Tag: vintage

Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum – Photo Gallery

Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum – Photo Gallery

Wheels Through TimeWheels Through Time
The Museum that Runs

Just a hop, skip and a jump off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley, NC is an American treasure – the Wheels Through Time museum. It is home to hundreds of American-made motorcycles, tons of ephemera and historical photographs.

Built by the passion of Dale Walksler, a man with encyclopedic knowledge of motorcycles – the museum also bills itself as “the museum that runs.” Though the machines are true museum pieces, they are started and ridden. It is not at all unusual to find Dale riding some beautiful vintage iron through the museum, starting up an antique or laying down a smokey burnout on the museum floor.

While we were there, he started up 2 early 1900’s Indians on the floor. When the second one was shut down and the crowd that had gathered started to dispersed he looked directly at me and said, “you look very familiar. You’ve been here before…” and we struck up a conversation about our last visit there back some time in 2006.

Now, I don’t know if he says that to all the girls, but… I was tickled pink by the notion that he might remember me.

Dale, who struck me as a very kind soul spent some time sitting and talking with us. We talked about motorcycles of course, but also about people and life. He even suggested some great local riding since we were visitors to the area. Truly a nice man.

Please support this passion, this time capsule of motorcycle history. Visit Wheels Through Time. You’ll be glad you did.

Stumbling Upon the 2011 Spring MotoGiro East

Stumbling Upon the 2011 Spring MotoGiro East

A few weekends ago while on a Sunday group ride across the Mohawk Trail near North Adams, Massachusetts, to our collective surprise we found ourselves smack in the middle of the 2011 Spring MotoGiro East.

Bultaco in MotoGiro East

What is the MotoGiro USA?

The Motogiro USA is a motorcycle event promoted by the United States Classic Racing Association (USCRA). It is basically a two-day skill event for small displacement classic motorcycles, scooters and sidecar rigs on public roads.


The event caters to motorcycles that were made before 1969 and are 305ccs or less.

MotoGiro East MotoGiro East Sidecar MotoGiro East

Because this ride is held on public roadways there were moments when we were traveling up and over the mountain on Route 2, side by side with some of the competitors. We quickly found a spot to pull over and watch them make their way.

BMWs parked watching MotorGiro

Sure, I’ve seen beautiful vintage bikes parked at events or cruising around town – but I’ve never seen so many of them being put to good use the way these were. It was awesome!

MotoGiro USA East MotoGiro USA East Yamaha MotoGiro East

I won’t lie. As we stood watching them zip by, I clapped and maybe even Whooooo‘d. And yea, I know that’s really corny. 🙂

In a completely random and “small world” moment, I believe I just happened to snap a photo of Bob, whom I met doing the Crotona Midnight Run this year.

Bob on Honda Scrambler - MotoGiro East

Have you ever seen or participated in a MotoGiro?

For More Info on MotoGiro USA:

Barber Museum: 1956 Parilla Corsa

Barber Museum: 1956 Parilla Corsa

When we saw this Parilla at the Barber Museum, I kinda wanted to hug it. It’s just so darned cute!

1956 Parilla Corsa at Barber Museum

Guido... Punch me in the face.Back in the time of dinosaurs when music actually played on MTV (the 80’s) Tom Petty had a video for the song You Got Lucky. During the first minute and a half or so of the Mad Max-y video, 3 dirty ruffians come skidding in on a sidecar rig. The Parilla reminds me of that sidecar rig mixed with Guido the forklift from Cars.

Random. I know.

The museum placard reads:

1956 Parilla Corsa Barber Museum1956 Parilla Corsa

Country:          Italy
Engine:            Air-cooled, single cylinder four stroke
Ignition:           Battery and coil
Power Rating: 26 b.h.p. @ 7,200 r.p.m.
Bore x Stroke: 68 x 68mm
Displacement: 247cc
Valves:             Single overhead cam, bevel and shaft drive
Fuel System:    Single De, Orto G.P. carburetor
Transmission:  Four speed
Suspension:     Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes:             Front and rear drum
Weight:             234 lbs.
Top Speed:       110 m.p.h.

Parilla made a limited number of motors with overhead camshafts. Available in four versions, the Tourist and Sports were street legal machines, with the Compitizione and Corsa stripped racing models, the Corsa featuring magnesium engine cases and brakes. This machine has a full “dustbin” fairing that would result in higher speeds due to better air penetration. These fairings were eventually banned in the late 1950’s, reason being that they made the bike unstable in strong side winds, and also contributed to the front brake fading.

Barber Motorsports Museum: 1974 Hercules W2000 Wankel Rotary Motorcycle

Barber Motorsports Museum: 1974 Hercules W2000 Wankel Rotary Motorcycle

Hercules Rotary Motorcycle Barber Motorsports MuseumUntil I visited the Barber Motorsports Museum, the only rotary engined motorcycle that I’d ever seen or heard was the Suzuki RE-5 owned by my friend Quacka. There’s a good reason for that. There were never many production models made using a rotary mill.

Like the RE-5, the Hercules was apparently a victim of it’s own innovation – the rotary power plant was prone to heat issues. It never saw favor in the marketplace and the model died off.

The German-made Hercules W2000:

1974 Hercules W2000 Rotary Wankel Motorcycle

1974 Hercules W2000 Rotary Engine Motorcycle Barber Museum

For More Information on the Hercules W2000:

The Barber Motorsports Museum is the most amazing place. It is like a Church of Motorcycling History. Be sure to check out more blog posts from our visit there!
Port Jefferson Centennial Hill Climb Event – Preview

Port Jefferson Centennial Hill Climb Event – Preview

The town of Port Jefferson celebrated the 100 year anniversary of one of Long Island’s premier historical motorsport events; the Port Jefferson Hill Climb. Dozens of beautiful cars were on hand to participate in the harbor-side show, parade and ultimately the steep hill climb on East Broadway.

