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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this isn't a dumb question but could someone please tell me what the "official" definition is of Classic, Vintage & Veteran motorcycles?

Thanks
 

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Can 'O Worms.

There is so much disagreement on these terms, it's not funy.

Old bikes are 20 years old or more, starting with the "youngest" definition which is by certain states that allow "vintage" bike plates for bikes over 20 years old. Other than that there are at least two definitions for each term, so it's always arguable.
 

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The terms Veteran, Vintage, and Classic have specific time periods that define the terms...IF you are in the United Kingdom.
Here in the States, the terms are used arbitrarily, and have taken on different definitions depending on who is doing the defining. Veteran is a term that is rarely, if ever used here. Classic is used arbitrarily for the most part, in some cases the term is used to describe a new vehicle, such as a Hinckley Bonneville. Vintage is a little more defined. It is becoming somewhat accepted that the term vintage applies to any motorcycle 25 years old or older. In AHRMA racing, vintage is defined as a motorcycle that was manufactured before model year 1975 for motocross, and 1974 for roadracing.
The term "Antique" is defined by the Antique Motorcycle Club of America as any motorcycle 35 years old or older. That is the only true official designation of any term in the States, but that gets clouded by the fact that many states allow vehicles as new as 20 years old to be defined as "antiques" or "vintage" or "historic" etc. for the purpose of that particular states licensing requirements. So you see, that's why this is a hard question to answer, and why it generates so much controversy!
Since you are in New Zealand, the definitions could be different still. If you have an official Antique or old motorcycle club or association, check with them about how these terms would be defined in NZ.

[ This message was edited by: OldTimeBiker on 2006-06-07 22:58 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks "OldTimeBiker"

I can understand why this can cause a bit of controversy as to some it would be very important to have their classification correct.
For me it is just curiosity as I have heard the term "classic" used for different ages of bikes and as my Tiger is right on the 25 years old mark, I don't want to refer to it as a "classic" when it might not be.
Appreciate all comments.
Kiwee
 

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From my book "Old Bikes"

“Classic”

Ah, “classic”, the word that springs to one’s lips when they see an old bike. Webster’s defines classic as: “excellent of it’s kind” and/or “completely typical”. While these two seem to be at odds, one definition describing a better example than the others of it’s kind, and the other definition indicating commonality, they really point in the same direction – the common understanding of a quality of excellence by a varied audience.

Examples of classics in art such as the “Mona Lisa”, in automobiles like the Ferrari Testarossa, and in architecture as found in the Empire State Building are easy to compare with like examples surrounding them. Such is the case with a personal favorite of mine, the 1967 Triumph Bonneville; when one sees this bike in a crowded parking lot and it’s unmistakable Aubergine and White gas tank, it’s heart-shaped timing chest, and it’s Burgess style exhaust mufflers, the word “classic” is likely to be first on the lips of the majority of observers. The bike’s clean, sleek lines almost scream “classic”.

Classic bikes are many and varied. The aforementioned Bonneville, the Indian Chief, Norton Commando and Manx, Brough Superior and Harley-Davidson Electra Glide all embody the “classic” designation. But these are only a few of the more prominent examples, the Honda Super 50 and CB750, Penton 125 “Six-Days”, Kawasaki Z1R and Suzuki 750 GSXR are also classic bikes. The list is far too numerous to contain here, but I think the idea is getting through.

“Vintage” and “Historical”

Once again turning to Webster’s, we find that the word “Vintage” is defined thusly: “(wine) extracted from a particular harvest (of grapes)” (parentheses mine). Extracting (pardon the pun) the gist of this definition “extracted from a particular harvest”, could logically be extrapolated into a particular model of a certain (production) year motorcycle.

Let me try to explain it like this: The Indian Motorcycle Company (in America) lived a life cycle that saw the company established, grow, prosper, fade, and then die. Within that time, the motorcycles produced by Indian gained stature, notoriety and even renown for their abilities, durability, exploits and qualities; at a certain point in Indian’s history, (many argue that is 1949), they produced a particular model of the Chief that, besides being a classic, is a “Vintage” example of Indian’s entire production. At that time, the company was at it’s Zenith, some of the finest staff was on board and involved in design, production and marketing the bikes, and the tooling and equipment was the best the factory would have.

Examples of similar “Vintage” bikes can be gathered from almost every manufacturer for the simple reason that, as with wine, there is a “Vintage” example from every winery. But this term, when used to describe a motorcycle, can spell trouble if not used with a note of caution: opinions differ and can vary substantially. Heated debates have occurred, feelings have been hurt and otherwise friendly relationships soured over the term when used in the course of judging motorcycle shows. Let me just say that I use the term sparingly, and never argue over the subject. We all know what we like, some won’t touch a Red wine, others wouldn’t drink a White wine if they were choking.

