Day 27 – The “Bend” in the road

Day 27 – South Bend, IN

Date: 06/28/2016 Tuesday
Starting Location: Naperville, IL
Ending Location: South Bend, IN
Starting Odometer: 12,288
Ending Odometer:
12,400
Mileage Today:  112 Miles
Mileage Total:  5562 miles
Today’s MPG:  41 mpg
Total Average MPG:  41 mpg

Today’s goals

I really had two goals for today.  I wanted to get to the museum to see if was as good as the articles I have read implied that it was, and I wanted to get to South Bend to see my buddy Lee and his wife Corinne, and their two children.

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First stop – Kersting’s Motorcycle Museum

Kersting’s Motorcycle Museum is located just south of North Judson, IN.  As i was riding towards the museum, the GPS was throwing Left and Right turns at me faster than I could even say “Another turn, really?”.  Each turn took me onto another back-road or farm road, seemingly closer and closer to the center of that mythical place called the middle of nowhere.

After about 50 miles of small highways and back roads, I was finally within 2 miles of where the GPS was telling me that the Museum was.  As I approached this next Way Point, I kept thinking to myself, is there really a motorcycle museum just another mile up the road?  What an odd place for such a extensive collection of motorcycles.  I’ll bet that it’s closed, and is no longer in operation…

All of those thoughts were running through my head as I got closer and closer.  And then, all of the sudden, there it was.  A great big sign, on the edge of the highway that pointed down a little road, towards what can only be called a compound.  This was Kersting’s Motorcycle Museum.

Feeling somewhat astonished that I found it, and that’s it’s real, I took off my jacket and locked it to the bike, and then locked everything else to the bike, and headed inside.

Motorcycles are everywhere

When you enter the museum it quickly lets you know that Jim is a Harley guy, but that he loves all forms and brands of motorcycle.  The museum has over 190 motorcycles, and another 20 + cars, which are also quite rare in their own right.

I’ve put a number of them into a gallery below.  Unfortunately, the motorcycles are pretty tightly packed into rows and rows, and each motorcycle has the description of the bike attached to the front of the bike, usually on the headlight.  So, it’s hard to get great photos, but rest assured, there are plenty of historically relevant, and interesting bikes.

Let’s tell the story, and take some photos

So, I started wandering around, looking at the bikes, and taking pictures.  I had been in the museum for about 25 minutes, when I turned around and someone pulled up next to me and introduced themselves as Jim Kersting’s.

I took the opportunity to interview Jim on a number of different topics, and also got his thoughts on some of the bikes in the museum.

An introduction to the Kersting’s museum

In the video below, Jim tells us about himself, and why he created the museum.

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Jim’s Favorite Bike – 1910 Harley


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Jim’s 1919 Cleveland


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Summarizing the Kersting’s Museum

I enjoyed my time at the Kersting’s museum, and also meeting Jim.  At age 80, he’s competent, capable, and committed to sharing all of the vehicle’s that he’s collected, with enthusiasts and historians.  Jim was still riding motorcycles at age 67 (2003) when he was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident that took the life of his wife.

Jim shows’ strength, and purpose, and can only hope that I’m able to give back, and to make a difference as Jim has done.

I wish him all the best, and I encourage others to visit the museum, it’s a rare gem in a somewhat out-of-the-way place.

What’s happening tomorrow

The Rock and Roll hall of fame…

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.

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