Our 2016 road trips started on January 2nd with a visit to the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. The AMA is the largest motorcycle organization in America, with well over 200,000 members. At their headquarters in Pickerington they have a significant museum and hall of fame.
Located in an office park on the far east side of Columbus, the route in takes one past the typical exit highlights like a Cracker Barrel, Holiday Inn Express and McDonalds. Turning onto the access road you are immediately in the middle of typical suburban offices. There is little to give notice of the great collection of bikes and other motorcycling items that lie just ahead.
Once you reach the parking lot you are greeted by a stylished Motorcycle Museum sign with an image of a 1920s dirt track racer in full lean forward. As you enter you have an immediate overwhelming view of bikes. The first one you see is a 1950s Vincent, a British made bike that was the fastest of it’s time. Everywhere you look there are racing bikes, Yamaha’s, Ducati’s, Suzuki’s and others.
Just around the corner is the Hall of Fame wall with a couple hundred plaques honoring those who have contributed to motorcycling. The wall of plaques surround a sculpture of the same biker that is on the sign in front.
Nearby is a display of motorcycle accessories like helmets, jackets, trophies and others with recent honorees including Jay Leno. Also in this exhibit is a 1972 Harley Davidson ridden by Dave Barr, who after losing his legs completed an around he world journey on this exact bike.
We made our way to the lower level where there was a display of 1920s Indians, which in my opinion are the coolest looking bikes ever made. I spent a considerable amount of time photographing these bikes from every possible angle. Another nearby area has a British bike display prominently featuring BSA’s and Triumphs.
Also on the lower level were a number of cabinets of motorcycle related toys and posters. The final stop downstairs was a model repair shop.
Back on the main floor we made our way past a display showing the chronological order of the growth of the technology on bikes, primarily dirt racing bikes. Finally we saw a jet bike that at one time had the world record well over 300 MPH. No motorcycle museum is complete with one from Evil Kneivel, and this one is no different as we passed his on the way out.
We finished our day spending an hour at Columbus Commons downtown admiring the still remaining holiday lights, but that was very anticlimactic after the motorcycles.