The Milwaukee Harley-Davidson Museum is a wonderful place to visit. Even more now with this new exhibit of crazy cool stuff that Harley stored during 108 years away from the public eye. Named “Collection X: Weird, Wild Wonders of the Harley-Davidson Museum”, this unique exhibition offers all Summer long a peek at wild stuff and oddities that Harley-Davidson has produced for over a century. The exhibit opens with a collection of Harley-Davidson prototypes and concept vehicles showing a side of the Harley-Davidson creativity that this exhibit is all about. It includes prototypes that eventually made it to production (the original V-Rod prototypes) and concepts that didn’t make it past the prototype phase, for example a vehicle with two front wheels and one rear wheel from the early 2000s.
History buffs will revel in the early 20th century motors – Harley-Davidson made motors for everything from lawn mowers to military drones – as well as the vehicles, old photographs, and riding goggles, belts, and other accessories. And fans of pop culture and anything that’s out of the ordinary, interesting, and offbeat will enjoy the huge variety of unearthed items, from t-shirts, belt buckles and folk art, to inventions like the brake light helmet. The exhibition is open from June 11 to August 21, 2011. Harley-Davidson Museum.
Among oddities (pictures from left to right, top to bottom). 1- A mock-up of a 1927 Harley-Davidson Model JD engine fitted with an airplane propeller. 2- Motorcycle frame straightener used in the Juneau Avenue Harley-Davidson factory, powered by a 1914 five-horsepower Model 10-B engine coupled with a 1920 transmission. 3-Brake light helmet, created by Felix Predko, who outfitted his custom motorcycle, nicknamed “King Kong,” with an outlet to illuminate the brake light helmet while he was riding. 4- LR-64 rocket engine, circa 1993. This is one of more than 5,000 units produced at the York, PA Harley-Davidson plant for the U.S. Navy during a 30-year span beginning in the mid-1960s. The engines were used to propel target drones for military training exercises. 5- This chopper, except for an internal metal frame for support, is constructed entirely of leather, complete with leather spark plugs and a tool bag with a set of leather wrenches and a pair of pliers.