The Deeley Exhibition traces North American motorcycle history

Publish Date: 
Dec 20, 2010

Enthusiasts looking for a trip through North American motorcycle history can find it in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition has just switched the bikes on show from British classics to North American heritage bikes.

Among the rarities in the show are a replica of the first motorcycle ever built in the world in 1885. Gottlieb Daimler built a two-wheeled cycle with a pair of outrigger balancing wheels out of wood powered by the internal combustion engine he invented. There was only one built, but Daimler left blueprints. Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada co-owner Don James bought a replica from Mercedes-Benz to sell a replica, the only one in the world.

The collection also includes the first motorcycle built in the U.S., an 1884 American Star, and a version of the 1894 Roper steam motorcycle invented by Bostonian Sylvester Roper in 1867, according to the Vancouver The Deeley Exhibition includes 285 classic motorcycles, Longtime motorcycle dealer and racer Trev Deeley started the collection with bikes taken in trade, but kept building it when opportunities arose. The family still owns the Canadian distributorship for Harley-Dvidson..

It is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5; Saturdays 9:30-4:30 and Sundays from 11 to 4:30. Admission is by donation.