Walking in to the South Texas Motorcycle Museum in Edinburg, one is greeted by one of the museum’s volunteers. There are a couple of motorcycles in the lobby like a Ducati and an Orange County Chopper, but what people really want to see is what is behind the two doors on the right.
If a person’s jaw didn’t drop with the couple of bikes in the lobby then certainly the history that stands parked in the museum’s main exhibit hall will have enthusiasts picking their jaws from off the floor.
Dirty Dave Garcia, who everyone calls Dirty, is the museum’s main curator. Garcia has been working on motorcycles for more than 30 years but within the last few years he and Dr. Mike Sweeney, who is now retired and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, began working on Sweeney’s collection which consists of Harley Davidson, Indian and some custom bikes like the Captain America from the movie Easy Rider.
“They all run,” said Garcia of the 70-bike collection. “Sweeney has been collecting them and I’ve been taking care of them. He sees something that he wants and I tell him to bid on it if it’s okay.”
Garcia said he had to tell Sweeney to slow down because his collection was passing 100 bikes.
“He was also collection Yamahas and bent over bikes,” Garcia said. “He (Sweeney) races, so he moved to Las Vegas because of the public track they have there.”
Volunteers are the backbone of this museum, which opened this past fall. On a recent Sunday, there were six volunteers at the museum. Garcia along with Joe Reyna and Art Medina were in the museum’s garage trying to get some of the motorcycles running.
“All these bikes run,” said Cynthia Reyna, who is Joe’s wife and was doing her share of public relations on Sunday. “The guys stay back there and make sure they all run. You can see when they test them they have huge grins like if they were kids in a candy store.”
At this time, the museum is only open on the weekends from 12-6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12-4 p.m. on Sundays. It is located two miles east of Exp. 281 in Edinburg on Richardson Road on the left side of the road.
“Since we’re all volunteers we can’t stay open on the weekdays,” Cynthia Reyna said. “But we’ll get there and hopefully we can share this piece of history with everyone.”
For more information, call 956-292-0770.