Touring the Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum – Part 1
One of the new attractions in Niagara Falls is the Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum on Victoria Avenue at the top of Clifton Hill. I’ve posted before as the building took shape and once they opened. I have been in contact one of the operators, Domenic Casciano, and he was kind enough to let Chris and I in for a tour on May 2, 2005 and then answered all of our questions.
Domenic also ran the Alien Encounter that used to be in that building. The currently operation has a couple of partners. They have hooked up with a man by the name of Ed Lesley of Peterborough, Ontario. Ed has been collecting and restoring motorcycles for 50 years. He had a collection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles (fully restored), but he wasn’t using them for anything. Domenic and his partners felt that there were too many horror or haunted attractions and wanted to do something different. They had been working on the idea of a motorcycle museum for several years. It just took time to get the bikes together and all the necessary agreements in place.
There are a few “teaser” motorcycles at the main entrance, to try to entice the walk-by traffic, but the main tour starts on the 3rd floor. It is entirely Harley-Davidson and displays all the motorcycles from Ed’s collection. You then go down to the second floor and see a mixture of motorcycle styles and manufacturers. There are currently 50 bikes and they will be getting 4 more. The motorcycles range from a 1916 Harley-Davidson Flat Head Single C to a 1980 Harley Davidson FXW Wideglide previously owned by Dan Akroyd and used to lead the funeral procession for James Belushi. Other manufacturers include BSA, Matchless, BMW, Triumph, Indian and more. Domenic’s conservative estimate on the total value of the bikes is $2 million.
The museum is for classic motorcycles. There wasn’t anything new than 1982. Domenic said that he likes the current wave of popularity with OCC, WCC, etc. and is trying to have an appearance by one of their stars. But the museum is going to be for the classic bikes. He sees a trend in motorcycles now because of the popularity of these custom fabricators, but believes that motorcycles in general are not a trend and will continue to appeal to many people, even after the current fad dies down. After all, Harley-Davidson just celebrated their 100th anniversary.
This post is continued at Touring the Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum – Part 2