Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Visit

Having a little free time last Sunday afternoon, I decided to visit the motorcycle museum in Columbus.  I pass this place on a regular basis, and have always wanted to stop in and see what they have to offer.  Officially, the place is listed as:

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum
13515 Yarmouth Dr, Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 856-2222
Motorcycle Hall of Fame Web Site
Open 9 - 5, seven days a week

The Hall of Fame sits in the middle of a wooded area that makes you forget about the highway, the noise, and the city in general.  It's tranquil, and there's a large balcony where you can sit and enjoy a light lunch.  Admission is $10, and it's worth the price.  Take all the pictures you want, don't touch the bikes, and enjoy yourself.  Here are a few highlights.

Probably the oddest bike in the place is this wooden motorcycle.  It doesn't look like it would be all that comfortable to ride, not having any suspension to it.  Note the training wheels on the sides and the lack of castor on the front wheel.


Wooden Motorcycle
More My Style

High Mileage Bike
The next three pics are of an Indian hill climber.  Note the chain on the rear wheel and the small front wheel.  These bikes were manufactured for one thing only: Hill climbs.  They had one speed only - no gearbox.

Hill Scramble!

Not a Chief

Tired of hills?  Let's go to the flats.  The bike below is unnamed and has no explanation associated with it; I would surmise that it was used on the Bonneville Salt Flats to set a land speed record.  One thing's for sure - you wouldn't ride it around town.

Land Speed Racer

Land Speed Racer - Front

This Harley was ridden around the world by Dave Barr, a man who lost both legs during the war.  He didn't let the disability get him down, he just got on and rode.  The bike has been heavily modified, but what struck me was the seat.  That seat has enough extra padding so as to keep anyone comfortable, and it should tell you something about riding long distance on a motorcycle.  I also noted all the paraphernalia he's got tied to the machine - I don't think you could fit anything else on, no matter how good looking she was.

Road Trip

Road Trip Around the World
This is the Vincent Rapide, the predecessor to the infamous Black Widow.  I was hoping that they had a Vincent Black Widow at the museum, but no such luck.  I'm a little disappointed, but at least they have a Rapide.  All sorts of legends were circulated about the Black Widow; that it was illegal in the U.S., that it would do 150 mph off the showroom floor, that it wasn't safe to ride, and of all things, that it was actually a myth - no such bike ever existed.  All I can say for sure is that I knew an older man who claimed to have ridden one for a while, and that they were dangerous.

Vincent Rapide

Vincent MC

Vincent Rapide
The next four pics are of an HD chopper.  This would be the fairly ubiquitous chopper that you might still see anywhere on the highway.  The extended front end makes it hell on a straight highway, but every time you turn the corner on a city street you risk dumping it.  That's even easier to do on gravel.



1968 Chopper

Personally, I wouldn't ride one, even if they are super coll looking.  Asphalt never forgets.

The next set are just a few unusual bikes I saw and admired.  I think this one is a British motorbike of some sort.  Note the motor attaches to the front wheel.

 The next two pics feature a British motorbike, circa WWII (but don't quote me on that, I may be all wet).  I suppose it beats having to peddle a bicycle around, but only just.

Motorbike circa WWII

British Motorbike circa WWII
Finally!  I found something worth looking at.  An original Indian Chief!  A man I knew used to own one of these, and he really enjoyed it.  He said they were hard to start, but they produced an excellent ride.

Indian Chief

Indian Cheif

And that's it.  There are a lot more bikes in the museum, but I was a little surprised at the number of dirt bikes they had there.  In my mind, after you've seen one dirt bike, you've pretty much seen all of 'em.  I would have enjoyed the place more if they had more antiques available.  So, if I hit the lottery, I'll buy and donate a few decent bikes to the place.

Meantime, it's worth seeing.

1 comment:

  1. I'll take the Vincent, WL - and could you hammer out a deal on the Indian for BW Bandy? He's become a bit of an embarrassment as he travels about on that ratty old Suzuki of his.

    Err... which one are you buying for yourself? :)