National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham

4.5
#6 of 27 in Museums in Birmingham
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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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
1,098 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The Motorcycle Museum is definately worth a visit with good stock of bikes and the staff are very helpful. 
    The Motorcycle Museum is definately worth a visit with good stock of bikes and the staff are very helpful.  more »
  • Fantastic day on Saturday. Having been given a year's friends membership for Christmas I was able to go to the museum and ride a brilliant selection of classic motorcycles, the staff were very... 
    Fantastic day on Saturday. Having been given a year's friends membership for Christmas I was able to go to the museum and ride a brilliant selection of classic motorcycles, the staff were very...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic place to visit. The world's biggest and best motorcycle museum. Even if your not a biker the history of motorcycles from the very start through the war years right up to date is mind blowing. Great cafeteria and gift shop lots of free parking.
  • Massive collection on bikes and memorabilia. Each bike has a doco with info about its build and capabilities but these are mainly at floor level not good if you are not able to read at ground level or bend down for several hours to read all the fascinating facts provided. 5 rooms of British bikes, amazing condition complete with oil drip tray. Well worth the £15 entrance fee. Cafe is nice with good coffee and delicious cakes. Staff are friendly and helpful. Parking is free! I know, who heard of such a thing.... 😁

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