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50 States Special Feature Day 1

Day 65, Sturgis Special Feature
Today we visited the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. If you're not a motorcycle enthusiast, you might want to stop reading now. If you are even mildly into bikes, this is a treat. I'll highlight eight features for the next three days (I hope!)

The first treat was a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow. Vincents were noted for their high quality and prices, which eventually led to their demise. The Black Shadow had a lot of components that were bolted on and look rudimentary. Yet the bikes were rocket fast.

Feast your eyes on this 1964 Royal Enfield "Interceptor TT." What nice simple
lines and clean look. Americans wanted more power so they took their 700cc
engine and bored and stroked it to a 735 powerhouse. It could cruise at 90 MPH yet got 45 miles per gallon.

This 1991 FXRT Harley has over a million miles on it. Wisconsin Senator Dave
Zein became an uber rider after his term and spent many miles raising money and consciousness for good causes. One year he rode over 113,800 miles. He makes 50 states in 50 weeks look like walking to the store for potatoes!

A 1918 Indian Model "O" light twin. They built a two stroke bike with opposing cylinders. Americans weren't impressed and they only manufactured it for three years, making 40,000 bikes. Hence, this is a real collector's item. And the restoration job is par excellence.

Remember the Cushman scooters? They also built meter maid trikes. You may
remember the little ice cream trucks too. Yep. This is a 1942 model. They were used in the Great War.

This 1925 Harley Davidson 74 JD streamliner paved the road for HD to be one of the few motorcycle manufacturers to survive two world wars and the Great
Depression. This launched them into modern biking, with generator, carburetor, battery and electric lights, replacing acetylene lamps.
Next, a 1930 Harley Davidson Model "V", with the 74 cubic inch engine. Note the smooth lines and sanitary engine compared to older models. They vastly improved their electric system as well. Because thieves made off with bikes so easily, H-D installed steering locks that year.

Today's final entry is a 1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850. This V- twin, as opposed to the Harleys, was to each side rather than front to back. The Moro Guzzis looked sleek and fast, but alas, were not. This year's model got a new frame and alternator, allowing for a lower seat height.
Wasn't that fun? The museum contained dozens of gorgeous bikes, mostly very rare models and a plethora of Indians and Harleys. However, other brands made appearances too. Stay tuned tomorrow. Perhaps we'll highlight a bike that was
designed to be thrown out of an airplane during World War II.


Mel Nason said...

The Sturgis Museum had just closed when Judy and I rolled into town nearly a year ago, so we missed it. But, wait!... Thanks to you, we haven't missed it at all!!! The pictures and narratives are awesome, and I can't wait to see more!

BTW, I STILL think you have the potential be a great writer when you grow up! heh heh

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

ALWAYS got to put a caveat in, don't you? Grow up, indeed!