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A Century of the American Motorcycle

Cleveland History Center

  • Date Thursday, August 19, 2021 - Friday, September 30, 2022
Cleveland History Center

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Beginning August 19, Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) will launch the Year of the Motorcycle at the Cleveland History Center, headquarters for WRHS and home of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. The Year of the Motorcycle opens with a comprehensive exhibit of American motorcycle evolution produced by The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama – “A Century of the American Motorcycle”. This is only the second time the collection of over 30 American made motorcycles have been on exhibit outside of the Barber Museum and is made possible with presenting sponsorship from Progressive Insurance, and Dan T. Moore.

“A Century of the American Motorcycle” is an extensive look into the technical and esthetic development of American motorcycles in particular, from the 1905 Indian Single, to the 1907 Merkel Light, on through the Twentieth Century, right up to the 2018 Motus MST. This extraordinary display will be a first in the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum’s long history of educating, engaging and entertaining its visitors, diverging from shows previously dedicated to automobiles.The regional and local interest will be significant with additional events, lectures, club tours, and gatherings. The exhibit runs through March 2022.

All are invited to attend the Grand Opening, Thursday, August 19 at 6:00 p.m. Opening remarks will start promptly at 6:30 with exhibit viewing until 8:00 p.m. Tickets ($25 General / $20 WRHS Members) are available at cletix.com.

Immediately following, “Open Road: The Lure of Motorcycling in Ohio” will open (April to September, 2022). This exhibit will focus on motorcycling history in Ohio with a selection of important machines created in Europe, Great Britain, and Asia, sourced from local private collections and museums. Again, these motorcycles represent real rarities, seldom seen by the public, some with histories involving round-the-world adventure or wheel-to-wheel competition. Rolling events, ride-ins, lectures, and demonstrations will enhance the offerings surrounding the exhibits.

These two interdependent exhibits will grant residents, tourists, and motorcycle enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts from around the world the unique experience of encountering first-hand the remarkable evolution of the motorcycle internationally, as well as offering a glimpse into the extraordinary machines held in local private collections.

A Century of the American Motorcycle
A Century of the American Motorcycle


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