A Must See if you get close to western NY... - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2007, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Aeromark99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NE OH
Posts: 658
A Must See if you get close to western NY...

I visited the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation museum today in Hammondsport, NY - about a 1/2 hour due west from Watkins Glen. Like the Wrights - Glenn Curtiss got his start as a bicycle mfr. Unlike the Wrights, Glenn had a taste for speed - and motorcycles.

This place is FANTASTIC. They have turn-of-the century bicycles, motorcycles, and dirigible engines....not to mention full-sized aeroplanes from 1908-1945. A spectacular collection that includes more than a few mfrs' 1900s motorcycles, a 30s HD hillclimber, an unrestored 36 Indian (w/sidecar), a late 40s Whizzer (mint), and a 70s CB350 (also mint).

Tucked in the middle of nowhere (and I mean - NOwhere) - at least by today's standards, the museum truly is rooted in the cradle of the motorcycle and aviation industries - Hammondsport, NY. I bet THAT town never comes to mind when you think of the first truly great motorcycles and planes - huh?

I bet I passed this place a couple dozen times over the past ten years - always promising myself I'd visit it 'someday'.

Today was the day.



FWIW - Curtiss was making V-twin Motorcycles in 1903 - and then sold V-twin engines to dirigible makers like Thomas Baldwin.....a full six years prior to 'the motor company' coming out with its first V-twin. For sake of reference. He was also the 'Fastest Man on Earth' in 1907 - clocking 136.3 MPH on his own V-8 motorcycle.

A link to the museum collection is at Glenn Curtiss Museum

This V-twin Curtiss MC is a classic! I just about melted when I saw it - Just the detail in the drive belt alone is enough to make you go weak in the knees. That - and along with the V-8 MC that set the speed record in 1907.


Glenn Curtiss is a VASTLY under-rated inventor. One of the truly greats.

Oh - and if anyone thinks that shaft drive is a modern mode of power transmission?

The Curtiss Museum has a BICYCLE with shaft drive from 1899!



1899!!!!!!!!!
Aeromark99 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2007, 02:16 AM
Member
 
Trueseaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Huntingdon, TN
Posts: 335
Very Cool! I am always up for a visit to either an air or motorcycle museum, combining the two is even better! Thank you for the pics and the write-up. I doubt very much I'll be in the area to see it, so hearing from someone that did is really cool. We ought to try to set up a 'destinations' section of the forum... by state, or region, maybe. There are so many out of the way places that are definitely worth visiting, but that most of us will never even know exist.


Some minds are like concrete.... thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

'05 VLX, searching for other Tennessee forum members
Trueseaker is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2007, 08:48 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 16
That's amazing. I live in a small town in South Florida that he founded. They still have the mansion he lived in, although it's in rough shape and they are trying to restore it. He was a great aviation pioneer down here and they even have a small museum in town about his aviation carreer.

1996 Honda Shadow ACE 1100. Memphis Fats Windshield, leather saddle bags, Cobra slash cut pipes, dial-a-jet, K&N filter, ME880 tires, sissy bar, engine guards, driver's floorboards, extra chrome.
Hardy Nugget is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2007, 10:17 AM
rmw
Senior Member
 
rmw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SW Indiana
Posts: 2,349
Here's a picture of the Curtis V8, yes a V8 that he built in 1906. This bike is in the Aeronautical and Space Museum in DC. According to the information on it Curtis built the engine at the request of several aircraft designers then told his engineers to build a frame that would support it. He then set a world speed record with it of 136 mph in January 1907 at Ormond Beach Florida and as a result was dubbed "the worlds fastest man."

Sorry for the quaity of the picture but it was hard to photograph in the museum.


Best and Ride Safe
Rick

Dearly Departed 2004 Sabre...RIP
rmw is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2007, 06:14 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bradford Pa
Posts: 76
I've never heard of this place and it's only around 100 miles NE of me. (just right for a neat day ride). Thanks for the info Aeromark, I like these kind of places, it'll be on the "to go to" list for this upcomming season.



05 spirit 1100
scottyb is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2007, 08:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Catskill Mts, NY
Posts: 209
I've known about Glenn Curtiss for at least 40 years. My Dad was an old time flyer and he knew much about Curtiss. He was always praising his acheivements. The two different machines shared a great many disirable characteristics, Light weight, high strength and high power to weight being just a few. You'd be surprised at how many inventors crossed over between motorcycles and flying machines. Those Great Pioneers made it all possible for the remarkable advancements in the 20's and 30's.

Europe also had a similar breed.

It must have been a great time to be involved with mechanics.

I didn't know about the museum, but it'll be on my list of things that I must see.

Thanks,

John

2002 Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 - Mine

2006 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 - Wife's

2002 Suzuki GSXR 600- Son's
Olivereaman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fun roads in Western NY, NW Penn? Qwerty Member Introductions 1 07-22-2018 04:39 PM
must see if you belong on this forum jkustomz28 General Bike Discussion 3 08-12-2013 04:21 PM
Custom shadow you must see rican_spirit General Bike Discussion 7 06-11-2013 08:02 AM
Great Fall Day in Western NY fastcuda68 General Bike Discussion 0 10-21-2007 07:39 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome