Before starting on this trip, my moto friend James told me I had to visit the Motorcycle Museum in Solvang, CA. It's a private collection of a 100 bikes from the last 100 years. I only wanted to go if there was a tour or with a friend who knew about bikes. Otherwise I'd just admire the pretty bikes, but not understand why these bikes are so valuable. I was very fortunate and got to tour the museum with a friend I made on the road, Joe, who rode motorcycles professionally. I couldnt ask for a better tour guide.
There were signs by all of the bikes giving their specs and some had stories, but Joe's stories were way more interesting about the bikes.
This bike looks like a hoot to ride. This is the same bike pictured below.
I was surprised and impressed by the variety of motorcycle at this museum. The bikes on the road now look very similar. You can spot a Ducati or a Suzuki from a mile away. The bikes in this collection had knobs that I didnt know what they did. Or they had bicycle pedals, so you could bump start the motor. On the older bikes, the clutch wasnt always on the left, nor was the chain. Things were still being invented; there was no established norm.
I've sworn off living in places where I cant ride year round, but perhaps all I'd need is a bike with spikes in the tires!
The museum is open on weekends and by appointment for weekdays. It was $10 to get in and to droll over the bikes and way worth it. Being in the presence of so many amazing bikes I wanted to ride. Preferably one of these bikes! I asked if I could ride a bike around the block, but of course the answer was no. How about just turning on a bike? Nope. What about a sleepover here in the museum? Good idea, but no.
I look forward to visiting again. Time to go ride my bike!