2013 Corsa Moto Classica Vintage Vortex
Vintage motorcycle racing in the high desert
About 200 guys and gals with nicknames like Arizona Mike, Two-Stroke Tommy and Kitty Kawi descended upon Willow Springs International Raceway on April 25, all wearing the same thing: leather. The ocassion was the 18th annual Corsa Moto Classica, a festival of vintage motorcycles that includes racing, a swap meet and of course, a bike show.
The brainchild of bike fan extraordinaire Yoshi Kosaka, owner of L.A. vintage bike shop/museum The Garage Company, Yoshi is a veteran racer who wanted to put together an event where racers on all kinds of bikes could gather annually for three days of doing what they love. And now that he’s built the event, participants are coming from all over the globe, including Canada, New Zealand, Europe and Japan.
Sanctioning and orchestrating the series of races was the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), which includes classes for everything from ringy-dingy 125cc bikes to ex-factory big bore racers and everything in between. Now, Yoshi helps with the promotion of the event and focuses on the Bike Show and swap meet aspect. Still, he’s able to get in some laps on his MV Agusta or Rickman Kawasaki or well, you name it, he’s got it.
Race practice was followed by wheel to wheel track racing during all three days, but the bike show was a one day affair. Among the highlights were several Italian bikes including a 1955 MV Agusta 175cc Super Sport Disco Volante brought by Italian bike guru Mike Harper-Smith. Moto Guzzino shop proprietor Paul Montgomery brought his one of a kind Moto Guzzi Dingo racer recently removed from Italy. And top Ital bike show winner was Ernesto Quirago’s tasty “jelly” tank 1961 Ducati Sport.
Getting to the Corsa is a bit of schlep, but if you’re a vintage motorcycle fan it’s worth the haul. Ten bucks gets you in for all three days; entering your bike in the bike show is free, vendor spaces are free, camping space is free plus one day in race school – held right there at the track – gets you an AHRMA license to race. I didn’t race this time, but instead documented part of the weekend through the viewfinder of my camera. Enjoy the shots below.