicles with small diameter

wheels (ex.- Mustang cycles). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1961 - 1986

5h. Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . . . 1960 - 1986.

I remember that there was a discussion a couple of years ago of this same subject. As I remember the discussion, it seems that the class sort of expanded over time, probably due to not that much thought about some of the wording of the class descriptions, which seems to have morphed into something that includes some vehicles that perhaps should not have gotten in.

I think that Whizzer Bicycles were originally commonly used on roadways. When you included them, it is not much of a stretch to include more modern mopeds. When you include those, it is not too far of a stretch to end up with wording that lets minibikes in. After they got in, it is sort of difficult to change the class wording to exclude them.

I was not around at the time, so my theory of how the class descriptions evolved over the years may not be correct. The bottom line is the class descriptions do allow entry of "vehicles" that I would not think should have ended up on the showfield, but they are there and they are not going away. So, if you have something that can be described in any of the class descriptions listed above, you can certainly enter it. I guess if it has two wheels and any sort of motor, you can probably fit it into one of the motorcycle classes.

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Guest Siegfried

Bob, yes mopeds can be shown. I know of a Velo-Solex moped that has a Senior award. It is a front wheel drive moped, and was built in France. The engine is lowered onto the front wheel. AMF mopeds use the same principle with the engine over the rear wheel. Other mopeds such as Sachs use a chain drive to the rear wheel. The keys is that a moped has to have pedals to move it before the engine is engaged, and the engine has to be 49cc's, or smaller. 50cc and up are considered scooters, or cycles.

As far as street legal goes I am not sure. I have seen Scat-Kitty's at AACA National Meets, and they are definitely not something to be ridden on the street. They stand approximately 12 to 18 inches tall. Sort of an entry level 2 wheeler for kids.

As far as HPOF for mopeds I don't think there would be a problem. I have a HPOF award for a 1965 Vespa 125cc scooter, and I am considering showing a 1977 Sachs moped in HPOF in the future.

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Here is the description of the different motorcycle classes:

I was not around at the time, so my theory of how the class descriptions evolved over the years may not be correct. The bottom line is the class descriptions do allow entry of "vehicles" that I would not think should have ended up on the showfield, but they are there and they are not going away. So, if you have something that can be described in any of the class descriptions listed above, you can certainly enter it. I guess if it has two wheels and any sort of motor, you can probably fit it into one of the motorcycle classes.

Unfortunately, the motorcycle entries seem to be waning in number. Perhaps because some non-motorcycle folk seem to think cycles, motorbikes, mopeds, scooters, and mini-bikes are not to be included in an automobile club. I can tell you the motorcycles in the club do not get due coverage in the magazine or on this website. Another reason is that the show fields are located too far from trailer parking (ie:Hershey) making it too difficult to get small cycles from the trailer to the show field.

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Guest Siegfried

If you all are disappointed by the 'coverage' given the motorized two wheelers then, imagine how the foreign guys feel. AKA, Class 4A/4B for example. Talk about being ignored!

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If you all are disappointed by the 'coverage' given the motorized two wheelers then, imagine how the foreign guys feel. AKA, Class 4A/4B for example. Talk about being ignored!

Hmmm. I'm not sure about that. I think you guys get more recognition than we cyclists do.

I've been seeing a respectable number of articles and/or pics in Antique Automobile showing those neat little Vespa (cars), Autobianchis, VWs, Bantams, Crosleys and Amphicars.

I'll admit, a number of those may not be shown in class4, but turn up in DPC and HPOF classes (as do a few motorcycles). We hear you though....We cyclists feel for you "little guys." ;)

Personally, I very much enjoy reading about the little cars, and at the shows, I seek them out to photograph.

Edited by Dick380185 (see edit history)
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I see nothing in the AACA rules that would prevent someone winning a Senior Award with a golf cart of the appropriate age. Last time we discussed this at a judging school the consensus seemed to be that any vehicle that could have been legally driven on the hiway at any time anywhere in the country would qualify. There are many places, Florida for example, where it is legal to drive a golf cart on the hiway, if only within a prescribed area. There have been many trail bikes and scooters shown in competition that were never titled or licensed for hiway use. A golf cart would fit nicely in class 3b, electric vehicles thru 1986.

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Unfortunately, the motorcycle entries seem to be waning in number. Perhaps because some non-motorcycle folk seem to think cycles, motorbikes, mopeds, scooters, and mini-bikes are not to be included in an automobile club. I can tell you the motorcycles in the club do not get due coverage in the magazine or on this website. Another reason is that the show fields are located too far from trailer parking (ie:Hershey) making it too difficult to get small cycles from the trailer to the show field.

Dick,

I think that you misunderstand my intended emphasis. I don't dislike minibikes and I am not trying to be negative.

It is my personal view that a few non-street legal mini-bikes got included in the classes in the past and they are there to stay. In my opinion it is a difficult situation because it is a slippery slope.

I don't personally think that the Antique Automobile Club of America was intended to include vehicles that were never intended to be driven on the street. It is a very slippery slope that has to be carefully navigated. The minibikes that I rode as a young child were never street legal, but they are on the showfield. The tractor that I drove on the farm as a young man was legal to drive on the street in my state then and now. (and it did not require a driver's license or a license plate) The tractor is not on the showfield because we are an automobile club and not a tractor club.

