Set into the side of a mountain in Austria, 2,474 metres up, is the Top Mountain Crosspoint, Europe’s highest motorcycle museum. This monument to machinery attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year and has more than 300 bikes on display, from all around the world. We gave its co-founder, Attila Scheiber, a call to find out more.
Attila, Crosspoint is at the top of a mountain in Austria. An unlikely place for a bike museum. How did the idea come about?
We’re at the top of a very famous mountain road in Austria, the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. It’s a very nice, windy road, 33km long that takes you up to our ski lift, hotel and restaurant. There’s a great, panoramic view at the top. As it’s a toll road, people pay to use it. One day we thought “why not build a motorcycle museum here”. We’re big bike enthusiasts, so it made sense. We opened the museum in April 2016. Now we have 330 old motorcycles already, and more than 40,000 visitors a year. It’s open all year round.
That’s a lot of visitors. Have you got ambitions to grow the museum?
We have just started to double the size of the museum. We’re building another wing so that in the near future it will be much, much bigger. We’re also planning a motorcycle experience, where people can sit on them, start them up, take part in a visual ride over a famous pass here. It’s not real riding, but it’s as close as many people get. We want to put on an experience for those people who’ve never had a motorcycle to get the feeling of riding. This is our aim for the future.
Is there anything else like that in the world?
I don’t think so. Our ambition is definitely to have the best motorcycle museum in Europe.
Do you specialise in exhibiting a certain type of bike?
They are from every country that ever produced bikes. The British part of the museum is very big. After all, it’s the motherland of motorcycles. We’ve got more than 120 different brands in the museum. The most important thing is the bikes have to be old.
Do you buy all the bikes?
We own 80% of them. We display some bikes from a collector, who owns more than 400. But he won’t give us all of his bikes [LAUGHS]. But in the future, it will be 50% ours and 50% loaned.
How do you maintain all these bikes?
We built a garage and have one mechanic who always works for the museum. In the summer, when it’s busier, we bring in another two mechanics (who in the winter are preparing the ski slopes).
How did your love for bikes come about?
I have a twin brother who runs the museum with me. When we were six, our father gave us a Gilera, a small 50cc Italian bike. Soon after, we built our first trials machine. As we grew up, the bikes got bigger and, by the age of 18, I had seven bikes already. And then the real love started. We could ride on the roads.
You can only pick one bike in the museum as your favourite. What is it?
This is the most complicated question [laughs]. If I was to choose a touring bike, it would be a Brough Superior SS100, from 1939. Or an Indian from 1948. I have 10 favourites. [laughs]
How has the pandemic affected visitor numbers?
It was a big problem for us. We had to close our ski area really early, like in mid-March. That wasn’t very helpful for us. But then the business picked up again and the summer tourism in Austria wasn’t too bad.
Take a virtual tour here: