Sighting just one antique Indian motorcycle is rare, but seeing an exhibit of 15 classic bikes is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This unusual exhibit will open at the new Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum in Ignacio, Colorado,
August 24, and run through September 5, 2011.
This wonderful collection of vintage bikes is the pride and joy of Bayfield, Colorado resident Jeff Grigsby. Grigsby is one of about a dozen people in the world who restores the classic cycles to their original condition under his company name, Indian Motor Works.
The first Indian motorcycle hit the road in 1901 and was the world’s best-selling motorcycle, ahead of the likes of Harley Davidson, Merkel, Pope and Thor. Later Indian models dominated race tracks. During both world wars, Indian committed 100 percent of its production to the military, which ultimately led to its demise. Today the brand is owned by Polaris Industries.
A legend in its time, the first Indian motorcycle model was known as “a wholly American product in pioneering tradition.” Today these classic bikes carry a certain allure among motorcycle enthusiasts because of their colorful history, according to Grigsby, who has been fully committed to restoring and refurbishing Indian motorcycles since the early 1970s.
The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum is staging this exhibit to coincide with the 18th annual Ignacio Bike Week, which runs from August 31 through September 5. The event is expected to draw more than 22,000 motorcyclists. The exhibit will explore the design, development and history of the classic brand and also will include comments from Grigsby along with special programs to complement the exhibition.
The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. During Labor Day weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Monday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 77 County Road 517, at its intersection with Colorado Highway 172. Ignacio is 25 miles southeast of Durango, Colorado. More information is at www.southernutemuseum.org.