National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham

4.5
#5 of 26 in Museums in Birmingham
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The National Motorcycle Museum occupies an 8acre site in Bickenhill, Solihull, England and holds the world's largest collection of British motorcycles. In addition to over 850 motorcycles, which cover a century of motorcycle manufacture, the museum has conference facilities. It is located close to the junction of the A45 and the M42.
The founder of the museum, construction entrepreneur and self-made millionaire Roy Richards, started collecting good examples of British motorcycles in the 1970s. The museum opened in 1984 with an initial collection of 350 machines.
The museum was developed to include conference facilities in 1985. The museum has become the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world, with over 250,000 visitors a year.
The museum was severely damaged by a fire which broke out shortly before 5pm on 16 September 2003. West Midlands Fire Service investigators concluded that a cigarette thrown away in a designated smoking area was responsible for igniting a pile of cardboard boxes containing old air-conditioning filters. The fire spread very rapidly inside the museum's dropped ceilings which, though conforming to safety regulations, did not contain a sprinkler system. The building did have smoke detection and fire alarm equipment which contacted the fire service within minutes of the fire starting, however the fire had taken a strong hold before it was discovered on site. Staff and people attending a conference helped to save more than 300 historic motorcycles but three of the five exhibition halls were completely burnt out. 120 firefighters were needed to put out the inferno which was visible for 15mi. Fire crews were delayed by rush hour traffic and hindered by an inadequate hydrant on site, but the fire was extinguished after about an hour and a half. Many of the museum's rarest and irreplaceable exhibits were destroyed, with the loss of 380 motorcycles. The cost of the fire was estimated at over £14 million.
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National Motorcycle Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,080 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It was all excellent. Wanted to go for my husbands birthday but lockdown spoit all my plans. Eventually went last weekend and worth waiting for. Went half way round, turned back for some lunch and...  more »
  • I was at the NMM for a conference but we were fortunate to be able to visit the museum as part of the day. It really is an impressive array of British bikes on display. If you are into your bikes...  more »
Google
  • Excellent place. Had a few hours to kill before catching a flight and went for a visit, absolutely gem of a place if you are into bikes. Bought some prints and asked staff in shop if they could post to my home address, was not a problem, prints arrived few days later. Thank you so much for sending, one happy customer.
  • It's a treasure of you have a passion for motor bikes. I loved the place & their vast collections. However I won't be able to say that for many. Recommend to pick the location code from Google rather than any other means.

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