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St. Louis International "Moto" Bike Museum


Ken H.

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The Moto Museum at St. Louis, Missouri

 

On April 28th Donna and I traveled to St. Louis for the grand opening of the International Motorcycle Museum, also known as the “Moto Museum.”

 

Our trip on our R1200GS began early (stands up and out the drive at 7 AM!) on a cool Saturday morning. Thank goodness for heated clothing! After the usual ‘get out of town’ tribulations, we settled into a “purposeful” but legal speed (more or less ;-) ride across Missouri on Highway 50. Interstate 70? Hah! We don’t want no stinkin’ interstate!

 

After a “brunch” stop along the way, we arrived a bit after noon to, not entirely unexpectedly a sea of bikes parked up and down the area streets. At first we had visions of long lines and tight viewing spaces inside, but fortunately that turned out not to be the case.

 

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Upon entering the museum, one’s first reaction is, “Wow! This is no ordinary ‘bikes in a row’ museum!” Indeed it isn’t! In the 15,000 sq. ft. space the bikes are each on individual pedestals of varying heights and sizes. There is plenty of room (even with the crowds that day) to walk all around each of them, peer at and below them; to get ‘up close and personal’ so to speak.

 

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This is the personal collection of Architect Steve Smith who has decided to make them available for the public to enjoy. The approximately 100 bikes from 19 different countries vary from the early 20th century to only a couple of years old. Some are perfectly restored, some are nearly basket cases!

 

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So many brands we had never heard of but some familiar too! Each bike has a plaque with it telling a bit about the bike and how Smith came to acquire it.

 

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The museum is divided up basically by continent, with a British section, German, Italian, the old Soviet block countries, Asian, and North America.

 

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Alas, we didn’t win the drawing for $5000 toward a new bike, so after wearing our feet off we headed toward our hotel for the night. (A real dump as it turned out, but that’s another story!) Sunday morning brought warmer temperatures, low humidity, and a slightly overcast sky. Perfect riding weather for again enjoying the scenery that is Highway 50 back to old KC.

 

The Moto Museum is located off I-44 in south-central St. Louis at 3441 Olive St. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Saturdays only. Admission is $15. Their (rather limited) website is - www.themotomuseum.com. While it could be a day trip, we suggest doing it over two days. So you can spend some time with the bikes! We recommend it!

 

Cheers!

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Paul Mihalka

Great! Nice pictures! Another place to stop and spend some time to stretch legs when traveling. thumbsup.gif

Between St. Louis and KC I like to take rt. 94 from St. Louis to Jefferson City, then continue on 50. Nice, scenic, twisty at the St. Louis end, a lunch or even overnight stop in Herman MO.

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even overnight stop in Herman MO
And visit the Adam Puchta Winery about 3 miles south of Herman. They have a surprisingly nice Chardonel. thumbsup.gif
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Paul Mihalka
even overnight stop in Herman MO
And visit the Adam Puchta Winery about 3 miles south of Herman. They have a surprisingly nice Chardonel. thumbsup.gif
I had dinner at the Stone Hill Winery - very nice!
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Bill_Walker
...In the 15,000 sq. ft. space the bikes are each on individual pedestals of varying heights and sizes. There is plenty of room (even with the crowds that day) to walk all around each of them, peer at and below them; to get ‘up close and personal’ so to speak.

 

Hmm. This makes me think that Mr. Smith must've visited the Barber Museum, which is the same way (not counting the "overflow" bikes in the wall and tower displays). At any rate, it's very civilized. I hope nobody abuses the access and damages a bike.

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