Explore the history and evolution of motorcycles from around the world in Chicago at the Any Sunday Motorcycle Museum.
“Every time I start thinkin’ the world is all bad, then I start seeing some people out having a good time on motorcycles. And it makes me take another look.” —Steve McQueen, ‘On Any Sunday’
The Windy City has become a great destination for motorcycle enthusiasts. Its rich history in motorcycle culture, its vibrant community of riders, and number of motorcycle rentals in Chicago make this a home-away-from-home for riders of all types and skill levels.
And there’s one little hidden gem which makes a trip to Chicago the next stop on your motorcycle adventure. Just outside the city as you ride down Mason Street Polo with the wind in your hair and the scenic roads ahead of you, you might just pass a pretty little white church. The words ‘On Any Sunday’ are emblazoned above the door. But when you open the little blue door, it’s not God you’re here to worship, it’s the God of motorcycles.
The On Any Sunday Motorcycle Museum is one-of-a-kind. Motorcycle enthusiast Norman Carroll and his wife, Jackie, opened the museum in the former First Christian Church to show off his massive collection of motorcycles. It has turned into a dedication to the history and culture of motorcycles. With a vast collection of bikes, parts, and memorabilia from all eras of motorcycling.
Named after the classic Steve McQueen 1971 documentary film “On Any Sunday“, which chronicled the world of motorcycle racing and the people who live and breathe it. And the museum pays homage to this film and its impact on motorcycle culture.
Walk down the center aisle and you will be surrounded by European, Japanese, and American motorbikes. All from different eras, including vintage Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs, Hondas, and more. The smell of gasoline and oil fills the air, mixing with the metallic aroma of engines and exhaust pipes.
The collection includes bikes from the early 1900s all the way up to the modern day, giving visitors a glimpse into the evolution of motorcycle design and technology over the years. The walls are adorned with posters and memorabilia from every era. Each bike has its own story and Norman is happy to share that story with visitors. After all, these are all his own bikes!
A previous visitor of the museum, and Chicago native, Adam K says: “If you own a motorcycle then you would understand. Celebrating motorcycles and motorcycle culture go hand-in-hand. Norm, a former off-road racer, can tell you how he got every motorcycle and the stories of how they were built, performed, and rehabilitated. Norm is the “dude” with a mission.”
History of motorcycle culture
In addition to the motorcycles themselves, the museum also features a variety of motorcycle parts and accessories. Such as engines, carburetors, and exhaust pipes. There are also displays of vintage helmets, riding gear, and other memorabilia that offer a fascinating look into the history of motorcycle culture. The light will fade through the church windows before you realize that hours have passed, and you still want to see more! When riding through Chicago or if you’re just passing through Illinois, this unique little museum is an essential pit stop. You can actually feel and taste the passion Norm has for his bikes. And that passion comes through in the incredible displays of motorcycles. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a casual enthusiast, if you’re in Chicago, make sure to stop by and check this wonderous gem out.
Tours of the museum are by appointment with no admission fee. Call 815-622-6870