Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee


The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI


The Harley Davidson Museum celebrates the story of a motorcycle company; A Milwaukee Wisconsin original story that is inseparable from American history and culture. The clean, but bare steel bones of the museum dress a grassy portion of downtown Milwaukee riverfront with the strength, power, and majesty of an industrial spirit that underpins this classic Midwest city. This is a city of makers.

For over 100 years Harley Davidson has been a titan among the heavy industrial giants of Milwaukee. The story of Harley isn't just a story of V twin engines. It is a story of American invention and ingenuity, of American and world history, of passion, devotion, the thrill of competition, the call of the open road, of celebrities, Hollywood heroes, fashion, design, mechanics, science, technology, innovation ... and oh yes ... motorcycles too.

This is a must see museum for everyone from everywhere. As Harley Davidson has done with everything they have forged, and pressed, and assembled into existence, the Harley Davidson Museum itself is a forward driving, boundary busting, innovation of extraordinary beauty.





It seems natural, a bicycle should have a motor on it. Anything with wheels should.

After all, that's what combustion motors were invented to do. First motors turned the wheels of looms and mills; then locomotives, carriages, and propellers. Every contraption capable of mechanical motion was to be harnessed with the explosive power of combustion engines. The industrial revolution had reached critical mass by the late 19th century, and the next century was compelled to be a century of unparallelled speed and unstoppable force.

One person cannot be fairly credited with the invention of the motorcycle. As inventors around the globe experimented with ways to harness motor power the idea of outfitting a bike with an engine simultaneously occurred to many of them. Neither William Harley nor Arthur Davidson invented the motorcycle.

It was never the Harley Davidson bicycle company. From day one, the hand painted scrawl on Davidson's backyard machine shed read "The Harley Davidson Motor Company". From this humble beginning an iconic brand was born.

Serial One Model One Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Serial One Model One Harley Davidson Motorcycle


The 1903 Serial One, Model One was weak and unable to climb Milwuakee's hills without pedal assistance. It was essentially a motorized bicycle. But the two enterprising lads from the North Side knew their goal was to create a motorcycle. They quickly set to work developing Model Two. Success!

Today, Harley Davidson is to motorcycles as Coca Cola is to soda. It is a brand that is inseparable from the fabric of American culture. The Harley Davidson Museum reminds us of this at every turn through its streamlined bespoke exhibit halls.

America's transition from horse to motorized transportation was rapid but not immediate. Early roads were rutted mud slicks. Motorcycles proved to be nimble enough to negotiate every kind of road and footpath. Delivery of products from mail to milk was enabled by the powerful new iron horses of Harley Davidson.

Timing was critical to Harley's success. By 1917, when America entered WWI, Harley Davidson Motor Company had a factory capable of supplying armies with a new kind of cavalry. The  advantage of hardy, powerful, nimble, and inexpensive motorcycles cannot be downplayed, Harley Davidson's motorcycles were a critical part of the insurmountable American industrial advantage that helped soldiers win two world wars.

Like most industries that had ramped up for the World Wars, Harley retooled and reinvented their product postwar. Where motorcycles had been utility machines throughout years of war, they became vehicles that opened the freedom of the road to post-war America.

The road culture of the 1950's and 60's captured the imagination of thriving middle America ... and of Hollywood. Harley's iconic brand is in part owed to the edgy lure of silver screen heroes who endorsed the brand. From Elvis to the Terminator - every badass rides a Harley.

Now, you don't need me to tell you the whole history of the Harley Davidson Motor Company. You can go to Milwaukee - its industrial and spiritual home - to tour the museum and see first hand this incredible story of triumph.

In a league of its own, The Harley Davidson museum tells a story that goes well beyond a story about bikes. It is a story of passion, industry, design, freedom, history, devotion, culture, innovation, process, competition, community ... and oh yeah, motorcycles too.

Racing Exhibit at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Racing Exhibit at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI



Information and Overview



(2015) FEES: 
Adult:  $20
Senior: $14
Military: $14
Student: $14
Child 5-17: $10
Child under 5: Free

HOURS: 
May-September - Daily: 9am-6pm (Thursday, 9am-8pm)
October-April - Daily: 10am-6pm (Thursday, 10am-8pm)



Directions and Map





Address for your GPS: 400 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53201
| coordinates: |

From Milwaukeen/a
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay2 Hours
From Wausau3 hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago1.5 Hours



Photos



Historic Collection of Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Historic Collection of Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Harley Davidson Toys
Harley Davidson Toys

The Anatomy of a Motorcycle at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee
The Anatomy of a Motorcycle at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

Engines at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Engines at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Historic Collection of Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Historic Collection of Harley Davidson Motorcycles

The Motorcycles that helped win the war at Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
The Motorcycles that helped win the war at Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Harley Davidson Art at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Harley Davidson Art at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Racing bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Racing bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Custom bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Custom bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Custom bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Custom bikes at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

Harley Davidson Bicycles at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
Harley Davidson Bicycles at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI

The Motorcycles that helped win the war at Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI
The Motorcycles that helped win the war at Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee WI


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3 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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  3. Hello, nice post about Harley Davidson museum cycle. The Harley Davidson Museum reminds us of this at every turn through its streamlined bespoke exhibit halls. Such a marvelous exhibition and collection that was stunning! Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete