by Mike McWilliams
September 22 - 25, 2011
Autumn in Colorado: Warm afternoons and crisp, cool evenings … there is no better weather for riding a Heinkel!
I continually hope for the best weather possible. In Colorado, we can have snow in September. Luckily HeinkelFest attendees enjoyed fantastic temperatures and clear skies.
This year's rally almost didn't occur.
Drama at my employer caused a postponement. My second set of dates were nearly erased for similar reasons. Thankfully, I found a way to make it work.
Heinkels are a rare scooter in the USA. Unlike Europe, it is challenging to find one for sale. Finding another Heinkel to join you for a ride can be more difficult. HeinkelFest is the perfect opportunity to see other Tourists, make new friends and ride with other Tourists.
When I hosted my first Heinkel gathering in 2009, seven running Tourists were present. Another two were non-functional.
This year four people visited from other states: Arkansas, Indiana, Oregon and Utah. In total we had ten Tourists (nine runners) and one Perle. Eleven Heinkel machines in total! Colorado has five other Tourists, unfortunately the owners could not attend. With the exception of the 101A0, we had all Tourist models represented.
Additionally, we had two sidecars in attendance: an Otto Wilmsen and a Steib LS200. The Steib is well known, but the Wilmsen is a worldwide rarity.
HeinkelFest also had an IWL Berliner as well as several Italian classics (Vespas, Lambrettas and an Iso Milano).
Ron brought an exceptionally nice Honda CT 90. (Hopefully we can get Ron into a Tourist by the next rally!)
The agenda was filled with the typical stuff: plenty of food, scenic rides and story telling. I included a technical session into the agenda – rebuilding my 103A0 motor. Most Heinkel owners have not seen the inside of an engine.
My students learned correct placement of each gear as well as the importance of lining up the various timing marks (camshaft & crankshaft, shift drum & shift segment).
I even learned a far easier way to install the small swingarm sprocket. Unfortunately for me, it was a trivial lesson and my classroom laughed at their teacher’s ignorance!
JB showed his common sense brilliance with regards to torque specification. Even before I sheared off the flywheel bolt, he knew the table data was incorrect.
We were using the A1/A2 workshop manual. I had used this many times prior for A1 and A2 rebuilds. Of course I knew the table was correct. It didn't dawn on me that the bolt for the A0 was a size smaller and thus required far less torque! Lesson #2 for Mike.
Our rides visited the Broadmoor Resort, Starr Kempf wind sculptures and the Garden of the Gods. We traveled well over 100 miles as a group.
I am happy to say that during the entire weekend, not one Heinkel had a breakdown! I consider that a wonderful achievement.
Several thank yous are in order.
First, a big thank you to Mike Meyers for graphics and T-shirts.
Second goes to Sportique Scooters for hosting the Tech Sessions and the Saturday afternoon customer appreciation day. Both were marvelous!
Next to Fireball Jim for offering up a movie night at the Deluxe Drive Inn when you discovered that the Manitou Springs Arcade was in "Winter Hours". It was a great alternative AND it provided an incredible evening ride back home.
Lastly to Gretchen and Leta for making food and providing most of the clean up for the Friday BBQ.
My friends helped create a wonderful rally. I am thankful to them for attending. I will host another in 2013.
My goal for 2013? Thirteen in '13. Naturally.
Oh yes, do you want to see a video of the rally? You're in luck.