Follow us
E-shop Tickets


At the time of its creation, the motorcycle collection was one of the youngest sub-collections of the current NTM Museum of Transportation. The foundation of this collection was laid in 1935 by Václav Klement, who was the founder of Laurin & Klement and one of the leading pioneers of motorcycle production in Europe. He was also a big supporter of the NTM. He donated a considerable amount of money to the construction of the new museum building, significantly enriched its archive and effectively founded the NTM motorcycle collection. In 1935, he sought out three of the original motorcycles manufactured by Laurin & Klement from his former customers. He had these machines "modified for exhibition purposes" and subsequently donated them to the museum's collections.

The founding act by Václav Klement soon inspired a number of other, then still living, pioneers of motorcycle production in our country. This was especially true during the German occupation, i.e. during the most difficult period of our modern history that threatened the nation’s literal existence, when the motorcycle collection developed with remarkable speed.

Paradoxically, the difficult period of the war and occupation proved to be one of the most successful from the point of view of the NTM motorcycle collection, and not only in terms of the development of the collection itself. In the temporary premises at Invalidovna in Prague, where the museum was moved by the German armed forces, the first temporary motorcycle exhibition was opened during the time of the occupation.

Thanks to donations, the motorcycle collection continued to develop successfully even in the post-war years. For instance, the addition of six prototypes of Jawa motorcycles, which were donated to the museum by their manufacturer, which at the time was still called Zbrojovka Ing. F. Janeček, was particularly significant. However, the expansion of the motorcycle collection in the first post-war years was not only due to manufacturers. A number of valuable items (especially trophies from motorcycle races) were, for example, acquired as a donation from the Harley Club Prague.

In terms of the motorcycle collection, the period up to the beginning of the sixties of the 20th century can be characterized as the years of the founding fathers. At that time, the leading personalities of our motorcycle culture, including athletes and production pioneers, participated in the creation of the collection. For most of this period, the collection was managed by a prominent figure in the history of the National Technical Museum – František Štýdl. Mr. Štýdl originally worked in the aviation industry, he started working with the museum as early as 1937, and between the years of 1949 and 1951 he was even its director. It is to his credit that the NTM motorcycle collection was established from the very beginning on the basis of a clear concept, which has not needed to be fundamentally changed until today.

At the end of the 1960s, thanks to the acquisition of suitable storage facilities in Čelákovice, the motorcycle collection significantly expanded in terms of the number of items. Unfortunately, however, the museum struggled with the turnover of motorcycle curators for a significant period of time. By the early 1980s, the number of motorcycles in the collection was around 130 pieces.

Since the second half of the 1990s, the collection has been undergoing a gradual process of improvement. The collection has not grown that much in terms of the overall numbers (as of 28 February 2014, it contained 138 motorcycles), but the effort has been primarily to increase its informational value, to acquire important missing objects and to document the current trends in the development of the field. Among the most significant additions of the last two decades are a range of domestically produced sports bikes; let's name, for example, the four-cylinder racing machines Jawa 350 type 673 and ČZ 420 type 860 or the Jawa 500 type 891 machine made for speedway racing on ice—the motorcycle with which Milan Špinka became world champion in 1974. A number of recently acquired touring motorcycles are also noteworthy, for example the Motor Company 1000, which was produced in the 1920s at a location approximately five hundred metres from today's NTM building. Also noteworthy is the ČZ 350 type 510 motorcycle prototype from 1978, the only existing piece, obtained from the estate of designer František Pudil.

The NTM motorcycle collection does not aim to be the largest collection of motorcycles in our country, but the staff of the NTM Museum of Transportation strives to make this collection the most valuable motorcycle collection in the Czech Republic.