“Excuse me, sir, please do not touch that motorcycle.”
The afternoon security guard rounded the corner with his hand perched over the holster of his two-way radio.
I giggled like a preschooler, knowing my DNA was probably on every single nut and bolt of the crusted sculpture.
“It’s OK, we have been quite intimate.”
Whipping out my cellphone, I added,
“Look, I even have photos of this bike naked.”
Brilliant paintings, sculptures, and rare and significant historic artifacts all deserve places in museums. Art galleries are open for people to learn and appreciate the stories, history and beauty of a piece.
When I first learned that the world’s largest motorcycle museum had heard about my million-mile journey and expressed interest in putting my Yamaha Super Tenere on display in their facility, I thought it was a prank.
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL, is the premiere showcase for rare and significant motorcycles from all over the world. They have one-of-a-kind pieces and four floors of bikes on display, with each and every bike in restored and running condition. Well, that is until they rolled my bike onto the floor! Of the 1500 motorcycles on display, mine is unique in that it is filthy, beat up and not running. It joins a handful of others that are on display because of the bike’s adventure, who rode it, or why.
About a year ago, as the bike was getting tired and about to be replaced, I joked a few times that it should be put in a museum. Steve Liberatore has been a big supporter of mine and happens to work for Yamaha Motor USA. He asked me one day if I was serious, and that he thought the bike really should be put somewhere where everyone could see it. He offered to speak to the folks at Barber and get back to me. I didn’t expect much, but within a few months the museum said they were indeed interested in having it on display. ...
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