Kickstart Classic 2017 Set For This Weekend

We were thrilled with last year’s turnout. This year, we decided to hold the event a little earlier: we don’t need anyone suffering heat stroke! Join us for a weekend of pure, old-school fun

Start stretching your hamstrings, topping up your oil, and packing the extra tape for those loose parts—it’s time for the Kickstart Classic once again! This coming weekend, May 18-20, marks the 6th annual meet-up and ride at the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Each year, we try to pick a unique, interesting destination for the Kickstart to conclude, and this year we settled on the AMCA meet in Denton, North Carolina.

We just saw Buzz off today, the boss man packed and ready to head south to get to WTT museum sometime between what we can only surmise as today and the ride on Friday. (Keep your eyes peeled for the American Iron truck with an auld Harley in the back!)

Rolling out from the Wheels Through Time museum, you’ll score a chance to get a sweet riding shot and possible be seen in the magazine!

Thursday evening will be the meet and greet at on the museum’s grounds, where you can either sign in and pick up your stuff if you preregistered, or you can register for the ride on site. Food will be served, and the museum will be open for all of your gazing and drooling leisure (admission is included with your registration).

Friday morning, we ride. As most of you know, the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains provide some of the most beautiful roads for cruising this side of the Mississippi. We’re going to take our time, snaking through the region as we make our way to Salisbury, North Carolina, for an overnight stay.  There will be an entire day’s worth of riding.


Gorgeous roads await. Make this the trip for your riding season.

Saturday, we roll into Denton in the late morning, and there will be a parade, vendors, a show, and more awaiting our arrival.

The Kickstart Classic is open to all makes and models of motorcycles, though the newer bikes will have to ride behind the old lugs, just in case a thing or three goes bouncing backward. This is a purists dream, deep in the valley of the mountains where time feels as though it stands still, and for a weekend it truly does, as Dale Walksler’s invaluable collection of old iron serves as the appropriate setting for the rumble of motorcycles from the teens, ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s reverberating through the mountains from the small town of Maggie Valley, and suddenly we’re in a different decade—heck, we’re transported to a different century.


2016 Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Dates Announced

The much awaited Motorcycle Kickstart Classic event is often sold out long before it is held each year. This time the crew at American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Rides & Culture are announcing it early for everyone interested in it to have time to lock in the date.

Based from the world-class Wheels Through Time museum, in Maggie Valley, NC, the 2016 Motorcycle Kickstart Classic will be held July 29 and 30.

The all-make motorcycle event is open to all two and three wheelers – old or new. We prefer older motorcycles with kickstarters, but more modern ones are also welcome. The new ones just have to ride behind the old ones to pick up any parts that fall off.

The two-day event will include a welcome dinner July 28, and free admission to the museum as well as organized rides on some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. Registration has been held at $100 per person (rider and/or passanger) again this year.

Registration forms will be available in February.

Ross Kiwi Tomas Memorial Kickstart Classic Day 1 Video

Here’s a quick look at some of the bikes on the July 2014 Ross Kiwi Tomas Memorial Kickstart Classic.

Motorcycle Auction Action & Kickstart Classic



SHIFTING GEARS,  by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I’ve just returned from the annual motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas, and my head is spinning from all the amazing motorcycles and record-breaking prices.

I was quite impressed with the levels of knowledge of participants. Some were world-class experts, and others didn’t seem to have a clue. I saw people from both groups bidding, sometimes against each other. It made for some interesting action. Prices were all over the board from crazy cheap to insanely expensive.

At the Bonhams auction, a 1947 Knucklehead sold for $26,450 (all prices include commission), which seems pretty reasonable for a Knucklehead. Then at the same auction later that day, a 1940 Knucklehead sold for a staggering $159,000. Granted, it was a pretty nice bike, but a lot of experts who had carefully inspected it wanted to know why it went so very high. I know a little about Knuckleheads, but I’m far from an expert. So when asked why it sold so high, I replied “That’s simple. One person with the resources thought it was worth $158,000 and a second person thought it was worth $159,000.” But I have no idea why it sold for so much.

Speaking of expensive Knuckleheads, a stunning, restored, first-year 1936 EL from the George Pardos collection sold at the Mecum/Mid-America auction a few days later. Even though it might have set the record price for a Harley Knucklehead at auction at almost $180,000, few people seemed surprised. I learned a lesson when my friend Bill Melvin told me of a motorcycle auction many years ago when he was looking at a rare and valuable motorcycle he wanted to buy. One of the world’s leading experts on that particular machine carefully looked it over and proclaimed out loud “Well, that is just not correct!” and walked away. Pretty soon, everyone at the auction was sure the bike was not correct, but my friend was still interested in it. So he asked the expert to come over and point out what was incorrect on the bike. The expert replied “The bike is terrific, but the auction house simply had it listed incorrectly.” My friend said the bidding on that motorcycle was weak, and he bought it cheap.

