A look at some of the top motorcycle museums

A look at some of the top motorcycle museums

Posted by Ben Baker on Jun 13th 2016

Saddle up and hit the trail for a look at museums that are actually interesting. Here’s a view of some of the best motorcycle museums around.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

The American Motorcycle Association HOF was created in 1982. It’s located in Pickerington, Ohio.

Exhibits start with a 1984 Roper Steamer and go through 2004 with Chad Reed’s 2004 YZ250. Reed used the two-stroke motorcross bike to win the AMA National Championship, taking 10 of 16 races. Plenty of Harleys and Indians, of course, with few other icons from other makers, including a 1936 BSA Y13 owned by racing legend Dick Mann.

Check out the all the classic bikes before you arrive.

Open seven days a week 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Day. Just a short piece off I-70.

Wheels through Time

If you ever get the chance to ride the Appalachian Mountains, think The Dragon, then plan to make a pit stop at Wheels Through Time.

This one is home to “350 rare machines.” Dale Walksler and crew can tell you about each one. When you get there, chances are very good they’ll be working on a classic restoration. The collection houses what is believed to be a one-of-a-kind built by Oscar Hedstrom, creator of the Indian motorcycle.

Plan your visit. It’s open April 1-Nov. 28th Thursday-Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s located in Maggie Valley, N.C.

The Harley-Davidson Museum

Well, yeah. The Harley museum features special exhibits up for a set amount of time and then gone. Any listing of special exhibits will quickly go out of date. Some of the permanent exhibits are the Design Lab, the HD Journey from the beginning to now and the Tank Wall.

The museum is open May-September from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily except Thursday when it is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and October-April 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily except Thursday which is 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Located in Milwaukee, WI.

Barber Motorsports Museum

More than 1,400 rides, 100 years in the making and 200 different makers, this Birmingham museum concentrates on racing bikes, but has plenty of others as well.

Billed as the biggest bike museum in the world, it is the creation of racing legend George Barber. The collection is broad and includes some rarities. Look at some of the top exhibits before you go.

It’s open April 1-Sept. 30 Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-6 p.m; Oct. 1-March 31 Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon 5 p.m. It closes for major holidays.

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

This Solvang, CA, museum is just outside Santa Barbara. It houses a variety of bikes including some European racers.

The displays here are constantly changing, so you can go once and come back a year later and see different bikes. Everything is from the private collection of Virgil Elings. He occasionally sells some of the rides.

Open weekends 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and weekdays by appointment. The main office will open the museum for people who drop by if things are not too busy.

London Motorcycle Museum

If you ever cross The Pond for Great Britain, make sure to visit this tribute to British bikes. Some 170 bikes and 100 other exhibits, British rides, of course, and more in inventory. You can see those not on display, but you have to call ahead so arrangements can be made. Triumph fans, this may be your pilgrimage.

The London museum is open Saturday-Monday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m.