“Historical” is not a term that can be used to describe a motorcycle in casual conversation; one must know the history that applies to the subject motorcycle to frame it’s validity in a historical sense. Simply put, a bike would have to have significance in a fixed point in time such as the first (or last) model produced by a manufacturer, a particular motorcycle that was involved in an historical event such as the first crossing of the Panama Canal or Golden Gate Bridge, or the only motorcycle ever ridden by the Queen of England. History is replete with particular motorcycles that had their place in the limelight at one time or another. To own a piece of history is a pleasurable thing, to be able to ride that piece of history through a shady, winding lane and display it proudly with artifacts that provide prominence is a feeling that is not easily explained, but quite enjoyable to be sure.

“Collectible”

Now we arrive at the most debatable designation of all! The word “collect” is defined as “to acquire to enjoy (permanently)”; who is to say then what can be considered “collectible”? I may desire to collect Hondas, you may prefer Hendersons; they are each as collectible as the other. Don’t be discouraged, dissuaded or belittled for collecting whatever bikes you desire. Be eclectic, mix them up, display them side by side! Horror! For goodness sake, it’s your collection, do as you please.

I for one will enjoy ANY motorcycle for it’s own sake. In fact, a bike I wouldn’t give a second look to at one show may catch my eye due to a certain artifact it is displayed with at another, or a particular article describing it’s historical significance may completely change my opinion of it.

A motorcycle’s “collectibility” cannot be strictly measured or quantified, and cannot be judged except by the person collecting the bike. To some extent, ALL motorcycles are collectible.

There, I have said it. I feel much better, and will now continue with more pleasant topics.


Special definitions for registration & insurance

You may consider carefully how you describe your bike(s) to your insurance agent and registering authorities. In some cases, insurance costs can go up or down depending on the description and value which the bike will be insured for. Also in certain cases, you may qualify for a discount on your registration fees for license plates depending on the age of your bike or it’s designation.
 

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definition is this;

if you own the bike it is just an old piece of dingo dog doodo.
it is worth nothing and should be disposed of immediately.
being the wonderful person that I be I will take from you and handle the disposal of your old lump(for only a small charge.)

Once I own the bike it is a very rare antique classic vehicle.
It is worth more than you could ever afford (but make me a offer any way) and I would never sell it. (delivery can be arranged for a small fee)

hey Oldtimerbiker
My cub cadet is over 25 yrs old do you think I can get it into the Chicago Notrun Owners Club show in August?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey GrandPaulZ!
I see what you meant by "Can O Worms""

I think my curiosity has been satisfied, however I feel there might be more added to this thread.

I'm happy to just accept that the bike is 25 years old, a classic to me (who cares if I'm not technically correct) and as it matures into a Vintage and Veteran in will be like a fine wine, and improve.

Cheers
 

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Kadutz,
The Cub Cadet has 2 too many wheels! Therein lies the rub!
 

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KIWEE
does this mean you don't want me to dispose of the old lump?


Oldtime
if I take off one wheel and call it a sidecar will that work??

[ This message was edited by: KADUTZ on 2006-06-08 22:03 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
KADUTZ,
Thanks for the offer but this is one lump I dont want to get rid of. Anyhow as I own it, and in your own words.....

"Once I own the bike it is a very rare antique classic vehicle.
It is worth more than you could ever afford (but make me a offer any way) and I would never sell it. (delivery can be arranged for a small fee) "
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Roy, What do you know about electric start that I now feel I need to?
I have noticed the excellent engineering design of having the live starter motor cable DIRECTLY below the carburetor fuel bowl.
Hey, maybe its life as a classic will be a short one. :wow: :flam:
 

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This could take a long time, so bear with me. However from the outset, you must realize this arrangement is C**P :(
Lets look at how the drive is taken from the starter to the crankshaft: it goes through a sprg clutch, via the intermediate gear and then drives the crank pinion, in fact it drives 3 TEETH ONLY on the crank pinion. This created tooth faliure and there was a re-design of this pinion. The updated version has two grooves machined around the plain diameter, behind the teeth.
Next problem, the intermediate gear now has a 'live' spindle which rotates all the time in a bush in the crankcase. Firstly the spindles were migrating thru the case and into the crank and so a redesign was needed. This resulted in a different shape top hat bush and thrust face on the spindle.
Next was the sprag it's self. It was never up to the job and failed constantly. This also sometimes ripped the intermidiate spindle from it's bush and split the crankcase, a real 'dogs dinner'.
So, in England most of the bikes have now been converted BACK to kick ONLY. I have heard that up-rated sprag clutches are available now but you can't beef up the cases around the spindle and you are still only using 3 teeth to turn the motor.
The sensible way would be to drive through the clutch basket? However this is ANOTHER one of Brian Jones's Meriden BLUNDERS :evil:
If you want to see how it should have been done, check out my TR6P SAINT in the photo album. This was shown to Triumph in 1977........ YES 1977 by Bob Oswald of Quiet Power Drive inc. They are also still going, check out their site when you have a minute.
Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Roy (I think!)
Certainly gives me a bit to think about.
I think I'm going to be quietly nervous every time I go to start the girl.
It is amazing the information thats available on this site.
Thanks
Graham
 
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