August 18 2009 by Jason Fogelson
As summer winds down, the kids are getting restless. They're bored with math camp; they're waterlogged from swimming lessons; they've made so many lanyards that your keychain looks like a vinyl peacock. Why not take the kids to a museum?
I can hear the groans now. Not another museum! Exactly, not another museum - a motorcycle museum!
There are motorcycle museums in just about every corner of the United States, though you might not realize it. Significant bikes from every style, every period and every manufacturer have been collected, restored and displayed for your perusal and education.
Motorcycles have even been recognized as art in museums, most notably at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City from June to September, 1998. Renowned architect Frank Gehry designed the exhibition, which displayed over 100 motorcycles in the gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright building. A good chunk of the exhibition also traveled to the Guggenheim's Las Vegas location for an extended stay. A gorgeous coffee table book, The Art of the Motorcycle by former Guggenheim director (and avid motorcyclist) Thomas Krens, commemorates the exhibition with mouthwatering photographs.
Here's a list of a few of the motorcycle museums in the United States, each worth a road trip. Why not plan a ride that will take you past a few of them?
American Classic Motorcycle Museum
1170 US Highway 64 West
Asheboro, NC 27205
A great private collection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
13515 Yarmouth Dr.
Pickerington, Ohio 43147
Rotating exhibits and galleries dedicated to the history of the American Motorcycle Association and motorcycles.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35094
Over 1200 vintage and modern motorcycles.
Buddy Stubbs Motorcycle Museum
13850 North Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Over 130 motorcycles from 1903 to present.
Dan Rouit Flat Track Motorcycle Museum
309 West Rialto Street
Clovis, CA 93612
Dedicated to the preservation of flat track motorcycle racing history and lore.
Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
36517 Fm 187
Utopia, TX 78884
A collection of bikes from around the world, from vintage to modern.
National Motorcycle Museum
200 East Main Street, P.O. Box 405
Anamosa, IA 52205
An extensive collection of vintage motorcycles, photos and memorabiiia.
Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum
5865 North Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs CO 80918
A museum that focuses on the people behind the bikes.
Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
320 Alisal Road
Solvang, CA 93463
Vintage and rare motorcycles and European race bikes in the Swedish tourist town.
Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame
999 Main Street
Sturgis, SD 57785
Celebrating the American motorcycle from 1905 to present.
Vintage Motorcycle Museum
545 North Market Boulevard
Chehalis, WA 98532
A collection of original and fully restored pre-1916 American motorcycles.
And, of course, the big Kahuna:
400 Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53201
877-HD MUSEUM (877-436-8738)
Opened in 2008, the Museum displays the history of the Motor Company, its people and its motorcycles.