Sunday 29, January 2012
Ride of their lives at new MOSI exhibition
WHETHER you're after the ride of your life or just fancy yourself as an 'easy rider', it's time to saddle up for the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry's stunning new exhibition: 'Customising, Culture & Harley-Davidson'. Salford News reporter LIAM O’CONNOR donned his leathers to check it out.
Romance isn’t normally something you’d associate with a bikers' gathering.
But a first date at a motorbike show led to a wedding in Las Vegas for Harley lovers Lin and Vic Jefford.
It was in 1996 that the Yorkshire couple got together at a custom bike display, and now their Harleys are the star attraction at the Museum of Science and Industry [MOSI].
MOSI is hosting a groundbreaking exhibition of the Harley-Davidson brand, including its history, culture and the weird and wonderful custom creations that define it.
And Lin and Vic, complete with his and hers bikes ‘High Roller’ and ‘Miss Liberty’, have Harley to thank for a happy marriage.
“We actually had another bike that Vic built for me called ‘Warhorse’,” Lin told Salford News.
“It won a trip to the World Championships of custom built bikes in Las Vegas in 2005 and while we were there we got married,” she said.
Vic added: “I suppose you could say it was bikes that brought us together.”
MOSI Director Tony Hill was delighted to welcome the exhibition to Manchester and
explained how the bikes can be custom-made but still remain a Harley.
“Predominantly, people take a standard Harley and then adapt it. It’s very much about the personalisation of what is an iconic brand,” he said.
“Harley have embraced customising. As long as you’ve got a Harley engine in there and you’ve kept a certain number of components, it’s still a Harley bike.”
Harley-Davidson – one of the most recognisable brand names in the world – began business at the turn of the last century and now all their bikes are manufactured in Milwaukee, USA.
“You get famous paintings and people say they’re priceless,” continued Mr Hill. “Many of these bikes are priceless because they’re so personal.”
The idea to bring the exhibition to Manchester belongs to Chris Scott of Claridon Group Ltd – who designed the display in conjunction with MOSI.
“We did look at other museums for this exhibition but the venue here in Manchester is
outstanding. The minute we walked into this building we were sold on it instantly,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of bikes built specifically for the show. One is called ‘Captain America’ and there’s a film which shows it being built from start to finish.
“Every bike has a story. One is called ‘Second Chance’. The owner – who almost died after a crash – rebuilt it and called it this because he had a second chance in life.”
‘Customising, Culture & Harley Davidson’ runs at MOSI from 15 April until 11 September.
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