National MC Museum Open Dirt Heroes Exhibit

May 23, 2013
Courtesy of National Motorcycle Museum
Hall of Famers Scott Parker  Bill Werner and Jay Springsteen.
Hall of Famers Scott Parker, Bill Werner and Jay Springsteen.

Whether you call it flat track or dirt track racing, it’s a thrilling form of motorcycle competition unique to America. Now Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles brings together nearly 30 race bikes, over 20 sets of leathers and countless photos, paintings and prints. It’s been assembled to build a great exhibition in tribute to the #1 Plate Grand National Champions, tuners and other dirt track greats and many of the motorcycles they raced. 

Triumph 650’s, the Harley WR’s, KR750’s and XR750’s, BSA Gold Stars, and some fine short trackers like the Bultaco Astro and OSSA Dick Mann Replica are all in the mix. Rare #1 leathers King Kenny wore, Aldana’s “skeleton” design as well as a set Don Emde wore when he raced the TransAtlantic Match races decades ago. Original paintings by several artists including Scott Jacobs, prints by Melva Murphy and Harry Miller as well as photos from Camel Pro photographer Bert Shepard help give action to the exhibit.

Rare among the bikes is a one off that uses a Honda CX500 engine, long before Honda built their own, the NS750 and a machine powered by a Polaris 440 show mobile powerplant. Don Castro’s outrageous Tracy-bodied Triumph, outlawed after its first race, Bart Markel’s Harley KR750, his rare bronze Mechanics Award and the checker flag he won at Springfield are on display as well. Terry Poovey’s XR750, Shobert’s RS750, the last Triumph Gary Nixon raced at the end of his professional career and even a Harley MX250 Bill Werner tuned that helped Scott Parker and Jay Springsteen to three National race wins. The story of steel shoe master builder Ken Maely is also included with over a dozen steel shoes on display including his personal shoe, “KM” arc welded onto its toe. And you can check out the “race shop” with master frame builder John Kite’s frame jig, even a flow bench and tool box once owned by Harley racing director, Dick O’Brien.

Iowa GNC winner Rich King  tucks in for the straightaway.
Iowa GNC winner Rich King, tucks in for the straightaway.

The exhibit is open now, but you are invited to attend the official dedication on June 8 during Vintage Rally 2013 and meet Bubba Shobert, Jay Springsteen, Chris Carr even Bill Werner. Hall of Famers, #1 plate guys, among the hardest working men in Grand National Championship history. Meet them at Vintage Rally 2013. Get an autograph, ask them questions, hear their stories in the Panel Discussion. Or if it’s Beach racing that you marvel at in racing history, talk with Bill Tuman, Dick Klamfoth and Bobbie Hill plus Iowa flat track racer John Tibben. Authors Greg Pearson and Gerald Foster will have plenty of their books on dirt track racing so you can get your copy, maybe add some champions’ autographs. All at the National Motorcycle Museum June 8 and 9 during Vintage Rally 2013 as we dedicate Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles.

Also, just announced, a special traveling exhibit on Evel Knievel, America’s favorite daredevil will stop at the Museum for two days only, June 8 & 9 during Vintage Rally 2013. See the replica X2 Rocket Bike, Evel’s famous helmets and meet George Sedlak, the artist who painted bikes and helmets for Evel. Plus two XR750 jump bikes, posters, toys, photos, Evel’s big money bag and over a dozen sets of leathers recently discovered are set for display.
Also new on display, scooters from around the world will be featured in the new exhibit, SCOOTERS! A dozen interesting machines reflecting designs from America, Italy, Germany and more. You’ll also be able to check out new additions to the National Motorcycle Museum’s international collection of motorcycles which is always changing and expanding; over 400 motorcycles from Ariel to Zundapp.

The National Motorcycle Museum’s annual event showcasing new exhibits, motorcycling heroes, a great swap meet, two bike shows and a vintage ride is Vintage Rally 2013. But it’s two days that will never be repeated, so mark your calendar, book a room
and plan to attend.

American  European  British and Japanese bikes  1988 and earlier are invited to register for the Saturday Bike Show.
American, European, British and Japanese bikes, 1988 and earlier are invited to register for the Saturday Bike Show.

Saturday Bike Show judging will result in nearly 40 awards for owners of the best machines, including best original unrestored bikes for the Hagerty Motorcycle Insurance Preservation Award. Enter your vintage bike, street, competition, custom, even mini, 1988 or earlier in the bike show; Dirt Track Racers and Scooters will be featured. Bike show awards are sponsored by Motorcycle Classics magazine. Got a nice cafe racer? The Ace Cafe, London will sponsor the special ACE Cafe Racer Award during the bike show.

Walk the swap meet and pick up parts for your projects or add to your memorabilia collection. Or reserve your own swap meet space if you need to trim your collection. And you can sign up for the Sunday morning vintage motorcycle ride and lunch hosted by Motorcycle Classics magazine.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend June 8 and June 9, 2013. Watch the National Motorcycle Museum website, for entry forms, further event details, the activities schedule and lodging information as they are finalized. If you need more information, call the National Motorcycle Museum at 319 462 3925.

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