Thursday, 24 April 2014

They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To: Vintage vs Modern

 A recurring theme, or even an issue, within cultural movements of most kinds is the battle between old and new. Just as popular sports punditry centres itself heavily upon the process of comparing current news and events with those which occurred during in past seasons or tournaments, the world of motorcycling is constantly gripped with the debate of whether modern engineering is as full-of virtue and positive progressiveness as vintage engineering.

While the argument of some would dictate that “it really just doesn’t matter and you’re into what you’re into”, many choose to ignore this passiveness- instead dedicating their life, or at least a rather large proportion of their spare time, to researching and theorising matters they clearly hold very dear.

Theoretically, the debate over which is best: vintage or modern, is one that will never really end- as with the inevitable passing of time, motorcycle parts & accessories that were once modern will wind up falling into the vintage category. At the very same time, it’s a debate set upon so much more than endless forum-hosted comparisons between vintage motorcycle boots and the new-age space-type boots we see far too many bikers rocking on our roads and highways in the present day.
I’m not about to sit here and patronize you all on this issue. I know for a fact that if you’ve found yourself here on this blog, reading this blog post, you’ll already have your own views and opinions/committed tastes and preferences. Or, maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re looking for some scope on the issue- a reliable source for your own research perhaps?
Either way, the following is aimed right at you. Whether a newbie deciding on which route to take, or a seasoned lover of all things vintage (particularly vintage bell motocross helmets?), I hope my words may help reinforce or even positively redirect your passions.
So then, what’s the deal? Once we’ve stripped off all of the subjectivity and personal opinion (of which there is a lot) – is there any substance? Do Harley Motorcycle Parts from days past hold an edge over those fired off Japanese production lines here in 2014? Well that my friends, is a question that could only ever be answered in a subjective manner! As far as objectivity is concerned, there are but a few things you must take into account when seeking out a vintage…

The term ‘vintage’ reflects a product (or in our case a variety of motorcycles/motorcycle parts) that was produced in the past and is also reflective of a certain level of quality. While this may imply that the price of a quality vintage motorcycle will naturally skyrocket with time, as a result of increasing rarity, this isn’t always the case.
Buying used can save you a whole lot of cash when you take the likes of setup, delivery and dealer fees into account. The fact is, vintage motorcycles will always have a lot more miles on the clock than any new model- a feature that always lowers the price to some extent within the automotive buyers-market.   
 Depreciation plays a very important role within the debate as a whole. Forcing prices down more often than up, many vintage-heads are thrilled at the prospect of securing a classic chassis for the same price, or even for cheaper than a modern sports bike; and, taking into account the astronomical global market there is for motorcycle parts & accessories, I for one can see the appeal!

The reason we’re often able to secure such irresistible deals when it comes to vintage motors extends further than the fact they’ve been used heavily up until the point you encounter them. In most cases, buying vintage means buying private; and buying private means there’s often no turning back once the transaction has been finalized. I mean, you try getting your money back from a guy who has just sold you the Harley he rode in the 70’s…

I guess what I’m trying to say is you never really know what you’re getting, unless you really know. With this in mind, never forsake on your research, take your time and make sure it’s the bike for you.
Personal Mechanical Ability/Experience
As a bike ages, the secrets of its workings become more and more shrouded in mystery. By the time a bike reaches four or five decades old, the parts available to make necessary repairs when it falters (which it will at some point- for it’s a machine) will be both hard to track down and expensive to procure. Not only that; but the haggard old guys with the necessary know how to get your bike on the road will be too. Soon you’ll realise that money you were so pleased to save has been blown on maintenance costs…
My point isn’t that you should stay clear of vintage bikes unless you’re some kind of expert- only that you should be aware of the inevitable. Cluing yourself up during the process of selecting and attaining your desired vintage model is just one method of avoidance. Indeed, mastery of two-wheel engineering is something that takes years of dedication, keen interest and hard work- but I guess we’ve all got to start somewhere!
Canadian Vintage Rally 2014

A key pass time all over the North American continent, motorcycling has developed from its modest foundations into perhaps one of the largest cultural movements to ever have existed. Transcending its boundaries as a mere method of transportation within just years of the development of the very first motorcycle parts, the pursuit now stretches all over the globe- including millions.

