London Motorcycle museum

DSCF0481This summer I visited the London motorcycle museum, if you are into English bikes an especially Triumph this is a place not to miss.
I was in London for a week in May, so I had to visit. Their simple, somewhat dated, but effective website
looked promising so I decided to go and have a look. Part of the museum is named 'the Triumph barn' that was something I had to see.....

DSCF0473When I entered the museum through the shop the first thing I noticed is that is has "the right smell". British bikes just smell different I don't know what it is exactly, It can be the slow drip of well used 20W/50 or the old gas seeping through the dried out gasket of all those old Amals combined with the smell of old tires an wet moldy leathers. Whatever it is the place smells just right!
The grey men that run the place have undoubtedly more motorcycle milage then I will ever reach, most of them are motorcycle enthusiasts and racers from the time most of these bikes were new.

I have been to the National Motorcyle museum in Birmingham a few years back, that was very modern and impressive but I can say this place has a much better vibe to it. Although the collection is a lot smaller than in Birmingham there are still very unique an special bikes to be seen, the atmosphere fits the subject just right. I love museums where they have to look for the key of the door that leads to the rest of the collection. The rickety coffee machine that needs two old codgers to get running and spews a tar black lumpy brew that was surprisingly drinkable.

The gentleman that showed us around has worked for Kawasaki in the Netherlands for some years and knows Dutch coffee culture was a bit ashamed to serve us something like that, but I just think it all adds to the atmosphere. The walls are al clad in period advertising and racing posters, the collection of bikes is very impressive. It ranges from road bikes to racers and exclusive one offs and even some Triumph prototypes. They also have a lot off police bikes. Check their website for the inventory it looks like every bike is listed.

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The Triumph barn is like the name suggests full of Triumphs, on the ceiling hangs the master clock saved from the Meriden factory. In between the Triumphs there are special and prototype engines, most impressive was a 1500cc V6 engine made from Trident cylinders an clearly a cast engine carter that was very unit twin like.

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I never got the exact details or the story behind it, the men on duty knew nothing off it. Maybe a reason to go back when the founder an bike hoarder Bill Crosby is in.

Well worth it don't miss it when you are in Londen, it is close to the Ace Cafe.

And if someone of the museum reads this please do not modernize, never!! Your place is perfect!

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The master clock, shit like that gives me goosebumps! This thing kept time when my Triumphs were built!
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Ugly prototype did not save Triumph, what an eyesore!
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