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Classic Velocity Blog

Oh Oley

Classic Velocity

The event season is officially underway, with something every weekend, and more than one thing on many. Among the rites of spring is The annual Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA) meet which takes place in Oley, PA not far from Velocity HQ.  It has been covered here before (see Only at Oley) but it is a delight every year. The great thing about AMCA is that the centerpiece of all their events is what they call the show field. The concept is about as far from the show field at the Hershey Porsche show the preceding week as it is possible to get. The show field IS the swap meet, and while there are plenty of concours quality bikes around, it is mostly about the peculiar, the parts and the projects. And that's just the people ;-)

To begin with, the parking lot is an interesting place. It is an area where a Vespa and a Vincent may be side by side, one rusty one concours-ready. It is where I saw a nice pair of Moto Guzzi Ambassadors, and a Ciccolo. A Wes Cooley replica Suzuki, and a WWII military Harley. All ridden to the event. Speaking of Harleys, the event is mostly centered around American brands like, Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior-Henderson, but there is plenty of other stuff as well. Nearby is the for sale corral, and there is always something in that area that you wish you could take home. I liked a Hodaka this time around. Elsewhere, I really liked a Victoria Bergmeister only recently featured in in this blog (see The Victoria Ventures)

Oley covers a fairly large area, so one of the other distinctive features is the variety of ways to get around that are used. Small motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters are mixed with large singles and singular oddities. I spied two Honda Trails welded together so that they formed a sort of motorcycle Catamaran. It had been carefully engineered with both clutches operated with the left-most handlebar, and both throttles with the right. Winters are often long and boring in the Northeast. Large men on mini-bikes, and trikes operated by a tiller are also popular.

There is more corrosion per square foot at Oley, than in most junk recycle yards, but in many cases it is attached to very valuable remaing metal. You do not want to judge prices here by the condition of the item. There is a dwindling supply of authentic vintage parts and they are highly valued in this marketplace. I have purchased entire running motorcycles (maybe even cars) for less than the price of a dented old headlight bucket that I saw. However, there were also good bargains to be had. A nice Honda CL175, a BMW R90/6, and more. 

The ultra-rare, the bargains, the eccentric, the crazy, the cool, the collectible. They are all gathered at the AMCA meet in Oley, PA every spring.