Nestled deep in the North Georgia foothills, outside of a town called Homer no less, down a winding country road, lies the hidden gem of a classic and race bike collection, owned by a retired racer and team owner in vintage motorcycle racing. Keith Campbell has not only amassed an outstanding assortment of timeless motorcycles, he has preserved many of the bikes he and his son Kyle once raced. Humbly referring to himself as simply an “enthusiast,” Keith nevertheless has achieved much in the sport, both in riding and racing.

Enjoying a serene retirement from racing as well as the automotive business, “what paid for my motorcycle habit” Keith quips, he now devotes his energies to maintaining his impressive collection, riding the bikes whenever possible (every bike runs and is ridden), and aiding Kyle in his own venture, Hourglass Cycles.

I visited Keith recently at his “barn” as he calls it, stunned at the incredible array of two-wheeled history under his roof. He sat down for a few minutes with me, to share his love of motorcycles, his racing years, the bikes he owns, and the legacy now being carried by his son Kyle.

Keith’s current collection holds about 50 motorcycles, but he admits the most he has owned at any one time was 94. Keith “thinned the herd”, he asserts, because “I couldn’t keep them all running, didn’t have time to ride them all. So I got rid of the ones I had no sentimental attachment to.” The bikes in his collection are special, he says- “Friends, family members, memories…some of these bikes I’ve owned over 40 years, some Kyle and I have taken trips together on. The bikes I have now, I am very attached to.”

I asked Keith how the love for motorcycling got started for him, how he first was “bit by the bike bug.” Keith recounts, “I couldn’t afford a car as a teenager. I wanted a motorcycle anyway, but my parents would never let me have one. Their favorite saying was, ‘As long as your feet are under our table, you are never owning a motorcycle.’ Well, with my feet under their table, I did indeed end up owning a motorcycle! I bought a ’64 Honda 305 Scrambler. I kept it out in the woods, away from the house. When I wanted to go to town, I’d walk out in front of the house, stick my thumb in the wind like I was gonna hitch a ride, walk out of sight a little, then run into the woods and hop on that bike.” Keith was eventually found out about a year later, and his parents reluctantly acquiesced. He rode all through college and beyond, straddling a 1967 Honda Superhawk, among others. There have been times in his life Keith didn’t own a car, but he has never been without a motorcycle.

Keith entered the world of vintage motorcycle racing rather late in life. Having done some time racing dirt track cars, Keith took up moto racing in about 1989. As he recalls, “somebody owed me some money, couldn’t pay me, so they gave me a race bike. I thought, ‘Well hell, I can ride, so let’s go race it!’ But I was 40-something by then! I ran into a guy named Carl Patrick, who builds race bikes, and he built me an XR750, like the one I have out on the floor. To me, that was the quintessential race bike. That’s what a bike ought to look like, sound like, and run like. I told Carl, ‘I want to buy my way to the middle of the pack.’ As it turned out, we did a little better than that.” One step led to another, the wins and podiums piled up, and Keith eventually signed the likes of 3-time AMA Champion and Hall of Famer Jay Springsteen, multi-year AHRMA Champion Tim Joyce, and even his own son, Kyle.

Keith took his first personal win at age 49, when detractors were shouting that he was too old, past his prime. Yet across a 20-year period, Keith and his team took over 60 wins or podiums. An impressive record, at any age.

Keith took his first personal win at age 49, when detractors were shouting that he was too old, past his prime. Yet across a 20-year period, Keith and his team took over 60 wins or podiums. An impressive record, at any age.

Racing is hard, taxing on the mind and body, a fact Keith readily affirms. “I busted my ass a time or two, went down at Mid-Ohio. That hurt. Fell off at Road Atlanta, broke nine bones, punctured a lung and couldn’t stand up straight for six months. I still have the helmets from both of those that saved my life,” Keith admits. But there’s something special about the motorcycling community, a camaraderie not found in many other places in life. Keith states, “I’ve never met an asshole at a motorcycle race event. I’ve raced cars since the ‘60s, I fly aerobatic airplanes, flew air shows over 30 years, but the people at a motorcycle race are always the best. They’ll do anything for you, help any way they possibly can. Just people I enjoy being around. To me, that’s the best part of riding and racing- the people.”

