The Motorcycle
Design, Art, Desire

28 Nov 2020 – 26 Apr 2021
GOMA | Gallery 1.1 The Fairfax Gallery, Gallery 1.2, Gallery 1.3 Eric & Marion Taylor Gallery | Ticketed

Discover a whole new perspective of The Motorcycle.

Get your motor running… ‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire’ opens the throttle on the ground-breaking designs that shaped one of the most iconic objects the world has ever seen.

Featuring radical concepts, record breakers and road icons, the fully-immersive exhibition showcases 100 of the greatest motorcycles ever assembled.

Show off your ride with #MotorcycleGOMA


This world-exclusive exhibition, only in Brisbane, will showcase the art, design and history of one of the most iconic objects of the last 150 years, the motorcycle.

Featuring more than 100 innovative and influential motorcycles from the 1860s to present day, it will consider the iconic vehicle from the perspective of social history, popular culture, design and technology.

The exhibition will tap into the appeal of this enduring object of design and art, looking at the motorcycle’s past, present and future.

Highlights of the exhibition will include:

  • An 1871 Perreaux, the first steam-powered velocipede and oldest known motorcycle in the world;
  • The earliest Australian-designed and built machines, including a Spencer produced in Brisbane in 1906;
  • The 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that set an Australian land speed record in its day and more recently a world record for the highest price paid at auction for a motorcycle;
  • Symbols of speed including the1930s Triumph Speed Twin, the 1970s Ducati 750 Super Sport, and the 1990s Britten V1000;
  • Off-road motorcycles highlighting a rich history of bikes built for dust and dirt;
  • Customised motorcycles at the intersection of art and design;
  • Ultra-modern electric motorcycles, demonstrating the future of transportation in the age of renewable energy.

Discover more about ‘The Motorcycle’ with our range of related events listed below.


COVID-safe entry

Entry to ‘The Motorcycle’ exhibition will be staggered to allow visitors to enter in safe numbers and allow for free movement throughout the exhibition while following social distancing advice. This means there may be a short wait before you can enter the exhibition. Purchasing your exhibition tickets in advance will help the queuing run smoothly.  We highly recommend you purchase your tickets before visiting as this will avoid you having to provide your contact details twice for contact tracing (i.e. once on arrival and a second time at ‘The Motorcycle’ ticket desk). For easy access, simply show your pre-purchased exhibition ticket to enter GOMA and again at the exhibition entry. For more details visit our COVID-safe practices plan.

Louis-Guillaume Perreaux / Vélocipède à vapeur c.1870

Louis-Guillaume Perreaux / Vélocipède à vapeur c.1870 / Département des Hauts-de-Seine / Musée du Domaine départemental de Sceaux / Photograph: Olivier Ravoire.

Spencer 1906 / Australian Motorlife Museum – Paul Butler Collection

Spencer 1906 / Australian Motorlife Museum – Paul Butler Collection / Photograph: Penelope Clay .

Majestic c.1929

Majestic c.1929 / Collection: Bobby Haas and Haas Moto Museum / © Haas Moto Galleries LLC / Photograph: Grant Schwingle .

Vincent Black Lightning 1951

Vincent Black Lightning 1951 / The Peter and Frances Bender Collection / © Bonhams Auctioneers .

Ducati 750SS 1974

Ducati 750SS 1974 / Private Collection / Photograph: John Downs .

Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd, Christchurch / Britten V1000 motorcycle 1991

Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd, Christchurch / Britten V1000 motorcycle 1991 / Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds / Collection: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.


Works in this exhibition are protected under the Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013. Find out more