Tag Archives: museum

GOMA motorcycle exhibit confirmed

A special motorcycle exhibition in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) planned for November has been confirmed with the centre reopening after closing during the pandemic.

The Motorcycle: Design: Art, Desire exhibit will be a “one-off, world exclusive” at GOMA from 28 November 2020 to 26 April 2021.

It will include more than 100 motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, drawn from private and public collections across the globe. 

Antipodean highlights will be a Brisbane-designed and built 1906 Spencer and the Kiwi-designed 1991 Britten V1000.

work of art
Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd, Christchurch, 1991 Britten V1000 purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds (Collection: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

GOMA Director Chris Saines says the centre will reopen from 7 August 2020 after the Queensland Art Gallery reopened on 23 June.

“Now, in line with the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to Recovery and our COVID-19 safety plan in place, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our second site the Gallery of Modern Art as we prepare for our must-see summer exhibition, ‘The Motorcycle’,” he says.

“The exhibition will appeal not only to bike and motor sport enthusiasts but to anyone with an interest in social history, popular culture, design and technology.”

GOMA exhibit

work of art
1922 German Megola 640cc touring model (© Bonhams Auctioneers)

The GOMA exhibit has been curated by American physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and US filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with GOMA. 

They were co-curators of the landmark 1998 Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York, ‘The Art of the Motorcycle’ that ran for three months.

It was subsequently seen in Chicago, Bilbao, Spain, and Las Vegas, with a total attendance of more than two million people.

GOMA director Chris Saines
GOMA director Chris Saines

Prof Falco described himself as a passionate motorcyclist who had his first motorcycle at 15, his first crash at 15.5 and last year rode a 90-year-old motorcycle across the USA.

“For a sustainable future, the world needs motorcycles for personal transportation,” he says.

His co-curator says motorcycles are an example of how “design drives everything”.

Chris says the exhibit will include the earliest 19th century steam-powered motorcycle, right through to electric motorcycles and future designs.

work of art
1930 Majestic 349cc (Photographer: Olivier de Vaulx)

“Over its 150-year history, the motorcycle has undergone extraordinary reinvention, from steam power, to petrol-fuelled internal combustion engines to battery, and from humble backyard creations to custom-made, high-tech chrome speed machines,” Chris says.

work of art
1869 Michaux-Perreaux steam-velocipede, collection du musee du domaine departmental. (Photograph: Olivier Ravoire)

“More than just a means of transport, the motorcycle is a design object, with forms and styles that reflect innumerable cultural and societal influences.”

The exhibit will include bikes, films and interactive displays to appeal to “anyone curious about social history, popular culture, design and technology”.

Tickets are available now on the GOMA website.

GOMA marketing head Bronwyn Klepp says they are looking at extending motorcycle parking opportunities around the centre at least for the duration of the exhibit.

Goma parking
GOMA parking?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Design museum inducts Honda Fireblade SP

Honda’s CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP superbike has been inducted into the prestigious Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany.

It took centre stage along with their electric car, the Honda e, in a “Milestones in Contemporary Design” exhibition, as one of the 76 best products of 2020 and a current marker in international product design.

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP was awarded a Red Dot for outstanding design in the motorcycle category while the Honda e was recently awarded the highest award, the ‘Red Dot: Best of the Best 2020’ for product design.

Red Dot awards

Each year since 1955, the “Red Dot Design Award” has been assigned to the most original and worthy entries in terms of design and innovation.

A jury of 40 international design experts made their selections after evaluating more than 5500 products in a host of categories.

Winners are permitted to display a prestigious Red Dot label on their product.

There are awards in 36 categories including, furniture, watches, electronics, financial services and retail.

Red Dot awards are handed out to many of the entries, but only the cream of the crop receive a Best of the Best.

Companies use the distinction to position their brands and thus highlight their quality and design leadership around the globe.

Earlier this year Ducati Diavel won the company’s third “Best” win in the Red Dot Awards, following the successes of the 1199 Panigale in 2013 and the XDiavel S in 2016.

Fireblade SP judgementFireblade SP

Red Dot CEO Peter Zec says their judges put the superbike through its paces over several days to test its performance, in addition to assessing its functionality and design.

“The Fireblade deserves the Red Dot because the jury liked it very much – and we have really crazy judges that challenged the bike, including a professional racing bike rider,” he says.

“It’s not just good design – it has perfect performance too, which is the main reason why it received the Red Dot.”

In its assessment, the judging panel commended the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP for its racing-inspired design, well balanced lines and aerodynamic styling.

Judges also praised the fun experience it delivered and outstanding performance when tested.

Its minimalist frontal area, aggressively angled side fairings and extended lower fairings – plus a variety of apertures, slits and air-channelling shapes – combine to create a best-in-class drag coefficient.

Aerodynamic ‘winglets’ as used on Honda’s MotoGP RC213V racing bike combine eye-catching form with uncompromising function, hugely increasing downforce and stability for ultimate control of the most powerful inline four-cylinder engine Honda has ever made.

Honda e

The electric car received the highest honour as well as an award in the meta-category ‘Smart Products’.

