July 3-4 2021 Allentown, PA Vintage Drags
This is vintage motorcycle drag racing at the Great Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And a lot of these motorcycles are bikes that, in the eyes of the uninitiated (or to the stringent collector), might have no place on a race track. Let alone one made of dirt and gravel.
Considering the age and relative scarcity of some of these vintage motorcycles, one might even think they'd be better off getting restored or, at the very least, preserved in their "barn find" conditions for future generations to admire. After all, these are generally not very inexpensive motorcycles. These bikes are expensive. And the replacement parts, should you break something, are also very costly, and only getting harder and harder to find.
But these are vintage motorcycle racers. And these guys don't necessarily measure value in dollars. They seem to value the experience of racing decades-old motorcycles on dirt, the bragging rights that come with a win, and just plain old-fashioned fun, over the almighty buck.
You can see the passion in their eyes while they tentatively stare down the flag girl at the starting line and you can see their dedication to the race in their shifts and in the way they hold the throttle wide-open despite loose track conditions or a fishtailing rear wheel. With nerves of steel and eyes laser-beam focused on the finish line, for a few seconds, nothing else matters. Not even the possibility of a crash, a blown motor, or even the thought of a loss.
And you can bet that they'll continue pushing the limits of these old bikes well beyond the breaking point, race after race. Because these are vintage motorcycle racers racing each other on vintage motorcycles. And that's just what these guys do.
Photos + Story by Chris LaCour