Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two-Wheel Speed at the National Corvette Museum

Museum presents exhibit featuring Motorcycles over the years
Corvettes may be the best thing on four wheels, but what about our two-wheel friends? Starting on Saturday, September 21, the National Corvette Museum presents a unique exhibit featuring over 40 amazing motorcycles of various makes, models and eras. The bikes on display range from the classic American Harley to foreign bikes such as Kawasakis and Yamahas.

Some of these two-wheel speedsters include:

1975 Harley Davidson Prototype MX 350 (on loan from Cody Tellis of Bultacowest)
In 1975 Harley Davidson was looking to get into the dirt bike market.  Some 200 250cc machines were produced but only one 350cc was made.  This is that bike.  Rediscovered in Waco, Texas where the factory used to test their machines, the prototype was said to ride like a hobby horse and the project was scrapped.  Bultacowest was called a number of years ago by an aging lady who wished to sell her Harley to the business to be restored; when informed that Bultacowest didn’t restore Harleys, she asked that the establishment allow an old lady to tell her story.  Understandably once this amazing story was shared, they bought the bike!

1966 Bridgestone Special Racer 175cc (on loan from Phil Wheeler)
This is the original motorcycle that won the 1966 Daytona Sportsman 200 Road Race, confirming Bridgestone as a threat to the BIG FOUR (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki). This motorcycle was ridden by Dwayne Williams who was victorious over at least 23 contenders of various manufacturers. The winner of this race gained bragging rights as having the best motorcycle built in speed and endurance. Most authorities agree that only 150 SR175 racers were ever produced and less than 10% of those remain today.

Pratt & Miller Motus MST-R, developed with Corvette ties (on loan from Motus Motorcycles)
The Motus MST series of comfortable sportbikes were developed with the help of Motus partners, Pratt & Miller Engineering, who support GM's successful Factory Corvette Racing, Cadillac Racing, Daytona Prototype, Camaro GT, NASCAR, and IndyCar efforts.  Drawing on this racing heritage, the MST's have chromoly space frames, extensive use of carbon fiber and real American muscle. 

This particular prototype has the world's first gasoline direct injected (GDI) 4 stroke motorcycle engine and the first V4 ever used on an American motorcycle. The 1650cc (100ci) V4 "Baby Block" engine is heavily inspired by LS small block design using a 90 degree V, cam-in-block, OHV with pushrods, and hydraulic lifters.

1967 Triumph Bonneville T120R, world land speed record holder in 1966 (on loan from Keith Bemerer)
Named the “World Landspeed Record Holder” in 1966 when two Triumph engines were strapped together and raced at Bonneville Salt Flats, UT.  Triumph started production on the “Bonneville,” bike in 1959. This particular motorcycle was purchased in 1968 and has been in the Bemerer family since.

1928 Indian 101 (on loan from Brent Askins)
The Scout 101 was one of the fastest and most popular bikes of its time.  Today it is one of the most collectible. A true barn find from the summer of 2011, the bike has never been painted or restored cosmetically, but is mechanically sound and is ridden regularly. The barn this prize was found in held a variety of bikes, mostly antique scooters. Another wooden building on the property held many cars, including four Corvettes - a ’63, ‘62, ‘58 and a prized ‘54.

 “At the National Corvette Museum, we strive to bring new and innovative exhibits to our facility. While our main focus is and will always be the Corvette, America’s Sports Car, we love shaking things up a bit and introducing something new to our visitors,” said NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode.  “No two visits to the Museum are the same, and with exhibits like this featuring motorcycles, we hope to bring in folks who might not have otherwise visited.  This exposes them to the Corvette lifestyle and creates new enthusiasts,” Strode added.

The Museum will continue to welcome motorcycles in 2014 with the grand opening of the Motorsports Park.  The Park is currently under construction and plans to host events not only for Corvettes, but also motorcycles and other model cars. For more information on this project, please visit the
NCM Motorsports Park website.

This exhibit will run from Saturday, September 21, 2013 through Friday, January 3, 2014. For more information on this exhibit and a peak at a few of the bikes on display, please visit our website.