Join the Harley-Davidson Museum® as it celebrates its 100th Birthday
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
The party starts at Bike Night – complete with fireworks – and goes all weekend long.
Since opening its doors on July 12, 2008, the Harley-Davidson Museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts, riders and non-riders from around the globe to pay homage to the history and heritage of Harley-Davidson that comes to life at 6th & Canal.
Join the Harley-Davidson Museum July 12-15 as we celebrate a full decade of being one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations. Of course, the celebration begins with a bang at Bike Night.
Whether you visited during our inaugural year in 2008 or you rode down on your Harley-Davidson for the last Bike Night, the H-D Museum always has something new to see or do, including a few just-opened exhibits. Join us for more than a few surprises as we invite our neighbors in Milwaukee and our friends from the world over to help us mark this milestone in Harley-Davidson history.
Here are just a few of the activities planned for our Birthday weekend:
Enjoy $10 Museum admission all weekend long to celebrate 10 years of making memories in our hometown of Milwaukee, U.S.A.Thursday kick-off with Bike Night featuring 10 years of Museum trivia, live music by the Radio Wranglers and fireworks around 8:50 p.m.Friday, join WISN-TV and 99.1 The Mix for Coffee with the Morning Crew. Enjoy a complimentary cup of Joe and enter to win terrific prizes, including a Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Chrome Rally pack.Start out your Saturday watching the police-escorted Panhead 70th Anniversary Pandemonium Ride at 10 a.m. then stay for the antique motorcycle show and field games. It’s all a part of the Wild Ones: Vintage Motorcycle Rally.
All weekend long, enjoy the Wall of Death Stunt Show (by Ives Brothers) for free.
All weekend long, MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant will feature special menu items including the Original Cafe Racer Footlong Hot Dog, Birthday Cupcakes and a Bloody Mary Bar!
All weekend long, The Shop will stock special Museum birthday swag like special-edition T-shirts, patches, pins and $10 featured bundles.
Thursday, July 12
Bike Night, 5-9 p.m.
Thursday, kickstart the party with Bike Night where we’ll feature 10 years of Museum trivia, live music by The Radio Wranglers, a Milwaukee Fire Department Fire Boat Show at 7 p.m. before we end with a bang when the fireworks show begins at 8:50 p.m.
Future Bike Nights:
July 19 – Classic Rock Bike Night (featuring a pop-up performance from the city’s preeminent dancers)
July 26 – German Fest Bike Night (featuring an unique demonstration from STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS athletes)
Saturday, July 14
Wild Ones: Vintage Motorcycle Rally
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Panhead Engine
Featuring the 16th Annual Knucklehead Company Reunion
Marking the Museum’s 10th Birthday
Come celebrate Harley-Davidson’s unrivaled motorcycle heritage with a vintage 1940s-style motorcycle rally at the H-D Museum.™ In partnership with the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA), the H-D Museum™ will host a 70th Anniversary celebration of the legendary Panhead Engine, featuring a timeline of these historic motorcycles dating back to 1948 and running through 1965. Panhead fans from the world over are invited to Milwaukee to show off – or admire – these iconic rolling sculptures.
Additionally, the 16th Annual Knucklehead Company Reunion features an antique motorcycle ride-in show and the AMCA Badger Heritage Chapter hosts authentic motorcycle field games (slow race, plank ride, barrel race, T-ball, ball on cone and weenie bite), with proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin.
Plus, enter for your chance to win a customized Harley-Davidson motorcycle, inspired by the art of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, father of the old-school American Tattoo. Click here for more details.
Exhibits and Displays
“Taming the Road in Style” Comfort, redefined by each new generation of riders, plays a significant role in Harley-Davidson’s ongoing story of combining cutting-edge innovation with timeless styling cues. The Harley-Davidson Museum’s newest exhibit, “Taming the Road in Style,” examines this history, drawing a line from the dawn of the bicycle to the launch of present-day Harley-Davidson Softail® models.
“Panorama” Among the tens of thousands of pieces of original photographic material in the Harley-Davidson Archives, a number of panoramic images can be found in the collection. These large-scale photos provide a detailed visual record of motorcycle clubs, organized rides and outings, and formal portraits of military and police groups. “Panorama” includes framed original prints, as well as modern prints from negatives or digital scans.
The Engine Wall The H-D Museum is proud to announce its all-new Engine Wall is currently on display. Designed for performance and styled for appearance, engines are at the center of Harley-Davidson’s identity. It is, after all, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The H-D Museum’s new Engine Wall artfully displays 24 examples from the major engine families that Harley-Davidson has engineered over its 115-year history alongside impressive interactive displays that let visitors dive deep into the motor’s workings and supplies the H-D enthusiast with tidbits and trivia related to the Motor Company’s legendary story.