His team, called Hourglass Racing, was well-known and respected across the country. They competed in AMA Vintage, WERA Vintage, and AHRMA, at tracks such as Grattan, at Albuquerque, Road America in Wisconsin, Daytona, Road Atlanta, and Barber, to cite a few. Their name was derived from a logo Keith chose, an hourglass, after being reminded about his age one too many times. Keith quips, “I thought, ‘Well, all the sand is almost gone, like an hourglass, so I might as well make the most of what I’ve got left.’ I wasn’t looking for a memorable name, but it just sort of fit.”

I asked Keith about any favorite vintage racing memories he held, and he told me this gem- “My proudest racing moment was at Daytona in an AHRMA Formula 750 race, when we finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. My two hired guns Springer and Joyce finished one and two on our XR750TTs. I was running third on my XR until I ran off the track in the infield kink. Kyle got by me on his Honda CR750, and it took the rest of the race for me to catch him. He beat me to the line by about 20 feet.” Hourglass swept the podium and took top honors. Impressive indeed. Keith’s last race came in 2009 at Barber Motorsports Park, concluding 20 years of vintage racing. The packed trophy cases, photos, newspaper and magazine clippings, and of course the race bikes in his “barn” attest to the long-running success of Hourglass.

The legacy of motorcycling is carrying on in Keith’s son Kyle, proprietor of Hourglass Cycles in Buford, Georgia, carrying Triumph, BMW, and MV Augusta. When asked about Kyle’s following in his footsteps, Keith muses, “Kyle has been riding motorcycles since he was six years old. Dirt bikes, Honda XRs, stuff like that. He got his driver’s license in April of 1996, and by June, I had a BMW R1100RS and a Harley tourer. I put him on the BMW, I rode the Harley, and using Chatterbox intercoms, we rode to California and back. It was a couple of weeks on the road, I guess. I loved it, and I think he did too.” A cross-country ride cemented a deep love of riding in Kyle, as well as the already deep relationship a father and son possessed.

“I joke that my favorite bike is the last one I rode!”

After 53 years of riding and racing, Keith still loves motorcycles as much as he did in his teens. “I feel just as pumped to ride today as when I first threw a leg over,” Keith declares. I asked him to name his favorite bikes in the collection, and he smiled. “I joke that my favorite bike is the last one I rode! But seriously, that R90S in Daytona Orange is one of them. I love old Triumphs, though I ain’t gonna go very far from home on one! I love BMWs, old and new. If I were going to ride to California, it would be on a BMW GS. There’s a ’72 Ducati GT out there that I’ve had since 1977. It is the most original Ducati GT anywhere in the world. I dare anybody to defy that. It’s perfect, and it’s all original. Always been babied, always been kept up. That’s another favorite.” The R90S and Duc GT were also my favorites in his collection, along with an incredible Norton VR 880 Commando Sprint Special, gleaming in the shop lights. Harleys, Indians, such an array of vintage iron, this is as much a small museum as a private collection. I reluctantly concluded my rewarding time with this Southern gentleman, and hoped I’d have a chance soon to ride with him for a day, in the mountains just north of his home.

If you are ever in Georgia, a little northeast of Atlanta, look up Hourglass Cycles in Buford. Ask for Kyle, and get him to walk you around the facilities and show off their incredible array of motorcycles. Just maybe, time permitting, he’ll  take a little ride north with you, up above a town called Homer, and down a long, winding, country road, to a “barn” with some truly astounding two-wheeled “finds” in it. And you’ll meet a friendly, down-to-earth, local motorcycling “enthusiast”, whom Kyle affectionately calls “dad.”

Rob Brooks
*Photos by Jeff McPhail & Rob Brooks

Article first penned for Motorcycle Classics magazine


  1. Dennis

    I have a collection of motorcycle ephemera, stickers, old Harley parts, Harley catalogs, patches and cool photographs of Hourglass Racing, Barber Motorsports Park and Jerry Dildy. one of the photographs that I have has the exact number nine motorcycle and a number one motorcycle with The hourglass racing trailer and tent where the bikes are being worked on. I went to Jerry dildy’s estate sale a couple of months ago and just realized that these are items that are associated with hourglass and Mr Keith Campbell. I buy and sell so I have them on eBay right now under Harley-Davidson other and probably manuals too..

    • Rob Brooks

      Very cool, Dennis! Thanks for sharing.


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