Today, The Petersen Automotive Museum has unveiled its newest exhibition of two-wheeled history: Harley vs. Indian. America’s two most celebrated motorcycle manufacturers have a long-documented rivalry that spans more than a century and has spawned some of the world’s most amazing remarkable motorcycles. The exhibition, presented by Bonnier Corporation, is now open to the public in the Richard Varner Family Gallery and will run through early February 2018.
The Harley vs. Indian exhibition features racing motorcycles, road motorcycles, scooters, trikes, and more from both Harley-Davidson and Indian’s long histories as manufacturers. The exhibit showcases the incredible similarities and marked differences in the approach of both companies in solving complex mechanical problems. It also takes an in-depth look at the famous Harley-Davidson and Indian racing rivalry that drove much of their respective technological innovations.
Among the two-wheel works of art on display are a 1936 Harley Davidson Knucklehead, a 1939 Indian Super Scout, a 1920 Indian Daytona racer, as well as both companies’ modern flat-track racing bikes. The three-wheeled offerings on display include a 1922 Harley with a period sidecar and a 1936 Indian Dispatch Tow. The exhibition also features minibikes and scooters, including a 1948 Indian Stylemaster and a 1963 Harley-Davidson Topper.
“All of us at the museum share a great passion for motorcycles,” said Terry Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “It’s our great pleasure to be able to showcase the history of these two incredible American manufacturers and to educate the public on their contributions to American culture throughout the last century.”
The opening reception for Harley vs. Indian was held at the museum on March 2, 2017. It featured KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez as well as a discussion panel featuring Nevin Pontious from Deus Ex Machina, Petersen board member Richard Varner, Cycle World editor Mark Hoyer and AMA Hall of Famer Don Emde. The evening was also filled with other motorcycle luminaries, including Go Takamine of BratStyle, Shinya Kimura, Julian Heppekausen of Deus, and many more.