A motorcycle and automotive gem in Wisconsin
Our first contact with the Throttlestop Museum in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin came several years ago while Dean Phelps was shooting the MotoAmerica races at nearby Road America. Someone had mentioned the in-town establishment, and Dean took a break from the track action to go check it out. What he discovered was far more than some old rich guy’s dusty motorcycle collection. Dean found Throttlestop to be a full-blown museum, restoration center, and auction house for exotic motorcycles, automobiles, and high-performance engines.
A visit to Throttlestop. Out front, and in the entranceway.
After spending some time wandering the exhibit halls, Dean met with one of the museum’s reps, and a relationship was established between Road Dirt and Throttlestop. In the four years since, we’ve launched our “Legendary Bikes” section, featuring the history of many motorcycles housed and curated within their walls. So many of our readers have visited the fantastic facilities to enjoy their collections of two-wheeled and four-wheeled motorsports history, and we’re grateful for the chance to shine some light on this gem up in the Great Lakes region.
Some rare iron in these halls. Here’s two- 1948 FN Model 13, and Indian “Upside-Down Four”.
Dean spent some time in Elkhart Lake recently, again for the MotoAm races, and decided to shoot some photos around Throttlestop’s complex, to give our readers a taste of what it’s like to visit for a day. First opening their doors in the summer of 2017, primarily as a luxury, exotic and supercar sales and auction company, their love of motorcycles was soon incorporated, and they’ve been expanding both ever since. Nic Piekarski, the GM at Throttlestop, told us, “Our bread and butter remains exotic and luxury cars, but we’re all motorsports fanatics at heart, so we have a huge love for motorcycles as well.”
1955 Ariel Square Four 1000, 1951 Sunbeam S7 Deluxe, and 1912 FN Four.
Racing is in the DNA not only of founders and lifelong friends Jim Balestrieri and Tom Kostrivas, themselves racers since their childhood, but this whole region of Wisconsin. As well as Road America nearby and the Dairyland Classic flat track arena just down the road, Elkhart Lake itself played host to a legendary SCCA race series in the early 1950s, that would circumnavigate 3.3 and a 6.5 mile road courses out through the rolling countryside. That passion for speed and competition is native to this part of Wisconsin, and is evident everywhere around this charming little town.
The automotive side is quite impressive as well.
Road America was opened in 1955, incorporating some of the original open-road course. So even though road racing now takes place on a closed circuit, Elkhart Lake in general and the Throttlestop in particular still become an epicenter of celebrating motorized speed during the spring-early fall months. Throttlestop hosted a car and bike show the weekend Dean was there, so he snapped some of the action outside as well as the displays within.
A pair of bikes that particularly caught Dean’s attention: A 1974 Munch Mammoth TTS-E inside, and a 2006 Bimota Tesi 20 outside.
If you ever get up to Milwaukee, for the Harley-Davidson 120th party, to visit Royal Enfield, or for any of the races north of the city in Elkhart Lake, be sure to stop in and visit the Throttlestop. Heck, it’s worth a special trip alone, regardless what else might or might not be happening. Wander the halls, behold the beautiful motorcycle, automotive and engine displays, spend a day in awe of the moto history on display. And if you feel so inclined, check into what they each are worth, as nearly everything on display, two wheels and four, has a price tag.
1994 Harley-Davidson VR1000, 1977 Ducati 900SS Desmo, 1982 Honda CBX 1100.
The good folks at Throttlestop are “Driven by Passion”, and you’ll catch that vibe as you roam their halls. Tell them Road Dirt sent you.
To visit their virtual museum, click on the link below. Enter your email address, they’ll send you a code, then you are free to roam their virtual halls, machine by machine.
*Photos by Dean Phelps