Story by Heather Wilson
Photos by Jeff Guciardo
AMA Life Member Dave Rutherford of Talking Rock, Ga., has been racing for 20 years. He says he’s “raced 12 or 13 years” at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
“A good friend, Ted Hubbard, who is a former factory BSA rider and mechanic got me into racing,” Rutherford said Sunday, July 10.
In his garage in Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course paddock, sat matching 1971 BSA B50 bikes.
Rutherford joked that he has two have two of the same bike, because BSA stands for “best scrap available.”
“You have to have a spare,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford raced in the 500GP class. He’s owned the bikes for 20 years, but, naturally, has had to rebuild them several times.
Rutherford said Mid-Ohio has a great track layout, and it’s always good to see friends. He also makes trips to the swap meet every year.
He also stated that, while “vintage bikes may have more character and soul, they require more attention and care than modern bikes. Plus, it’s a challenge to go fast on an old bike.”
While AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days focuses on older bikes and people who love them, a mix of vintage and modern is what was parked under Todd Narduzzi’s canopy in the paddock.
Narduzzi, of Marshallville, Ohio, competed aboard a 1968 Honda CR450 he got from a barn in 1998 and 2000 Suzuki SV 650 that he got from eBay in 2004.
“I’ve been racing since 1999 and coming here since then,” Narduzzi said. “I used to come to Mid-Ohio as a 16-year-old kid when they had car races and met someone who raced vintage motorcycles.”
Narduzzi says Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course feels like his home track, and that it’s probably his favorite.
“Vintage is my passion, but it’s a lot of maintenance,” Narduzzi said. “To keep competitive, I bought a modern bike to be able to race without rebuilding the bike every weekend.”
Narduzzi said he’s met “some really awesome people.”
“There’s no stereotype for a motorcycle racer,” Narduzzi said. “You will meet people from all walks of life. Motorcyclists are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.”
Motorcycling also played a role in Narduzzi meeting his girlfriend, Antoinette Valente, three years ago.
“I worked at the bank, and he used to ride his bike to the bank,” Valente said. “Then one day I wasn’t there, and he sent me an email and said, ‘By the way, if you ever want to go for a ride…’”
Valente was nervous about riding as a passenger. She Googled Narduzzi, and a photo of him dragging a knee on the track at Mid-Ohio appeared.
“I figured if he could hold the bike up doing that, then he could hold it up with me as a passenger,” Valente said.
The rest is history as they say. They’ve been dating ever since.