The next day, I was interested in a rare, old motorcycle that had crossed the block well below reserve. I asked a few people about it and was told it was probably a good replica and not the real deal. So I asked my pal Dale Walksler to look it over. He did and told me it was the real deal and encouraged me to buy it if I was interested. And that’s what I did, at well below the market value for that particular machine. In fact, I bought it for just a little more than what I had sold my old dual-carb Panhead bobber for the month before.

Kickstart Classic

Ride a few years ago, we organized an all-brands, two-day motorcycle ride for the readers of our various magazines (American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, and what is now called Motorcycle). It was so much fun, we’ve held the Kickstart Classic every year since. Our next one will be in beautiful backcountry mountains in late July. We’ll gather at Wheels Through Time for a welcome reception and dinner for all registered participants. The next morning, we’ll ride a couple hundred miles to Coker Tires for dinner and an overnight stop. The next day we’ll ride another couple hundred miles to Cyclemos museum for dinner. We’ll stay off the highways for more enjoyment on the old machines, but don’t think this will be a slow ride.

If you wish to join us, please register ASAP, and make sure you and your bike are up for the ride. We’re limited to 100 motorcycles. All makes, models, years, and brands of motorcycles are welcome. If your bike doesn’t have a kickstarter, you’ll ride in the back to pick up any parts that fall off the older bikes up front. Registration is $100 per person, and you can call Rosemary at 203/425-8777, ext. 114 to register or ask questions. For more info on this ride, visit

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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This article originally appeared in the  issue #309 of American Iron Magazine.

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Registration Form for July 2014 Kickstart Classic Motorcycle Ride

American Iron Magazine’s Kickstart Classic
July 2014 Registration Form

This 2-day event is on public roads and is open to riders of all makes and years of motorcycles. We have some beautiful roads planned staying off the highways. The ride starts in Maggie Valley, NC the morning of July 25, and ends in Red Boiling Springs, TN July 26.


    • $100 registration each (rider and/or passenger) and limited to 100 riders.

    • All registered riders and passengers are welcome to the dinner Wednesday (at Wheels Through Time), Thursday (at Coker Tires) and Friday (at Cyclemos Museum), one event T-shirt & discount hotel rates on the ride.

    Thursday, July 24. Welcome reception & free dinner at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC

    Friday, July 25. Group rides out from Wheels Through Time at 10:00 am.
    • Reception and dinner at Coker Tire’s headquarters in Chattanooga, TN around 6:00 pm.

    Saturday, July 26. Group rides out from Coker Tires headquarters at 9:00 am
    • Final reception and dinner at Cyclemos Museum in Red Boiling Springs, TN

    T-Shirt Size:
    Motorcycle Year: Make: Model:
    Emergency Contact Name: Phone Number:

    < >SUBSCRIBE or < > RENEW 1 year (13 issues) subscription to American Iron Magazine for $26.95?

    T-Shirt Size:
    Emergency Contact Name: Phone Number:

    Please complete this form and return with registration payment to: TAM Communications, ATTN Motorcycle Kickstart Classic, 1010 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905.

    We are working on special discounted rates at our host hotels. We send you the hotel information and your event T-shirt(s) in July.
    For more information, please call Rosemary at 203.425.8777 x114.

2014 Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Ride

The Kickstart Classic ride is open to all makes, models and years of motorcycles (with or without kickstarters). 2014 will be the fourth year American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and Motorcycle magazine put on this two-day ride. We’d like to thank all our supporters and repeat sponsor Spectro Oils.

This year, the registered riders will meet, once again, at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC for a welcome dinner and reception Thursday afternoon and evening, July 24, 2014. We leave the next morning (Friday, July 25) and ride to Chattanooga, TN where we will be treated to a tour and dinner at the Coker Tire world headquarters. The next morning we depart and ride to Red Boiling Springs, TN for a reception and dinner at Cyclemos Motorcycle Museum.

The ride will be mostly on beautiful backroads where we can travel at our on speed without worrying about modern highway traffic. We will ride roughly 160 miles each day with plenty of stops to enjoy the scenery as well as gas-up, eat (hopefully not associated) and check out each other’s bikes.

We will limit registration to the first 100 riders and registration is $100 per person (rider and passenger). To register, please send your name, address, make, model and year of motorcycle and t-shirt size. Please send this along with $100 per person registration fee to: Kickstart Classic, c/o TAM Communications, 1010 Summer St. Stamford, CT 06905. For more info, please call Rosemary at 203.425.8777 x118.

