Harley Davidson Museum

Lee’s family has a long history of riding Harleys, starting with his great grandfather who rode in the board races in the late 20s.  His dad used to ride, his aunts, uncle, cousin ride and Lee has been riding since he was 18 and has had 3 Harleys.  So when we had a chance to go to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, we took it.

Lee’s Great Grandfather

Lee’s Great Grandfather

 

Walking through the museum was fun, the history of H-D was well represented with its collection of motorcycles, starting with Motorcycle Serial Number One, the oldest H-D Motorcycle. The memorabilia collection is impressive too, between pins to motorcycles used in movies.  There is an option for a self-guided audio tour, where you get a pair of headphones, Lee and I decided to just walk the museum.

We enjoyed the board racing exhibit, because of Lee’s great-grandfather.  There is an Experience Room where you can sit on and take pictures on the bikes, and Engine Room where you can hear the various H-D engines.

Motorcycles from 1909 and 1911

Bike from 1903 – Serial Number One

H-D Motorcycles were used for everything, including mail delivery

 

An Early model of the H-D Police Motorcycle

U.S. Army H-D Motorcycle

U.S. Army Motorcycle with sidecar

A later model police used.

Police H-D Motorcycle

Example of Board Racing – these were basic motorcycles with no breaks racing around a track made of wood.

A Board Racing Motorcycle

Hill Climb Motorcycles – another dangerous event – see who can ride up the steepest hill.

The Special Paint Colors of each year of H-D Tanks

H-D Scooter

H-D Golf Cart

H-D Minibike

H-D Snow Mobile

This bike was found in a storage container that had been washed up onto the beach. It traveled 4000 miles from Japan to Canada. Just goes to show how well H-D motorcycles are made.

Pictures from the when the bike was found

H-D from movie Easy Rider

H-D Motorcycles from the movies

H-D from Terminator ridden by Arnold Schwarzenegger

H-D from Captain America Movie

Two Seated H-D

Example of how people modify and decorate their H-D

Lee had this bike a H-D V-Rod

The most fun for me was being able to ride a motorcycle.  I have never had a desire to actually own a motorcycle, or get a motorcycle license, but while I ride on the back, I do observe what Lee is doing.  At the museum, they have what is called a Jumpstart Rider Experience, where non-riders can get on a Harley (the back wheels are on rollers) and ride up to 40 mph.  No experience is necessary, but I do recommend closed toes shoes as the pipes on a bike are hot and can burn you if you are not careful.  I had fun, and I learned how to use a clutch and change gears, but I am still not convinced I will ever have my own bike.

 

If you are in the area, don’t forget bike night, every Thursday at the H-D Museum May – September.

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