There’s an Evil Knievel jump bike on display- that’s enough reason for any kid of the 60s/70s to visit The American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame! Turns out there’s plenty more to see, and even those less enthusiastic about motorcycles will still have fun. Located in Pickerington, Ohio, just outside Columbus, The AMA HoF shares the grounds with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) headquarters. While the name is a bit of a misnomer, – the museum is more of a “Motorcyclist/ Rider/ designer/ constructor” hall of fame, with an emphasis on the people who’ve made an impact on motorcycling- there’s still many significant bikes to look at as well.
The museum has several levels of exhibits, with the Hall of Fame Gallery occupying the main floor. This is the showcase of inductees, the men and woman who have helped bring motorcycling to where it is today. Along with highlighting Hall-of-Famers, their displays include bikes and/or memorabilia to attach motorbikes to the names. Displays like Wayne Rainey’s superbike, or Denis Manning’s streamliner, Tenacious II allow a chance to see what the riders made history with. Along with the greats in motorcycling, Indian motorcycles are the showcase marque for 2017. There are several early models on display, as well as three inductees who rode them to fame.
Off the main gallery, Hall-of-Famer and sidecar whiz, Doug Bingham, donated his extensive collection of sidecar toys and memorabilia, in everything from Lego to metal, for display. Along with toy sidecars, the lower level has real sidecar rig to sit in and on. Great fun, and a perfect photo op on your museum visit. If classic bikes are more your thing, there is a decent collection to see- including a few lesser-known (or unknown, to most) manufacturers. Maybe you’d like to see Roper Steamer, or a Pearce Four, or PrettyWife’s personal favorite (if merely for the name) the 1929 Scott Super Squirrel. There’s also a number of early Harleys and Hondas as well, only a few of the many bikes to see as you wander the museum.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame is open 9-5, seven days a week (except major holidays), and I’d plan a couple hours to wander the museum and read through the displays. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop for some cool moto-related souvenirs, many supporting the American Motorcycle Association and the AMA HoF. If you’re a rider, you might give serious consideration to joining the American Motorcycle association while you’re there, as well. In fact, joining the AMA on your way in makes your visit “free for members” to go along with all the pro-motorcycle good the organization does. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame is worth the ride all on its own, though once you’ve perused the place, there’s still plenty to see and do in the Columbus area to fill out a day- or several!
Keep Riding Local, Dreaming Global, and we’ll see you on the road- Enjoy!