Archive for the ‘Motorcycles’ Category

Madge Saunders and her husband, British comic actor Leslie Henson, 1920.

Sally Halterman, the first woman to be granted a license to operate a motorcycle in the District of Columbia, 1937.

An entrant in a ladies-only reliability trial in London, England, 1927.

Marjorie Cottle (second from left), a famous motorcyclist, and friends in Germany, 1920.

Three women riding motorbikes at the ACU Trials in Birmingham, England, 1923.

Nancy and Betty Debenham, well-known motorcyclists, riding BSA bikes with their dog, 1925.

Miss E. Foley and Miss L. Ball, entrants in the International Six Days Reliability Trials, at Brooklands race track in England, 1925.

Text and images from VintageEveryday

Read Full Post »


The BMW R32 was the first motorcycle produced by BMW under the BMW name. An aircraft engine manufacturer during World War I, BMW was forced to diversify after the Treaty of Versailles banned the German air force and German aircraft manufacture. BMW initially turned to industrial engine design and manufacturing.


In 1919, BMW designed and manufactured the flat-twin M2B15 engine for Victoria Werke AG of Nuremberg. The engine was initially intended as a portable industrial engine, but found its main use in Victoria motorcycles. The engine was also used in the Helios motorcycle built by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, which was later merged into BMW AG. Bayerische Flugzeugwerke also manufactured a small two-stroke engined motorcycle, called the Flink, which was not successful.


After the merger, General Director of BMW Franz Josef Popp asked Design Director Max Friz to assess the Helios motorcycle. Upon completing his assessment, Friz suggested to Popp that the best thing that could be done with the Helios would be to dump it in the nearest lake. More specifically, Friz condemned the Douglas-style transverse-crankshaft layout, which heavily restricted the cooling of the rear cylinder.

Popp and Friz then agreed to a near-term solution of redesigning the Helios to make it more saleable and a long-term solution of an all new motorcycle design. This new design was designated the BMW R32 and began production in 1923, becoming the first motorcycle to be badged as a BMW.

The M2B33 engine in the R32 had a displacement of 494 cc and had a cast-iron sidevalve cylinder/head unit. The engine produced 8.5 hp (6.3 kW), which propelled the R32 to a top speed of 95 km/h (59 mph). The engine and gear box formed asingle unit. The new engine featured a recirculating wet sump oiling system at a time when most motorcycle manufacturers used a total-loss oiling system. BMW used this type of recirculating oiling system until 1969.


To counter the cooling problems encountered with the Helios, Friz oriented the R32’s M2B33 boxer engine with the cylinder heads projecting out on each side for cooling, as used in the earlier British-manufactured ABC. Unlike the ABC, however, the R32 used shaft final drive from a flexible coupling on the gearbox output shaft to a pinion driving a ring gear on the rear wheel hub.

The R32 had a tubular steel frame with twin downtubes that continued under the engine to the rear wheel. The front fork had a trailing link design suspended by a leaf spring, similar to the forks used by Indian at the time. The rear wheel was rigidly mounted. A drum brake was used on the front wheel, while a "dummy rim" brake was used on the rear wheel.



The R32 established the boxer-twin, shaft-drive powertrain layout that BMW would use until the present. BMW used shaft drives in all of its motorcycles until the introduction of the F650 in 1994 and continues to use it on their boxer-twin motorcycles.

Text from Wikipedia

Read Full Post »

An electric tricycle, capable of a top speed of 15 mph, has driven into a safety row on its first day on the road.

The Sinclair C5 – launched by the computer millionaire, Sir Clive Sinclair – is designed for short journeys around town and can be driven by anyone over the age of 14. But the £399 vehicle, driven by a battery-powered motor, only 2 ft. 6 in high and six feet long, has raised safety concerns.

It’s a sort of milk float you’re putting into the traffic stream

Dr Murray MacKay, Birmingham University

The British Safety Council says the vehicle is too close to the ground and the driver has poor visibility in traffic. He sits with his legs outstretched and the controls are beneath his thighs.

