The joy of museums
Earlier this year I was overseas, the UK and Germany mainly, where I visited numerous motoring museums which I love doing. Initially, when I started visiting museums, I was always excited to see those expensive dream bikes you would love to have sitting in your garage. However, as time goes on, I’m less impressed by these bikes and more interested in bikes (and cars) that show us that almost nothing is new these days (other than the computing power and electronics that control modern machines). Mechanically, almost everything has been tried decades ago, it’s just that now we can improve on these ideas and can really make them work. For example, I have included a photo of an Imme R100 produced in Germany in 1942. This bike has a single sided rear swing arm. The tube for the swing arm also doubles as the exhaust pipe for the bike! As well, this bike has a single sided front fork design. The bike was in the Deutsches Transport Museum, Munich, which has many other interesting bikes on display. In Sammy Miller’s Museum in the UK, there are many examples of very old motorcycles with innovative ideas that at the time, weren’t necessarily successful, but are now commonly seen on bikes due to advances in metals, cooling and lubrication technologies. Can I suggest to readers, that if you have a bucket list and going to the UK is on the list, then make sure you visit Sammy Miller’s museum in Hampshire. It is fantastic, as is the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham. Also, make the effort and go to the Coventry Transport museum in Coventry. This museum was under the radar for me, and I only discovered it by chance. It is a fantastic museum of all things transport built in the Coventry region over the last 200 odd years. It covers everything from bicycles and motorcycles to cars, trains, trucks, buses, military and more. It covers brilliantly the rise and demise of the English transport industries. And quite remarkably, it’s free to get in! A must see.
Stephen Holmes Blackwood, SA