Friday, July 12, 2019

Motorcycle Museums Worth Making a Pit Stop For

We love motorcycles - shocker, huh? But really - every bike has a story and taking a look back at how motorcycles have evolved over the years can bring out the warm fuzzies of even the toughest rider. Lucky for us history buffs, there are a ton of museums around the United States that will gladly transport you back in time and show you just how far we’ve come in the motorcycle industry. If you’re riding through or around any of the areas we mention below, you’re going to want to make a pit stop. Check out our list of the top five motorcycle museums you need to visit below.

Image: Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Alabama - This museum is really a motorcyclist’s dream and you need to add it to your bucket list ASAP. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is located in Birmingham, AL and is considered the world’s largest motorcycle museum. The museum’s founder, George H. Barber, had a love for racing and restoring cars and thought about opening a car museum but soon shifted gears when he noticed that’s already been done before. Barber set his sights on creating something new - the world’s best motorcycle museum, and he did just that. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has more than 1,400 bikes on display, with new ones arriving frequently, including a 1920s Harley-Davidson thought to be one of only eight in the world. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs considering the museum is 144,000 square feet and the exhibit space spans five floors. The bikes on display showcase over 100 years of production, and with 200 different manufacturers represented from over 20 countries, you are sure to see a few of your favorites.

Image: Romantic Asheville

Wheels Through Time, North Carolina - Another motorcycle museum that we recommend visiting is Wheels Through Time located in Maggie Valley, NC - just 5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 38,000 square foot museum houses 300+ rare motorcycles and various exhibits, photos, and memorabilia. Wheels Through Time features one of the world’s premier collections of Vintage American Transportation. This facility opened its doors on July 4th, 2012 and has a mission of guiding visitors through the evolution of American motorcycling and automotive history. There are bikes here that you won’t see anywhere else like a 1941 Harley Davidson Shaft-Driven Knucklehead Servi-Car, one of only 19 in the world. One of the coolest parts of Wheels Through Time is that their entire collection is actually operable and they’ll even gas up some of the bikes from time to time. Wheels Through Time is a true walk through nostalgia and when you’re there, you’ll feel like you’re checking out your buddy’s garage - ok, your buddy’s really really awesome garage.

Image: National Motorcycle Museum

National Motorcycle Museum, Iowa - The National Motorcycle Museum was founded in 1989 by people who live and breathe all things motorcycle (we know the feeling). You’ll find this museum a bit off the beaten path, tucked away, surrounded by cornfields - but it’s worth the trip. This facility is a non-profit museum located in Anamosa, Iowa and has a mission of maintaining the experience of bikes from past and present. The National Motorcycle Museum houses motorcycle memorabilia, documents, and vintage bikes from as far back as 1903. When you visit this museum, you’ll take a two-wheeled trip through history starting from some of the first-ever bikes on the market to present-day favorites. The facility is home to more than 450 motorcycles and many of them are on loan from private collectors from around the world. Their newest and permanent exhibit, “Barn Find” shows off motorcycles, agricultural and automotive iron you might find in an old American barn. There are a variety of manufacturers on display including American, Japanese, British, and other European motorcycles.

Image: Visit Milwaukee 

Harley-Davidson Museum, Wisconsin - Harley-Davidson is one of the most iconic motorcycle manufacturers in the world so, of course, they have their own museum. You can visit the Harley-Davidson Museum for yourself in Milwaukee, WI and if you have a Harley or just appreciate the brand, you won’t want to miss this museum. The Harley-Davidson Museum is open 363 days a year and is fun for the whole family. The 130,000-square-foot facility encompasses a three-building complex that takes up 20 acres of land and is located along the scenic Menomonee Riverbank. If you’re hungry during your visit, the Harley museum even has its own restaurant you can try (we recommend the brisket nachos). The museum has over 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts and memorabilia spanning the lifetime of the iconic brand we know and love today. The exhibits in the Harley museum are vast and include a motorcycle gallery where a procession of motorcycles are lined up on the upper level running down the length of the building. They also have exhibits featuring Harley’s history, culture, design and more. Fun fact: the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle in existence is housed here. Stamped inside the engine casing of this motorcycle is the number one. If you’re ready to geek out about all things Harley-Davidson, this is the place to do it.

Image: Motorcycle Hall of Fame

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, Ohio - Last but not least is the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame located in Pickerington, OH. This museum has it all - from an Evil Knievel display to the Terminator police bike to stories of early riders - a must-see for any motorcycle enthusiast. Although this particular museum is on the smaller side, especially compared to the 20,000 acres for the Harley-Davidson Museum, it is packed with history and one-of-a-kind bikes. The tours are self-guided at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame so you can take as much time as you’d like taking in each display and uncovering the history of motorcycle’s past.

