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Mike Parti - So Cal Honorary Member


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Saturday, June 9th 2012, at the monthly Southern California section meeting, Mike Parti was appointed as an honorary member of the section. He joins long time honorary section member Marty Dickerson as a recipient of that honor. I am trying to determine when the So Cal Section first started to have honorary members, to see if Rollie Free was ever officially such a member.

Mike Parti is an AMA Hall of Famer. He was a sidecar racer and champion for the AMA, and also ran a sidecar at Bonneville, and helped draft the rules for sidecar land speed racing. He is a very well respected restorer of early American motorcycles.

For Vincent engine work, he is still the 'go to' guy in California, and he has easily worked on over 200 Vincent engines over the years. From pressing your flywheels together on up, Mike can do it all.

He took a set of Vincent crankcases literally thrown out by Clem Johnson, and built them up into a complete replica of a Clem Johnson motor, including the roller cam followers.

He has a few motorcycles on loan to the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles.

Those of you that were at the 1980 Bass Lake rally will remember Mike's Moto Guzzi that belonged to Von Dutch, and has striping and engine turning by Von Dutch. Mike still has it.

He was mentored by Rollie Free, and Mike credits Rollie for being a strong positive influence in his life. Mike has quite a collection of Rollie's personal effects, including his old army locker. On the closest weekend day to the 40th, 50th, and 60th anniversary of Rollie's 1948 record, I gathered together a small group of Vincent pals and we would spend the afternoon in Mike's backyard, and Mike would bring out his scrapbooks and we would listen to Mike's numerous stories about Rollie.

Here is a picture of Mike with a commemorative trophy made by Section Organizer Mitch Talcove. In the background is another AMA Hall of Famer, Jody Nicholas.


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I was honored to attend the meeting and have just recently started to get to know Mike a little. In addition to being a wealth of information regarding Vincent's, he is a raconteur as well having shared his youth with other legends of that time late last Century. He is without a doubt deserving and he was touched to receive the honor from the section. Tickled pink I might say.

Wish you were there Steve. I'm glad you so eloquently explained Mike's place in motorcycling and Vincent history.



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After seeing Mike's shed and listening to him talking, there is no doubting his talent. There is no bullsh1t in Mike. He says he can and he can! Those beautiful early American motorcycles he has restored just made my heart flutter. A very quiet and unassuming man who deserves all the accolades. Well done sir.
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