The Motorcycle Museum

From The Motorcycle Museum's website: The National Motorcycle Museum is recognised as the finest and largest British motorcycle museum in the world and originally opened its doors in October 1984.

I had always seen the Motorcycle Museum on the way to the airport but never thought I would step foot inside... until this day. Until this day when me and my Husband rolled up. To be truthful, we had planned to go the Selly Manor museum but it was closed. Disappointing. So after a quick change out of my vintage style dress and in to something more biker friendly, we were off. Quick pit stop at Subways because your girl was hungry - Italian BMT anyone - and we were ready to hit the road again.

Quick disclaimer: I'm not going to front here, I have no interest in Motorcycles. Yes, I can point out ones I find aesthetically pleasing but besides this, no knowledge or experience. So this recount wont be highly technical. Despite my lack of knowledge, I was still excited to visit the museum as of course my aim is to try new things and learn about new things, things that I normally wouldn't partake in. My husband, on the other hand, was over the moon with this choice! In fact, I think he was quite pleased about the switch from Selly Manor museum but I ignored this to keep up the martial bliss.

The museum has 5 halls lined to the brim with motorcycles through the ages. There are over 850 bikes in total. Besides each motorcycle is a board with history and facts about the bike. I was surprised that each single bike could have its own personal in depth narrative - each bike certainly held it's own place.

So along with pointing out the motorcycles I think looked really good, I was actually able to be a bit more intellectually involved by reading the descriptions and picking up one or two interesting facts which I then excitedly relayed back to my husband. My husband was also full of facts but more about the parts of the motorcycle, such as what engine it ran on and why this was so wow. He also occasionally reminded me that the motorcycles were not to be touched... not sure why...

It was really interesting to see how motorcycles had developed over the decades. Hall 1 itself showcased the 60 glorious years of motorcycle manufacturing in the UK from 1898 to the 1960s.The earliest machine dated back to 1898 and was super chunky! In fact, all the earliest motorcycles were so chunky as can be expected. The evolution through the years was crazy. We also saw police and emergency services motorcycles lined up dating decades back. The army motorcycles from the world wars were perhaps the most eye-catching decked in camouflage print and decked with rifles.

I was SUPER impressed at how polished and dust-free the bikes were, you can tell they are well looked after. In fact, my house... how do I say this without insulting myself... often times has more dust despite my frequent dusting.

After we had checked out all the motorcycles to our heart's desires, we went and looked at the gift shop which was brimming with memorabilia from all the top brands as well as cute random bits such as teddies. I already knew I would just be window shopping but this gift shop was basically a biker's dream, I can imagine I would spend a hefty fortune in here on all the tools, gadgets, clothing and items if I was a motorcycle enthusiast.

There was also an arcade style racer game you could entertain yourself with for a £1 coin. A £1 coin that we did not have much to my disappointment. However, I saw a wardrobe clad with biker clothing with a sign to say we could try these on. Don't mind if I do. Putting Covid to aside, I pulled on the most hardcore leather jacket and jumped in the motorcycle that invitingly stated 'photo opportunity, please sit in me' to take a picture. I appreciated this. Ample pictures were taken.

I am by no means now a motorcycle novice let alone an expert but I feel this trip opened my eyes to just how intense the history and background of motorcycles is. The museum’s aim is 'to preserve these pieces of history for future generations to come, as a reminder of this great nations industry, engineering prowess and work ethic.' And for me, it certainly achieved this. I was aware Birmingham had become the metropolitan hub of the United Kingdom's manufacturing and automotive industries sand this demonstrated this perfectly with numerous motorcycles being made in Birmingham.

So, whether you are interested in motorcycles or not, I would recommend visiting the museum and feasting your eyes on all the motorcycles on offer. I would also recommend it if you are a through and through Brummie and want to be filled with pride. The museum offer tours at specific times and really we should have lined up our visit with this but I did enjoy running wild and being let loose in this motorcycle jungle.

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