Central Kansas: Kansas Motorcycle Museum


I will admit up front that I’m not a big motorcycle fan. I think it in part stems from having questionable coordination and having fears of crashing. On the other hand Keltin enjoys them and hopes to his license one day. On the way back from Mushroom Rock State Park we stopped by the Kansas Motorcycle Museum in Marquette.

People visit this museum for the motorcycles, some of their collection are the last ones know to exist. So many antiques connected to so many stories. The stories are what make people stay. The volunteer curators are more than happy to tell the history of the building, of the history of the trophies won by ‘Stan the Man” Engdahl, and of course they will tell you about the bikes.

Stan was a local legend. He ran a TV and radio repair shop out of the building the museum is now housed in but his true love was racing motorcycles. There is a story where he once won the state championship race with a broken leg, he splinted it with boards and twine. Yes, there are pictures so it did happen. Stan the Man has passed on but his bike and the tales remain.

My favorite story from the museum was actually what they would do when they weren’t official races. The local bikers would get together with a partner and have sidecar races, with the person in the side car acting as a counter balance. There are pictures of men hanging their entire upper body out over the edge of the side car. Crazy and fantastic.

If you are passing near Marquette, stop in at this museum whether you like motorcycles or not. Visit for the stories and to experience the love that the volunteers have for fascinating local history. It is free to visit but they do request a small donation. Enjoy your visit and safe travels.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

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