Summer's almost here!
And to many that means one thing, and one thing only: Time to hop on your Harley and RIDE, baby!
Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson made a historic move in the year 1903 when they opened their Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturing shop in a small shed. Wonder if they ever dreamed that 105 years later, an exciting museum would open to honor the bikes - and the lifestyle they spawned worldwide.
What's parked in front is a dead give away to what this museum's about. But it's only a taste of the magnificent machines we're about to see inside.
Thanks to ingenious installations, many of the bikes on exhibit seem to be more in motion than those revving their engines on the street. Steep angles defy gravity.
It's like being there! This exhibit mimics the look, feel and (loud) sound of a racetrack.
These bikes were designed for delivery. During all four seasons, and that includes winter. Winter in the Upper Midwest, with freezing winds blowing off Lake Michigan. Brrrr..!
From the original building... if these floors could talk.
Let's head up to the museum-within-a-museum!
Seriously. Who doesn't have a few bikes in their office?
Or a chopper?
'Nowhere else on earth will you see so many original Harley's in one place.'
Now for some really 'out there' bikes. One more ornate - or wacky - than the other, these vehicular wonders are expressions of the independent personalities who ride them.
I want to be Dot for a day. Or her sidekick.
An impressive wall of 100 Fat Bob fuel tanks are painted with various Harley-Davidson logos. Spanning almost 80 years, in chronological order, the different paint schemes, pin-striping and logo designs make each tank a work of art.
Components to a Harley-Davidson are myriad and the choices are many. For decades I've been in awe of a friend's ability to build Harley cycles from scratch. He doesn't just order the kits. He orders separate components to make up his own custom kits, creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
Harley owners come from all walks of life - and from almost every corner of the world.
Writing about motorcycles from a technical perspective is obviously not my thing, but here is a great article, written in 'biker speak'. If you're into Harleys, feel free to chime in what you know in the comments below!
Learn more: Harley Davidson Museum, Harley History