Harley Davidson Museum

harley davidson museumAfter 105 years, Harley-Davidson will open their museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 12 2008.

harley davidson museum

Harley-Davidson Museum

Only 25 months after the ground breaking ceremony, but nearly 105 years in the making, the Harley Davidson Museum will open to the public on July 12, 2008. Located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the 12,000 square metre facility is set on a 20 acre waterfront site. In addition to the exhibits, the Museum will offer a retail store, cafe and restaurant.

Consisting of three separate buildings, the western side of the Museum features a massive 60 metre by 12 metre glass wall with a louvre control system to help protect exhibits from sun damage. 300 square metres of exhibit space will be hung from the ceiling to eliminate supporting columns.

The Museum, located at the intersection of Sixth & Canal Streets in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, will be open 364 days a year.


The Harley-Davidson Museum is also equipped and ready to host events for up to 15,000 people outside and 1,000 people inside. Outdoor spaces will be equipped with electricity for bands and live entertainment. Harley-Davidson are expecting up to 350,000 visitors annually.


Among the exhibits will be the oldest known Harley Davidson – Serial Number One-manufactured in 1903. Elvis Presley’s 1956 KH model Harley-Davidson, purchased just before his single “Heartbreak Hotel” made him famous, will be a popular attraction.


Another exhibit will tell the story of a former Harley-Davidson dealer and enthusiast who spent 40 years customizing his prized motorcycle, the “King Kong”. The bike is 4 metres long and has two working engines. One of Evel Kneivels famous machines, along with a replica of the iconic “Easy Rider” chopper will be on display.

Board track racing was very popular at the beginning of the 19th century. Motorcycle riders would race on an inclined wood track at speeds of 100 miles per hour with no brakes! This proved to be a very dangerous sport and was eventually outlawed in the 1930s.

A Museum exhibit will feature a portion of a 1920s board track, complete with factory race bikes banking on a corner. Each piece of the track was hand-cut and hand-laid in place. The exhibit will tell the stories of the Wrecking Crew, Harley-Davidson’s board track racing team and will include team memorabilia.



June 1st 2006, and Harley-Davidson dirt track racer Scott Parker dropped the clutch of a Harley-Davidson XL 883R Sportster motorcycle, performing a burnout and sending dirt flying off the spinning rear tyre. Thus the ground breaking ceremony was complete. Less than a year later, the final beam was hoisted into place, after being signed by over 200 site workers and Harley executives, including Willie G Davidson.

Willie G. Davidson, Harley-Davidson executive and grandson of Motor Company co-founder, and his family also unveiled a  motorcycle hill climber sculpture they are giving to honour the new Museum.

Reportedly costing $75 million dollars to develop, the Museum will be a major draw card to the Wisconsin city.

For those who wish to leave a lasting mark on the grounds of the Museum, special “Living Legend” rivets are available to be inscribed with your name or group, and will be displayed in the grounds on either steel walls or inset into the plaza. These stainless steel rivets measure either 3″ or 6″ in diameter depending on the type of rivet purchased.


Grand Opening

Grand Opening festivities will kick off on Saturday, July 12th 2008, with a Harley-Davidson-style ceremony at 10 a.m. and will continue throughout the weekend.  A tattoo artist, live bands, a bike build, lawn games and  American food at the restaurant and café will feature, with festivities scheduled to carry over to Sunday.

General admission tickets to tour the Museum are $16 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $10 for children (ages 5-17 years), and children under 5 years of age will be admitted free with an accompanying adult. Access to the Harley-Davidson Museum grounds will be available to the public, free of charge, 24 hours a day. 

The Harley-Davidson Museum is located at 400 Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  USA


Visit www.h-dmuseum.com for additional updates on group sales and tour information.

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