The Best Motorcycle Museums to Visit
Are you planning now for rides this summer? Or maybe you’ll be taking a trip without your motorcycle. In either case, you could take a day to visit one of the many motorcycle museums around the country. We’ve selected a few, trying to find museums in various parts of the nation.
In New England, you’ll find a brand-new museum, the New England Motorcycle Museum. It’s built inside a 200-year old textile mill, the Hockanum Mill, in Rockville, Connecticut. The site covers eleven acres and includes ten buildings. It has over a hundred vintage motorcycles and lots of memorabilia. With amazing expansion plans, it expects to be the largest motorcycle museum in New England and a world-class destination.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is home to Harley-Davidson and the Harley-Davidson Museum. It’s shows the history of the company and its bikes. The museum offers activities people of all ages will enjoy and guided tours so you can immerse yourself in the Harley-Davidson experience. Get a jump-start here.
The National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa has a spectacular collection of historical motorcycles. All aspects of motorcycling are included, from posters and postcards to T-shirts and gear. Just the pictures of classic bikes on the website will get you drooling. Even if you don’t visit, the website will give you instructions for entering the contest to win a 2018 Indian® Chief® Classic in metallic burgundy with an OHV Thunder Stroke ™ 111 engine, which pays tribute to legendary Indian engines.
The Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama houses over 1400 motorcycles in a four-story round building with an open space at the hub. You enter on the second floor and can take the elevator to see any of the dazzling array of motorcycles on display. There’s plenty of floor space, so the bikes are not just jammed together, but are displayed almost like works of sculpture. It’s got what’s said to be the largest motorcycle collection in the world, from the Easy Rider bike to historic British models. They even have collections of motor oil used in the bikes. For more—and great pictures—visit the website.
On California’s central coast lies Carmel Valley, home of the Moto Talbott Collection Motorcycle Museum. It displays over 160 motorcycles of all makes and models. Many of them are displayed in period-correct dioramas, and they all have placards, so you don’t need a personal guided tour. The owner, Robert Talbott, is a successful (to state the obvious) vintner and is now living the dream. Fortunately for us, that includes displaying his marvelous collection of motorcycles. The Museum is close to Quail Farm, so if you go to the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering, plan to spend a day at Moto Talbott. Find more information here.
And of course, right here in Tacoma, we have the Harold LeMay Museum with over three thousand vehicles, including cars and motorcycles, for the largest collection in the world. Visit here for information about the collection and about special events such as the Powering the Future Learning Lab.
If you’ve visited a motorcycle museum, please share your experience on the Eagle Leather Facebook page.