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"Elvis" In New Harley Museum

October 09, 2007 | Other
Harley's new 130,000-square foot museum at 6th and Canal streets is projected to open next summer when the motorcycle company, founded in Milwaukee, celebrates its 105th anniversary. The company projects 350,000 visitors will come to the museum each year, said Rebecca Bortner, communications manager for Harley-Davidson.

Ever since founders William S. Harley and Walter and Arthur Davidson started collecting their company's artifacts in the early 1900s, they knew they were on to something pretty big, Bortner said.

She said Harley had been planning to build a museum for years and the company wanted the museum in the city where it started.

"There was never any question," Bortner said. "This is the home of Harley-Davidson."

Exhibit features include a two-engine, 13-foot long motorcycle dubbed the "King Kong." It's part of a customized bikes exhibit featuring unique motorcycles of customers.

The museum will also feature Elvis Presley's 1956 model KH motorcycle. The paperwork indicating Presley's purchase will be on display.

On the paperwork, Presley indicated his profession was "self-employed vocalist," Bortner said.

"I think people are going to walk away with that feeling of awe through the cool stories," Bortner said. "Riding is about a sense of adventure and the stories that you share at the end of the day."