National Packard Museum’s 23rd Annual Motorcycle Exhibit opens Jan. 7

This is a press release issued by the National Packard Museum

WARREN, Ohio — The National Packard Museum’s 23rd Annual Motorcycle Exhibit opens Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023 and runs through May 20, 2023.  

This year’s exhibit commemorates the 100th Anniversary of BMW motorcycles with eight historically significant BMW motorcycles, displayed alongside twenty-seven other bikes representing a wide variety of makes and models built around the world from 1912 until 2022.  

As always, the museum’s Annual Motorcycle Exhibit features a number of rarely seen machines, including an English-built 1912 New Era two-speed — one of only three that survive; a German-built 1955 Victoria Bergmeister that Mecum Auction describes as, “one of the rarest motorcycles in the world today with only a few known survivors”; and Royal Enfield’s limited production 120th Anniversary Edition — built in India in 2022 — of which only 60 were sold in the United States.  

BMW’s origins date to 1913 when its precursor, the Rapp-Motornweke GmbH, began production of aircraft engines, which were used by the German military during WWI. After the war ended, the Treaty of Versailles forbade German manufacturers from producing aircraft engines, so the company designed and manufactured small, opposed twin engines for generator and industrial pump use. Early German motorcycle manufacturers Victoria, Helois, and Mars all chose this 500cc motor to propel their machines with the motors situated in a fore and aft position, which caused the rear cylinder to run hot.  

In 1923, when BMW began to manufacture its own motorcycles, company engineers had tinkered with this design and decided to turn the motor sideways which put both cylinders in the cooling airstream. They also set the crankshaft linear to the frame, installed an automotive- type dry clutch, and chose a shaft drive to propel the machine. This basic BMW design is still in use today.  

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s finest motorcycle exhibits, the museum’s Annual Motorcycle Exhibit has received a number of awards and recognition over the past two decades. Among these are the Antique Motorcycle Foundation’s highest honor, the “Award for Excellence,” as well as three consecutive first place awards in the Interpretive Exhibits Category from the National Association of Automobile Museums. The Annual Motorcycle Exhibit regularly attracts visitors from around the world. Previous exhibits have welcomed guests from over 30 states and nine foreign countries.  

“The purpose of the National Packard Museum’s Annual Antique Motorcycle Exhibit is to educate audiences about motorcycle history and promote the preservation, restoration and collection of antique motorcycles, so that audiences young and old may have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate motorcycle history’s unique story,” executive director Mary Ann Porinchak said. “In turn, we hope that motorcycle enthusiasts who might not otherwise visit our museum leave with a greater appreciation of the Packard family’s rich legacy and their many contributions to transportation and industrial history.”  

This year, the museum also will host two special evening events in conjunction with the Annual Motorcycle Exhibit. Admission to both events is $10 and includes access to the museum’s permanent and special exhibits in both galleries.  

Feb. 7 — 6 p.m. – 9 p.m: “Movie Night at the Museum”, presented by the Pirate Motorcycle Club featuring three short movies:  

  • “The Thrill is On,” Dave Aldana’s answer to “On Any Sunday”  
  • Dick Mann, “Taking Care of Business” 
  • Slide Show on Lee Musquire, “5 Years of Racing a Sportster on Dirt”  

March 22 — 7 p.m.: “An Evening With Guy Shively”  

Come enjoy an evening with the renowned artist and watch as he demonstrates his amazing talent. Hear inspiring stories of his long, distinguished career in the automotive art world.  

There is so much to learn, so much to discover, so much history to explore, and it is all waiting for you at the National Packard Museum! The 23rd Annual Antique Motorcycle Exhibit is proudly sponsored by Motozilli.  

The National Packard Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 12:00pm to 5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors (65 and older), $5.00 for children (aged 7-12), and children under 7 are free. Cameras and flash photography are welcome. For group rates or more information, please visit our website at, visit us on Facebook, or call us at 330.394.1899. 


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