The Barber Motorcycle Museum
Here's a question...What do you get when you mix a Birmingham zillionaire and an extreme passion for restoring and displaying motorcycles?
Answer: The awesome, awesome spectacle that is the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.
This isn’t the dust-covered, dimly lit and cluttered part-time museum that you’re used to. No, this is a sight to behold, and as far as must-see destinations are concerned, this is the reigning champion for motorcycle museums in the country.
Seriously, this is the big daddy of all motorcycle museums. In fact, Guinness World Records counted all the bikes in this museum’s collection and declared that Barber owns more motorcycles, both modern and vintage, than anyone else on the planet. The total? Over 1,400 bikes, with new ones arriving more and more.
With more than a quarter million visitors each year, people everywhere are talking about the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.
So here’s a question, how can this ambitious museum designer display all of his pieces of eye-candy in a way that will cater to the masses? Well, with money as virtually no option, George Barber spent $70 million to buy several hundred acres of woodland on the outskirts of Birmingham, and this is where the masterpiece was created.
The museum spans five floors and covers over 144,000 square feet of exhibit space. Bikes are displayed floor-to-ceiling in a parking garage-style layout. To take in the spectacle, visitors take an elevator to the top floor of the museum, then follow large walkways down a series of spiral ramps, taking in the glory of motorcycles all the way.
The best part about this museum, besides the beautiful bounty of fully-restored, rare, and historical bikes is that 99% of all bikes are functional. Meaning, they could be run within one hour’s time.
For this, there’s a 2.3-mile long race track around the museum that is used for when some of the two-wheeled exhibits need a little fresh air. Since these are living exhibits, all of the museum's motorcycles, even those that are over a hundred years old or Harley-Davidsons used in WWII, can be started up and taken out for a spin. The only machines in the whole museum that aren’t restored to full functionality are the wood and unattainable replicas.
With all that being said, I encourage all lovers of all motorized two-wheeled beauties should make the pilgrimage to this unbelievable place. Think I’m full of hot air? Just check out these pictures and tell me you didn’t drool just a little bit.
Address of the Barber Museum:
6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy
Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Call to verify)
Adults: $15 plus tax
Children (ages 4–12): $10 plus tax
Children (3 and under): Free
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