MILWAUKEE--There's no better time to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum here than the July 4th weekend. The often brutal Great Lakes weather smiles on you with blue skies reflecting on the nearby riverfront. The huge Summerfest music festival roars not too far away. And the rebellious, proud image of America's oldest active motorcycle manufacturer fits the patriotic mood.
But museums generally look back at history, the minds behind Harley-Davidson looked to use the 3-year-old attraction to promote the company's push to modernize its image.
Built on waterfront property that was once a Morton Salt factory, the $70 million-plus complex documents the engineering history of Harley-Davidson and the development of the uniquely American motorcycle culture that developed throughout the 20th century. Founded in 1903, Harley-Davidson was the only surviving American motorcycle company until a British firm begin making a small number of Indian motorcycles in the U.S. around 2006. … Read more