This post is just a little teaser; a little something to whet your whistle to come back tomorrow for a huge, photos-galore post about this fabulous event!

BMW Motorcycle Port Jefferson Hill Climb
Port Jefferson Centennial Hill Climb Antique Cars Port Jefferson Centennial Hill Climb Event Port Jefferson Antique Car Hill Climb Event

Click all photos to enlarge

1939 World’s Fair Police Motorcycle with Sidecar

1939 World’s Fair Police Motorcycle with Sidecar

The New York Public Library has an awesome collection of digitized images. I found this one while poking around. A 1939 World’s Fair Police Officer with motorcycle and sidecar.

I would love to know what type of motorcycle it is. If anyone has any information, please let me know!

New York World’s Fair - Employ... Digital ID: 1679255. New York Public Library

New York World’s Fair - Employ... Digital ID: 1679255. New York Public Library

Photo Note Reads:
“An Officer is pictured standing beside one the Motorcycles used for messenger service by the New York World’s Fair 1939. He is wearing the official uniform of the exposition police force, consisting of oxford gray coat, tan breeches, trooper’s hat, tan shirt and blue tie, leather boots and Sam Browne belt. The letters on the collar will be NYWF, giving him his official status.”

I Spy: 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle

I Spy: 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle

I am fortunate enough to have a very eclectic group of motorcycle friends. I’m surrounded by unique and interesting characters. So too are their bikes.

Last evening while out for an after dinner walk we ran in to our friend Quacka. He just happened to pull in to town on the maiden voyage of his 1975 Suzuki RE-5 rotary project bike.

Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle

Suzuki RE5 Rotary Dash - Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle Blog 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle - Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle Blog 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle - Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle Blog

Three cheers for the ugly duckling.

He’s turning what was a corroded mess into a real attention getter. The RE5 was never considered a real looker but it has well established cult following of Wankel-lovers these days.

Their signature roll-top gauge cluster and tail light usually garner polarizing comments. Love it or hate it, I foresee a lot of conversations with folks who “remember when they first came out” in his future.

Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorycle

In 1984, the first Iron Butt Rally had a first place tie. One of the riders was aboard a Suzuki RE-5. Fast forward 25 years to the 2009 Iron Butt Rally. Two more brave souls on RE-5s threw their hats in to the ring to compete. Although neither RE-5 crossed the finish line, they had a lot of folks cheering them on.

Suzuki RE-5  Links

Vintage Motorcycle Eye Candy: 1914 Flying Merkel

Vintage Motorcycle Eye Candy: 1914 Flying Merkel

In 1902 Joseph Merkel Started manufacturing single cylinder motorcycles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Merkel was an innovator in the newly blossoming motorcycle arena. With his sights set on competition machines by 1905 Merkel began to produce racing bikes.

Innovations by Joseph Merkel

  • A patented spring fork that was the precursor to telescopic forks
  • Monoshock suspension
  • Throttle controlled engine oiler
  • Cam-actuated intake valve
  • Merkel Motor Wheel
  • Reduced highway fees for motorcycles in New York 🙂

In 1908 Merkel merged his motorcycle company with Light Motor Company. The newly formed Merkel-Light Motor Company was then relocated to Pennsylvania. It was during this time that the “Flying Merkel” came into the world.

Merkel motorcycle production ceased during the time of World War I.

YouTube Video: Flying Merkel Running

Links & Photos


  • http://www.theflyingmerkel.com/themerkel.htm
  • http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/hofbiopage.asp?id=229
  • http://www.50sville.com/merkel.htm
  • http://www.motorcycle.com/events/historic-vintage-bike-auction-preview-80205.html
Sights from the Road: 5 Great Vintage Neon Signs

Sights from the Road: 5 Great Vintage Neon Signs

One common theme that seems to run through my photographic interest is vintage signage. Most often neon signs, though I’m not that picky if it’s really eye-catching. Much to the chagrin of my riding partner(s) I will throw on the anchors or double back to snap a picture if something interesting crosses my path.

5 Great Signs Spotted on the Road

  • Alexandria Bay, New York – The Spot Café
    Nestled along the shoreline of the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Alexandria Bay, NY offers the typical fare of touristy motels, souvenir shops and restaurants. Boldt Castle is not to be missed.
  • Skowhegan Maine – Skowhegan Diner
    Though I did not stop in to the diner to eat, I did walk across the footbridge bridge behind it to check out the Kennebec River.
  • Willets California – The Lark Motel
    On Route 101, the Lark Motel sign is a real looker. Great shape, color and composition. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Redding California – Stardust Motel
    3 for the price of 1 jackpot! The Stardust has 2 great signs on their property and the Americana Lodge sign can be seen peeking out as well. Redding offers the opportunity to see the Sundial Bridge and puts you on the path to great riding roads.
  • Aquebogue, New York – Modern Snack Bar
    Go for the sign, stay for the pie. This was where I had my first piece of Strawberry Rhubarb. Now I am completely hooked.
The Stardust Motel - Redding CaliforniaThe Stardust Motel sign- Americana Lodge Motel Sign - Redding CaliforniaThe spot cafe Alexandria Bay New YorkThe Skowhegan Diner - Skowhegan MaineThe Lark Motel on Route 101 near Willets California Modern Snack Bar Sign - Aquebogue, New York
click to enlarge
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