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A Visit to the Harley-Davidson Museum

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On our way back from Pittsburgh to Brainerd, we decided to veer north and visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI.

Funny expression on my face as I ran to pose for the self-timer picture!
We were the first ones in the door to visit the museum last Tuesday, and what luck, it was $10 Tuesday. Plus, we were able to see the amazing photos by Josh Kurpius, a collection called Living Lost. The mural photo behind the bike is one. I didn’t feel right about taking photos of his collection. You’ll have to visit the museum to see them for yourself (on display until May 18, 2014). He captured life on the road, riding with the guys, moments of leisure and action. Really spectacular photography that captures the moments of “in the wind.”
 
The start of the tour.
As you enter the museum, you see rows and rows of Harley-Davidson motorcycles from #1 through the latest in production. They had the foresight to save at least one model from every year in production, and it is truly amazing to see the evolution of America’s favorite two-wheel ride. 
 
They call this one Number One, displayed in a glass case inside a marked off area that represents the size of the shed where it was conceived and produced.
 
What a thrill, says the Biker Chef, to be so close to all that “old iron.” It is a trip through time. The history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the legends, and the creators is part of our collective American, even world, history. Their story is our story. Here they were, a couple of friends in Milwaukee with a plan to make a motorized bicycle. They were in a city of industry, and they knew how to use their resources.
 
Piano tuning tools were used to make motorcycles!
And, it evolved from there…
 
New colors
 
Side cars
A mother/daughter used a motorcycle like this one to travel from Brooklyn to San Francisco in 1915!
 
You go, Girls!
 
Better seats!
The sundowner is an improvement on this one.
Notice the knee hook to lean into on those tight curves.
You’d have a memorable trip out to Sturgis on this bike!
 
The Harley-Davidson Motorcycle has served its country from WWII real missions to starring in movies like “Captain America.”
 
One hearty model survived the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011, traveled across the Pacific Ocean in a storage container, and ended up on the shores of British Columbia.
It’s owner was found, alive, although he had lost family members in the disaster, as well as most of his city.
He donated his motorcycle to the Harley-Davidson Museum.
 
At the end of the tour, they have a few bikes out that you can sit on. We both tried out this older one. I sat down and said it felt like the seat on one of my dad’s old tractors.
The Biker Chef in his element.
We left our signature as a calling card.
 
Come back tomorrow to see who we met at lunch. What a thrill!
 
The adventure continues….
 
 



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