Fire & The Wheel

Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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Here at Wheels Through Time Museum, we have a little saying, and it goes like this: Everything is American, and everything runs! For years now, we’ve been hunting down, preserving, and displaying hundreds of America’s rarest two and four wheel vehicles, and like the saying goes, EVERYTHING RUNS! Ranging from our earliest machine – a 1903 Indian Single – to rare bikes from the ‘60s and ‘70s (and everything in between), we make it our mission to make sure that each and every bike on display is up and running, and in road-working order. On average here at the museum, we crank up 10- 15 bikes a day, and keep a steady rotation of bikes that can be fueled up and fired at any minute. Often times, all a visitor has to do is ask, and if the conditions are right, a little gas, a little oil, and a battery if it needs it is all it takes to breathe a little, or a lot, of life back into these old relics. So what do you do when you’ve got one of the best custom motorcycle events in the country coming your way in less than a week? That’s right, you fill up the tanks, buy a few extra quarts of oil, and have the old 6-volt battery charger working days and nights to make sure that everything is tip-top and ready for the event we’ve been waiting almost a year for.

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Last year’s Big Mountain Run was an event for the ages, and here at the museum, we’re honored to be a part of it. Seeing the passion and effort that Cycle Source and its staff have put into each BMR so far, you can guarantee that it’s only getting bigger and better. When Chris mentioned the run would be heading back this way, Dale and I got to work making sure we had more bikes than ever, up, running, and ready to ride. With over 300 bikes currently residing inside the museum, we try to make sure that bikes from all eras are ready to fire at a moment’s notice: hillclimbers, boardtrack racers, prototypes, and original paint bikes. There’s nothing quite like hearing the sound and seeing the sight of a bike that might be fifty, seventy, or onehundred years old. For this year’s BMR, we’ve been concentrating on bringing back several bikes that’ll “fit the bill.” Given the unique two-wheel creations that will be hitting the mountains all weekend, we decided to gas up several machines that have been an inspiration to us for many of our custom and period modified builds. The 1913 one-of-a-kind Thor boardtrack racer is tuned up and ready to race and the 1929, 88 cubic inch, Harley Twin Cam TT Racer is topped off with “110” racing fuel to give it that extra boost.

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Bikes like the 1961 45” Magnum, Dale’s hot-rod trike chopper, and a couple stroked out dualcarb Knuckleheads will be popping and cracking all weekend. I’ve also made a few hop-up modifications to the old 1916 Harley cutdown, which will be on hand for donuts from Wednesday-Saturday. Whether you’ve headed this way for the BMR, or just happen to find yourself in the mountains of Western NC, be sure to stop on in. If it’s your first time, or your fiftieth, you’re sure to see and hear more than a few machines that’ll get your motor runnin’. Whatever the case, if you’re a custom builder or just a garage junkie that likes to get his hands greasy, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration for your next project at Wheels Through Time. And when you get this way, be sure to introduce yourself when you walk through the doors. I’ll be happy to show you around a bit, and show you just what makes Wheels Through Time “The Museum That Runs.”

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