The National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, is now located in a brand new, larger setting. It holds an amazing collection of over 300 motorcycles and when you visit you will see this museum is much more than motorcycles and memorabilia from all around the world, and from over 100 years of our great sport.
The National Motorcycle Museum is set up to help you get a solid grasp of casual motorcycling and racing, in addition to a taste of American motorcycle culture. You can immerse yourself in the stories of celebrities and characters like Arlen Ness and Von Dutch and take in rare art, sculpture and personal effects from these American legends. A showcase full of images and objects takes you into the wild life of showman Evel Knievel. Round a corner and see the authenticated Captain America chopper from the 1969 cult classic Easy Riders, but also take in dozens of other motorcycle movie posters from around the world.
The museum is set up in theme areas and just about every space is crammed with goodies. High ceilings permitted the designers to create a mezzanine to display a fantastic collection of pedal cars designed as trucks and even airplanes. And there are a few dozen motorcycles and bicycles up there, too. Over 400 rare toys in several large antique showcases may take you back to your childhood and to your grandfather’s.
Board track, hillclimb, drag racing and land speed record each have dedicated display areas. And they also hold trophies, photos, prints and other items that bring up the stories of American heroes and champions; men and women that may have risked their lives to get to the podium, and give us a thrill.
Talking with Museum staff you will also learn that this museum will likely never be finished or stay the same. There is a changing gallery that will host a new large exhibit each year. Also, a 1930’s antique gas station is being restored at the moment and soon will be installed with a full complement of petroliana; gas station memorabilia from signage, old road maps, calendars and old oil cans to restored antique gas pumps. Loaned and donated bikes arrive and are added to specific exhibition areas almost weekly.
Many of the bikes on display are machines most of us have experienced: Harleys, Hondas, Triumphs, BSAs, Kawasakis and Allstates of all types. But if you enjoy rarities, and early bikes, you’ll get close enough to examine the finest details of machines by Curtiss, Flying Merkel, Indian, Vincent, Brough, Maserati, NSU, Ducati, and brands like Moto Guzzi, Pannonia, Excelsior, Ariel and Zundapp, many in original paint like the amazing 1912 Henderson Four.
The National Motorcycle Museum is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. For more information, call 319-462-3925 or visit the Museum on the web www.nationalmcmuseum.org and sign up for their e-newsletter or plan a trip.