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~ Motorcycle Museums ~ Old Iron ~
~ Mid America Vintage Motorcycle Auction ~
If you like these things, been to these places, then you have got to meet Mike "Mike-the-Bike" Doyle of Dixon (www.mikethebikewheelsoftime.com). Mike's collection of 110 motorcycles is open to the public by appointment. Mike does all the work himself on his restorations, and is likely to be working on a restoration when you call.
Do you attend Mid America Vintage Motorcycle Auction? - Yes
Any other auctions? - Almost all of them
Mike came to be in Dixon because of his wife's family. There Mike owned a tire business; he bought a small building on N Adams St where he ran that business, and, later, bought another building a block away at 420 N 1st St and moved the tire business there freeing the older smaller N Adams St building for working on restoring old cars and motorcycles. Mike does not work on cars much anymore, strip down to the frame and rebuild, because they are such a large a project and the parts are so heavy compared to a motorcycle. One day, after forty years in the tire business he said [explicative], closed the doors on the tire business, moved all the tires out and began rounding up all of his motorcycles which were stored here and there into the larger N 1st St building and continued restoration projects in the N Adams St building.
Are all the bikes in your collection for sale or trade? - No
Are there any that are NOT for sale or trade? - None for sale
If you are like me then when you have the money to work on your motorcycle you don't have the time, or, when you have the time to work on your motorcycle you don't have the money; however Mike is one of those lucky persons who has both the time and the money to work on his motorcycles, his biggest obstacle being waiting on parts, no problem, work on another motorcycle while waiting on parts - where does he get old parts? "anywhere - everywhere." Mike used to put gas and oil in the motorcycles when their restoration was compete, and regularly fire them up and circulate the oil; however, as his collection grew, this became impractical and he began having problems with fluids attacking their lines, gumming up the carb, etc., so, Mike began a new modus opporundi: "after restoration - no gas or oil is put in." Not all the motorcycles in the collection have current registration and not all the motorcycles in the collection run, and not all the motorcycles in the collection need to be started regularly; in fact, Mike wishes no-fluids had been the case all along.
What was your first motorcycle? - 1947 Indian Chief.
What bike do you want that is not in your collection? - G-50 Matchless
Mike's favorite bike is his 1941 Indian inline 4 cylinder - "It starts easy, looks great, don't leak oil." "Any problem with torque if you screw on the throttle in a turn?" "It's not all that bad." Currently Mike's collection includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Adler, AJS, Alstate, Ariel (square-4), Benelli (vertical 6 cylinder), BS, BSA (1 lunger, Catalina Scrambler 1 lunger, 2-cylinder vertical twin), BMW look-a-likes, Honest Charley Speed Shop Flathead V-8, Cushman, Ducati (1 lunger and 2-cylinder models), Excelsior (in-line 4 cylinder), Gilera, Greeves, Harley-Davidson (Board Track Racer (8-overhead-valve V-Twin), S-125, S-165 (Hummer), WR (45cid flathead V-Twin), Sprint, KR, K Model, KNUCKLEHEAD, Electra-Glide (shovelhead)), Hercules (wankle), Honda (90, 305, ..., vertical 4-cylinder, vertical 6-cylinder, Goldwing), Indian (Arrow, Indian Scout, Indian Chief, in-line 4 cylinder), James, JAP, Jawa, Laverda, Maico, Mammut, Matchless, Monarch Super Twin, Mondial, Morini, Mustang, MV Agusta, Norton, NSU, Panther, Parilla, Powell, Royal Infield, Rudge-Whitworth, Salsbury, Scott, Sears, Simplex, Sunbeam, Suzuki (RE5 Rotary, vertical 6-cylinder), Triumph (rigid frame), UHH, Velocete, Victoria Bergmister, Vincent Black Shadow, Whizer,...
Some of these I have heard of but never seen, and, some of these I have never heard of or seen. Some of the unusual motorcycles include Wankle engins, Twingle engines, dual plug single cylinder 2-stroke engines, engines with a drive to turn the generator which on the other end drives the distributor (yes, if you need to have the commutator turned and undercut then you have to pull the distributor!), a sampling of all the vertical 6-cylinder rockets.
What is it about a motorcycle that gets it into your collection?
Any unusual motor
Mike's collection is open to the public, for now by appointment - Mike spends his time in the N Adams St building doing restorations; that building is only a block away from the N 1st St building, so it is easy to jet over to meet someone. The sampling of pictures here are just the tip of the iceberg, and, all the information on each of the motorcycles, it's history, it's uniqueness, well, I wish I had had a recorder with me when talking with Mike - I've got to go back. It never ceases to amaze me all the designs folks devised to create engines and frames and front ends and linkages and all, and, if those kind of things spark your interest then give Mike a call: 707-693-1889.
Russell "Raz" Holder