It’s important to take a look back to appreciate how far we’ve come in the motorcycle industry. Seeing the progress we have made over the years makes us proud to be riders and we encourage you to visit and support these museums because they are preserving an important part of our nation’s history. Have you been to any of the motorcycle museums we mentioned above? Let us know your favorite in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer

The Most Famous Motorcycle Rides in the World

If you’re creating a riding bucket list, you’ll need to add these roads/routes to yours ASAP. There are destinations all over the world that have epic riding and we want you to experience them. Sorry in advance because this post is going to give you some serious wanderlust. Check out our list of some of the most famous motorcycle rides in the world and get ready to buy a plane ticket to check them out for yourself.


The Great Ocean Road, Australia - We’re taking you down under for this first bucket list ride. The Great Ocean Road is one of the greatest motorcycling roads in the world that’s full of hillside roads, twisty turns, and epic bends. This ride is just under 130 miles and many bikers can complete the route in one day. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or more of a rookie, there’s something for every rider on the Great Ocean Road. The majority of the ride is located along the coast so get ready for insane coastal views and refreshing sea breezes. There are also many Australian landmarks along the route such as Great Otway National Park - we suggest making a pit stop there if time permits. We also reccomend checking out Twelve Apostles, a collection of eight limestone formations created by erosion over millions of years - they are truly a sight to behold. The Twelve Apostles Attracts over 1.2 million visitors annually and the lookout locations are open year-round.

Image: Motorbike Roads

Los Caracoles Pass, Chile - Alright new riders, you might need to steer clear of Los Caracoles until you consider yourself an expert. Los Caracoles translates to “the snails”, which is due to the vehicles crawling like snails pace along this 50-mile stretch of road, considered to be one of the top 10 most most dangerous roads in the world. It includes switchbacks, 29 sharp hairpin turns, and steep inclines. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this ride is for you. There are no guard rails on the road and snow covers the route most months of the year. This will not be the fastest you will ever ride, so why ride here? Well, it might be dangerous, but Los Caracoles is considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in the world with magnificent views. It is also great for anyone perfecting the rolling of the throttle through corners. See the photos for yourself. Bring your passport, as this ride crosses the border into Argentina.

Image: Roadtripper

Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap, North Carolina - The Tail of the Dragon is a well known “ride” in North Carolina that we couldn’t leave off our list. This top motorcycle destination is a quick 11 mile stretch on US 129 following the southwest border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Tennessee/North Carolina line, and is home to a whopping 318 tight curves. It might not be a long ride, but there are no intersecting roads or drives to interfere with your ride, so it’s sure to leave your heart pumping. If 11 miles is not nearly enough, nearby the Cherohala Skyway and Indian Lakes Scenic Byway offer more curves. At the start in Deal’s Gap is a favorite motorcyclist hangout, Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort and their Tree of Shame, a shrine that showcases those who have been bitten by the Dragon”. Are you ready to tame the beast?

Image: Visit Norway

Trollstigen, Norway - This 66-mile route is tucked away in the mountains of the western coast of Norway and is one of the most popular attractions in the country. The dangerous ride is known for its 11 hairpin turns that are sure to take your breath away and might tighten your grip. This one-lane road is narrow and twists and turns throughout mountainous terrain - new riders, sit this one out. Trollstigen (“Troll’s Ladder”) is closed during late fall and winter and is typically up and running between mid-May to October due to weather conditions. Along the route, you’ll be surrounded by mountains as far as the eye can see and there are many opportunities to pull over to snap photos or feel the mist of the ride’s nearby waterfall, Stigfossen.

Image: Visit Abu Dhabi

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, Abu Dhabi - Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road is located 90 minutes from the heart of Abu Dhabi and is a 7.3-mile stretch of racetrack quality asphalt. This road is every motorcyclists playground and includes 60 sharp corners and a 4,000 ft. climb that offers riders an epic view of the city. This road is considered one of the best drives in the entire UAE and on your way, you’ll likely see a variety of wildlife, including some of the country’s vast bird population, which includes 119 species. While on the ride, keep an eye out for fine sand as it accumilates on windy days. At the top of the ride, there is a cafe you can take a pit stop at to grab a quick refreshment.

Image: Travel Channel

Pacific Coast Highway, California - We have all heard the hype about taking a Pacific Coast cruise, and we are here to tell you the hype is real. The terrain is unlike anything you’ve seen before with miles of coastline, tons of curves, and unreal views along the entire highway. No matter where you start or end your ride you’ll be in for a treat. If you ride the length of Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll see lighthouses, redwoods, mountains, lush valleys, and a variety of wildlife. The highway is a whopping 655-miles long, so whether you choose to ride for just a portion of the highway, or the entire length, there will be an ideal option for you. Just make sure to check the traffic advisories for any road closures while planning your trip as landslides can take out portions of the road for quite some time.

