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Johnny Cash Rhythm in Harley-Davidson exhibition

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A stylish tribute to the singer-songwriter legend Johnny Cash is the latest motorcycle to be showcased in the new Customising, Culture & Harley-Davidson exhibition at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester).

The Get Rhythm motorcycle, named after Cash’s 1956 hit about a shoeshine boy beating the blues through music, is painted a sleek and understated black, in reference to the famous ‘Man in Black’, and includes musical details such as an oil tank in the design of Cash’s Gibson guitar, a custom leather seat dedicated to Johnny Cash and a vintage style fuel tank.

Get Rhythm is displayed in MOSI’s Customising, Culture & Harley-Davidson exhibition for the next month. The rhythmic sound of its v-twin engine also earned the motorcycle its name. Get Rhythm was customised from a 2004 Harley-Davidson 1550cc and is on display until the end of June as part of a rolling monthly programme of customised motorcycles from Shaw Speed and Custom of Sussex. Get Rhythm was commissioned by Johnny Cash fan Julian Grindall and was built by Neil Sefton of Shaw Harley-Davidson.

Owner Julian Grindall said: “For me & the creation of a Johnny Cash tribute bike was quite simple: the love of motorcycles, especially Harley-Davidson, and the music of an iconic performer and song writer. The title of the bike "Get Rhythm" was an obvious choice. This great song describes the rhythm of the shoe shine boy betting the blues and the rhythm of the Harley V twin, perfect.”

Customising, Culture and Harley-Davidson, which runs until 11 September, spans early Harley-Davidsons to the very latest in customised motorcycles, many of which have never been displayed to the public before. The exhibition is created by the Claridon Group and MOSI. It is the first time ever that an exhibition has showcased the historic and radical customs of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, and the culture surrounding them. 

Over 30 motorcycles are featured in the exhibition, including models from the UK, Germany, Japan and the US. Each bike has its own story, from a rare 1909 model built in the first decade of Harley-Davidson’s production heritage,  to motorcycles used for the US military and police in the 1930s and 1940s, to the 1948 Ice Road Panhead, which defied motorcycle capabilities in conditions of minus 53 degrees, to complete an expedition to the Arctic.

The exhibition includes a section on customised Harley-Davidsons, such as the incredible Jaguar Bike, built by Polar Cycles/Massow, the Air Bike by Richard Taylor and the High Roller Trike (Abacus Studios). It also looks at the distinctive culture of Harley-Davidson, including the tattoos, music and film associated with this of this iconic brand.

All Harley-Davidson motorcycles are manufactured in Milwaukee, USA, but the almost endless array of available aftermarket parts and accessories worldwide provides radical customisation opportunities and enables owners to realise their own personal dream machine. A full list of all motorcycles in the exhibition is available.

Exhibition organizer Chris Scott of Claridon said: “We are delighted to have the “Get Rhythm” motorcycle grace the exhibition and are extremely grateful to Shaw Speed & Custom for not only loaning some of their amazing motorcycles but also working with us on the monthly rolling bike programme which will bring added enjoyment to visitors of the exhibition.”

Customising, Culture and Harley-Davidson runs until 11 September at MOSI, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP. Get Rhythm is on display until the end of June.

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