Cool Places- The National Motorcycle Museum

     Well this is not a story, but just a blurb about one of the coolest places I have been in some time. If you are a person who loves motorcycles or just dig vintage styling, then the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa Iowa is a place you should check out. I visited there on February 13th and was very impressed by what they have going on there. You get to see a wide variety of bikes from many countries and across many eras. You especially get a rich appreciation for the early years of American motorcycle manufacturing which was very diverse unlike today. I have included a TON of pictures and even a few videos for your enjoyment. Be warned, I am a TERRIBLE videographer, and on one clip I say "ya know" an annoying amount of times. That was because there was a photographer setting up a photo shoot near me and looking at me like I was crazy, which caused me some social anxiety. I don't think she noticed my small handheld Nikon at first.

Mid 60's Triumph Bonneville 650. When the UK was at the forefront of bike manufacturing

Replica of 1885 Daimler...the first real motorcycle

Mertz Cycle Car- Made back when these motorcycle engine powered vehicles filled the niche between the higher priced cars and motorcycles.

Evel Knieval's Stunt Bike....well one of them

And of course...his suit

30's Norton Road Racing Bike

Above and Below- A Von Dutch custom Triumph

Above and Below- The Custom Harley from the movie Easy Rider

overview of one of the areas

Ice cream motorcycle

Above and Below- Curtiss motorcycle(see my blog on Glenn Curtiss)

Above and Below-Sears used to make motorcycles in Chicago

Above and Below- The Brough Superior, the choice bike of Lawrence of Arabia

Above and Two Following Below-Thor was an American motorcycle maker in New York

4 Cylinder Indian

Above and Below- Pierce was famous for cars(prominent in the Great Gatsby), but they also made bikes. Here is a 4 cylinder model.

Excelsior was a maker based in Chicago

Vincent was one of the premier performance bikes of the 1930's through 50's in the UK

Above and Below- Husqvarna still makes dirt bikes, but they did make V twin standard at one time too

A very rare Henderson 4 cylinder

1930's BMW Boxer Twin

1930s BMW single

Board track racing bikes from the 1910's

Germany's NSU was the largest bike maker in the world in the 1950's

Germany's Opel is famous for cars, but like BMW they also started as a bike maker

Custom 70's Moto Guzzi "flying V"

1938 Triumph Speed Twin. This design would forever change Brit bike manufacturing. The parallel twin engines would be used until the 1980s. Other makers such as BSA and Norton would eventually use this layout.

A BSA V twin of the 1930s

Above and Below- A Harley powered ice boat. The engine drove the propeller which would pull the ice boat over frozen water.

An Indian board track racer from the 1910's.

1930s Cycle Car

A Harley bike that has been fitted with a 1957 283ci Chevy V8

1960's Drag Racing bike powered by a Triumph 650 engine

A supercharged Vincent powered drag bike of the 1960s

Above and Below- A salt flat speeder powered by dual Yamaha 650 twin cylinder engines.

A Harley powered drag bike from the 70's/80's

Twin Yamaha powered drag bike of the 70's/80's

A wall of engines, many of them 1950's and earlier.

Above and Below- An early survivor of the dawn of the motorcycle club era that started in the late 40's and early 50's

Another cycle car- this one was built for racing

The museum is full of these sorts of displays which explain the technology, many reproduced from original company literature. Here you see one talking about Indian engines and design.

A custom 1970's chopper based on a Honda 750cc inline 4 cylinder drivetrain

A Triumph with the "bathtub" body work

TONS of vintage signage and other gas pumps

An Excelsior that has been modified to be a hill climbing bike. These are the ancestors of the dirt bikes of today. Hill climbing is also still going on.

A panhead Harley powered giant snowmobile.

A wide array of British, Italian, and Japanese racing bikes

A 50's 500cc BSA road racer.


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