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Vintage Motorcycle Exhibit Includes 1905 Indian Single and 1919 Harley-Davidson 19

By Paris Wolfe, Thunder Roads Ohio Contributor

A Century of the American Motorcycle brings 35 vintage and modern motorcycles to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in University Circle from August 19, 2021, to March 2022. The motorcycles represent some of the best from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museumin Birmingham, Alabama. Owned by George Barber, the six-story, 230,000-square-foot museum is home to the world’s largest motorcycle collection and includes 1,600 operational bikes.

John Lutsch, program and marketing manager at the Crawford, is excited about the exhibit. He calls the Barber Museum “the Louvre of motorcycles.”

The visiting exhibit, focuses on the technical and aesthetic aspects of these powerful machines. It starts with the 1905 Indian Single and continues with American-made bikes such as the 1919 HD Model 19 J Twin and right up to the 2018 Motus MST.

“These specific models were selected for the exhibit,” says Lutsch. “They represent the rarest and best of a manufacturer’s efforts.”

He compares the significance of this exhibit to the 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle show in New York City’s Guggenheim Museum. The first of its kind, that show brought together 114 iconic bikes from the late 1800s to modern times, chronicling the most compelling moments in the evolution of motorcycle technology and design.

“Nothing this comprehensive has been done in Greater Cleveland,” he says. “The way they’re going to be presented and the events we’re planning will engage people. We’re giving people reasons to visit more than once.”

The exhibit opens with a VIP, invitation-only event on August 19 and continues with a public opening that same evening. On September 11-12, BMW Motorrad will bring its 25-city Heritage Tour to the museum. Registrants will have an opportunity to test drive some of the company’s newest bikes.

A second motorcycle exhibit will follow in spring 2022.

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