Each July, the American Motorcyclist Association hosts over 40,000 people at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days(SM), the country’s largest celebration of classic motorcycles. The annual event draws the world’s attention to the thousands who collect, restore and ride dream machines from a bygone era. This year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days(SM) event is scheduled for July 27-29 and record crowds are expected. For these fans of classic motorcycles, and for those eager to enter the vintage hobby, Nationwide has teamed up with Mark Mederski, Executive Director of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, to offer tips for collecting and protecting vintage rides.
As Executive Director of the country’s premiere showcase of motorcycling heritage and history, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, Mederski regularly handles the world’s rarest and most valuable motorcycles. Mederski offers three expert tips for future and current collectors.
- Consider future costs. As you evaluate motorcycles in various conditions, place a high value on a running machine. Engine rebuilds and certain parts can drive up the price of your investment later.
- Ride your motorcycle. This may sound counter-intuitive, but running the machine a few times a year will help the preservation process by keeping the fluids flowing and the parts moving.
- Keep your paperwork. Documents chronicling a motorcycle’s history will raise the value of your machine when you are ready to take it to auction or a private seller.
"Each enthusiast has their own reasons for entering the vintage hobby," says Mitch Roggemann, national sales director for Nationwide’s Property & Casualty Specialty Products. "Whether you are restoring a bike to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon ride or collecting for investment purposes, you need to protect yourself with the proper insurance."
There are a few key considerations when purchasing insurance for vintage motorcycles:
- Age. Nationwide policy holders will find a vintage bike program covers motorcycles over 25 years old, most on an agreed value basis. Many times, your premiums will be lower with a vintage bike because the agreed value is less than that of a new machine. Policies can differ, so check with your agent to find out when your bike qualifies for vintage insurance.
- Location. Most companies require motorcycles insured under a vintage policy to be stored in a locked garage.
- Towing and labor. Many insurers keep the mileage limits low on vintage policies, but you may still take your ride out for a spin occasionally. Make sure your policy, like Nationwide’s coverage, includes towing and labor in case an unexpected breakdown occurs.