With a top speed of only 15 mph, safety experts say the C5 could be vulnerable to knocks from other cars. The vehicle is open-topped and the driver is not obliged to wear a crash helmet or even have a driving licence.


Dr Murray MacKay head of the Accident Research Unit at Birmingham University said: "It’s a sort of milk float you’re putting into the traffic stream and that sort of dislocation is going to cause conflicts, particularly turning right."

Sir Clive claims his new vehicle will be a perfect runabout: "It’s ideal for shopping, going to the office, going to school, any trip around town."

BBC News asked British motor racing legend, Stirling Moss, to take the C5 for a spin around town. His verdict: "I think it’s safe if you drive it realising it isn’t a car… ride it just like a bicycle and I think you should be alright."

In Context

The Sinclair C5 was a commercial disaster. Only about 12,000 were ever produced. However, it has since achieved cult status and in 2002, a vehicle in mint condition could fetch up to £900 – compared with an original retail price of £399.


Prior to the C5, Sir Clive Sinclair had chalked up significant successes – the first pocket calculator, the first pocket television and the best-selling British computer of all time. He was awarded a knighthood by Margaret Thatcher.

Now in his sixties, Sir Clive still controls Sinclair Research. His recent inventions include a device which propels bicycles without the need for pedalling and a radio the size of a 10p coin, designed to fit in the ear.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

Read Full Post »

The advantage two-strokes had over four-strokes was that they completed their power cycle in half the time of a four stroke engine. This meant they could rev very fast, so ‘Das Kleine Wunder’ (the little marvel) was the perfect engine for DKW’s new range of motorcycles. 1928 was a bumper year for DKW. Thousands of motorcycles, all powered by their new engine, practically raced off their production line and year on year sales just keep increasing.

Motorcycle production peaked at 55,000 in 1937 making DKW the largest and most successful motorcycle company in the world.

Text and image from Project Heinkel

Read Full Post »

a1154_santa honda
My first motorbike was 125 cc Honda similar to this, mine was red too 🙂

Read Full Post »


Images found on Aphid Pinterest albums

Read Full Post »


A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.


Mr M Bertoux, a French army officer, secured a prize offered by a French newspaper in 1893 for the best method of carrying a passenger on a bicycle. The sidecar wheel was mounted on the same lateral plane as the bicycle’s rear and was supported by a triangulation of tubes from the bicycle. A sprung seat with back rest was mounted above the cross-member and a footboard hung below. A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was granted to Mr. W. J. Graham of Graham Brothers, Enfield, Middlesex. He partnered with Jonathan A. Kahn to begin production.

One of Britain’s oldest sidecar manufacturers, Watsonian, was founded in 1912. It is still trading as Watsonian Squire. Automobile producer Jaguar Cars was founded in 1922 as a sidecar manufacturer, the Swallow Sidecar Company.

In 1913, American inventor Hugo Young, of Loudonville, Ohio, designed a new sidecar which was not rigidly fixed to the motorcycle. Instead, his invention employed a flexible connection, which allowed the sidecar to turn, raise, and lower without affecting the balance of the motorcycle. This was a great improvement over the original design, allowing for much safer and more comfortable experiences for both the passenger and driver. Young opened up the Flxible Sidecar Company (the first "e" was dropped to allow for trademarking the name) in Loudonville, Ohio and soon became the largest sidecar manufacturer in the world. When the motorcycle craze began to fade in the 1920s due to more affordable cars being marketed, as well as the banishment of sidecar racing in the United States, the Flxible Sidecar Company began producing transit buses, ambulances, and hearses. Until the 1950s sidecars were quite popular, providing a cheap alternative to passenger cars; they have also been used by armed forces, police and the UK’s AA and RAC motoring organisations. During World War II, German troops used many BMW and Zündapp sidecar motorcycles. On German, French, Belgian, British and Soviet military sidecars, the side wheel was sometimes also driven, sometimes using a differential gear, to improve the vehicle’s all-terrain ability.