For registration form please click Here.

Suggestions Wanted For 2014 American Iron Kickstart Classic Motorcycle Rides

We at American Iron Magazine encourage all motorcycle owners to ride and enjoy your bikes – old, new or in between. It’s pretty easy to find a local ride for newer bikes, but not always so easy for those classics that are not as comfortable at highway speeds.

American Iron Magazine's Kickstart Classic Ride Spring 2013

American Iron Magazine’s Kickstart Classic Ride Spring 2013

That is one of the reasons we created the Kickstart Classic rides. We held the first one in 2010, another in 2011 and 2012 and 2 in 2013. So now we need to decide what and when to hold the Kickstart Classic rides in 2014, and we’d like to hear your suggestions.

Legendary Harley drag racer Pete Hill and his street legal hot rod Knucklehead with Buzz Kanter and Dale Walksler

Ideally the Kickstart Classic rides should be fun for classic motorcycles and last two full days ending at a great motorcycle-related event, destination or rally. And the rides should not be within a month before or after the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run in September 2014.

Suggestions please?

Pewter Run New England Classic Motorcycle Event

It’s with great pleasure we continue to celebrate the first fifty years of motorcycling in America, with the 2013 annual Pewter Run, on September 29th 2013. We will return to the Historic 1774 Nathaniel Rolfe House preserved by the Penacook Historical Museum at 11 Penacook St. Penacook, NH. This autumn we will welcome our brothers in vintage arms from the Kickstart Classic.

Pewter Run Poster

Buzz Kanter and the crew from American Iron Magazine and RoadBike will join us Sunday to celebrate the Pewter Run and The Kickstart Classic, sponsored by BAKER Drivetrain, GEICO, Spectro Oils, and Wrench, Ride Repeat® as they journey across New England. This very historic setting is in the heart of rural New England with its many historic villages, fine homes, old inns and winding country roads. The Pewter Run loosely patterned after two international “vintage” motorcycle events, the “Motogiro d’Italia” and the English “Branbury Run”. The Kickstart Classic and the Pewter Run are open to all makes and models of classic motorcycles.

The premiere “first of its kind” AMA sanctioned event is organized and hosted by the USCRA (United States Classic Racing Association), Americas oldest vintage motorcycle racing organization.  The route will wind its way approximately fifty miles through the back roads of New Hampshire and eventually back to the start for a gala social gathering and cookout celebrating early motorcycling.

The Pewter Run is a timed, non-speed, reliability road event for motorcycles built prior to 1959. Participants will follow a designated route at a low (25MPH) average speed where checkpoints will confirm their reliability and progress. Participation classes will separate the motorcycles into age categories for scoring. Pewter replicas will be awarded for completing the event in the prescribed time plus an allowable percentage. For complete event information, rules, classes and an entry form, visit Pewter Run.


May 2013 Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Wrap-Up

The May 2013 Kickstart Classic was a great success and lots of fun. We want to thank our sponsors – Spectro Oils, GEICO Insurance, Wheels Through Time, and Wrench Ride Repeat, as well as all the Harley dealers who welcomed and fed us along the way. The ride from Charleston, SC to St. Augustine, FL was spectacular, with AIM Editor-In-Chief Buzz Kanter and several other riders leading the pack on their pre-1930 Motorcycle Cannonball bikes. Over 50 riders aboard kickstart motorcycles of all ages and brands took part on the ride.

Look for full coverage of the May event in American Iron’s summer issue going on sale 7/23. For the digital edition, on sale 7/5 click AIM DIGITAL.

The next Kickstart Classic will be in the Northeast at the end of this September. Details and registration info will be available at within the next couple of weeks. We look forward to seeing you there. – Ride Safe.


Second 2013 American Iron Magazine Kickstart Classic Motorcycle Ride in New England

Good news for all of us who like in the northeast part of the US. We at American Iron Magazine have just announced a second Kickstart Classic ride September 27 & 28.

Sponsored by BAKER Drivetrain and GEICO insurance, we will gather the evening of Thursday, September 26, 2013 at Moroney’s Harley-Davidson in Newburgh, NY. We leave the next morning and ride to Woodstock Harley (so bring your tie-dye and love beads) for lunch. Then on to Spitzie’s Harley in Albany for the overnight.

On Saturday, Sept 28 we roll out of Albany, NY and ride to Monadnock Harley in Swanzey,, NH for a lunch stop. Then on to Heritage Harley for dinner and an overnight.

The next morning is the Pewter Run outside Concord, NH for classic and vintage bikes.

As usual, all riders much register and pay $100 fee (to get event t-shirt, stickers, free meals and hotel discounts. We are limiting registration to no more than 100 riders. We will have a registration form available shortly.