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Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs 2013 Antique Motorcycle Exhibit Now until May 19, 2013


The museum’s Annual Antique Motorcycle Exhibit, “Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs” opens January 12, 2013. This year's exhibit, presented in conjunction with the Lake Erie Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA), will feature more than thirty different antique, bobber, and custom motorcycles exhibited alongside the museum's Packard automobile collection.

The popular four month annual exhibit regularly attracts visitors from all around the world. During last year’s exhibit, the museum welcomed guests from 35 different states and from Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Portugal, and Russia.

"Motorcycles ABC" exhibit will feature a few very rare antique motorcycles, including a 1911 Flanders and a 1917 Dayton; a number of significant American, European, and Japanese bobbers, including an award winning 1940 Indian Scout bobber; and several vintage and modern custom bikes, including Evil Knievel's own 1988 Knievel Cycle Chopper.

"The purpose of the Annual Antique Motorcycle Exhibit is to educate audiences about motorcycle history, and to promote the preservation, restoration and collection of antique motorcycles", said Mary Ann Porinchak, the museum's Executive Director. "The exhibit is also designed to raise awareness of the significance of the motorcycle to transportation history and to cultivate an interest and appreciation for the conservation of transportation related history among motorcycle enthusiasts," added Ms. Porinchak.

"Motorcycles ABC"  will feature three different types of motorcycles: antiques, bobbers, and custom bikes.

While the State of Ohio will issue vintage vehicle plates to any motorcycle that is 25 years old or older, a bike must be at least 35 years old to be classified an "antique" by the AMCA. Antique motorcycles must be restored to their original factory condition to be eligible for judging. The most coveted antique bikes are un-restored survivors with all original parts and paint.

"Bobbers" first originated in the 1920's when riders modified factory bikes by cutting or removing the fenders and other unnecessary parts to shed excess weight for speed. The first bobbers closely resembled factory race bikes of that era.

Bobbers became very popular after World War II when new motorcycles were scarce but there was an abundant supply of cheap surplus war department bikes. Returning GI's bought these military machines, removed the heavy or unnecessary parts, cut or bobbed the fenders, and sometimes exchanged parts from other brands of bikes to increase performance. Most of the 1940’s Bobbers were modified Harley- Davidsons or Indians.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, British-built Triumphs and BSAs were commonly chopped or bobbed because of their light weight and performance and because they were less expensive and readily available. In the 1960’s, custom designs became more radical as frames were cut and modified and front forks extended, giving birth to the "Chopper" craze, immortalized in the film "Easy Rider."

"Custom" motorcycles date back nearly to the birth of the earliest motorcycles, as generation after generation of owners strove to improve the performance or appearance of their machines. Due in large part to the popularity of television series such as "American Chopper "and "Biker Build-Off," custom bikes have made a big comeback over the past ten years.

For the sixth year in a row, the museum will present a Saturday morning Lecture Series in conjunction with the Exhibit. These educational seminars are open to the public and free with paid admission to the museum.

This year’s Lecture Series includes:

February 16, 2013               Topic: Bobbers and Cafe Racers
Presenter: Ed Vanaman, Akron, Ohio
Time: 11:00 pm- 12:00 pm

March 16, 2013                    Topic: How to Restore your Bike When The Parts You Need are Not Available
Presenter: Bruce Williams, Exhibit Curator, Cortland, Ohio
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


May 11, 2013                        Topic: Motorcycle Safety for Group Riding
Presenter: Al Navecky, M.S.F. Instructor, Warren, Ohio
Time: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm


Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs” runs through May 19, 2013.  Discounted admission rates apply for groups of 20 or more. Please contact the museum in advance to schedule a group tour.

Come learn how motorcycle history is being preserved for posterity!  There is so much to learn, so much to discover, so much history to explore and it’s all waiting for you at the National Packard Museum!

“Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs” is sponsored by the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau, the Lake Erie Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, Little Wing Café.




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