Text from Wikipedia

Read Full Post »

9670_sears alstar

This scooter was a mail order special from the Sears Roebuck Catalogue way back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  It actually is a rebadged stamped frame Puch, it has a 3.9 hp. 1 cylinder 2 stroke engine and a three speed twist shift transmission. The sales sheet says it’s supposed to go 42 mph. These were cheap scooters for the time, I don’t think any were thought of being collectable. This scooter sold for $ 297 brand new out of the catalog. The Allstate Compact Scooter had 3.9 horsepower,  got 100 miles out of the gallon and had a 2-stroke engine and 3 speed transmission.

Read Full Post »

920_ural gaucho rambler limited edition 01

Russian motorcycle maker Ural is known for its adventurous, old-school, go-anywhere bikes, and it is releasing a new limited-edition model to celebrate the original adventurer – the American cowboy. Ural teamed up with Oregon-based blanket and clothier Pendleton Woolen Mills to create the 2013 Ural Gaucho Rambler Limited Edition.

920_ural gaucho rambler limited edition 03
With a starting price of $14,350 (excluding delivery fee) and production limited to just 50 bikes, all Gaucho Ramblers came painted in a matte hue called Pacific Blue with accompanying Pendleton-made touches like the canvas upholstery and blanket; a camping kit, luggage rack and spare tire are standard on the bike as well. The Gaucho Rambler is powered by 750cc two-cylinder engine producing 40 horsepower, and just like other sidecar-equipped Ural models, this power is sent to both rear wheels for better traction.

920_ural gaucho rambler limited edition 05

920_ural gaucho rambler limited edition 02920_ural gaucho rambler limited edition 04
The rest of the Ural Sidecar range:
Ural RetroUral RangerUral SportsmanUral TouristUral Cross / Cross TWDUral T

Read Full Post »

forgotten onesNMC_02CandyBarr2
Candy Barr in 1989. DMN staff photo by Randy Eli Grothe

Candy Barr (July 6, 1935–December 30, 2005) was an American stripper, burlesque dancer, actress, and adult model in men’s magazines of the mid-20th century.

903_candy_09During the 1950s she received nationwide attention for her stripping career in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas; her troubles with the law; shooting her estranged second husband; and being arrested and sentenced to a prison term for drug possession, as well as her relationships with Mickey Cohen and Jack Ruby.

After serving three years in prison, Barr began a new life in South Texas. She briefly returned to stripping in the late 1960s, posed for Oui magazine in the 1970s, and then retired. In the early 1980s, Barr was acknowledged in the magazine Texas Monthly as one of history’s “perfect Texans,” along with other Texans including Lady Bird Johnson.


At age 16, though she appeared much older, Barr appeared in one of the most famous and widely circulated of the early underground pornographic movies, Smart Alec (1951). Because of the widespread “underground” distribution and 903_candy_11popularity of this short hardcore 8mm movie, which is no more than 15 minutes long, she has been called “the first porn star.” She originally told a men’s magazine that she did the film for the money, as she then had less than a dollar to her name at the time. Many years later, Barr instead insisted that she was drugged and coerced into appearing in the movie.

Shortly after the release of Smart Alec, and while still underage, she was hired as a stripper at the Theater Lounge in Dallas by Barney Weinstein for $85 a week. She acquired the stage name Candy Barr at this time—given her by Weinstein, reportedly because of her fondness for Snickers bars—bleached her hair platinum blond, and quickly became a headliner. She also worked at Weinstein’s Colony Club, with a large placard of her prominently displayed out front.

903_candy_07Barr established herself in burlesque and striptease with her trademark costume—cowboy hat, pasties, scant panties, a pair of pearl handled cap six-shooters in a holster strapped low on her hips, and cowboy boots.

When the Theater Lounge would close, she would often patronize the after-hours Vegas Club, where she became acquainted with the owner and operator, Jack Ruby, in about 1952. Their friendship was very casual, however, as she never worked for him and never associated with him outside the Vegas Club and the Silver Spur Inn, which he also operated.

She reportedly married her second husband, Troy B. Phillips, around 1953 and had a daughter about 1954. In January 1956, Barr shot her estranged and violent husband when he kicked in the door of her apartment in Dallas. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but the charges were later dropped. Phillips was not fatally wounded.

