This summer, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plans to unveil several enhancements to its 20-acre campus. Two all-new retail stores, a greatly enhanced Experience Gallery and a new year-round event building will enrich a museum visit for motorcycle riders and non-riders alike.
Ever since the museum opened in 2008, it’s been attracting guests from around the world. Beginning in June, the H-D Museum aims to give guests even more reasons to put Milwaukee on their “must visit” list.
“For nearly 15 years, we have been thrilled to welcome guests from around the globe,” said Bill Davidson, great-grandson of one of Harley-Davidson’s four founders and vice president of the H-D Museum. “This investment signifies our commitment to Milwaukee and the Menomonee Valley. With Milwaukee making its mark on the global stage, we’re excited to unveil these new additions to campus and welcome everyone to check them out in person.”
New this year
The first new attraction to open is the new Harley-Davidson® Shop (targeting a June 9 opening date). All the Harley-Davidson Museum-branded merchandise, authentic reproductions, accessories and gifts have been moved across the street to the former Garage. This move allows The Shop to more than triple its size and give guests even more options when it comes to bringing home a piece of Harley-Davidson history.
The new Harley-Davidson Shop offers more than 150 new products and many new unique experiences. And since customization has been a hallmark of Harley-Davidson for decades, purchasers will also have the opportunity to create their own one-of-a-kind items that stand out from the crowd.
Set to open later in June is a newly constructed year-round event space. This 8,000-square-foot Garage has five 14-foot floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to the H-D Museum’s park-like campus, views of downtown Milwaukee and waterfront views of the Menomonee River.
Additionally, the final space visitors encounter in the H-D Museum is known as the Experience Gallery and it is all new in ’22. Guests will still have the chance to throw a leg over a brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“That’s something that elicits an ear-to-ear grin for all,” said Tim McCormick, public relations manager at Harley-Davidson Museum. “But the new enhancements will provide a more exciting and multi-sensory experience than ever before.”
The former Shop space will become Harley-Davidson’s first — and only — Factory Shop. Offered for sale will be discontinued Motorclothes products, including helmets, gloves, jackets and more — in limited quantities and sizes. The new Factory Shop is scheduled to open later this summer.
The Factory Shop and the New Harley-Davidson® Shop will encompass more than 13,000 square feet of retail space.
A lasting legacy
McCormick pointed out Milwaukee has been the home of Harley-Davidson for almost 120 years.
“And our collection of artifacts, photographs and more from our history is unrivaled,” McCormick said. “The stories, artifacts and exhibits tell the story of a uniquely American company and bring pop culture and history to life. From the 1942 WLA (‘the bike that won the war’) to Elvis Presley’s 1956 KH to modern-day marvels like Captain America’s motorcycle made famous on the silver screen, Harley-Davidson has been ingrained in the fabric of America. Guests leave with a deeper understanding of how this iconic brand began, endured depressions and tough times, and thrived while building a special community of die-hard enthusiasts from around the globe.”
McCormick said two exhibits stand out and seem to resonate with guests long after their visit. The first is the oldest Harley-Davidson in existence, known as Serial No. 1.
“It captures our origin story and the amazing American ingenuity our founders exhibited when they were working out of a 10 x 15 foot shed on the near west side of Milwaukee,” he said. The other is the Tsunami bike — a very touching human-interest story about a bike that floated in a container across the Pacific Ocean after Japan was struck with an earthquake then tsunami.
For more information or to schedule a group tour reservation, visit H-DMuseum.com.
Main image: Rendering, Harley-Davidson Museum campus, Milwaukee, Wis.; credit: H-D Museum