Image: Acampora Travel

Amalfi Drive, Italy - There’s no doubt that southern Italy is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, so the Almafi Coast had to make our list. This ride will give you an up-close and personal look at Itay’s most amazing, quaint seaside towns. The ride hugs rugged coastline and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way - take your time. The roads in this area were built by the Romans so the road is quite literally carved into the rock face. There can be narrow areas of the route but the majority of the ride consists of two lanes. Enjoy the sea breezes along the way and make sure to stop for Spaghetti alle Vongole - pasta with clams - or Cuppitello di Pesce - a cone of fresh fried fisha.


Hana Highway, Maui - If you want to feel like you’ve been transported into another world, take a ride on the Hana Highway in Maui, HI. This 60-mile stretch of road runs across the northern half of Maui and offers riders stunning views of the coastline and lush greenery for miles. Hana Highway is famous for many reasons including its 600+ curves, dozens of single-lane bridges, and stunning scenic overlooks. Be sure to keep an eye out for drivers who are busy focused on the scenery and not on the road as this is a tourist’s delight with shrines - there are plenty of places to pull over if you want to take in the views. Stop by the Halfway to Hana Stand at Mile Marker 17 for the best banana bread around and bring you bathing suit to take a plunge into the Seven Sacred Pools of Hana or ‘Ohe’o Gulch at Mile Marker 42. 

In our opinion, there’s no better way to see the world than on a motorcycle. Buy a ticket, rent or bring your bike, and enjoy the ride. Have you ridden along any of these famous routes? Let us know some of your tips, tricks, and favorite pit stops in the comments below.

Trader Online Web Developer

Your Motorcycle News Fix

Hope everyone got to ride over the holiday weekend - we can’t think of a better way to celebrate our freedom than hitting the road. If you need a break from the hotdogs and burgers, relax and stay awhile - we’ll catch you up on all the motorcycle headlines you need to know. Check out the latest moto news below.

Image: Indian Motorcycle

Indian Launches FTR 1200 Artist Series Tank Covers - Indian recently announced its FTR 1200 Artist Series. This series is a collaboration with five well-known artists on a limited-edition line of tank covers for Indian’s all-new FTR 1200. The five artists in the series are: Steve Caballero, D*Face, Adam Turman, ThankYouX, and RISK. These popular artists each have extremely distinct styles and will appeal to a wide variety of consumers.“Art and motorcycles share a common thread of self-expression, and for motorcycles, customization is where self-expression truly comes to life,” said Reid Wilson, Senior Director of Marketing and Product for Indian Motorcycle. Only 100 tank covers of each design will be produced and will be available to select Indian dealers for $699. Meet the Artists.

Image: Husqvarna

Husqvarna Launches its First Electric Motorcycle, the EE 5 Electric Dirt Bike - Husqvarna just announced plans to launch their first electric motorcycle model, the EE 5 electric dirt bike. This dirt bike is designed for younger, beginner riders and will feature a 5 kW peak mid-drive electric motor. The new bike also includes six different ride modes to allow riders to select the proper setting for their skill level. The EE 5 will allow up to two hours of run time, but can also charge very quickly (around 70 minutes) from a high-powered off-board charger. This bike also “grows” with the rider, meaning the height can adjust to match the rider as they get taller. The manufacturer is joining a crowded field of electric dirt bikes and we are eager to see how this model stacks up against the competition. Read More.

Image: Lego

Lego’s New Mini Harley-Davidson Brings Out the Kid in Us All- Here’s your dose of nostalgia. Lego’s Creator Line offers a variety of life-like automotive recreations and now they are breaking into the motorcycle space with their newest edition, a Harley-Davidson Fatboy. The 1,023 piece set is $99 dollars and when you’re done putting together those plastic bricks, you’ll find a 7 inches high, 7 inches wide and 12 inches long Fatboy in front of you. The set includes a Milwaukee-Eight two-cylinder engine with moving pistons, a handlebar that turns the front wheel, and a functional kickstand. We don’t care how old you are - legos are always fun and we love this collaboration. Buy Here.

Image: Electrek

Yamaha to Launch Electric Scooter in Taiwan with Gogoro Partnership - Yamaha announced they will launch the EC-05 electric scooter in Taiwan on August 1. The manufacturer’s goal is to reduce CO₂ emissions from its products by 50% by 2050 compared to 2010 levels, and are promoting the electrically-powered products as one method for tackling this issue. This new model is the fifth electric motorcycle launched by Yamaha Motor, and they plan to launch additional models in the near future. Read More. 

You are officially caught up on all the latest and greatest motorcycle headlines. Hear of an interesting story we didn’t cover? Share it with us in the comments below and stay tuned for the next edition of “Your Motorcycle News Fix” coming this August.
Trader Online Web Developer