Visiting Doc’s Museum is a Prescription for Fun
Story and photos by John “Gunner” Gunnell
Steve “Doc” Hopkins will issue you a prescription for fun if you stop by his dealership—Doc’s Harley-Davidson (www.docshd.com)—in Bonduel, Wis. The 58-acre facility features such oddities as roaming buffalo, an inside critter tour with alligators, crocodiles, a parrot, tortoises, iguanas and a pot-bellied pig, the Timeline Saloon for good eating, a motorcycle and muscle car museum, a Duke’s of Hazard car on a pole outside the building and a pirate ship jutting out one side.
Doc and his daughter Kersten actively campaign record-setting Top-Fuel drag bikes. The dealership offers performance work in the back shop, where technicians can give any Harley-Davidson® that seat of the pants horsepower feeling and the crisp "staccato beat" a strong Harley-Davidson should have.
Hopkins is an inventor, too. His Harley “Four-Tee-Five”—a four-engine flathead motorcycle built for five people-got him started on some wild creations. Its frame was entirely hand-built by Doc and utilized four 45-cid Harley-Davidson Flatheads and a Big-Twin transmission. He followed with his “Time-Line Bike” powered by seven Harley-Davidson engines from different eras of Harley history.
Doc’s racing history started in 1975. He is a five-time national motorcycle drag racing champion. Hopkins set and held the World Quarter-Mile Record of 7.17 sec. @ 192 mph for three years. He still holds the record for the World's Fastest Panhead with another drag racing bike. His best ever run set an elapsed time of 6.73 sec. for the quarter mile and 4.42 sec. for the eighth mile at 206.84 mph and 190 mph, respectively.
The entrance to Doc’s museum is through his motorcycle showroom, which displays about 40 new bikes, as well as an antique kiddie thrill ride that Hopkins found in an antique store in Colorado. It features a kid-sized motorcycle with working headlight, taillight, horn and accelerator, and it’s only 25 cents a ride!
Doc's Classic Car & Cycle Museum is free to the public. It’s packed with cool motorcycles, ‘60s muscle cars, automobilia and gas station collectibles. Just inside the entrance is a real rarity, a 1929 Harley-Davidson single-cylinder stationary motor. In the late ‘20s and early ‘30s Harley suffered a slowdown in motorcycle sales and decided to build stationary engines. According to Hopkins, this is why the company is referred to as Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
A 1947 Harley FL Knucklehead highlights a grouping of motorcycles across from the entrance. It features 98 percent original equipment and period accessories like a fringed seat, fringed and studded saddlebags and a “police” style windshield. A placard points out that 1947 was the last year for the Knucklehead motor. In 1948 Harley-Davidson introduced the Panhead engine.
Another “dresser” Harley on display is a metallic blue 1968 FLH Electra-Glide with original paint. When new, this bike belonged to a man named Harry Ebert and, like many bikes in the museum, it has a price tag on it. Next to the Electra-Glide is parked a blue and white 1971 Triumph Bonneville with twin carburetors and a megaphone exhaust system. If that isn’t exciting enough, its neighbor is a 1977 Sportster XLCR Cafe Racer with 7,500 original miles.
Other bikes in the front grouping included a 1976 Harley Sportster, a 1966 Montgomery Ward “catalog” bike that was built by Italian maker Benelli (tagged at $1,500), a 1961 Cushman Highlander 8-hp scooter, a 1961 Topper motor scooter (made by Harley-Davidson from 1961-1965) and a 1969 Sportster XLCH Harley factory racer that carries 1960s AMA Grand National Racer Freddie Nix’s 883-cc “super motor.” Doc got the No. 1 racing motor from Roy Bolker.
In another area of the museum is a fully restored 1926 Harley-Davidson J model done in Brewster Green (the only available color that year). This 1000-cc bike has nickel-plated cylinders and heads which are cast as one. These are no gaskets or head bolts in the engine. If you look on the left-hand side of the heads, you will see the primer cocks used for cold weather starting.
Nearby is a custom bike called “The Woodie” that has a 205-cid (3370-cc) engine, a six-speed transmission and a three-inch rear tire. Wayne Bahr of Bonduel did the wood crafting that decorates this unique bike and the frame was powder coated by Spence Industries, of Green Bay. The bike features an on-board coffeemaker that is heated by the exhaust pipe.
In the rear corner of the museum are the two drag racing bikes—the “World’s Fastest Panhead” that set the 7.17-sec. Mark and the 900-hp Harley that recorded a 6.73-sec. quarter mile.
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106 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247