Motorcycles Of Days Gone
I have always loved motorcycles. The older the better in my opinion.
The United States at one time, had its share of motorcycle manufacturers. Many of them are now long gone.
Many other countries had motorcycle manufacturers too, but in this hub I am staying American made.
These are past motorbike makers with pictures of some of the bikes they made. How I would love to own some of these.
Scroll down and dream with me.
If you do ride or own an antique bike such as any of these, tell us. There is a comment section at the end.
In 1919 William G. Henderson started the Ace Motor Corporation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ace motorcycles were 4 cylinder motorcycles and were built for speed.
They were made from 1920-1927 and the company was purchased by the Indian Motorcycle company.
Starting in 1932, the Crocker motorcycle Company produced 1 cylinder racing motorcycles in Los Angeles, California. In 1936 they started producing V-Twin motorcycles that easily "handle" any Harley or Indian made. Production stopped in 1942 because of the war and Al Crocker didn't receive a military contract as did Harley and Indian.
A Crocker motorcycle will bring a mint now days.
I sure wouldn't mind having one.
They are known to sell for $200,000+ at auctions.
Cushman was started in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1903. In 1936 the Cushman company started making motorized scooters. They made them with as much as 9 horsepower.
These scooters were made until 1965 and were used by the military for many reasons.
Cushman sold out to Textron and is now based in Augusta, Georgia.
Excelsior Motor Manufacturing started in 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1912 it was purchased by Arnold, Schwinn and Company, the makers of Schwinn bicycles.
Excelsior made motorcycles up until 1931 when the Great Depression forced them to cease operations.
Excelsior was a close third behind Harley and Indian up until 1931. They made a V-Twin motor also.
Their best know motorcycle was the Super-X model of 1925. That bike forced Indian to introduce a bigger Scout model.
Henderson made some of the fastest motorcycles of its day.
Henderson Motorcycle Company produced bikes from 1912-1931. They were made in Detroit, Michigan until 1917 when just like Excelsior, they sold out to Schwinn.
Henderson, under Schwinn's control kept manufacturing these 4 cylinder speed machines until 1931 when the Great Depression drove them out.
Many police officers loved these motorcycles.
The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company produced top of the line motorcycles from 1901-1953. They were headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts.
How I would love to own just one Indian motorcycle.
Indians had two models that were huge sellers. The Scout made from 1920-1946 and the Chief made from 1922-1953.
Indian ended up filing bankruptcy and closing it's doors in 1953.
There has been a company that has started remaking Indians since 2006. They are doing that in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Iver Johnson was a company that was much better known for firearms more than anything else. It was a rifle they manufactured that shot and killed John F. Kennedy.
Iver Johnson also made bicycles and motorcycles. They were in business from 1871-1993.
The Iver Johnson motorcycles were only made from 1907-1915.
Anyone who owns an Iver Johnson motorcycle has a fortune in their garage. They are quite collectible.
Wanna buy me a nice present? An Iver Johnson would be perfect!
The Mustang was a miniature motorcycle that was manufactured in Glendale, California. It was made by John Gladden from 1945-1963.
Mustangs are highly sought as collector items.
They were built with a small 320 cc engine on a very rugged small frame.
It is claimed that a Mustang could climb a vertical wall. They were very powerful.
The Yankee Motor Company started by John Taylor in the 1970's produced these motorcycles for a short time.
It ran on an air cooled two stroke engine. It was nearly 500 cc capacity.
The Yankee plant was in Schenectady, New York.
Motorcycles have there place in United States history.
With fuel prices going up, I think we will see an even bigger surge of motorcyclists.
Many of these bikes I have shown here are very, very collectible.
If you happen upon one in the back shed somewhere, don't throw parts away.
Parts alone for many of these will sell quite high at auction.
I must say, if you ride, be smart; a helmet is for your safety. Having your headlight on at all times makes good sense as many automobile drivers don't watch for bike riders.
Be safe and ride smart!
© G.L. Boudonck
© 2011 Greg Boudonck
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