Author Topic: classic and vintage?  (Read 1154 times)


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classic and vintage?
« on: 13.08. 2008 03:25 »
classic and vintage?
what years decide if a vehicle is classic or vintage? can anyone tell me.
thank you.........

Online RichardL

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Re: classic and vintage?
« Reply #1 on: 13.08. 2008 05:46 »

I suppose that some organizations set ages on these titles, as in, "must be older than 25 years to show." However, it seems to me that these fall into the same category as "quality", the metaphysics of which led Bob Pirsig ("Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance") to shock therapy. The fundamental question being, I think, "Is quality in the object or in the mind of the observer?"

The book, if you have not read it, is a tiny bit about motorcycles, but a challenging read with regard to philosophy.

Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020. This year it's a solo or pillion ride in dapper attire. Watch website at for details.

Online Brian

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Re: classic and vintage?
« Reply #2 on: 16.08. 2008 07:22 »
I dont think there is an exact answer to your question. Every organisation seems to differ, however as Richard said the rolling 25 year rule seems to be fairly common. Most "vintage " clubs are looking at this however as it allows bikes that appear to most of us to be moderns in. It is difficult to come to terms with a 1983 Honda or Suzuki etc to be considered vintage or classic. No doubt this has caused a lot of discussion over recent times as people in my age group (50 plus) dont think a 1983 model is old but if you happen to be only 20 or so then it is an old bike. The thing is these young people are the future of our clubs so quite where this leaves us I dont know.

If you need to know about a specific bike then I suggest you would probably have a vintage club of some sort in your area that could advise for registration or insurance reasons.

Other than that I think the age old saying of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is the most appropriate.


Offline fido

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Re: classic and vintage?
« Reply #3 on: 16.08. 2008 08:41 »
I've always thought it odd that most VMCC members don't actually own bikes that qualify as vintage (ie bikes eligible for the Banbury run) but run newer machines. I can understand them not wanting to make the club too exclusive but why don't they change it's name? *conf*

Online groily

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Re: classic and vintage?
« Reply #4 on: 23.08. 2008 21:06 »
Vintage, unless it's changed and I don't think it has, means, in the UK, built before the end of 1930. Full stop. No exceptions.
Classic means anything you like, including or excluding appalling bits of stuff that didn't work when new, don't work now and are best forgotten apart from for sentimental reasons. 'Classic Car' magazine is full of these bits of rusty worthless tin, with poor brakes, no steering, lousy engines . . . We in the bike world have not had to suffer quite the same indignity of seeing rubbish elevated to unmerited heights, although it is happening.
Veteran (in the UK) means anything built before I've forgotten when - but very darn early (1912?).
PVT - 'post-vintage thoroughbred' - means (in the UK) things of a certain persuasion which were made immediately after the end of the vintage era (up to WW2 I think), but regarded as worthwhile and in keeping with the pre-1930 stuff. They are eligible for VSCC events in certain circumstances I think. Don't know quite what qualifies.
 I think the VSCC in the UK could certainly enlighten anyone that's bothered, as could the VCC (Veteran Car Club). The VMCC should know too! Not sure how other Historic organisations view things.
The 25 year convention is convenient, but also a millstone. Who wants to think of a Honda Superdream as a classic? A 3 1/2 Morini, yes, or a Ducati, a Guzzi LeMans or even some of the ground-breaking 4s from Japan . . . but not every common-or-garden bit of bent tin that wasn't much good then and shouldn't have its status elevated just because it's rare (because most of them broke) or getting old.
Not that I care THAT much!!