Barr performed for the only time on the legitimate stage in 1957, playing the role of Rita Marlowe in the Dallas Little Theater production of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? In late October of that year, in yet another notorious case, Dallas police raided her apartment and found four fifths of an ounce of marijuana, which was said to be hidden in her bra. She was arrested for drug possession, subsequently convicted, and received a 15-year prison sentence, though, according to her, she was set up and was only holding the marijuana for a friend.



While the marijuana case devolved into a lengthy series of appeals, her fame spread nationwide and Barr became the toast of the strip club runways, reportedly earning $2,000 a week in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as well as at the Sho-Bar Club on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

While stripping at the Largo Club on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, she met gangster Mickey Cohen and became his girl. According to Cohen, in hisautobiography, In My Own Words, he helped her make bail after Gary Crosby told him, “One thing about that broad, she can make ya feel like a real man.”

903_candy_13Barr accompanied Cohen to the Saints and Sinners testimonial for Milton Berle in April 1959. The mobster, who insisted he wanted to marry her, eventually sent her and her 4-year-old daughter to Mexico so she could evade arrest. He arranged for her hair to be dyed by hairdresser to the stars Jack Sahakian, provided her with a fake birth certificate and social security card, and gave her $1,200 cash. He later sent her $500 after she was established in a Mexican hideaway. She became restless there, however, and returned to the U.S. During this time, her interest in Cohen foundered.

Also in 1959, she was hired by 20th Century Fox Studios as a choreographer for Seven Thieves (1960). She taught actress Joan Collins how to “dance” for her role as a stripper and was given a credit as technical adviser. Barr was quoted as saying, “Anytime Miss Collins wants to leave the movies, she has it made in burlesque.” “She taught me more about sensuality than I had learned in all my years under contract,” Collins wrote in her autobiography, Past Imperfect. Collins went on to describe Barr as “a down-to-earth girl with an incredibly gorgeous body and an angelic face.”

Barr won another chance at reversing her 15-year sentence that October, when the district attorney in Dallas said the U.S. Supreme Court had informed his office that her lawyers would be given 20 days to file a motion for a rehearing.

903_candy_06She and hairdresser Jack Sahakian were married November 25, 1959, in Las Vegas, while she was headlining at El Rancho Vegas Hotel. Days later, despite rumors that her arrest had been a setup designed to punish the stripper for her wantonness in conservative Dallas, Barr was arrested by the FBI when her appeal on the marijuana conviction was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Prison term and release

On December 4, Barr reportedly left her daughter with her third husband, Sahakian, and entered the Goree State Farm for women near Huntsville, Texas. While serving her sentence, she was a witness in Los Angeles in mid-1961 in the tax evasion trial of her former boyfriend Mickey Cohen. She testified that he paid $15,000 to her attorneys and lavished gifts on her during their brief engagement in 1959. She said that among the other gifts she received from him were jewelry, luggage, and a poodle. It was her understanding, she said, that Cohen was to settle a clothing bill of hers for $1,001.95.

After being incarcerated for over three years, Barr was paroled from Goree women’s unit on April 1, 1963. She left the prison without any fanfare or publicity, having requested that no pictures be taken and no interviews arranged. Barr had intended to return to Dallas, but her parole stipulations were so strict that it was not permitted. Instead, she returned to her hometown of Edna, where her father and stepmother still lived.

903_candy_14At this time, she became closer to Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby in telephone conversations. As she was having health problems when she was released from prison, she decided the best way to earn a living was by raising animals for profit. Ruby went down to Edna and gave her a pair of dachshund breeding dogs from his prized litter to get her started.

Twelve hours after Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered by Ruby, the FBI arrived in Edna to interview Barr. She made a statement, as Juanita Dale Phillips, regarding her knowledge of Ruby prior to Oswald’s assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Ruby’s subsequent murder of Oswald. It was rumored that she knew more than she disclosed, but she later said, “They thought Ruby had told me names and places and people, which he didn’t.”

The Texas governor, John Connally, pardoned her for the marijuana conviction in 1968. Barr said, “I really don’t know why, unless he studied the case and knew it was an injustice whether I was a victim or not.”


