Discover the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, an award-winning temple of motorcycle heritage. Find out more below.
Sammy Miller MBE is a motorcycling legend. 11 times British Trials Champion and winner of over 1400 competition events across various disciplines, all whilst developing and maintaining his own machines.
Throughout his remarkable career spanning 8 decades, he still managed to find the time to restore rare and interesting motorcycles; transforming unrecognisable ‘rust buckets’ into stunning factory condition and perfect working order. These he kept as a private collection until 1980 when he opened his collection to the public to share in the sights and sounds of these iconic machines. Thus, the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum was born!
In 1996, Sammy acquired an old farmhouse in New Milton that had fallen into disrepair. Seeing the potential for the perfect location to showcase the museum exhibits, he set about converting the barns into an impressive modern building that was worthy of the surrounding picturesque views.
The Museum is now regarded as housing one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world, including factory racers and exotic prototypes. Unlike most other museums, this is more than a static collection to be dusted and polished at regular intervals. Rather, almost every single motorcycle on display represents a full-scale renovation by Sammy, Jim and the workshop team.
Never having been one to stand still, Sammy can be found working six days a week in the hallowed workshop within the Museum complex, undertaking restoration work on soon-to-be additions to the ever-growing Museum collection, now approaching 500 motorcycles strong!
In order to accommodate Sammy and the team’s boundless enthusiasm and tireless work, the Museum has undergone several extensions over the years to increase its capacity. The most recent of these was the Upper Gallery, opened in 2021 by the Duke of Richmond, which boasts panoramic views of the Museum complex and beyond, to the Isle of Wight.
Currently, all but 5 of the near 500 motorbikes at the Museum are in perfect working order – and as Sammy says “one of those is made of wood!”. Our most popular bikes are regularly fired up for public demonstration at Museum events throughout the year, as well as at prominent motorcycle events around the country, such as Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Museum now welcomes more than 21,000 visitors each year, often making pilgrimages from all corners of the globe to discover the magic of the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum.
Upper Gallery (New Extension)
Opened by the Duke of Richmond in 2021, the upper gallery hosts a range of predominantly British motorcycles, from its golden era of manufacturing in the early 20th century. Find Out More
The new extension features bright, panoramic views across to the Isle of Wight, as well as the dedicated Ralph Venables Reading Area, where enthusiasts can peruse through the hundreds of books and newspapers in our ever-growing collection, thanks to Sammy’s own personal archive and kind donations from our friends and visitors.
Also found within the vast gallery is a collection of rare engines that Sammy has acquired over the years and even cross-sectioned some of them to demonstrate their inner workings to visitors.
Interesting motorcycles that you may find here:
- 1898 Quadrant, the oldest motorcycle in the Museum!
- TT Rudge 1913 Model
- 1938 Matchless Model X
- 1916 Henderson F2 model, 4 Cylinder
- 1938 AJS R7
Also known as the off-road gallery, the Trials Hall is the Museum’s collection of famous and prestigious machines built for competition in observed and timed trials, throughout the 20th century. Find Out More
Following the continued expansion of Sammy’s collection, the off-road section was relocated to its current position within the Museum in April 2022.
The Trials Hall features a range of truly historic motorcycles, including:
- GOV 132, the world’s most famous trials motorcycle.
- S.H.S (Samuel Hamilton Special), the bike that Sammy built at 17 and first used to compete in the Scottish Six Day Trial in 1954, winning ‘Best Newcomer’.
- 2 x Rickman Metisse, designed and ridden by Don and Derek Rickman.
- Gordon Jackson’s AJS (187 BLF) – he famously won the 1961 SSDT on this bike, losing only a single mark!
- Ron Langston’s 1958 ISDT Ariel – Gold medal winner in the 1958 International Six Day Trial.
- Mary Driver’s 1964 ISDT Greeves
- Ken Heanes’ 1970 ISDT Triumph, Gold medal winner in 1970, 71 International Six Day Trials.
- Peter Fletcher’s 1958 Works Royal Enfield.
And many more!
Sammy’s personal favourite gallery in the Museum, the Norton Hall is a shrine to one of British motorcycling’s most innovative manufacturers. Find Out More
Miller himself grew up in Belfast close to the development workshop of Artie Bell and the McCandless brothers, who were instrumental in the Norton’s early success. After school, he and his friend’s would often take a 3 mile detour to Bell’s shop, just to catch a glimpse of new prototypes in development! Consequently, Sammy feels a great affinity for the marque and its early engineers, who he admired so much growing up.
The Norton Hall showcases some rare and iconic examples of British engineering:
- 1953 ex-works Norton ‘Kneeler’, ridden by Ray Amm to break more than 33 speed records.
- 1954 Horizontal-engined Norton.
- 1905 500cc Norton, the oldest known Norton in the world.
- 1948 Norton side valve twin
- 1951 McCandless prototype Norton twin
- 1960 350cc DOHC Norton ‘Low-Boy’ Prototype
And many more!
A collection of history’s most notable grand prix and factory racers from around the world. Find Out More
Having raced for many years in Irish road races and world championship grand prix events, Sammy’s interest in racing machines has never waned. One of the most impressive sections of the Museum, the racing gallery is not to be missed on your visit.
Here, you can expect to see:
- 1957 500cc V8 Moto Guzzi, a legendary multi-cylinder, ranked by Discovery channel in the top ten motorcycles of all time (Watch video here)
- 1950 Moto Guzzi Bi-Cylindrical V Twin (Watch video here)
- 1947 AJS 500cc Porcupine.
- 1957 Mondial Racing Ex Works, as raced to 3rd place by Sammy Miller in the 1957 World GP.
- 1957 Gilera 4-Cylinder, as raced by Geoff Duke and Bob McIntyre.
- 1982 Grand Prix Honda NS500 V3, as raced by Freddie Spencer.
- 1979 Suzuki RG 500 Mk 4, similar to that raced by Barry Sheene to World GP glory.
- 1959 MZ 125cc Ex Works GP, as raced by Luigi Taveri and Mike Hailwood.
- 1955 250cc NSU Sportmax, as raced by Sammy Miller, including 3 wins in the North West 200.
- 1969 250cc 4 cylinder Moto Villa, designed by the great brothers Walter and Francesco Villa.
And many more!
One of the most iconic British motorcycle manufacturers, discover our Vincent HRD Hall. Find Out More
On the upper level above the main Museum entrance, Miller’s trophy collection lines the walls. Find Out More
After managing more than 1400 wins at all levels in a multitude of motorcycle disciplines, including road racing, trials, enduro, motorcross, as well as grass track and sand racing, it’s a good job the upper level is big enough to showcase his various cups and medals!
As well as the trophy cabinets, the upper levels are home to more motorcycling marvels, such as:
- 1948 Redrup Radial
And many more!
A firm favourite among visitors to the museum, this sections boasts Japanese classics, as well as rare bikes from all over Europe. Find Out More
If you rode a Japanese bike in the 70s or 80s, chances are you might find it here! Additionally, you can see for yourself the history of motorcycle development in post-war Europe, including the distinct approaches taken by manufacturers on either side of the Iron Curtain.
Notable exhibits include:
- 1969 Munch 1177cc Model Mammoth (watch our video here)
- 1962 Grand Prix Bianchi
And many more!