New For 2016
The Summer of Badge Appreciation
The museum has grown considerably in the last six years mainly through the visitors who come in; like what they see and have a desire
to share their family motorcycle history. Each has a special story of pride and dedication. We love the fact that we display the greatness of all those that protect and serve our country. To show our sincere appreciation, this summer we have initiated the “Show Your Badge and Bring Your Family” program at the museum. All EMS, Police, Fire and Military who come to the museum with their family will be honored for their dedication with half price admission to the museum and half price on t-shirts, challenge coins and hats.
All the early promotion of motorcycling heralded the thrills, spills and heroism of motorcycle riders. The museum was created with that in mind and we try to develop that theme continuously as we grow. Laconia New Hampshire played a major role in the early establishment of motorcycle racing as one of the major attractions in the country. This year we have created a new exhibit in the basement that solely features motorcycle racing. Included are several original Laconia racers, movies, literature and a pictures through time.
In our shop this year we have expanded to three tributes on benches. Three beautiful Indians all very rare and fitting tributes to the departments we chose to be a part of the museum.
The first is a 1927 Indian 45 Shortframe Police Special. The only motorcycle that Indian specifically marketed as a Police Motorcycle. The first year of the 45 motor and the precursor to the famed 101. Springfield Mass, the home of Indian from the beginning to the end in 1953, is the chosen department for this motorcycle which will also be fitted with a bullet proof front shield. Springfield Police Department is featured in most of the factory literature and all of the members who have visited the museum are proud of their history.
The second is a 1928 Indian Four Cylinder motorcycle. The Ace Motorcycle Company built beautiful and mechanically sound four cylinder motorcycles until they closed their doors in 1926. The Indian Motorcycle Company bought the company in 1927 and in 1928 offered what was essentially an Ace Four as the first year of the Indian Four Cylinder Motorcycle. One of the first people we met when coming to Meredith was a NH State Trooper who had rich Vermont State Police history. He provided pictures that depicted Vermont Troopers on Indian Fours and we are building this motorcycle as a tribute to them. Our goal to build a tribute motorcycle for all New England States is missing two; Maine and Rhode Island. Any help is greatly appreciated.
The third is a project that will be built with the best original parts that we have and a motorcycle I consider to be the best motorcycle the Indian Company ever produced. The 1929 Indian 101 45 is in my opinion the most agile motorcycle I have ever ridden. Most will say it is under powered but for 1929, I’m sure it fit the bill. Police liked it because it was easy to start and, as all of us who own antiques know, they can be temperamental. Racers loved it because it was so nimble and with a few mechanical upgrades; very competitive. These were the preferred motorcycles in the Wall of Death. The San Francisco Police Department has a long history of using Indian’s and a department that has rich motorcycle history. We have long desired to feature their history and this motorcycle is one of our special projects.
Each year we expand our military tribute display. Since we opened, we have met countless men and women who choose to join the military. There is something very special about these people as the bond is like no other. We watch as there is nothing that they won’t do for each other. A friend told me that in the military, most call it being a “Foxhole Buddy”. We are proud to expand our tribute each year and if you are a veteran who needs assistance, please let us know as we have met many of your buddies who are ready to help.
To all that have asked me, Where’s the Knuckle; I say to you this year that we are extremely pleased to show you an original paint Knuckle.
The first police motorcycle I bought was a 1955 Indian Enfield Police Patrol which I hid behind hay in our barn. Since I was the one who fed the horses and cattle; my juvenile thinking thought I was home free. Less than a month passed when my father stumbled onto it. That trike is long gone but this winter I found another of these very rare motorcycles on the internet. Same year and model and it now sits in another barn with no fear of being in trouble again. To restore or not to restore; that is the question.
It’s not what you can do at high speed on a motorcycle that shows skill, it’s what you can do at slow speeds that shows clear skill. This year, we will have a slow speed competition in our field with trophies awarded at the end of Motorcycle Week and on Labor Day Weekend.
In the lobby this year we pay tribute to our country with a red, a white and a blue motorcycle during this Presidential Election Year. We also have the original Presidential Escort Motorcycle from the show West Wing. The motorcycle was signed by the cast.
Our tribute to our adopted state of New Hampshire continues to grow and new this year we offer tributes to those who gave all. Please take some time to visit the local Meredith businesses in this picturesque and friendly town.
Lastly, our favorite display in the museum is the Junior Motor Officer area. This year we will be pinning a badge on our 2000th Junior Motor Officer. That officer will receive special gifts that commemorate the special event. All Junior Motor Officers take a pledge to read every night for a half hour, obey their parents and promise to not bully others. This year we are adding a simple thought for them to ponder; it’s ok to say no and know when to go! Children today are faced with serious decisions very early in their life and we feel that rather than be specific with each one; our Junior Officers will simply say no if it does not feel right and to simply know when to go when their peers engage in activity which might be harmful.