“Winter Wheels: Antique Motorcycle Exhibition" at the Putnam Museum & Science Center -- through April 3.

Through Sunday, April 3

Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 West 12th Street, Davenport IA

Vintage, classic, and antique motorcycles of all makes and models will be on display through April 3 when Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center debuts its homegrown Winter Wheels: Antique Motorcycle Exhibition, in which patrons can enjoy viewing rusty gold to frame-up restorations to everything in between.

This exhibition at the Quad Cities’ Smithsonian Institution Affiliate – an original, community-curated presentation of items – features vehicles loaned by motorcycle enthusiasts from all over our region. Limited edition merchandise will be available in the Putnam Museum Store, and museum visitors will walk away feeling an appreciation for the engineering, preservation, and artistry of vintage motorcycles.

The 1885 Daimler Reitwagen made by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Germany was the first internal combustion, petroleum-fueled motorcycle. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle. There are three major types of motorcycle – street, off-road, and dual purpose – and within these types, there are many sub-types of motorcycles for different purposes. There is often a racing counterpart to each type, such as road racing and street bikes, or motocross including dirt bikes. Street bikes include cruisers, sport bikes, scooters, and mopeds, and many other types, while off-road motorcycles include many types designed for dirt-oriented racing classes such as motocross and are not street legal in most areas. Dual purpose machines such as the dual-sport style are made to go off-road but include features to make them legal and comfortable on the street as well. Each configuration offers either specialized advantage or broad capability, and each design creates a different riding posture.

“The new exhibit is a great example of what the Putnam does best: collaborating across our community and blending history, culture, and technology to showcase these amazing machine," said Putnam President and CEO Rachael Mullins. “We hope this exhibit will spark a passion in a new generation of motorheads!”

Putnam Vice President of Museum Experiences Benjamin Johnson added, "“From the beginning, Winter Wheels was meant as a celebration of the motorcycle by showcasing bikes of all shapes and sizes, and our community has not disappointed. We are extremely excited to host this collaboratively curated exhibition of two-wheel history. Owners from across the Quad Cities and beyond have generously supported this exhibition, and we can’t wait to share this fun assortment of machines with our visitors.”

Winter Wheels: Antique Motorcycle Exhibition will be on display at the Putnam Museum & Science Center through April 3, with current venue hours Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Exhibit entrance is free with regular $8-9 museum admission, and more information and tickets are available by calling (563)324-1933 and visiting Putnam.org.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher