Rides & Destinations: Red Rock Harley-Davidson in Las Vegas, Nevada

Next time you're in Sin City, visit the treasure trove of racing motorcycles at Red Rock Harley-Davidson.

  • Heavenly race bikes in Sin City.
    Photo by Tim Kessel
  • Cal Rayborn's Harley-Davidson KRTT.
    Photo by Tim Kessel
  • Kenny Roberts' Yamaha YZR750.
    Photo by Tim Kessel

The Skinny
An amazing collection of iconic race bikes at Red Rock Harley-Davidson in Las Vegas, Nevada.
How to Get There:
The dealership sits about 7 miles west of the Strip at 2260 South Rainbow Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 89146.
Best Kept Secrets:
The collection itself is really the best kept secret here. However, this elite, Platinum-awarded dealership’s west-side location is a great starting point for rides to Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston.
Resist the temptation to limit your Vegas stay to the Strip. This collection will be a highlight of any motorcyclist’s visit to Sin City.

If I asked readers where they’d look for one of the finest collections of historically significant race bikes in the nation, answers would certainly vary. The list would likely include museums, various highbrow Concours d’Elegance, or maybe the collection at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. However, I will make the case that I happened upon arguably one of the nation’s most impressive collections of famous race bikes at a Harley-Davidson dealership.

I was told that Red Rock Harley-Davidson in Las Vegas, Nevada, housed a nice display of rare race bikes, so I made the stop on a recent ride through southern Nevada. “Nice display” was a profound understatement. What I found was a treasure trove of motorcycles that were ridden in some of the most storied races by some of the sport’s most iconic racers. From dirt trackers still wearing the patina and scars of the dusty oval to exotic, fully faired street machines, the collection is a must-see for any motorcycle race fan.

The Las Vegas collector, who is a close friend of the owner of the dealership, asked not to be named. While respecting his privacy, I can tell you that I have met few individuals more passionate about motorcycle racing and its rich history. His collection has been a permanent resident of Red Rock H-D for more than five years.

One element that makes the collection especially intriguing is the extensive documentation that accompanies it. The collector told me that verification of a bike’s authenticity is of the utmost importance to him. The bikes are displayed with a backdrop of articles, original ownership papers, specific race documents, and even handwritten personal correspondence. He is not one of those collectors who builds a motorcycle around the seat off of a famous bike and calls it authentic.

When I asked him what makes a motorcycle worthy of his quest, he said, “It’s all about the story behind the bike.” If a bike was ridden in a significant race by a special racer, it will pique his interest. He went on to say that when he sets his sights on a particular bike that “the hunt is the real thrill.” Once an important bike is in his possession, he does everything in his power to have the restoration done by people and companies that were intimately involved with the bike or the marque.

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