Lobby display 1948, FL OHV V-TWIN
In 1948, rider Jim Kobe purchased this motorcycle new for $965. In 1998, he donated it to Harley-Davidson. Kobe modified his bike over the 50 years that he owned it to enhance its performance. For example, he converted it to a 12-volt electrical system and upgraded from chain to belt drive. Kobe racked up more than 100,000 miles, earning the last few miles on his trip to Milwaukee to hand off the bike at Harley-Davidson’s 95th anniversary celebration.
Experiences and Other Events Gallery Night Free Admission
July 20, 5-9 p.m.
The Museum offers free admission Friday evening only as part of the Historic Third Ward Association’s Gallery Night. Check out our new displays, get reacquainted with some of your favorites and prep for that party 115 years in the making coming to town over Labor Day weekend.
Demo Rides Demo Rides are now available at the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum! Visit the Museum campus Saturdays* from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and throw a leg over a 2018 motorcycle to experience the fun and freedom that only a Harley-Davidson can deliver.
Visitors with their motorcycle endorsement will be able to choose from more than a dozen of the latest and greatest #FreedomMachines from Harley-Davidson, including Touring, Softail, Sportster and Street models. A pre-determined scenic route through the Menomonee Valley will give riders the chance to explore the Museum’s surrounding neighborhoods.
• Demo Rides will run 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. weather dependent. • Sign-up is on a first come first service basis. • Riders and passengers must be at least 18 years of age. Riders must hold a valid license with a motorcycle endorsement. • All riders and passengers must wear a helmet, eye protection, shirt, long pants and closed toe shoes with heal strap. A limited selection of helmets, chaps and jackets will be available on site. *Demo Rides will not be available on Saturday July 14th or Saturday September 1st
Jumpstart Don’t have a motorcycle endorsement? No problem. You can still experience the thrill that only comes from being on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. The Harley-Davidson® JUMPSTART™ Rider Experience combines a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a specially-designed, stationary support stand. That means no previous motorcycle experience is necessary. The motorcycle will not tip over. You’ll mount the bike, set your boots on the foot pegs and fire up the engine under the watchful eye of trained personnel. Give the throttle a twist and hear that unforgettable Harley sound. Sitting comfortably on the bike, you’ll continue to shift through the gears – all securely attached to the JUMPSTART™ platform. Visit the H-D Museum today and try it out.
Inside H-D: All-Day Experience Offered the first Friday of the month (through October). Also available for private group bookings. (12-person minimum). The Inside H-D: All-Day Experience is an in-depth immersion into the world of Harley-Davidson. This guided tour kicks off in front of The Shed on the Harley-Davidson Museum® campus, where you’ll learn about the humble beginnings of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brand. Then it’s time to go inside the Harley-Davidson Museum for an exclusive guided tour featuring new exhibit content and conversation with the Curatorial, Archives or Conservation professionals who are behind the engaging stories on display and behind-the-scenes at the Museum. After the tour, the group will head over to Harley-Davidson Corporate Headquarters located on Juneau Avenue – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lunch is served while employees from HDMC and the Harley-Davidson University will swap stories and provide a glimpse of the inner workings of H-D. Upon returning to the Museum, tour participants are invited to enjoy a special discount for The Shop at the H-D Museum™, where you’ll find unique clothes and merchandise found nowhere else. The day concludes with happy hour at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant. Transportation to and from Corporate Headquarters is included.
For more information or to book your tour, call 414-287-2799 or email groups@h-dmuseum.
Bikes Brats & Beer Tour Thursdays @ 3 p.m. and Sundays @ 10 a.m. (through August) Get an authentic taste of American history and culture on Harley-Davidson Museum’s Bikes Brats & Beer Tour, offered in partnership with Milwaukee Food & City Tours®. The 3 1/2-hour excursion begins with a guided H-D Museum tour, highlighting Harley-Davidson’s journey from garage start-up to iconic global brand. Next, you’ll board the tour bus for a close-up look at Milwaukee’s legendary beer- and sausage-making heritage, traveling through the Menomonee and Miller Valleys and downtown Milwaukee. Narrated points of interest include Miller Park, Miller Brewing Company, the family mansions of Milwaukee beer barons, Pabst Brewery Complex, Schlitz Park, and Usinger’s Famous Sausage Shop.
Purchase tickets online or in person at the H-D Museum lobby.
SAVE THE DATES
115th Anniversary Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018 Mark your calendars because, for our 115th Anniversary, we’re throwing parties for the people. Celebrations all about riding, racing, meeting new friends and connecting with people from all over the world who share a passion for the freedom of two wheels. The H-D Museum™ will be the Central Rally Point all week long, and riders will have a list of destination rides and bike shows from which to choose.
About the Harley-Davidson Museum A walk through the Harley-Davidson Museum® is a walk through the history of America. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum™ is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. A visit to the H-D Museum™ is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum® at h-dmuseum.com.
Contact: Tim McCormick
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