Rides inside


Mark Duell didn’t just visit the ABCs of Motorcycles exhibit at the National Packard Museum on Saturday.

Next year, one of his bikes will be displayed.

Duell, from Greenville, Pa., made plans to display his 1973 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLCH. The reason: His Harley was the first one ever made at Harley’s York, Pa., plant.

”The VIN number is zero,” Duell said as he and his wife, Nita, looked at the different motorcycles on display.

The exhibit, ”Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs,” which runs through May 19, features 29 bikes built from 1911 to 2007. Among them is the last bike made for former stuntman Evel Knievel at Knievel Cycle, also in Greenville.

”We asked if we could have that and they said, ‘sure,”’ exhibit curator Bruce Williams of Cortland said.

Williams said planning for the show is a process that takes an entire year. Preparations really ramp up in August. The theme for next year’s show will be ”3 for 10,” or three motorcycles from every decade, Williams said.

This year’s show is the 13th annual at the museum. Williams said there is only one bike that was displayed last year that has returned for a second time, a BSA motorcycle from Britain that was made in the 1960s.

There also will be three Saturday morning lectures, each at 11 a.m. and free with a paid admission to the museum:

Feb. 16 – ”Bobbers and Cafe Racers” by Jesse Bassett, designer, head fabricator and machinist at The Gasbox, North Olmstead;

March 16 – ”How to Restore Your Bike When the Parts You Need Are Not Available” by Williams;

May 11 – ”Motorcycle Safety for Group Riding” by Al Navecky of Warren.

Duell said he came to the show Saturday because a friend mentioned it to him and he looked it up online before coming. He said he was impressed.

”It’s amazing the collection they can put together for something like this,” Duell said.

Duell said he bought his bike in 1975 and was not aware of its lineage until he began restoring it last year.

Dave Tranovich of Canfield was on hand to look at the bikes. He said he was not tempted by Saturday’s warm weather to take out his Harley-Davidson.

”My bike doesn’t come out until the salt comes off the road,” Tranovich said.