Reading Museum Motorcycle Exhibit

Captain America is here

I saw the Captain America! To see the Captain America chopper in person was like meeting Peter Fonda. I was star struck! This is the holy grail of motorcycles, the big daddy chopper of them all! This American icon has been in the movies, on posters, t-shirts, book covers, and magazines since I was two years old! I have an artsy wire model of the Captain America in our living room. It also graces the cover of The Great Book of Harley Davidson, also on display in our living room. So when I walked into the Reading Museum on Sunday November 2nd to find the coolest chopper in history right there at the front door welcoming me, I was in awe!

Jay rides the Billy Bike after tossing his watch off

Of course the Billy Bike was there also. It welcomed us into the exhibit at the head of the stairs on the second floor. The second floor hosted a number of vintage American motorcycles including Harley’s, Indians and ACE motorcycles from Philadelphia. Most of the motorcycles on display were on loan from owners/collectors in Pennsylvania.

ACE Motorcycles of Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Arlen Ness 2 Bad 2

At the head of the stairs leading to the third floor we were met by an awesome piece of work by Arlen Ness known as Two Bad 2 which has two S&S V-Twin engines. The exhibit is called Born To be Wild: Adventures In Motorcycle Design. Also on display are motorcycles representing early Brit bikes, race bikes and modern touring bikes like the Victory Vision.

1971 FX 1200 Super Glide the first factory custom

1983 XR 1000 high performance Harley Davidson

Two of my favorites from the Harley collection are the 1971 FX 1200 Super Glide. The first factory custom from the design genius of Willie G. The red, white and blue paint job rocks and the fact that Diana has a Super Glide makes this bike a favorite for me. The 1983 XR 1000 is also a little kick ass machine. I have never seen one on the road. It’s a cross between dirt tracker and Sportster. According to Dave Nichols author of One Percenter “this scoot was like a Sportster on steroids.”

Dave Man Peanut Tank

Zero Engineering Original Samurai Choppers

There were choppers galore! I loved the bobbers and choppers from the early sixties and seventies. There was a yellow chopper that is a tribute bike to Dave Mann with his autograph on the peanut tank. I also love the custom Japanese bobber from Zero Engineering. The paint on the gas tank is so beyond words! I’m not even sure it is a paint job. It’s probably some kind of special Japanese artwork that I don’t know the name of.

Did someone really ride this?

All motorcycle enthusiasts in the area should catch this museum exhibit in Reading, Pa. It’s worth the ride and will be on display until January 4th. This is the way motorcycles should be on display!

Click here to see all the cool pics Diana took.

Free Gift Wrap at with $20 purchase.

20 Responses to “Reading Museum Motorcycle Exhibit”

  1. Cool pic’s
    It’s rare nowadays when i see something bike related that i haven’t seen before.
    You managed to pull off two!
    The samari bobbers tank and fender paint job, was cool as hell …..and got me thinking what about the famous japanese black laquer furniture with the pagodas and scenes That would be mind blowing.
    Having never looked up samuri’s choppers website. I can’t say if they haven’t already done it.Second was the art deco Scooter ‘Enterprise’ on dianas pics
    I have seen neracars and chimeras [arremacchi scooter] but that was one I haven’t ever seen before.
    will now spend the eve searching my extensive library or the net for info on…thanks

  2. Cool bikes. I won’t be able to go see them, so thanks for sharing the pics!

  3. Very cool! I’m jealous.

  4. Now thats my kind of art , wish we could have gone with you

  5. Still LURKING!!!!!

  6. Thanks for posting the cool pics. We won’t be going there anytime soon, so it was nice to be able to see it! 🙂

  7. Big Ed,
    If you could get Hairsnipper to stop being so worried about it being too cold, you could’ve come along too! It was a great ride, a great exhibit, great company, and Gordy even paid for lunch!!! (OK, so it was pretty darn cold too…but well worth it!) 😉

  8. Thanks everyone, I’m glad you liked the articles and the pictures. Diana took such good pictures I have submitted them to East Coast Biker who is interested in using them on their website:

  9. Big Ed, this ride had a height restriction. No one over 5’7″ allowed.

  10. Looks like a good time! I’m glad I finally got over here. I’ve been trying for a couple of days but couldn’t get access by clicking my link to you. I also tried to get in through Dave’s blog by clicking your link – no joy. Did you have some sort of tech/server issue recently?

    Anyway, great pictures. You will LOVE the HD Museum in Milwaukee when you eventually get there. The have Capt America there too, but it’s a replica. They don’t have any choppers with Japanese art though. I guess sometimes it’s good to visit places that feature all types of scoots, not just Harleys.

  11. Yes, I am experiencing server problems. Sorry.

  12. Can’t imagine the ride that woman had on the back of the bike with the king queen seat.

  13. Things that make you say “Hmmm”

  14. I still think the “Enterprise” looks like a submarine!

  15. Awesome Jay and Di. Cool picts. I checked them all out. I was tripping out on that “Enterprise”. I was trying to figure out what the hell it was. From what I gaver it’s a harley engine. Looks like a bitch to turn and is the front fender the gas tank?!? You could turn that into a asphalt cruise missle.

    I thought that ACE was a Henderson four at first. I wonder if those two companies shared a designer.

    Thanks for the awesome trip. Thanks for sharing the love.

  16. Yes Henderson was the engineer behind ACE! You are a true walk’n talk’n motorcycle encyclopedia. I’m impressed. Check out this link:

  17. whoa. Thanks Jay. I was going to look into it because my curiosity was peaked. You knew it before I did. Thanks for the link. I have been empowered once again by the R/C.

  18. ………going to break your heart, but the xr 1000 that is in these photo’s is heading down under as we speak, to my shed !!!
    An absolutely exceptionally rare machine here in Aus that was too good to pass up. I’ll let you know how it sounds……..Cheers……jimbo

  19. I love that bike! Glad to see it going to a good home.

  20. Just an update on Arlens XRs1000. I take it out on rare occasions on owners club rides, It is truely a head turner down here in Aus. It is the cause of many long chats at the cafes and venues around the shipwreck coast here in south west Victoria. Lots of riders are not aware of what it is.
    It’s worst vice down here is that it runs out of petrol after 60 miles, the serice stations always seem to be 70 miles apart. The pipes burn my legs and the exceptionaly heavy throttle gives be cramps after 10…..
    …..but I love it, my mates love it & it’s staying.
    Its as it left Arlens museum, and will stay that way.
    I have a small video on you tube of it running in the shed at home. Look for Jimthegarbo
    Thanks Arlen & team for the chance to own a truely rare beast for Australia, it’s enjoyed by all here. – James.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment