Motorcycle judging is one of the most visible programs of the AMCA. For spectators, a trip to the judging field at an AMCA National Meet can be as good as, or better than, a visit to a motorcycle museum display. But the judging program also offers an opportunity for the Club to recognize the efforts of members to preserve significant pieces of motorcycling history.

Unlike many motorcycle shows, the AMCA does not judge machines against each other to pick a winner. Instead, antique motorcycles (those 35 years old or older), are judged against the way they would have appeared when they were first delivered to the dealer decades ago. Each motorcycle starts with a perfect 100 points, and points are deducted for incorrect components ranging from parts to paint.

Motorcycles are judged in two broad categories: restored or original. Restored motorcycles are those machines that have been returned to their original appearance after many years, while original motorcycles are those rare machines that have survived the decades with their factory paint and equipment intact. Within those broad categories, there are classes divided by decade from the beginning of the motorcycle era through the most modern motorcycles eligible for judging.

Motorcycles entered in the AMCA judging program can progress through four award categories, each with more-stringent requirements: Junior Second, Junior First, Senior and Winners Circle. After that, an owner can continue to earn Winners Circle Preservation Awards by maintaining the bike in award condition and entering it in the judging program at subsequent meets.