Some of the most incredible motorcycle collections in the world never see the light of day. Stored behind closed doors, owners keep them hidden for their own private enjoyment. Mark Lane, on the other hand, is more than happy to share his collection. So much so that he built a museum to showcase it. He jokes that the museum also helps him rationalize his purchases to his other half. “After you pass 50 bikes in your collection, you need to build a museum so you can justify buying more bikes to your wife,” Lane quipped, “After that, the skies the limit!”
The Dreamcycle Motorcycle Museum opened its doors in the summer of 2012. Showcasing motorcycles from all over the world, Lane largely chooses bikes based on their rarity or historical significance, like the 1911 Pierce Arrow 4 that greets visitors as they enter the collection. Lane doesn’t consider it the crown jewel of the collection, because that would involve picking a favorite.
Sometimes the allure can stem from the lineage of a particular bike, or just a unique story behind it, like the green 1973 Suzuki GT 550 for instance. Purchased by a gentleman who had never ridden a motorcycle before, a short ride around the block scared him enough that he never rode it again. Following the man’s passing years later, the bike made its way to the museum with less than four miles on its odometer.
While there may be models from recognizable contemporary brands on display from the likes of Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and BMW, there are some that visitors will likely not be familiar with, like the 1934 Galimberti. Produced between 1933 and 1935, this is the only remaining model from the brand known to exist.
There’s also a one-of-a-kind 1996 Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle that was created to showcase their performance parts. A 1968 Aermacchi Ala D’oro Harley-Davidson also showcases the history of an unlikely merger for The Motor Company. Enthusiasts of a certain vintage will recall the dark days of AMF ownership, but they may not be aware that Harley-Davidson purchased a 50 percent stake in an Italian company called Aermacchi’s motorcycle division years earlier in an attempt to gain market share in the small-displacement segment. When Harley-Davidson was acquired by AMF in 1978, the operations were sold off.
It’s admittedly an unlikely spot for a museum. Located on the Trans-Canada Highway between Kamloops and Salmon Arm, BC in a place called Sorrento, Lane decided to invest in an area where he could establish a footprint substantial enough to do the collection justice rather than pricier real estate in an urban centre. Unsure at first, he now believes it to be one of the nicest places to live in Canada. The museum serves as a great destination for motorcyclists and hot rodders. In addition to the museum, there is also a gift shop and a café.
Now retired from a career in commercial reforestation, Lane’s passion for accumulating motorcycles is not new. In fact, he started amassing a collection back in highschool. He initially pursued a career as a motorcycle mechanic, but decided he want to keep it as a hobby rather than a full-time occupation. Over the years, he’d acquire and rebuild, then either keep, sell or trade. There are currently 100 motorcycles on display in a collection of over 150. 90 percent of the bikes are ready to go riding but are displayed in storage condition without fuel, oil or batteries. The collection is constantly changing, so you’re sure to see something new every time you visit.
The on-site restoration shop allows visitors to see projects in progress. Interactive displays and an Isle of Man race simulator also help educate and entertain. Lane had big plans in 2020 (Didn’t we all! – Ed), but like most businesses, his was heavily impacted by Covid. Group museum tours had to be cancelled and visitor numbers had to be limited. They had also planned to roll out a touring company called Canadian Motorcycle Adventure Tours which had to be put on hold but is being safely rolled out this year as restrictions allow.
Lane is not only the owner of the museum, but an enthusiastic tour guide, mechanic and fabricator, curator and historian of sorts. With the loss of the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, UK. and then the Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum last month, vintage motorcycles are disappearing and there are even fewer people to share their history. Lane serves as something of a custodian for these precious artifacts, caring for them and sharing their stories for all who care to learn about them. He also managed to find a loophole that justifies buying as many motorcycles as you please, so he may very well be a genius too.
Visit www.dreamcycle.ca to plan your trip or view the gift shop online.