May 25, 2024


Automotive to Us

Motorcycle Monday: Bill’s Old Bike Barn

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Check out this motorcycle museum if you’re passing through Pennsylvania…

If you’re like me, you like to check out cool automotive and/or motorcycle museums as you travel. You might not have heard of Bill’s Old Bike Barn, which is in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. It looks like a great place to visit, although I admit I haven’t been there myself, at least not yet. I stumbled across the place after a local news team did a spot featuring it to drum up local awareness.

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A lot of places like to put all kinds of crazy crap on the walls to make everything seem vintage and cool. However, most of them just end up looking like a Chile’s or Reb Robin since they’re trying to hard in all the wrong ways. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Bill’s Old Bike Barn. There’s a lot of crazy crap on the walls and everywhere else, including some really cool vintage motorcycles, but everything is genuine instead of contrived. It’s obvious Bill has really poured his heart and soul into the place.

While the exterior of the green metal pole barn doesn’t look like much, but like with a lot of things it’s what’s inside that counts the most. The man has amassed a pretty impressive collection of motorcycles, like a 1937 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, 1937 Indian Chief, 1941 Harley-Davidson UL police motorcycle, 1942 BMW R71, 1945 Harley-Davidson WLA, 1949 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide, 1956 NSU Supermax, and a Harley-Davidson Topper scooter.

Bill has also collected his fair share of oddities. One of them is a 1961 Moto Buzzi one-and-a-half-ton dump truck. The man fully restored this creation which will wow most people, demonstrating that motorcycles can absolutely be used as beasts of burden. There’s a cab built around the motorcycle, and the driver (or rider) steers using the handlebars, just like they would with any other bike. A gear shifter is next to the bike, as if you’re driving a regular truck. The front wheel sticks out through a slot in the cab and there’s an electric starter, or you can choose to kick start the engine. It really is an interesting innovation to check out in person.

Another oddity is a Harley-Davidson 26JD fire bike, something the Milwaukee company never made but rival Indian did. For whatever reason, Bill decided to fabricate his own version of one, so you won’t see another just like it.

There are more than just motorcycles in the little museum. Bill has collected all kinds of interesting items, like old cameras, beauty salon equipment, signs, car badges, and toys. He also has quite the array of creepy old clowns, just in case you want to give your kid some amazing nightmares. In other words, you don’t have to drag the whole family along to only hear complaining about how they don’t care about old motorcycles. Instead, even the little ones will squeal with joy to see vintage Mickey Mouse memorabilia and other things they do enjoy, that way you can happily check out the bikes in peace and harmony. Plus, there are many hands-on items, since we know from experience kids struggle with going to places where everything is look, don’t touch.

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