A day at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull
Last weekend I visited The National Motorcycle Museum located nearby the NEC in Solihull. My partner and I are obsessed with the history channel and love watching American Restoration, Storage Wars, American Pickers and Counts Kustoms so we found it fascinating visiting the museum and walking around admiring the stunning motorcycles and finding out about the history of them all.
They were all stunning bikes with an amazing history, my personal favourite had to be the rose gold 1929 'Copperknob' because who doesn’t love rose gold? My family and I were amazed by the vast collection, there is room upon room of bikes it was as if we were walking through time - so apologies for the photo overload (see my Facebook album for more photos) but the grungy tom boy in me has always dreamed of riding a classic Triumph down Route 66 so this place was heaven, the museum made me feel like I was back in Las Vegas again which I loved. It’s a must visit for any motorcycle enthusiast!
The National Motorcycle Museum opened in 1984 thanks to the late Mr William “Roy” Richards who was a very passionate man when it came to motorcycles of British manufacture especially the Norton. His vision and dedication to sharing his passion of motorcycles with others has made the museum the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world.
Manuals for restoring classic motorcycles
If you’re a fan of Counts Kustoms, American Restoration or American Pickers like me, then you may have spotted how they restore old classic motorcycles and make them look brand new again. You’ll also spot how they try and get hold of original parts and manuals for the bikes, so I was surprised to find out that the National Motorcycle Museum also have an extensive collection of manuals – so the museum is very likely to have helped my favourite shows with a manual or two.
The museums Bruce Main-Smith Archive has over 5000 original publications. Photocopies are available for a reasonable price and the titles of the manuals can be searched and paid for via the museums online shop for postal delivery.
Annual Free Open day
On the 4th of November, the museum will hold their 4th annual free open day . During the event, everyone will get to enjoy a free visit to the museum to admire the vast collection of motorcycles, browse the indoor ‘autojumble’ of well-known auto brands selling their goods on stalls, enjoy food, drink, live music and an exciting meet & greet with racing legends who will be onstage having a chat and signing books.
There will also be an exciting opportunity to win the 1960 BSA Gold Star motorcycle, raffle tickets are available to buy from the museums shop and the draw for the Best Classic Motorcycle will take place on the day! There’s more than one chance to win as the 2nd prize is the 1955 BSA C11G motorcycle and 3rd prize is a luxury classic weekend break for two at the Windmill Village Hotel located a ten minute’ drive from the NEC.
With Christmas, not too far away the museum has also commissioned artist John Hancox to create a pack of 10 motorcycle inspired Christmas cards .
On the museums shop you’ll also find motorcycle parts, memorabilia, clothing, and museum membership where you’ll get to experience many privileges of being a member of the museum, such as training days, classic bike tours and priority VIP access. All the money goes back into the museum to improve and maintain the bikes. During our visit, we were amazed at the vast collection of sparkling motorcycles, there wasn’t even a speck of dust to be seen on the bikes so they really do work hard to look after these pieces of history.
Besides from the museum the venue also has a restaurant, banqueting facilities, space for conferences and they host H&H auctions so if you want to get your hands on a classic motorcycle you can visit the auction calendar .
My family and I really enjoyed our visit so I would like to thank the lovely Raluca who sent us four complimentary tickets. If you love classic motorcycles I would highly recommend visiting, you’ll be amazed at the vast collection of motorcycles spread across five display rooms, we found it interesting walking from room to room and reading a little bit about each of the displays especially with the historic photos on the wall showcasing the bikes in action back in the day. There was also a great selection of vintage police and paramedic bikes as well sidecars like the photo shows above. Plus, bikes from the pioneer, veteran, vintage and post war eras.
As a lover of all things historic I always enjoy visiting museums and I personally think it’s really important to support heritage sites and historic pieces such as those that can be found in the motorcycle museum – they hold great stories of our past and it’s great that such places are dedicated to maintaining them so we don’t lose an important part of British history.
The National Motorcycle Museum can be located on Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands, B92 0EJ.
Disclaimer: Given four complimentary admission tickets for review purposes. All words and photos are my own.