Motorcycles Overtake Gilmore Car Museum June 9-10th

Hickory Corners, MI – Written by Jay Follis, Director of Marketing

The Gilmore Car Museum, well known for its world class collection of nearly 400 historic automobiles and as North America’s largest auto museum, will shift its focus entirely to motorcycles on Saturday June 9th and Sunday, June 10th.

What makes this year stand out is that it marks the very first time the popular annual event has grown to encompass two days by extending the Swap Meet into Saturday. The Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet held at the Museum has been considered one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest for several years.

“Over the last several years this event has just been busting at the seams,” stated Chris Shires, Museum Executive Director.

Hobbyists have indicated they wished they had more time to search out that elusive restoration part in the swap meet and take in the ever-growing show field of vintage cycles.

The Saturday Vintage Motorcycle ride originated a few years previous with just a handful of owners wanting to explore the back-country roads near the Museum on their vintage bikes.  Last year, however, they saw nearly 150 cycles join in.

“We knew it was simply time to expand the swap meet to both Saturday and Sunday and invite more to take part in the ride on Saturday,” Shires continued.

Thousands of motorcycles, from rare and iconic rides of the past 100 years to the newest models driven by spectators, will rumble into the Gilmore Car Museum campus in Hickory Corners, MI on Sunday for the show. Those driven by spectators to the event—including new, old, and custom rides—receive the VIP treatment and take up a large portion of the Museum grounds in what Shires described as “a wonderful bike show itself.”

“You’ll see some of the best examples of original and restored vintage motorcycles at this event,” explained Museum spokesperson Jay Follis. “And a few extras this year.”

The Vintage Show will take place on Sunday and features antique and vintage motorcycles, scooters, customs and more, all 25 years and older, arranged in two areas. Peer judging, where several the classes of cycles will be displayed under their country’s flag of origin.  A special Master Class display will be made up of historically accurate motorcycles that are 35 years old or older. Those that take part by displaying their motorcycles during the show will also have a chance to win a brand-new Klinger cycle trailer.

The event also includes a large “Bike Corral” full of vintage motorcycles for sale, the huge two-day motorcycle parts and memorabilia swap meet, and a special exhibit area to showcase new motorcycles and offer demo rides.

Included with admission to the show is the entire Gilmore Car Museum campus and exhibits of nearly 400 vehicles, including a permanent exhibit hall dedicated to vintage motorcycles. That newly updated display presents a custom 9-11 tribute bike, a rare barn-find 1914 Harley-Davidson, one of the Triumphs actually used by “The Fonz” on the Happy Days TV series, and many examples of iconic brand names such as Vincent, Indian, BMW, Honda and more.

Other special Museum exhibits include the limited engagement “A.J. Foyt – A Legendary Exhibition” which covers the racing career of the first 4-time winner of the famed Indy 500 and features each of those four winning cars. Guests will also find “Born to Perform – The Era of the Muscle” showcasing some of the rarest and most sought-after high-performance cars of the 1960s and ’70s.

The FREE Vintage Motorcycle Tour on Saturday, June 9th is open to all bikes 25 years old or older and follows the mantra of “Ride ‘em, Don’t Hide ‘em!”

The Gilmore Car Museum, along with the weekend’s co-hosts—the Antique Motor Cycle Club of America – Wolverine Chapter, the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, and the BMW Club of Battle Creek—encourages more classic iron to come out for this very special Vintage Motorcycle Weekend. 

Those who wish to enter one or more vintage motorcycles in the show field only pay $15.00 for the first bike, with all additional bikes they show are free.

“The Museum hosts more than a dozen car shows each year,” Spokesperson Follis continues, “and for this one, we completely shift gears to all motorcycles.”

Whether you’re exhibiting, riding, or admiring one of the thousands of motorcycles in attendance, the Vintage Motorcycle Weekend on Saturday and Sunday June 9 – 10 at the Gilmore Car Museum will certainly be the “don’t miss” cycle event of the year.

Daily spectator admission to the Motorcycle Weekend is only $14.00 per person, those 11 and under FREE! A discounted two-day pass is $23.00, and either ticket includes all museum exhibits at no extra charge and FREE Parking. The Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road. Visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org to learn more about the museum and this very special weekend.

# # #