The Honda e is a key part of Honda’s commitment to see all its car model ranges in Europe electrified by 2022.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

GOMA exhibit celebrates motorcycles

We all know motorcycles are works of art and now that is being recognised with a special exhibition in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) later this year.

The Motorcycle: Design: Art, Desire exhibit will be a “one-off, world exclusive” at GOMA from 28 November 2020 to 26 April 2021.

It will include more than 100 motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, drawn from private and public collections across the globe. 

Antipodean highlights will be a Brisbane-designed and built 1906 Spencer and the Kiwi-designed 1991 Britten V1000.

work of artBritten Motorcycle Company Ltd, Christchurch, 1991 Britten V1000 purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds (Collection: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

GOMA exhibit

work of art1922 German Megola 640cc touring model (© Bonhams Auctioneers)

The GOMA exhibit has been curated by American physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and US filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with GOMA. 

They were co-curators of the landmark 1998 Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York, ‘The Art of the Motorcycle’ that ran for three months.

It was subsequently seen in Chicago, Bilbao, Spain, and Las Vegas, with a total attendance of more than two million people.

GOMA director Chris SainesGOMA director Chris Saines

At the launch in Brisbane today Prof Falco described himself as a passionate motorcyclist who had his first motorcycle at 15, his first crash at 15.5 and last year rode a 90-year-old motorcycle across the USA.

“For a sustainable future, the world needs motorcycles fr personal transportation,” he says.

Hi co0curator says motorcycles are an example of how “design drives everything”.

GOMA director Chris Saines says the exhibit will include the earliest 19th century steam-powered motorcycle, right through to electric motorcycles and future designs.

work of art1930 Majestic 349cc (Photographer: Olivier de Vaulx)

“Over its 150-year history, the motorcycle has undergone extraordinary reinvention, from steam power, to petrol-fuelled internal combustion engines to battery, and from humble backyard creations to custom-made, high-tech chrome speed machines,” Chris says.

work of art1869 Michaux-Perreaux steam-velocipede, collection du musee du domaine departmental. (Photograph: Olivier Ravoire)

“More than just a means of transport, the motorcycle is a design object, with forms and styles that reflect innumerable cultural and societal influences.”

The exhibit will include bikes, films and interactive displays to appeal to “anyone curious about social history, popular culture, design and technology”.

Tickets are available now on the GOMA website.

GOMA marketing head Bronwyn Klepp says they are looking at extending motorcycle parking opportunities around the centre at least for the duration of the exhibit.

Goma parkingGOMA parking?

Electric exhibit

Meanwhile, Melbourne will host Australia’s largest collection of electric cars, motorcycles ands scooters this October at the annual Electric Vehicle Expo.

The Electric Vehicle Expo, hosted by the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA), will have more than 100 EVs, from high-end Teslas through to electric bikes and scooters, on display at Flemington Showgrounds on 9 October 2020.

They expects more than 10,000 visitors who will be able to test drive some of the vehicles.

AEVA National President Chris Nash says electric vehicles had “a huge jump in popularity in the past year”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Visit Blacktop Motorcycles Works museum

If you’re riding around South East Queensland, chances are you will call in to Esk where we recommend dropping into the Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum.

The free museum and British bike workshop is right next door to the Red Deer Cafe in the main street where many riders stop off for a coffee.Blacktop Motorcycle Works and Red Deer Cafe

It’s important riders visit and spend their tourism dollars in these areas that were cut off and affected by the recent bushfire emergency.

Blacktop museumBlacktop Motorcycle Works museum

After your coffee and cake, pay a visit to see the old British bikes at Blacktop and chat with owners Jim and Naomi McKenzie and their business partner Brian Holzigal.

What they don’t know about old British bikes you could print on a postage stamp —remember them?

Jim and Naomi moved their business from Clifton about 18 months ago because they like the Esk area with its great motorcycle roads and quick access to Brisbane and the coast.

“We’re on a great bike route over the mountain (Mt Glorious) and around the dams,” Jim says.

The Blacktop museum features about 25 old British bikes.Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum

Naomi says they get visitors to the museum all day (except Sunday when they are closed), and not just riders.

“There is a lot of interest from old blokes who’ve had one or their dad had one,” she says.

Most of the museum bikes are owned by Brian and they are not for sale.

“I have about three times that many at home but the bulk of the clean ones are here on display,” says Brian whose work you can see on his BMC website.

“We rotate the display as we finish restoring bikes.”

British bike specialists

Blacktop Motorcycle Works museumBrian (left) and Jim in their workshop

Blacktop also sell merchandise, parts and have a workshop where they do restorations and repairs on classic British bikes.

“We mainly do Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs because that’s what we like and are good at,” Jim says.

“We have customers send us their bikes from all over Australia.”Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum

Jim started many years ago as a service station mechanic in Brisbane.

Several years ago he met up with Brian who had owned British and American motorcycle shop centre in Brisbane in the 1980s before moving to the USA for about 17 years.

“We met when we were racing classic sidecars,” Jim says.

Brian says Norton is his favourite, especially the Commando because it’s “easy to play with”.

Blacktop Motorcycle Works museumBrian with his Norton collection

“My favourite every day rider would be the Commando Fastback,” Brian says.

