Did you know one of the world’s most impressive motorcycle collections can be found right here in the Dallas Design District?
You don’t have to be a motorcycle fan to appreciate the Haas Moto Museum + Sculpture Gallery. At 20,000 square feet with more than 150 cycles on display, you’ll be blown away. We got the lowdown on the new space and owner Bobby Haas.
Tell us a little about your founder, Bobby Haas.
For Bobby, the kindest compliment of all is to be called a Renaissance man — someone who strives to expand the limits of success in one enterprise after another, often with no formal training.
And in fact, that has been his trajectory. After a successful career as one of the early pioneers of private equity in the 1980s and 90s, Bobby entered the art world as a novice photographer as his “second act.” He also became one of the world’s most celebrated aerial photographers and the creator of two of the most widely distributed works in the 130-year history of National Geographic.
Then the urge to create in another field beckoned once again, and Bobby started to collect and exhibit motorcycles just over three years ago.
Bobby also has the Haas Motorcycle Gallery at Dragon in the DDD. What prompted the opening of Haas Moto Museum + Sculpture Gallery this past April?
The Haas Motorcycle Gallery at Dragon was very successful in its first year, but the collection had grown from 70 motorcycles up toward 100 (it now numbers about 160), and Bobby wanted to build a major motorcycle museum that would be a landmark within the motorcycle industry and a cultural magnet for the city of Dallas.
By locating the Haas Moto Museum in the Dallas Design District only two blocks away from the Dragon Gallery, the two facilities could be operated in affiliation with each other.
What are the key differences between the Haas Motorcycle Gallery at Dragon and the Haas Moto Museum + Sculpture Gallery?
First of all, the Museum is larger at 20,000 square feet compared to Dragon’s 5,000 square feet. As a result of its larger size, the Museum now houses 115 cycles compared to Dragon’s 40 cycles, with several more on the way. The Museum has regular hours. It’s open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 3 .pm., whereas the Dragon Gallery is open by appointment.
What do you enjoy most about your location in the Dallas Design District?
Literally everything! The feeling and the vibe of the Design District is so different from the normal cityscape… It's cool, it has an open and artsy feeling, it exudes culture, and it is evolving and growing.
The collection featured in the museum is extensive! Tell us about the pieces and how Bobby curated such an outstanding collection.
Once Bobby acquired a passion for collecting both vintage and custom cycles, he was like a runaway train, hopping all over the globe in search of the finest and most unique vintage cycles and the elite custom builders. When we stop to think that we have amassed 90 of our total collection of about 160 cycles in the past 16 months (at the same time we were building a 20,000 square foot facility), it is just mind-boggling.
If he had to choose only one in his collection, which motorcycle would Bobby choose?
For Bobby, that would be torture… the moto version of “Sophie’s Choice.” When Bobby is asked about which cycle is his favorite, his standard reply is, “That’s like asking me which of my three daughters is my favorite. Even if I had a favorite, I wouldn’t tell you which one.”
What should visitors know before going to Haas Moto Museum + Sculpture Gallery?
Visitors should know that it is an exceedingly comfortable and friendly venue with plenty of space devoted to each cycle and expert staff available to provide background about any of the cycles. Sculptures and artwork accent and enliven the experience. The Museum was designed to appeal not only to the moto aficionado, but also to someone who has no experience whatsoever with motorcycles.
Are pieces available for purchase?
The cycles are not, but the sculptures are available for purchase, as are items in the Museum shop — the “Biker Boy Shop” — with custom one-of-a-kind painted leather jackets for men and women, custom miniature cycles, leading large format motorcycle books, artwork and a biker-style jewelry line.
What can we look forward to in the next few months? Any upcoming events or additions to the collection?
As a result of all the notoriety that the Museum has already achieved, Bobby has been approached by a handful of the leading custom moto designers in the industry to collaborate on custom builds and that is well underway. A number of large-scale sculpture projects are also in progress. Finally, our first rotation of exhibits between the Museum and the Dragon Gallery will take place in the next few months.
Complete this sentence: “Every great motorcycle needs…”
Every great motorcycle needs a person to be in love with it — to appreciate it as a testament to design and engineering excellence.
The Haas Moto Museum & Sculpture Gallery is a must-see for all Dallasites. And don’t forget to bring your out-of-town guests by, too! Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students. Admission is free for children under 12, members of the military and first responders. Purchase your tickets here.