Comeback and later life

Barr returned to the stripping circuit in early 1968, including appearances at the Largo Club in Los Angeles and the Bonanza Hotel in Las Vegas. She also returned to the Colony Club in Dallas.

She then moved to Brownwood, Texas, as her father was ill in Kerrville. She was arrested and charged with marijuana possession again in 1969 in Brownwood. Barr later said, “While my father was in the process of dying, they decided to take advantage of my situation there and busted me. I knew the marijuana wasn’t there, I hadn’t had any around me for three years.”

The district attorney in Brown County eventually dismissed the case against her for lack of evidence. In 1972, 56 poems that she wrote while in prison were published with the title A Gentle Mind . . . Confused.

903_candy_01At the beginning of the book, she wrote:“Loneliness is like an early frost. Let us be among the seedlings that survive …” The title poem further set the tone:

“Hate the world that strikes you down,
A warped lesson quickly learned.
Rebellion, a universal sound,
Nobody cares, no one’s concerned.
“Fatigued by unyielding strife,
Self-pity consoles the abused,
And the bludgeoning of daily life,
Leaves a gentle mind … confused.”

The 41-year-old grandmother was featured in a 1976 issue of Oui magazine. She also gave an interview in Playboy soon afterward.

The film rights to Barr’s early life story was purchased by producer Mardi Rustam in 1982. In 1984 Texas Monthly listed Barr among alongside other Texans like Lady Bird Johnson as one of history’s “perfect Texans.” In March 1988, it was announced that Ryan O’Neal would direct Farrah Fawcett in a biopic about Barr based on ascript by George Axelrod, who wrote the Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, but the movie was never produced.

Final years and death

903_candy_12In 1992 Barr moved from Brownwood back to Edna. Living in quiet retirement, with her animals at her rural home, she was content not to exploit or relive her legendary past. She said she was never interested in arousing men, she just wanted to dance. As Garbo had, Barr said she just wanted to be left alone.

On December 30, 2005, Barr died at age 70 from complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Victoria, Texas.

Candy Barr is among the inductees in the Hall of Fame of Exotic World Burlesque Museum, Helendale, California, halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Her lip prints are part of the museum’s display.

More Candy Barr movies HERE

I must admit that Candy Barr is not really among the forgotten ones, at least not among lovers of classic glamour and burlesque. But working on the last post made me want to build a post dedicated to her anyway – Ted

Text From Wikipedia

Read Full Post »


The Ariel Leader was a British motorcycle produced by Ariel Motorcycles between 1958 and 1965. A radical design, the Leader was fully enclosed with an integral windscreen and was the first British motorcycle to have optional flashing indicators. Ariel could not compete against Japanese imports and the last Ariel Leader was produced when the company closed in 1965.



Designed by Val Page and Bernard Knight, The Ariel Leader featured a 250 cc two-stroke engine suspended in a pressed 20-gauge steel ‘backbone’ frame, welded down the middle for strength. The fuel tank was hidden inside this structure and accessed by lifting the hinged dual seat. A dummy petrol tank 861_ariel_03was used for storage and was large enough to fit a spare crash helmet. It was the fully enclosed bodywork (first developed by Phil Vincent for the innovative Vincent Black Prince) that was most prominent, as none of the working parts of the motorcycle were visible. Leader dash showing parking light behind screen with headlamp trimmer knob near to speedometer

As well as a full body, the standard Leader features included a headlight trimmer, an extendable lifting handle for easy centrestand use, and a permanent windscreen mounting. Factory listed options included: integrated-design hard-luggage ‘panniers‘, the first flashing indicators on a British motorcycle, a dash-mounted parking light, windscreen top-extension (adjustable on the move), a rear rack and a clock aperture built into a ‘dashboard’ (closed-off by an Ariel badge when not fitted).



Launched in mid-1958, the Leader claimed to offer the comfort of a scooter with the performance of a motorcycle. At first it sold well, and it won the Motor Cycle News Motorcycle of the Year award in 1959. Ariel backed up the launch with a long list of options (unusual at the time), therefore few of the 22,000 Ariel Leaders produced were the same. Colour scheme were also a break with tradition, and included Oriental Blue or Cherry Red with Admiral Gray accents.

