Media and select members of the public, including Peggy Williams-Smith, President and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, will join Bill Davidson, Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum, for a special groundbreaking on Thursday, July 15.
The Harley-Davidson Museum team is thrilled to announce a new addition to its lineup of incredible event spaces on the bucolic, 20-acre campus. When complete, the all-new Garage will boast more than 8,000-square-feet of event space, floor-to-ceiling views of the Menomonee Valley, state-of-the-art audio/visual components and more. The team at 1903™ Events is looking forward to booking special occasions, weddings, corporate events and more. The new space is expected to be complete in spring of 2022.
Media are invited to join the festivities beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 15 for a uniquely Harley-Davidson “groundbreaking.” Please email Tim McCormick with any questions or to RSVP and/or follow this link for photos and renderings of the new event space.
With the recent return of Bike Nights (including Ladies’ Bike Night on July 22), weekend demos and so much more popping up on campus, no summer is complete without a visit to 6th & Canal in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Below are some of the exhibits and installations you can find at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Clubs & Competition (on display now)
In the early part of the 20th century, motorcycle culture was a homegrown phenomenon. It grew out of the passion of riders for their evolving sport. The camaraderie that developed around riding and attending competitive events led to the formation of motorcycle clubs that hosted destination rides, family picnics with motorcycle games and other riding competitions.
The newly reinstalled display case in the Clubs & Competition gallery highlights clothing from club members from primarily the 1930s and 1940s. The clothing selections on view include full dress uniforms, shirts, sweaters, jackets and caps, customized by the owners with their club name and logo, and pins or patches indicating membership in the American Motorcyclist Association. The H-D Archives™ collection includes Motorclothes® apparel sold in H-D® product catalogs but also non-H-D produced clothing items that have been proudly customized by riders.
Experience Gallery: Model Year 2021 Harley-Davidson motorcycles (on display July 20)
Always a favorite photo opportunity for riders and non-riders alike, the H-D Museum’s Experience Gallery has been refreshed with five 2021 Harley-Davidson motorcycles –including the all-new Pan America™!
Harley Fox (on display now)
Gail Anderson’s 1986 Softail® Custom motorcycle, “Harley Fox,” built by her partner Bob Burrows, took top prize at the first Ladies of Harley® (LOH) ride-in show during Daytona Beach Bike Week in 1987. With her custom bike and themed riding gear, Anderson presented a striking image that fit the growing visibility and exciting new options for women riders in the 1980s.
Alfonso Sotomayor’s 1957 Model FL (on display now)
The Harley-Davidson Museum is proud to announce its collection has recently grown with the addition of a 1957 Model FL that was ridden by famed Mexican stunt rider and racer Alfonso Sotomayor Canales.
Harley-Davidson’s history in Mexico dates back to at least 1913. In the 1920s, the brand was more frequently spotted throughout Mexico City as the motorcycles proved popular with the local traffic police who would also perform stunts with their Harley-Davidson® bikes. After racing from the 1930s into the 1960s, Sotomayor launched his own stunt riding career by performing the famed “Salto de la Muerte” or Jump of Death. Learn more about Sotomayor’s feats of derring-do and Harley-Davidson’s early entry into Mexico with this new display located in the Custom Culture area.
Off-Road Harley-Davidson (open now)
In the decades before America paved its highways, early riders had to be prepared for all sorts of terrain: sand, clay or dirt – and wandering those makeshift byways were Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Today, it’s called off-road or adventure touring; back then it was just called riding. Since 1903, Harley-Davidson motorcycles proved their toughness by riding over wooded hills, through stone-choked creek beds and up mountain sides. “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared.
A recently recovered cache of architectural drawings includes plans for the original Juneau Avenue facility. The pencil drawings, along with archival photographs, demonstrate the whirlwind pace of the company’s early growth. While building an international business—going from producing just over 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to manufacturing 27,000 motorcycles in 1920—the company’s Milwaukee factory experienced near-constant expansion. Construction through this relatively brief period created the buildings that today, a century later, are still the proud home of Harley-Davidson.
“Building a Milwaukee Icon” provides a snapshot of Harley-Davidson’s formative years and illustrates a chapter of Milwaukee history when the city was known as the “Machine Shop to the World.”
Google Arts & Culture, “Not Just a Knucklehead” (available now)
The first new motorcycle of the Great Depression was a bit of a gamble for Harley-Davidson. Introducing what would eventually be known as the “knucklehead” engine, the 1936 EL was a pivotal model that continues to influence H-D® motorcycles today.
About the Harley-Davidson Museum
Discover culture and history through stories and interactive exhibits that celebrate expression, camaraderie, and love for the sport at the Harley-Davidson Museum. A visit to the H-D Museum is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum at H-DMuseum.com.