There are tractor clubs to show tractors and I would think that are or should be minibike clubs to show the minibikes. I hope we are not going to also stretch the definition of automobiles to include golf carts.... I don't personally think that they are automobiles either... but the argument could certainly be made that they belong on our showfields as much as some of the minibikes.

Anything that has ever been allowed into a class is there to stay... it is important to be careful about what is included... one thing can often lead to another.

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Restorer32,

I think that the best chance to define the class as I would personally think it should be would include the words "electric vehicles designed, intended and legal for use as general transportation vehicles on public streets"

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There in lies the rub. In some places golf carts are legal for use as general transportation on public streets. That's always been the rationale for allowing the various mini bikes etc. I have no problem with anything with wheels and a motor being allowed on the show field myself. In Pennsylvania snowmobiles are legal to use on public streets in some areas when a snow emergency is declared. My son's 4 wheeler is licensed and insured to drive in PA state parks. The rules as I see them would certainly allow him to show it when it reaches 25. The more the merrier, though I did feel a bit silly judging the interior of the Skat Kitty.

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So, maybe the word "automobile" might be included and an all inclusive definition included in the judging guidelines. I know that in a previous discussion, it was clear that farm tractors were not going to be on the showfield (not that I think they should be), and they are not any more of a stretch than golf carts, four wheelers, or snowmobiles.

Perhaps a definition could be crafted that would help set the defining line, while understanding that currently accepted vehicles (such as minibikes) that may be excluded by the new definition would be grandfathered due to initially being accepted into the judging system.

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Actually there were several tractors designed and built to be used as farm vehicles during the week and to drive into town on Saturday. What about the Crosley FarmORoad? Even their original ads say it's a tractor that can be driven into town, rather than a car that can be used on the road. I agree there need to be limits but it sure is difficult to make hard and fast rules. Back to my son's 4 wheeler. It's titled, licensed and insured and can be driven on hiways in State Parks and in certain recreation oriented towns in northern PA and VA. How does it differ from say an imported Italian Scooter that would have no problem getting onto the show field? Like I said, this is just a thought experiment.

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Bearing in mind that there are some "vehicles" currently shown that would have to be grandfathered in, I would think that an simple way to draw a fairly reasonable line would be to define an automobile by requiring it to be licensed for operation on public roadways by any state. If a state will register it, it is an automobile and thus eligible for competition.

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If a state will register it, it is an automobile and thus eligible for competition.

With all due respect Matt, I would prefer it read "if a state will register it for all highways of the state".

Reading this thread makes me wonder when we will run out of judges to handle all of these classes that we continue to add? This is an interesting thread though. Please continue.

Wayne

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This is just my opinion, but I would expect (perhaps not all), but most old car enthusiasts would be pretty accepting of mini-bikes, scooters, and mopeds due to the fact that so many of us had one of these vehicles early in our lives. For a lot of us, these may have been the first gasoline motor-driven vehicle we had enjoyed, beyond a bicycle. From these little vehicles, we developed a "motorhead" love that grew into automobiles.

Being able to relate to these little vehicles should be of interest to many of us, as viewing them should bring back memories of when we were young, and to the beginning of our motoring enjoyment.

Edited by Dick380185 (see edit history)
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With all due respect Matt, I would prefer it read "if a state will register it for all highways of the state".

Reading this thread makes me wonder when we will run out of judges to handle all of these classes that we continue to add? This is an interesting thread though. Please continue.

Wayne

OK, How about.... if a state will register the vehicle "for general transportation use on streets and local roads"

That takes care of the minimum speed limit on the interstate.... and we don't really have room for a bunch of tractor triple trailer combinations on the showfield anyway do we....? :D

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I thought it was a given that we were talking about automobiles 25 years and older and talking about the description describing the vehicle's use when new....

So yes, that would be the basic idea... plus the list of vehicles that would be grandfathered in due to initial acceptance into the judging system.... such as those minibikes that were never street legal but already accepted into the judging system.

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What about bicycles with add on motors? It was these very bikes the class 5 D was created for and most have no lights at all. Just engine and bicycle. We would have to use road legality at the time of manufacture, which likely differs from state to state.

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Guest Siegfried

Legality does differ from state to state. Here in Pa. I've been told that a moped must be licensed for street use. Depending upon the state license rules also determines whether, or not your moped, and maybe scooter had a title issued by the state where it was purchased.

For example: I have 3 Vespa scooters, and the only one that has a genuine title of ownership is the one I bought from a Pa. resident. The Vespa from Vermont had a bill of sale as did the Vespa from New Jersey. The local police department came out to my house to verify the serial numbers, and issue a statement to me for use at PaDOT for a Pa. title. No major probelms were encountered, and I got my titles.

Now the moped issue: Both mopeds are under 50cc, but in order to be ridden legally on a Pa. road they need license plates, and you can't get Pa. plates without a title. The mopeds did not come with titles, and only my persistence with PaDOT got me titles. A bunch of time, and lots of paper.

A friend built a motorized bicycle a few years back. He used a large frame balloon tire bike, and added a motor, lights, and gas tank. He had a devil of a time convincing PaDOT to issue a title. He used the Whizzer as an example for his creation, and finally got a title.

PaDOT is tough to deal with, but they can be convinced.

I,m in the proces of building a motorized bike like my friend did, and I imagine I'll use the same arguement he did to get a title.

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