We've created Ride the Classics Club to create an alternate to owning a collection of classic bikes. We won't fit everybody's needs, but our model – allowing our members access to a range of classic bikes – might be a better solution than options like single ownership – or it might combine with the same options.
Let's take a look at why RTCC is a great option, and look at the strengths and weaknesses.
Many folks who love and ride classic bikes have one, two or maybe even more bikes. Aside from the maintenance required (see below), there are always going to bikes that you'd love to ride that you don't have in your collection, and might never get to ride.
Our goal is to build a collection that reflects what our members really want to ride, and in particular, the bikes that expense, rarity, difficulty in maintaining or simply storage and insurance concerns preclude. So we're rolling the club out with a great basic collection, but our roadmap is all about building the collection around what our membership wants.
If that means Italian exotics, British classics, Japanese icons, or even rare and expensive prizes (think Indian to Brough, Vincent to Knucklehead), we're open to your input. Bikes that you probably won't get a shot at saddle time on in your life are now a possibility.
For anyone with a classic, maintenance is going to be a part of life. There are tasks that we all can do, like oil changes and cable adjustments. But when a bike needs more major attention, anyone who owns a classic has seen the riding time drop and the wrenching time take over.
At RTCC, a store of parts, a shop of tools and the understanding and knowledge of our roster a dedicated and licensed mechanic brings is the difference between a season wrenching, and a season riding.
Besides the issue of uptime, our membership model means that the resources can be responsibly and diligently brought to each bike to ensure what you're actually riding is a safe, well maintained machine.
Any classic exists on the spectrum from ride-it-til-it-dies rat bike to trailer queen. How you run your bike can be a personal choice, but our focus is on riding. We love the look and appreciate the long hours, research and care that goes into building a concours bike, but are you really going to put in the miles to match the hours?
Bikes are meant to be ridden. So if you are the proud owner of a shiny, good-or-better-than-new classic, we think that's great. RTCC is about letting you balance that pride in your baby with that part of motorcycles that can get forgotten or shoved to the side: the sound, feel, and thrill of a real all-metal bike tooling down the boulevard or the open highway.
At the same time, our bikes have their original classic looks that get stares, open up conversations, and make riding the social activity it is. On our R90Ss or our Laverda RGS 1000 – or really any of our bikes – you'll get the attention, admiration, and camaraderie that classic bikes bring.
Not everyone will see the value in joining a club with a lot of bikes when they already have the one true love of their life in bike form. We get that.
But for our members, the diversity of ridable bikes we offer is something that they want. The history of motorcycling is one of continuously emerging new models and marques that captured the riding world. While we can't cover all periods and every manufacturer, we aim to build a roster where each bike represents a moment where motorcycling was redefined, either through the introduction of a feature, style or capability, or ended, as the culmination of an era, within the classic period.
While our fees are more than the cost of a some classic bikes, our goal is to do what owning a single bike can't do: to provide an appreciation for the motorcycle as an uncompromising experience that reflects the evolution of engineering, design and society. That you ride!!!
Supplement Your Ride
With a membership that will start at 30-40, and grow to 100, and with a collection growing from 12 bikes at the start to 25, RTCC is a fantastic place to meet like-minded riders, compare rides, learn about the bikes and of course, ride together.
How you like to ride is entirely your choice in the end. If what appeals is a solitary run through twisties, or some good hours with nothing but you, engine noise and wind, cool. But with a schedule that members share, finding a riding buddy and a new experience couldn't be easier.