The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to restoring and competing on classic motorcycles. With about 5,000 members, AHRMA is the largest vintage racing group in North America and one of the biggest in the world. The association has grown steadily over the years, reflecting the increasing interest in classic bikes.
AHRMA traces its roots to efforts to organize vintage road racing during the late 1970′s in the Northeast. In the early 80′s, other group’s began emerging around the nation, adding scrambles, observed trials, dirt track and concourse events to the competition options available for vintage riders. Among these organizations were the California Vintage Racing Group and, in the Southeast, the Historic Motorcycle Racing Association. By 1986, it was clear that a national organization would be necessary to administer this burgeoning sport. AHRMA was originally formed as a privately held business corporation. Other groups were brought together under one banner and one set of rules, and in 1989 AHRMA was reorganized into the member-owned association of today.
AHRMA offers vintage national and regional road racing, motocross, dirt track, observed trials and cross country competition. The machines active in AHRMA these events span a full 50 years, from the 1920s to the mid-’70s. The national-championship schedule typical includes 15-20 rounds apiece in road racing, motocross, dirt track and trials. AHRMA nationals take place at some of the finest and most historic venues: Daytona, Road-America, Willow Springs, Miller Motorsports Park, Barber and Peoria, to name but a few.
Realizing that the definition of “classic” varies from one generation of enthusiasts to the next, AHRMA began adding classes for long-travel motocross machines from the late 1970s to early ’80s and for roadracers from early in the AMA Superbike period (up to the 1980 model year). These Post-Vintage motocross classes have been incorporated in many of AHRMA’s regional series and also have their own national circuit. The three Vintage Superbike classes have been added to AHRMA’s normal roadrace program.
In an effort to bring single-cylinder roadracing to the U.S. and to rejuvenate twins racing, AHRMA in 1993 began offering Sound of Singles®and Battle of Twins®classes, with a full national series in 1994. Bolstered by the presence of world-class riders on machines such as the exotic Britten V1000, AHRMA’s Daytona SOS/BOT events have attracted worldwide attention. Since 1995 the organization has been offering the almost-anything-goes Sound of Thunder® for singles, twins and triples, with Daytona as the opening round of the world Sound of Thunder series for several years. Including these innovative modern bikes with the vintage program has met with widespread acceptance and allows AHRMA to host its own events instead being the guest of another racing
The organization occasionally sponsors concours d’elegance, swap meets and banquets featuring world renowned speakers. One of the organization’s best-known activities began in 1992 when AHRMA and BMW of North America began promoting the BMW Battle of Legends®, extremely popular events pitting motorcycling’s legends against one another on identically prepared BMW motorcycles. Tens of thousands of fans enjoy the Legends races during Classics Days each year during Daytona’s Bike Week. Legends and non-racing Legends Emeritus have included David Aldana, Hugh Anderson, Mark Brelsford, Don Castro, Yvon Duhamel, Chris Draayer, Don Emde, Walt Fulton III, Dick Klamfoth, Kurt Liebmann, Dick Mann, Bart Markel, Eddie Mulder, Jody Nicholas, Gary Nixon, Reg Pridmore, Phil Read, Roger Rieman, George Roeder, Jay Springsteen, John Surtees MBE, Don Vesco, Walter Villa and Walter Zeller. Races have been held at Daytona Beach, Florida; Loudon, New Hampshire; Sears Point, California; and Lexington, Ohio. The BMW Battle of the Legends Grand Finale took place in March 1997 at Daytona International Speedway.
AHRMA members enjoy a professionally edited monthly journal “Vintage Views”; an annual racing rulebook/handbook; access to a site on the World Wide Web (www.ahrma.org); a variety of AHRMA logo products. The association maintains a Benevolent Fund to aid riders who are injured or otherwise in need.