Got a chance to finally make it to the Solvang Antique Motorcycle Museum.
The motorcycles in the museum are from the private collection of Virgil Elings. He has been collecting motorcycles for 2 decades. The collection is quite broad with something for everyone, ranging from a 1910 FN to the present, and across all makes. The emphasis is tilted toward racing motorcycles since Virgil and his son Jeff were involved in vintage motorcycle racing, both motocross and road racing.
The museum came about after Dr. Elings retired. He bought a home in the Santa Ynez valley and this business property, called Solvang Village Square, in Solvang, California. He decided to open the motorcycle museum as an afterthought, when he realized it would be a great place to store some of his rare motorbike collection. Prior to this, Elings kept his bikes in his garages, living room, family room, bedrooms, offices, and wherever else he could find space. He opened the museum to the public in March 2000.
The Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum is an easy day ride northward out of Los Angeles, CA through the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
The museum is located in the former Solvang Designer Outlet Center now owned by Dr. Elings. The museum rotates some of the bikes each month so that the bikes on display are constantly changing and expanding.
A few pics.
1904 NSU V Twin
NSU was a German company whose motorcycles ranked along with BMW and DKW as Germany's most famous manufactures. They started making motorcycles in 1900 and their racing bikes won the 250cc world championship in 1953, 1954 and 1955. NSU became involved with the rotary engine with Felix Wankel in the 50's and 60's and due to engineering difficulties, was to spell the end of NSU. They were eventually bought by Volkswagen.