Text from Wikipedia

Read Full Post »

If Ettore Bugatti had been diverted away from car design and into motorcycles this is almost certainly what he would have built. This remarkable art deco motorcycle was designed and built by master bike builder Arlen Ness, surprisingly there isn’t much information available on this jaw-dropping two-wheeler, the Arlen Ness website is down and emails to the company have gone unanswered, Wikipedia hasn’t been much help and Google throws up relatively useless links when searching for “Arlen Ness Smoothness” and other variations thereof.


What we do know is that Arlen Ness is currently based in Dublin, California and they have a bike museum featuring 40+ bikes, including the Smoothness and a number of other remarkable customs including a jet-powered bike creatively named “Mach Ness”. Arlen and his son also appeared on an episode of “The Great Biker Build Off” in 2004, a competition which is son Cory went on to win.


Micheal Lichter wrote a book about Arlen back in 2005 that features the Smoothness bike as well as some of the more famous builds to come out of his workshop, it’s available on Amazon here. The photo’s above and below are the work of Micheal and feature heavily throughout the book.


If you know more about this bike shoot us an email (editor@silodrome.com), we’d love to update with further information about it. In the meantime hit the link to Arlen’s website here, hopefully it’ll go back up.

Images and text from Silodrome

Read Full Post »


771bastert_03Germany 1949  – 1955. Helmut Bastert’s factory in Bielefeld, Germany built bicycles, mopeds and light 48cc-248cc motorcycles, but is best remembered for unusual Das Einspurauto (one-trace-car). These expensive and sophisticated scooter-like bikes had 150cc ILO [JLO] engines with three-speed transmission or 175cc with four-speed transmission. Some sources mention a 200cc ILO and others a Sachs 248cm. The body was fabricated from aluminium built up over a steel frame, aircraft fashion, and the wheels were solid aluminium.

The machine had an engine compartment light, Bosch ignition and twin taillights in teardrop design. The dash panel included an idividual light for each gear selected, and the rider’s red leather-covered seat converted quickly to a dual seat.


The first prototype of this machine was stolen and never recovered. From 1952 to 1956 around 1200 units left the factory.

Text From Sheldon’s EMU

Read Full Post »


After twelve months of development and ‘anything up to £20,000 costs’ the new Excelsior scooter was announced in June 1960 for production on the 1st July. The scooter was called the Monarch MKII and as the Scooter and Three Wheeler magazine stated ‘It’s all by Excelsior this time’ and ‘Glass Fibre for a new British Scooter’ The frame consisted of a 2¼” single tube backbone with three channel cross members supporting the floor.

The wheels were 10” diameter and quickly detachable – a well needed improvement over the rear wheel on the old Monarch. The engine was the same 147cc Excelsior unit with the Albion three speed gearbox operated by heel and toe pedals.


The new scooter had a complete glass-fibre bodywork consisting of six sections, the rear body as one unit, two sections for the footboards, two mouldings formed the front apron with a separate moulding for the front mudguard.

Read Full Post »

The Honda Juno is a scooter. Two versions were produced, the K-series of 1954 (K, KA, KB), and the M-series of 1962 (M80, M85).

770_juno k

Juno K

The Juno K was a deliberately elaborate bike in 1954. It was Honda’s first scooter and would be competing with the well established Fuji Rabbit and Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon. It featured the first electric start, a full windscreen with a tilt-back sun-shade, and built-in signal lamps. It also introduced Fibre-Reinforced Plastic body construction to Japan.

Only 5,980 were produced in a year and a half. Kihachiro Kawashima, who retired as executive vice-president in 1979, remembered the bike as a "splendid failure": it was too expensive, the engine overheated, the FRP body was heavier than expected and made the bike underpowered and clumsy, the new cantilevered suspension was problematic, and customers did not like the motorcycle-style clutch operation.

The final Juno KB model can be distinguished by enlarged rear vents and new vents added to the windscreen.

Technology developed for the Juno K would be applied to later bikes. The electric start was re-introduced with the C71 Dream in 1957, and the new Plastics department under Shozo Tsuchida developed polyethylene components that would distinguish the Super Cub.

