Last month, the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) brought its traveling show to Laguna Seca. Iconic was planning on being at Laguna Seca the day after AHRMA anyway for an Aprilia Racers Day event, so it was an easy call to head up a day early and check out some classics!
Adam, myself, and a few Iconic employees all went up so our focus for the day was road racing. But AHRMA had an interesting program called the “Triple Crown” going on that weekend, a special title to be awarded to the racer that acquired the most points across three of the vintage racing classes they offered that weekend. There were a total of four categories to choose from: Road Racing, Trials, Cross Country, and Motocross – each racer would have to compete in three classes (two of which could be in Road Racing). Pretty cool concept!
AHRMA’s excellent motto is “making the past fast,” so let’s see some examples of that! There were way too many bikes to effectively cover all the ones I liked, so I’ll focus on a few of my favorites and you can check out this album if you want to see more.
First, I’d like to briefly introduce you to Al Charles. Al is one of the founding members of AHRMA and recently became the Road Racing Director. He’s sold a few bikes with us at Iconic Motorbikes, including a beautiful 0-mile Yamaha R1 Limited Edition. He also recently listed a low-mile Yamaha RZ350 that sold for a healthy $20,000 plus our 7% buyer’s fee just a couple of days before we met up with Al at Laguna, so I think he was pretty happy with that.
One of the photos I used in my post giving a heads up that we were coming to this event was a beautiful BMW airhead racer that I saw at AHRMA in Utah in 2015. In a “small world” moment, it turns out that the bike had been sold to a new owner (Eric) who was bringing it back to life, and it was fired up for the first time in years here at Laguna. This bike is apparently known by many of the usual racers and the new owner says that he heard some applause around the pits when this first fired up from its slumber.
“Wookie” and his wife were both racing this weekend with an awesome collection of bikes: a Ducati 900 custom with several 999 parts, a Honda NSF250, Kawasaki GPz550, and a Honda Motocompo that won an award at the bike show. The 900 was particularly interesting – it utilizes a 999 frame and 999 front end, as well as a handmade carbon fiber fuel tank and magnesium wheels from a Yamaha TZ250! He built it to look like a TT1.
We unfortunately missed the show (which was on Saturday), but there were some cool bikes randomly parked around as well. Check out this highly-modified CBX with a headlight fairing.
There was a beautiful AJS but I wasn’t able to conclusively identify it.
Do you know what model this is?
I got a kick out of this – can you guess what the redline is?
Everywhere we looked there was something interesting. One gentleman had a very cool Honda C110 with the race kit equipped for sale. It was LOUD and would make a hell of a pit bike.
One of the great things about the AHRMA pits is how friendly everyone is. I originally walked by what I figured was a Yamaha XS650 but the owner wasn’t around. His neighbor apparently let him know that I was admiring the bike, and the owner tracked me down later and asked if I wanted to learn more about it.
The owner is Brian Filo, and his bike (a veteran of the AHRMA racing scene) is quite impressive. It combines a Framecrafters replica of the Seeley design with a Yamaha XS650 motor (now up to 750cc) that’s been upgraded with a Harry Lillie head, Megacycle cams, and a Falicon crank. Brian says that he was able to save 40 pounds with the tank, frame, and the rear wheel. He’ll be listing a low-mile early Ducati 916 with us soon!
One of the coolest parts of Brian’s bike isn’t a component – it’s how much it has traveled! Mr. Filo has taken this bike to Australia four times for the Phillip Island Classic!
Speaking of XS650s, Marc Crocetti was using his 650 Speciale custom build as his ride between home and the track.
My favorite class in AHRMA is the Honda CB160 class, partially because it utilizes a Le Mans start. I’ve been fascinated by it ever since I first saw it in person back in 2015 at Miller Motorsports Park (now Utah Motorsports Campus):
The Laguna running of the CB160 class was similar exciting to me, though I was surprised to see how much variance there was between the bikes. I had assumed it was more of a spec class – organizations like USCRA seem to be pretty strick about modifications, though AHRMA treats it as an exhibition race and it seems like some people have 175 or even 200 motors. This was one of the trickest examples, and it was raced by Brian Larrabue, the owner of Boulder Motorsports. It was a close race (within 150 milliseconds) but Brian ended up winning with a fastest lap of 2:01.616 and a top speed of 66.129 miles per hour.
The owner of this beautiful CBR250RR recently sold a cool Honda Hawk track bike with us. Must be quite a sensation to keep winding out a bike to a 19k redline over and over again on the track! We just sold a stock CBR250RR on our site and we have another one coming soon…
Speaking of Hawks, it took the owner of this one a couple of days to individually cut out the white rectangles as part of his livery.
He said someone else told him it looked like the Death Star and now that’s all he sees when he looks at it.
While we’re on the a styling kick, I was intrigued by the front fairing on this KTM 1290 Super Duke.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Bike-urious reader Ken Morris with his lovely daughter on a BMW R69S that he’s shown at the Quail.
Here’s a video I filmed of Ken at the Quail describing the bike in more detail, plus a quick start up:
The winner of best tow rig goes to the owner of this CA-black-plated Studebaker!
There were also a few cool pit bikes. I particularly adored this Di Blasi folding scooter.
This was one of my favorite race bike liveries that I saw – unfortunately the owner had just gone down due to someone else’s incompetence but he was in relatively good spirits about it.
Paul Stamper has sold a couple of bikes with us at Iconic, including a lovely RZ500 very early in our existence and a TZR250 much more recently. He was in a great mood as after placing 5th in the Open 2-Stroke class on his Yamaha TZ250 4DP. Though we’ve worked with him multiple times before, this was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing him in person. He joked that he was “Happy Larry David”, a reference to how he looks similar to the star of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Paul had a video from his race on Sunday with some notes sharing his thoughts:
Dave Frick recently sold a RZ500 with us as well – he’s a big two-stroke fan, as you might be able to guess when you see that he brought TWO Suter MMX500s!
Well, those were my highlights but there’s so much more that happened – you really just have to experience it for yourself. We’ll be at AHRMA at Barber this October, will any of you be there?