Our continent and our nation has played a significant part in making modern motorcycling what it is, and will undoubtedly continue to shape the field well into the future. While the term ‘modern’ when used as a suffix to the term ‘motorcycling’ has an awful tendency of carrying some rather loaded connotations, what with the whole vintage vs. new debate and all, I’d like to assure all readers that in this instance, it is intended to include both camps.

One of the chief components on any motorcyclists calendar, whether they favour super-streamline sports bikes or the gritty and cumbersome charms associated with Harley motorcycle parts, is undoubtedly the motorcycle rally.

Starting as somewhat-mashed together events designed to allow likeminded bikers to get together, drink, rock out and talk bikes all night long- rallies have evolved into something bigger and better, while (in many cases at least) managing to retain at least some of their original draws.

Nowadays, rallies allow for all of the aforementioned alongside such infinitely exciting features as brand showcases and previews, kind of like an industry fare crossed with a Motley Crue concert…
Canada is a country which really does cater for its motorcycle-enthused populous, playing host to hundreds of rallies each year- all of which are geared to suit certain tastes and preferences. As you’ve probably figured out by now, we're all about the vintage. So in this vein, we shall, for now, be concentrating on the vintage rallies happening across Canada in the coming months…

June 13th – 15th: The 5th CMA Vintage National Rally – Paris Fairgrounds, Paris - Ontario 
A rally which seeks to cater for Vintage enthusiasts of all ages, the full weight of the CMA Vintage National Rally is all set to landupon the small community of Paris, Ontario from June 13th to June 15th 2014.
The nearby fairgrounds will be taken over by the sweet sounds of vintage engine rumble as a series of organised events unfold over the course of the weekend. Full access to registration is available through the events webpage now, and includes admission to an entire (and entirely awesome) range of seminars, road runs, concours, trials, Marque displays, swap meet/vendors, camping, 24 hour vehicle access, free coffee, door prizes and even parking!
The earlier you fix up to ship out, the cheaper this show will wind up being for you; or in less verbose terms: there’s a discount offered for those who register in advance (as in, right now…). Pre-registered attendees will also benefit from priority access on the morning of the 13th- with on-the-day sign ups opening at 12 noon. 
Registering before the end of this month (April) will cost just $20 for members and $35 for non-members- with prices upping to $30/$45 in May.
A full events schedule for the weekend can be viewed here.

5th – 7th September: ‘Old Bastards’ Vintage Motorcycle Club Rally – Lake Park, Delta – Ontario 

Ever the purveyors of vintage, classic and even antique motorcycle parts &accessories- the Old Bastards, as they’re so lovingly entitled, are based out of the historic and also lovingly entitled Bastard Township, Ontario.
Incorporated as a non-profit organisation and fully dedicated to the continual and effective promotion of the riding and celebration of vintage bikes, you just know any event put on by these guys will blow the roof off.
Growing from a single garage operation in Bastard and Burgess Township, Ontario- the charity-oriented Old Bastards Vintage Motorcycle Club centres itself wholly upon the wants and concerns of its ever expanding roster of vintage-enthused affiliates.
Their annual rally lands each year on the weekend immediately following Labour Day (first Monday in September) with a whole host of awesome features planned for this year’s rally. On top of the usual/expected bike games, dinner and a dance, concours (famously held on a Sunday morning at the Old Bastards Vintage Motorcycle Club Annual Rally)- there will be some surprise features- details of which are yet to be announced.
Perhaps the best thing about this event is the accessibility it affords to those who are passionate about vintage motorcycles, though don’t have a bike to take along. All are welcomed by the OBVMC

Special thanks to Kiara Wilson from for letting me post this article!!








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