To truly fall in love with a motorcycle you need to see them, touch them and know their story. And through his masterful creation of the Haas Moto Museum, the late Bobby Haas allowed tens of thousands of people to experience those three elements of appreciation and step into a space that tells the great epic of both man and machine. Not everyone can make it to the museum in Dallas, but now you can have the museum delivered to you. Today we announce the launch of an incredible new book, The Motorcycle: The Definitive Collection of the Haas Moto Museum.
Everybody in the custom bike scene knew Bobby, but not only did he know them back with a familiarity that made us all feel ten feet tall, but he also knew bikes. That’s no easy task for somebody who came to the world of two-wheels late in life, and all of his incredible achievements to that point, had prepared him to not only be welcomed into a sometimes closed society but be beloved within it. His gift in return was to expertly buy, commission and curate a collection the likes of which we have never seen before, and with the museum to close in the near future, likely never to be seen again.
When Bobby passed in 2021, ‘The Patron Saint of Custom Motorcycles’ left behind not only broken hearts but also a million happy tales. So, it is fitting that part of his legacy is this magnificent book, because he truly knew the power of a good story. “During my time working with Nat Geo, I was constantly reminded to bring back images that tell a story or ‘bring back images unlike anything seen before.’ I was told that if I was going to create a magazine like no other, a book like no other, or an exhibit like no other, I needed something more than beautiful images. I needed images that told a story, which forced readers to dig deep and wonder what the story was behind each image,” he once told us.
The curation of the Haas Moto Museum, however, was not a one-man band, with the love of his life and partner, Stacey Mayfield by his side from the beginning. “The first day I met Bobby, we sat around a large conference table with a few other people, and he made a bold statement: ‘We are going to build the finest moto museum that exists, pound for pound. And anyone that is not on board with that mission can leave the room.” Needless to say, none of us moved a muscle,” Stacey recalls. And from that moment, they would travel to the corners of the globe to collect and commission one incredible motorcycle after another.
Bobby had a relentless drive, it wasn’t about being in a rush, it was about doing things right and ensuring no vital tale was left untold in this incredible story. Initially, the collection was focused on vintage and historically important motorcycles, those that are now seen in the Museum’s History Hall. A space which “offers a leisurely stroll through the entirety of motorcycle history, arranged in chronological order from late 19th-century bicycle frames with attached gas tanks to the throbbing power stations of ultra-modern road warriors,” as Bobby described it.
But as Stacey tells us, “Once we opened the museum, we began to meet custom builders from all over the world. Bobby realised that not only were custom-built machines needed in the collection, but he also wanted to support these builders’ artistry and become more involved himself in the custom motorcycle world. And so, the Custom Shop was born. We had no idea that not only would the partnerships with these builders be so fulfilling, but also that the custom collection would prove to be the pièce de résistance of the museum.”
The relationships that Bobby forged with some of the world’s finest builders, like Craig Rodsmith and Max Hazan, were conceived around bikes, built on love and became a true brotherhood. And as each new motorcycle rolled into the museum, Bobby honoured this connection and commitment by painstakingly writing the tagline and back story for every last machine in the collection. His devotion to capturing the story of each bike and its builder was profound. And so the words you will read in this stunning book, about each and every motorcycle, were written by Bobby himself and stand proudly next to each bike on display in the museum.
In this way and through the more than 350 glorious images that grace its pages, this book binds together the essence of the museum, and places it in our very own hands. The Motorcycle: The Definitive Collection of the Haas Moto Museum documents the collection of bikes which spans from 1899 to the present day, including the works of legends like Mitsuhiro Kiyonaga, Max Hazan, Jay Donovan, Cristian Sosa, and Craig Rodsmith, and allows you to absorb yourself in the more than 230 motorcycles that Bobby brought together.
Available now for pre-order in the museum’s online Biker Boy Shop, the book will be released in the fall of 2023, and will stand as a must-have for everyone who simply loves motorcycles and the stories of those who made them.
[ Haas Moto Museum ]