Badger Derby Becomes a National Road Run

Words & Photos: John Gunnell

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Late last summer over 120 antique motorcycles as old as a 1919 model participated in The Badger Derby, an 80th anniversary re-creation of a road run that followed the same basicl route. All participants in the 2014 run were members of the Wisconsin-based Badger Heritage Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America ( idea came from a member discovering his father’s memorabilia from the 1934 Badger Derby.

Since the 300-mile members-only ride turned out to be a big success, the Badger Heritage Chapter is opening up the 2015 Badger Derby as a National Road Run. It will take place Aug. 27-29 and follow the historic route of the 1935 Badger Derby. The event will be based at the world-class Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The dates are one week before Labor Day so participants will be able to attend the Chief Blackhawk AMCA meet in Davenport, Iowa.

Billed as “Wisconsin’s Tour of the Woods” the Derby will offer bikers opportunities to ride through history and enjoy the scenic highways, rolling hills, emerald green forests and beautiful lake vistas the surround Elkhart Lake. Other activities will include a dinner banquet, a chance to see Walter Davidson home movies, a luncheon banquet with Davidson family members, live bands, tours of the Harley-Davidson archives and a Badger Derby Bike Night.

A registration form for the Badger Derby National Road Run and details about this unique rally can be found under the “events” button at



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