The National Packard Museum is going to teach motorcycle enthusiasts their ABCs.
In this case, that means Antiques, Bobbers and Customs.
That is the theme for the for 13th Antique Motorcycle Exhibit, which opens Saturday at the Warren museum.
The extremes featured in “Motorcycles ABC” include a hand-built chopper from a 1949 Harley Davidson, front, and a 1911 Flanders 4HP, behind, with all original paint.
Antiques have been a staple of the exhibit since its inception, but curator Bruce Williams said the theme allowed them to bring in some different kinds of vehicles.
"We've never really had any choppers in here," Williams said. "It's a nice thing to do, and it might get a crowd of people we normally don't get."
Bobbers are modified factory bikes where the owners don't alter the frame, but they remove the front fender and other unnecessary parts in an effort to make the motorcycle lighter and faster, Williams said. Custom bikes can involve more radical alterations, like the choppers seen on such reality shows as "American Chopper" and "Biker Build-Off."
WHAT: 13th Antique Motorcycle Exhibit "Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers, Customs"
WHEN: Saturday through May 19. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: National Packard Museum, 1899 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren
HOW MUCH: $8 adults and $5 senior citizens and children ages 7-12. 330-394-1899.
ANTIQUE MOTORCYCLE SHOW LECTURE SERIES: The National Packard Museum will offer three Saturday morning lectures in conjunction with this year's exhibition. Each program starts at 11 a.m. and is free with 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 exhibition curator Bruce Williams of Cortland
May 11 "Motorcycle Safety for Group Riding" by Al Navecky, M.S.F. instructor
THE BIKES: Here is the list of motorcycles that will be on display in the 13th annual exhibition:
1911 Flanders 4HP Built in Detroit with a single cylinder flat belt drive, belt tensioner can be used as a clutch, 499cc motor, exhaust valve on rear of cylinder
1917 Dayton Motor Wheel Built in Dayton by the Davis Sewing Machine Company and features a 162cc motor based on the Smith and Briggs designs
1938 Schwinn Excelsior Built in Pontiac, Mich., with a 1944 Whizzer 133cc belt drive on a heavy-duty bicycle frame
1939 NSU 251 OSL Built in Germany and features a 250cc overhead valve, four-speed transmission, high-level sport exhaust
1940 Indian Scout Features Bobber styling, side valve v-twin motor with three-speed transmission
1941 Harley Davidson EL (Knucklehead) Features a 61 cubic inch. v- twin four-speed transmission, original paint, mechanically restored
1945 Harley Davidson WL Bobber Style Features a 45 cubic inch v-twin three-speed transmission
1946 Harley Davidson UL Features a 74 cubic inch flat head, original paint and chrome
1948 Harley Davidson Panhead Hydroglide Bobber style
1949 Harley Davidson Handbuilt Chopper Built in Milwaukee, Wis.
1951 Harley Davidson WL 45 cu. in. Bobber style
1951 Cushman Eagle
1957 Simplex Built in New Orleans and features 125cc belt-drive single speed. Original retail sales price was $249.
1958 Harley Davidson WL 45 cu. in Features handmade custom parts
1959 Harley Davidson Hummer Lightweight model designed for entry level riders
1965 Ducati Monza Built in Bologna, Italy, and features 250cc four-speed transmission
1965 BSA 650cc Thunderbolt Bobber style with rigid frame
1967 Triumph Daytona Features 500cc twin carburetor, four-speed transmission
1967 BMW R-60/2 Built in Munich, Germany, and features 600cc, spotlight mirror, accessory tachometer
1971 BSA Features 650cc vertical twin, four-speed transmission, homemade frame, belt drive, primary auto headlight houses all electrics.
1972 Triumph T-100 Bobber style
1974 BMW/Wankel Frame and drive train are BMW, motor is Hercules Wankel rotary, modified at home
1974 Triumph Trident Features a 750cc three-cylinder, five-speed transmission
1975 Norton Commando Features a 750cc and electric start
1977 Harley Davidson Model 3 Sportster Street tracker
1978 Harley Davidson XLCR Cafe Racer Rare with factory styling
1988 Knievel Motorcycle Built in Greenville, Pa., by Knievel Cycle. The last motorcycle owned and ridden by Evel Knievel and built to his specification
2001 Yamaha Roadstar Bobber style Features a 1600cc v twin; remote oil filter; jockey shift cut fenders
2007 Victory Motorcycle Kingpin Factory Custom Features a Stage 3 motor kit and paint by Rock and Roll Customs of California
One of the custom bikes in show has the most famous lineage. A 1988 vehicle is billed as the final motorcycle owned and ridden by legendary daredevil Evel Knievel. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the most bones broken, many of which were sustained during his ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps in the '60s and '70s.
The chopper was built to his specifications by Knievel Cycle in Greenville, Pa., Williams said. Painted like the red, white and blue jumpsuits Knievel frequently wore, the motorcycle has his name embroidered on the seat, and Knievel's signature can be seen above the number 1 emblazoned on the gas tank.
Last year's show featured a motorcycle once owned by actor Clark Gable, and the Knievel bike continues that celebrity cachet.
"I don't know if we can keep finding these bikes every year, but it's nice to have," Williams said.
Another eye-catching custom bike is a 1949 Harley Davidson that has been transformed into a hand-built chopper.
"This is a true old-school chopper with a 5 1/2-foot long front end," Williams said. "This was built before any aftermarket parts were available. You had to build your own ... That front end weighs more than 250 pounds. That's a pretty radical chopper."
The exhibit isn't abandoning its antique roots. The show works closely with the Lake Erie Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, and Williams said they are able to get new bikes each year. Only one of the 29 motorcycles in this year's exhibit has been displayed at the museum previously.
The oldest vehicle on display is a 1911 Flanders 4HP. Built in Detroit, the single-cylinder bike that still features its original paint, making it most desirable to collectors.
"Anything can be restored," Williams said. "It's only original once."
The motorcycle exhibit has grown into a popular annual attraction at the museum best known for commemorating the automotive history of the Packard family. Last year's display attracted visitors from 35 states as well as Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Russia.
The first show a dozen years ago only was six weeks long.
"We decided that was too much work for too little time," Williams said.
After expanding to three months, the show now extends into May and is a popular spring destination for motorcycle riding clubs looking to hit the highways after a long winter.
"And when they're here, they all go to the Saratoga or the Hot Dog Shoppe, so it's bringing in tourism dollars too," Williams said.