770_juno m

Juno M80/M85

The Juno M80/M85 was a different approach introduced in November 1961. Unlike the K-series, there is no upper windscreen, the engine is an exposed horizontal-twin rather than an enclosed fan-cooled unit, and the body construction is conventional monocoque steel rather than FRP panels over tube. The M80/M85 also introduced a clutchless Badalini-type hydraulic-mechanical transmission which would provide the basis for the later Hondamaticmotorcycle transmissions.

The M80 and M85 are essentially the same vehicle, with the M85 designation indicating a mid-year engine enlargement. The Juno was discontinued by year-end with only 5,880 produced.

Text from Wikipedia

Read Full Post »


The Achilles factory of Weikert & Company was located in Wilhelmshaven in northwestern  Germany. They produced scooter-like bikes with 147cc and 174cc Sachs two-stroke engines between 1953 ans 1957. These had a four speed gearbox with foot-change gear lever and a neutral selector switch on the handlebars. The chassis had 8 inch wheels, telescopic front forks and swing-arm rear suspension.


Text from Sheldon’s EMU and images from ManxNorton.com

Read Full Post »


Monarscoot was a scooter built by Monarch in Varberg, Sweden, between 1957 and 1969 .

The Monarscoot was designed by Sixten Sason and is one of the moped models that in terms of design distinguished itself at that time. The engine was originally a German ILO with pedals. 1961 the rule that stated that mopeds  must have pedals were  removed, so pedals were no longer a requirement and the Monarscooten got footrest and kickstart. From  1964 on the Monarscoot was equipped wiht Husqvarna engines.


From then on the competitor, Husqvarna, licensed the Monarscoot and marketed it under their own name.

In context:

Sixten Sason was the man who designed the SAAB.

Text from the Swedish Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

Moto Guzzi Motocarro Ercole lovingly called “Il Trattore da Garzone” – The Farmhand’s Tractor has always been a usual sight in the South European countries. And that’s not strange, Moto Guzzi built it with hardly a change for more than 40 years.


From an article in the Swedish magazine “Nostalgia” No 3, 1998

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »


Indian is an American brand of motorcycles originally manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Massachusetts, US, initially known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company but which was renamed the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company in 1928.

The Indian factory team took the first three places in the 1911 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. During the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian’s most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953.

The Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt in 1953. A number of successor organizations have perpetuated the name in subsequent years, with limited success. In 2011 Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles and relocated operations from North Carolina, merging them into existing facilities in Minnesota and Iowa. Since August 2013, three motorcycle models that capitalize on Indian’s traditional styling have been built under the Indian name.

Text from Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »


Model 120, Husqvarna’s top-of-the-range machine during the early/mid-1930s. It is essentially the same as the successor Model 130, the most obvious differences being the right-hand side front brake and gear change lever, which were switched to the left on the 130.

In Context:
The first machine produced by Husqvarna that could be described as a motorcycle was the 1910 model 65. The two cylinder engine was supplied by La-Moto-Rêve and used until 1919. This machine also sported a frame designed exclusively for a motorcycle, as against the modified cycles frames previously used.

Larger capacity motorcycles were introduced (the model 65 had a 350-cc unit, the 70 had a 405-cc example) but it was the 1916 models 145 and 145A that established Husqvarna as a serious motorcycle manufacturer. The 496-cc V-twin proved to be very popular and was also used by the army. In addition, the machine proved competitive in reliability trials and endurance races.

In 1922 a new twin-cylinder 994-cc engine was introduced, the new engine was intended for sidecar use. However a larger 990-cc side valve engine which was used in the model 120 (and proved to be a more popular unit) was manufactured up to 1934.

Competition success continued for Husqvarna in endurance (the International Six Day Trial) and also in road races such as the motorcycle Grand Prix and the TT in the IOM. One of their 500-cc machines finished in third place in the first ever Swedish Grand Prix in 1930, held at the Saxtorp track near Landskrona. However, they went on to win this same event in 1932.

Text from about.com – Image from Beveldrive

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: