Rose City Motorcycle Museum & Social Center

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Isle Of Man TT Show

Japs, Italians, Brits

Tuesday, June 6, 2006, Portland, OR.

Motorcycle enthusiast venues in the Portland / Vancouver area continue to grow in number.

Tom Young, longtime local figure in the retail and track worlds has opened the Rose City Motorcycle Museum and Social Center at 4247B NE Alberta St.

Tucked discreetly away in an unassuming residential street, a driveway acts as temporary parking lot for friends, acquaintances and enthusiasts from the local motorcycling community.

By 7:00pm, Tom was busy cooking up a storm, barbecuing dogs and burgers, serving cold ones and pop, all on the house.

The museum is a sturdy, purpose-built shed, well insulated to keep the precious contents dry. Some forty bikes from yesteryear line the walls. Scramblers and offroad machines live on a shelf that runs around three sides. Most of the machines are owned, some lent for show.

Without doubt, the bias is toward European makes with Ducatis, Triumphs, BSA's and Nortons to the fore, notwithstanding the BMW*, Moto Guzzi and one or two other exotica.

The visiting public was a cross section of the curious to the very knowledgeable, all apparently happy to be in a 'brand neutral' environment where no particular make dominated the parking lot.

The museum's atmosphere is a heady mix of 60's and 70's, right down to the non-stop Isle of Man TT video showing to guests comfortably seated in big old sofas tastefully draped in bike manufacturer and event teeshirts.

With the occasional 'click-click' from the pinball machine and the lofty intonations of the British TT commentator making up the background noise, you could close your eyes and be back in London's famous Ace Cafe or in the cafe I knew as a kid when 25 miles was a major expedition and would usually involve one repair on the way out and one on the way back home. A true blast from the past.

Tom's Museum is open the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Sure makes a change from Starbuck's or a windowless tavern in the boonies !

*Not a Ural, as stated earlier. Oops ! - Ed.


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© 2006 Open Road Rider: Photographs and Report. Other copyrights as acknowledged.