Thursday, May 11, 2017

Biker Heaven

Museums come in all shapes and sizes, from little local ones operated by individuals to large national facilities. Home in Dartmouth, we have a little museum completely devoted to the “Happy Face”, and in our travels we have visited some that can take most of a day to explore.

In the Town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina I visited one of the best museums I have seen, called “Wheels Through Time”, devoted to the American Motorcycle.

This is an amazing museum with a wonderful collection of vintage and historically significant motorcycles. I spent two hours wandering through the history of the motorcycle in the United States of America. Of course there were lots of Harley Davidson machines, but most of Harley Davidson’s rivals through the years are also represented. Although I know a lot about motorcycles, there were a lot here that I did not know about. There were also sections of the museum devoted to many racing motorcycles from dirt tracking, hill climbing, enduro, drag racing and road courses. There was even one of Evel Knievel machines.

Not only are there motorcycles displayed all through the building, there are also accurate
The wheels time forgot?
depictions of various motorcycle shops through time. They were so well done that I did not realize that in one corner of the museum I was looking into the actual museum workshop where they actually restore and maintain the bikes in the museum. Also significant is the fact that many of the bikes on display are not restored, they have simply been rescued and repaired, so you see them as they were discovered.

While I visited the museum, there were no actual “guided” tours, and they are not really necessary with the detailed plaques explaining exhibits, but there were staff members who would suddenly engage groups or individuals with discussions of significant motorcycles. As well, Dale Walksler, the museum’s owner and host of the TV show “What’s in the Barn?” was always around tinkering and working on motorcycles.

If you are a “Biker” of any sort, this museum is without a doubt a “Must Visit” location. Put it on your “Bucket List.
Have not heard of "Marsh" Motorcycles

Hill Climb Tire

This is not the actual museum workshop

How about a Harley Davidson saw?

Some restorations

A rescue - no restoration

The Chopper graveyard

Back from the war

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