Larry Weitzman – Special to Village Life
A brand-new exhibit at the California Automobile Museum called “Live Free: California Motorcycle Culture” is now open. It tells the story and impact of motorcycles since their beginning, which started in earnest in about 1903 with the founding of Harley-Davidson.
Consisting of about 60 significant motorcycles and memorabilia, it tells the story of American Iron, the British invasion and the Japanese takeover with bikes ranging in age from over 100 years old to the 1980s.
“This exhibit was difficult to organize with the number of bikes and their significance. In putting the exhibit together to tell the story of the California (motorcycle) culture and how motorcycles affected California culture, we were offered more than 150 classic and neo-classic motorcycles and while we originally planned for about 40 to 50 bikes for the display, we ended up with about 60, turning down more than 100 great bikes.
There are about 40 bikes in the main exhibit area with about 20 more strategically scattered throughout the museum,” Carly Starr, museum curator, said.
“We have worked hard with the story and its structure to let visitors who don’t know much have an acceptable and friendly experience while the enthusiast can experience the history of their avocation,” Starr said.