Motorcycle Monday: Wheels Through Time Turns 20

Jul 11, 2022 3 min read
Motorcycle Monday: Wheels Through Time Turns 20

Here’s to another 20 years and then some!

Considered a must-visit pilgrimage for many motorcycle enthusiasts, Wheels Through Time Museum has become quite the destination. Now the facility, which is tucked off the Blue Ride Parkway in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, has commemorated 20 years of being open with a series of special events, including the infamous Wall of Death.

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On July 2, the museum streamed a special event live on YouTube. With many in attendance, they started 20 rare motorcycles, one for each year the facility has been open. Considering it’s the museum that runs, this seemed like an appropriate way to honor the growing legacy.

Wheels Through Time is also holding a Kickstart Challenge, a fundraiser with the aim of guarding against the unfortunate event of a fire. As we saw with the tragedy of Top Mountain Crosspoint museum in Austria along with other tragic events, a large motorcycle museum can literally go up in smoke in no time. Wheels Through Time wants to collect $300,000 so it can retrofit the facility with a fire suppression system. You can see how the effort is going and donate to the cause here.

If you haven’t visited the museum, it really should be on your short list the next time you’re in the area. Housed inside are over 350 different, rare machines, many in original condition. They represent 25 different brands, all of them American, like Yale, Flying Merkel, Pope, Crocker, and Excelsior but of course Harley-Davidson and Indian dominate the lineup. Included in that array is the Traub, what many call the World’s Rarest Motorcycle.

Even more impressive, 99% of the machines on display at Wheels Through Time are in running condition. If you follow the museum’s YouTube channel, you’ve seen some of these rare bikes fired up and ridden, which can be quite the spectacle and perhaps the only time you’ll behold that specific model running.

As you’d expect in any motorcycle museum, Wheels Through Time also contains quite a bit of memorabilia. You can find everything from vintage tin signs to clothing. The museum also has on display bike accessories from way back, showing visitors how much things have changed and ways they haven’t. To keep all those rides running and also to preserve history further, the building contains an impressive array of vintage motorcycle parts.

To help honor the man who started it all, the newest exhibit at Wheels Through Time has opened. Called The King of Old Motorcycles, it showcases the life and legacy of Dale Walksler, founder of the museum. This whole endeavor started years ago in Glenn Elyn, Illinois. Walksler had a dirt floor garage and restored his first motorcycle, an effort which quickly ballooned. The museum itself was opened in 2002.

If you want to check out the livestream recording where they started up the 20 rare motorcycles, I’ve included it. While the video lasts for over three and a half hours, it might be more entertaining than just about any movie released this year, so which would you rather spend your time watching? Plus, you get to learn interesting details about each of the 20 motorcycles, so it’s educational. Check it out for yourself.

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