Best 11 must-visit museums (you can ride to)
Are you planning a big trip or just want a destination with a difference for your weekend ride?
We’ve compiled this great list of must see museums and all have their own unique motorcycling exhibitions, that will keep you enthralled for hours.
National Motorcycle Museum
How to get there: Birmingham and take J6 off the M42 towards the NEC
Why go: It holds the largest collection of British bikes in the world with over 1000 machines restored back to full working order.
Prices: Adult £9.95, Senior/child £7.95
Opening times: 7 days a week, 8:30am – 5:30pm
Location: Bologna, Italy
How to get there: Ride to Italy, then head for Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati
Why go: A fantastic selection of Ducati’s most famous race bikes and, recently, a series of new areas dedicated to the firm’s road bikes. You can even sign up to a factory tour while you are there if you book in advance and if you turn up on a Ducati you can park it in the factory’s grounds!
Prices: 15 Euros, 10 Euros if you own a Ducati! (Factory tours £15 Euros extra)
Opening times: 9am – 6pm, closed Sunday (also closed Wednesday in winter)
David Silver Honda Collection
Location: Leiston, Suffolk
How to get there: Ipswich and then aim for Aldeburgh.
Why go: If you are into Hondas, this is a must. Privately owned by David Silver, it is a collection of over 150 immaculate Honda bikes built from 1951 to 1991 that make you say ‘I remember seeing one of those when I was a kid…’
Prices: Adult £10, Senior £5
Opening times: Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. Saturday 9am-4pm
Visit the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience today
Triumph Factory Visitor Experience
Location: Normandy Way, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3BZ
How to get there: Follow the directional road signs that say “Motorcycle Factory” as you approach the roundabout where Normandy Way, Dodwells Road (A47) and Roston Drive all meet.
Why go: The experience offers a fantastic day out for Triumph fans, bike nuts, and engineering enthusiasts alike. You can also experience unique exhibitions that include classic Bonnevilles, several heritage models, anniversary specials and much more.
Prices: Admissions is free and there's also a 90-minute factory tour that costs £15
Opening times: Wednesday - Sunday 10am - 4.30pm
Battlesbridge Motorcycle Museum
Location: Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, Battlesbridge
How to get there: From Chelmsford, take the A130 towards Southend-on-Sea
Why go: This wonderful little museum has an array motorcycle memorabilia that has been collected together and put on display. It’s only open on Sundays, but the atmosphere and friendly nature make it very special.
Opening times: Sunday 11am-4pm
Beaulieu National Motor Museum
Location: Beaulieu, Hampshire
How to get there: Exit the M27 at J2 and follow the signs
Why go: More famous as a car museum, Beaulieu also houses a good collection of bikes. The museum itself is a great place to spend a day, but it is made all the more special by the ground and gardens that surround it.
Prices: Adult £24.75, Senior £23.75, Child £12.50 (advance ticket discounts available)
Opening times: 7 days a week, 10am – 6pm
Sammy Miller Museum
Location: Bashley Cross Roads, Hampshire
How to get there: Find the A3055 between Southampton and Bournemouth
Why go: This museum is a collection of motorcycle legend Sammy Miller’s bikes and is a fantastic walk through two-wheeled road and race history. Every bike is a runner and Sammy regularly fires them up for demonstration events all over the Europe.
Prices: Adult £8.50, Child £3
Opening times: 7 days a week, 10am – 4:30pm
MV Agusta Museum
Location: Via Giovanni Agusta, Milan
How to get there: Fly to Milan Malpensa airport and take a taxi or ride there.
Why go: This amazing museum is in the shadow of Milan’s Malpensa airport but is sadly often overlooked by bike fans. Comprising of a collection of not only MV’s most famous race bikes, but also their helicopters, it charts the firm’s history right back to its inception. The website is all in Italian, but it’s not that hard to work out
Prices: Adult 2.50 Euro, Child 1.5 Euro
Opening times: Various, see the website
Haynes International Motor Museum
Location: Sparkford, Yeovil
How to get there: Take the A303 towards Yeovil and look for signs.
Why go: Owned by the Haynes Publishing Group the Motor Museum is a collection of John Haynes’ vehicles. Although it is mainly cars, there are also a few bikes in the over 400 vehicles on display.
Prices: Adult £14.50, Senior £13.50, Child £9.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday, 9:30am – 5:30pm
Coventry Transport Museum
Location: Coventry City Centre
How to get there: Aim for Coventry and follow the signs
Why go: Housing the world’s largest collection of British road transport, the Coventry Transport Museum offers something slightly out of the ordinary. As well as a collection of bikes, the museum also houses Thrust SSC and Thrust 2 and loads of cool two, three, four and many more-wheeled vehicles.
Opening times: 7 days a week, 10am – 5pm
Craven Collection of Classic Bikes
Location: Stockton on Forest, York
How to get there: Head east out of York, it’s just off the A64
Why go: Comprising of a collection of over 270 bikes from the 1920s to 2006, the Craven Collection is owned by Dick Craven and opened in 1994 after he amassed so many bikes he decided he needed to put them on display!
Prices: Adult £5, under 14 free
Opening times: Various, see the website