“Then it would be unit-construction Triumphs.”

Jim’s favourite bikes are pre-unit Triumphs, so between them they have a pretty good knowledge of the venerable British brand.

Please call Jim on 0414 477 823, Naomi on 0408 312 341, or email Naomi to arrange group or club rides.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Zen Honda moves to Smithsonian

One of the most iconic bikes from the 1970s is the 1966 Honda Super Hawk ridden by author Robert M Pirsig in his 1974 classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

He died in April 2017 at the age of 88 and now his bike will be forever remembered when it goes on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, less than a mile from the White House in Washington.

Robert’s book became a philosophical handbook for many motorcycle riders in the 1970s and continues to be a bible for many riders.

He turned a nuts-and-bolts piece of equipment into something that is transcendent from this world.

Zen: The book

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance author Robert M Pirsig
Robert and his bike

The book is basically a travelogue of his thoughts while riding a 1964 Honda CB77 SuperHawk 305 from his home in Minnesota to the Black Hills of Dakota.

It’s not the wild and thrilling joy ride that Hunter S. Thompson describes in Hells Angels, nor an actual guide to maintaining a motorcycle as its title would suggest.

Instead, it is a thought-provoking journey into the mind of a rider.

We might not all grapple with schizophrenia as did Robert, but he made us aware of the isolation tank effect of a motorcycle ride and how it promotes mindfulness.

Even if you have never read the book, you have probably experienced much of the same thought processes while riding.

One of the more practical lessons from the book that I learnt was about mechanical sympathy, routine maintenance and a tortoise-and-hare approach to riding long distances.

Likewise, it took Pirsig four years of persistence to write and he was rejected by publishers 121 times. But over the long distance it has sold more than five million copies and been translated into 27 languages. Obviously motorcycles and philosophy are universal!

It is never too late to read the book which is still available today in hard cover, paperback, Kindle, audio book and audio CD.

Honda: The bike

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance author Robert M Pirsig
1966 Honda CB77 SuperHawk 305

Robert rode the Honda 5700 miles (almost 9200km) from the Twin Cities of Minnesota to San Francisco and back.

It has been stored for decades in the family’s New England garage and was recently mechanically restored.

The motorcycle is a gift to the museum from his widow, Wendy.

She also gifted Robert’s leather jacket, maps, shop manual, tools and other gear from the 1968 ride, together with a manuscript copy and signed first edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. 

Museum curator Paul Johnston says the bike is “the most famous forgotten motorcycle in American history and literature”.

“Pirsig was a trailblazer in motorcycle touring and documenting its celebration of freedom and the open road,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Unsolved mystery of the Traub Motorcycle

Traub article contributed by Matt Williams

In 1967, a plumber doing renovations of an apartment building outside Chicago tore down a brick wall and found what would prove to be a baffling mystery to vintage motorcycle enthusiasts.

It was a one-of-a-kind motorcycle bearing 1917 plates and the name “Traub”.

The building’s elderly owner admitted that his son had stolen the bike before going off to WWI, never to return.

But where the bike came from and who made it remains unknown to this day.

Currently residing in the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the Traub is considered by many to not only be the rarest motorcycle in their collection, but in the world. 

The Traub was sold to Torillo Tacchi, a bicycle shop owner in Chicago after its discovery who later sold it to Bud Ekins, famous as Steve McQueen’s stuntman.

Ekins was on set of the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, at the time.

The Traub was later sold to collector and restorer, Richard Morris, who then sold it to Wheels Through Time Museum curator, Dale Walksler, in 1990.

It has been on permanent display in the museum collection ever since.

Traub a regular rider

Traub Motorcycle Dale Walksler
Dale on the Traub

Don’t think this unique motorcycle is merely a museum piece though. Dale rides the Traub fairly regularly.

When asked about the engine components, he enthusiastically replied: “Everything inside the engine is just magnificent. The pistons are handmade, and have gap-less cast iron rings, the engineering and machining being simply years ahead of their time.”

When comparing other top motorcycle makes and models of the era, the Traub has no equal.

“Comprised of a sand-cast, hand-built, 80 cubic-inch ‘side-valve’ engine, the machine has the ability to reach speeds in excess of 85mph (136km/h) with ease,” Dale says. 

Aside from its few off-the-shelf components, the Traub has many unique handmade features. The three-speed transmission is thought to be one of the first of its kind and the rear brake, a dual-acting system that employs a single cam that is responsible for pushing an internal set of shoes, while pulling an external set, has never been seen on any other American motorcycle.

“For a machine to have such advanced features, unparalleled by other motorcycles of the same era, is truly outstanding,” Dale says.

“It’s my opinion that The Traub was an attempt at a new breed of motorcycle. But how on earth could a machine have been produced in such great form, with capabilities that far exceed that of any comparable machine, without the knowledge of the rest of the motorcycle industry during that time?”

Traub motorcycle

Traub hunt

The hunt for the Traub’s elusive origin hasn’t stopped.

“While we may never know why the machine was placed behind that wall, we do hope to one day find out more about its history and the genius that created it,” Dale says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com