New Exhibit Is A Roadmap of Motorcycle History
The California Automobile Museum’s newest exhibit shows you can have at least as much fun on two wheels as four.
On exhibit January 2 – March 12, “Born to Ride: Motorbikes Past and Present,” sponsored by Elk Grove Power Sports, is the museum’s first-ever exhibit devoted to motorcycles and showcases a century’s worth of models, ranging from some of the earliest and most rare to a critic’s choice for the best new model in 2010. The exhibit will also include racing motorcycles and memorabilia, a tribute to Sacramento’s rich motorcycle racing history.
“The development of motorcycles parallels that of cars,” noted Karen McClaflin, Executive Director of the California Automobile Museum. “Motorcycles were considered just as novel as the first cars in the early 1900s. In the early decades, they were sometimes a more effective form of transportation, given how primitive the roads were.
“Today, motorcycles have a wide appeal, giving many people a sense of freedom and adventure on the road while others enjoy their performance on the race track,” she added. “Our Born to Ride exhibit captures all of that and traces the history of fun and transportation on two wheels.”
In all, the exhibit includes more than 50 motorcycles, including those used for over-the-road and some built specifically for racing. The exhibit also allows visitors to trace the rise and fall of manufacturers from various countries, including the United States, Italy, Germany, England and Japan, as each rose to the challenge of designing more advanced models in a highly competitive marketplace.
Nameplates in the exhibit range from the well -known, such as Harley Davidson, BMW, Triumph, Ducati and Honda, to the extinct or nearly forgotten, such as Thor, Crocker, Excelsior and Ariel. Some of the noteworthy bikes include:
- A 1912 Harley Davidson, the first chain-driven model from that manufacturer, which has been owned by the late Steve McQueen;
- A 1942 Crocker, the most rare model in the exhibit;
- A 1953 Ariel Mark II, a highly competitive British model with a unique “square four” engine design;
- A 1959 Triumph, the first model from that maker capable of 100 mph and winner of the Winners Circle Prize from the Antique Motorcycle Club of America;
- A 1965 Honda Dream 300/305,a People’s Choice winner from the Classic Japanese Motorcyle Show;
- A Honda CB750, widely credited with ending the dominance of British manufacturers in that era;
- An Aprilia RSV4 that has been named “Bike of the Year for 2010” by Cycle World magazine.
The Museum will be hosting special event days in conjunction with this exhibit. Activities will be free for Museum members and included in Museum admission for nonmembers.
January 9, 2010
11 AM – 3 PM: Demo Rides by Elk Grove Power Sports (weather permitting – call to verify)
11 AM - 3 PM: Jelly Belly Factory will be here with two motorcycles and handing out samples
11 AM - 3 PM: Pinstriping demonstration by local pinstriper Samantha "Bogie" Boeger, items for sale, and a raffle
11 AM – 12 PM: Safety Presentation by California Motorcycle Safety Program
1 PM – 3 PM: Meet and Greet with Sam Bousefield, CEO of Samson Motors and designer of the Switchblade Multi-Mode Vehicle (flying motorcycle)
January 16, 2010
1 PM – 3 PM: Presentation by Glynn Kerr, motorcycle designer (RSVP by January 13th)
Roving reporter Rudy Alba checked out the exhibit and sent some really cool pictures of the bikes on display.