We're into Vintage Dirt Bikes

Independent AMSOIL Dealer Lorraine Strenkowski, in her own words. “Being vintage is really a state of mind,” said Strenkowski. “For...

December 28, 2017

Independent AMSOIL Dealer Lorraine Strenkowski, in her own words.

“Being vintage is really a state of mind,” said Strenkowski. “For some reason, we have carried the things that we grew up with in our hearts. The biggest vintage passion that we have is the dirt bikes. The Can-Ams are huge for us.

“[My husband, Dick, built his garage] when he was 16. He was crowding his father in his father’s machine shop, so he built his own.”

This is where it all happens

“This is where you want to be if you want to see the vintage or live the vintage or play the vintage music. My husband and boys really like to see the vintage bikes restored properly or as close to original as possible. And you can’t always get replacement parts. But we also have a machine shop, and we can actually custom-make parts.”

“We want to keep it [vintage]. It’s a different ride. So, now we can also make our custom parts and, yet, keep the bike as original as possible.”

“A great day for us is any day that we can get together, pack ourselves up and we can drive to a track, spend the day together and ride the vintage bikes. My husband and my son, Ben, really wanted to go to a vintage event in New York. And they searched the web for the right look, the vintage clothes that would go with the era. So that’s a big part of it, too. That’s kind of fun.

“My husband rode when he was a kid, and at 15 years old, he was New England champion of Enduro Racing. My kids are actually riding bikes that he won trophies with.”

Supercross legend

“Our ‘zero’ bike is our most special bike. It was a Jimmy Ellis bike. Jimmy Ellis was a Supercross champion in the ’70s. He actually won the very first Supercross that they ever had. He was also a Motocross champion, and he was from this area.

“So Dick had located a Can-Am and suspected that it was his. Jimmy Ellis actually came out. His father came out and they identified the bike as one of Jimmy Ellis’s original Can-Am Works bikes.”

Budds Creek winner

“I really wanted to race. I wanted to feel a part of what they were feeling because that was probably the piece that I really didn’t have – [knowing] what it was like to be out there. I did it and I’m proud of myself, and I did a circuit. I won the women’s class at Budds Creek, so I’m really proud of that.

The write stuff

“My passion is writing. I have been a writer since the fifth grade. I’m a published author. My fourth children’s story that came out is about dirt bikes, and it’s called ‘I Ride a Dirt Bike.’ It starts with my son Josh. It says, ‘My name is Josh, and I ride a dirt bike.’

“I love to be at the track. There’s so much going on at the track that I find it’s very easy to absorb. Stories come to me. We always get dirty, but we always have fun. Dick and I are living our life for what we love, and I’m hoping that our kids can get something out of this and maybe take a little piece of this into their adult lives with their kids or their families and realize how important of a family piece this was.

“And maybe that will be the legacy of doing this, and it’ll just carry on.”