On The Road Again
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
31Trip End Sep 2008
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The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum has changing displays as well as a permanent collection. The current display is "Motorcycles of the Stars" and they have many motorcycles used in the movies, owned by movie stars, rock stars, etc.
Some are classic old bikes, like Steve McQueen's 1929 Scott Super Squirrel. This motorcycle has actually been used several times recently in Antique Motorcycle Club of America road races.
Just to prove how very "make believe" the movies are, one of the bikes on display is a bike made to look like a Kawasaki KZ1000 police bike. There are thousands of these bikes out there so I can't imagine why Hollywood didn't just get one, but, instead they took a single cylinder Honda XR500 and dressed it up to look like a 4 cylinder KZ1000. If you look at the exhaust pipes you can see that one of the pipes isn't connected to the engine, because there isn't a cylinder for it to connect to. This bike was ridden by a stunt rider in Terminator 2 staring Arnold Schwartzenegger.
And, of course, there's the Captain America bike ridden by Peter Fonda in Easy Rider. This is a duplicate because the original was crashed and destroyed at the end of the movie.
The Bonneville Racer is here because it was owned by the King of Malaysia, Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Sir Ismail Alkahlidi, 4th Sultan of Johor, who is a motorcyclist and an avid motorcycle collector.
Arlen Ness is a famous custom bike builder and a few of his creations were in the museum including a bike built around a helicopter jet engine, and one built to look as if it comes from the fifties, complete with fins
And there's a replica of where it all started, in 1885 with the Daimler "Einspur". The first known gasoline engine powered cycle (though it had "training wheels"). It wasn't really intended as a commercial vehicle but was just a test frame for an automobile engine.
My favorite bike though, is in the permanent collection. It's the incredibly beat up Harley Davidson that belonged to David Barr. It's my favorite because of the story that goes with it. Dave Barr was a soldier who lost both his legs to a landmine, in spite of which (or maybe because of which) he's ridden motorcycles around the world, including across Russia in the dead of a Siberian winter across the Andes Mountains, to the Arctic Circle, through the Sahara Desert and the Australian Outback. He rode 83,000 miles in 3-and-a-half years and retired the bike with 250,000 miles on the odometer. And he did it all with no legs. You can read more about him here.
I have neither that kind of courage nor the determination. I've gone as far east as I have the time to go on this trip so I turn south when I leave the museum. While eating dinner a man sitting at the next table begins a conversation about riding. It turns out that Brian is also a rider and has an Aprilia and a Ducati. He's from the area and goes over my maps with me to make some recommendations for a route. I return the favor and get out my map of Washington to recommend a motorcycle road for him on a future trip. Then I travel a little farther south before I find a campground where I can spend the night.