Soon Matt popped out and greeted us, I had exchanged a few e-mails with him a few months back, but again, this visit was fairly unplanned - I wasn't even sure if he was going to be there that day! *What happened next is something I'll never forget. *Matt*proceeded*to take us on a personal tour of the museum, starting up bikes for us, letting us sit on them and check them out. *Wheels Through Time is called "The Museum That Runs," and they really mean it! *Almost all of the bikes in their collection have actually been restored or fixed up to run again. *It is truly amazing to see something that was built 100 years ago fire up and run.
This has to be one of the manliest motorcycles I've ever seen.
Well, that's one way to light your instruments. *Little things that we take for granted now had to be invented and refined over time. *You actually had to turn the little "hat" to shine the light on whichever gauges you were trying to read.
This was a really unique sidecar rig, that you actually ride (drive?) from the sidecar!
The bike above is truly special. *It was found by a plumber in 1967 behind a brick wall of an apartment building in Chicago. *The building's owner admitted that his son stole it before heading off to World War One, and he never came back. *To this day, nobody knows who built it! *The assumption, of course, is that it was a Mr. Traub, but there is no record of the build or who he was. *Every part of this bike is truly unique, apparently custom built and way ahead of it's time. *Matt and Dale estimate that it was probably built sometime around 1916, based on a few key components. *The seat, carburetor, and magneto are the only parts on this bike that are*recognizable*as stock parts, and they date back to that time. *Everything else is custom made, from the engine cases to the pistons. *This bike was truly ahead of it's time, and probably one of the biggest mysteries in the history of motorcycling.
Pictured above is the 1914 Flescher Flyer. *Lois Flescher had a very innovative bike that featured floorboards that could rotate to operate the brake and clutch.
Some of the scenes around the museum leave you feeling like you are peering through a window into another time. *This old workbench full of parts could have been your grandfathers!