Digital Discovery at Bandit’s Cantina finds this ancient gem on two-wheels. A specimen of this ten-seat two-wheeler can be seen in person at Henry Ford Museum.
Introduced to public at Waltham Racetrack in 1897
Digital Discovery at Bandit’s Cantina finds this ancient gem on two-wheels. A specimen of this ten-seat two-wheeler can be seen in person at Henry Ford Museum.
Introduced to public at Waltham Racetrack in 1897
The Duesenberg of Motorcycles
By Steve Klein with images from the Bob T. Collection
The Crocker motorcycle has long been known as “The Holy Grail of Motorcycling” due to its rarity.
It also carries the nomenclature, “The Duesenberg of Motorcycles,” due to its hand built high-quality, and finally “America’s Superbike,” due to its performance. Three titles suggesting strongly that no other machine has reached such a high pinnacle of acclaim.
I know many of you can’t make it out to the Petersen Museum every time they post a motorcycle exhibit, especially with the Covid plague. But is this case one of our longtime contributing photographers lives around the corner.
Marcus Cuff has been a world class tech, feature, antique motorcycle and event photographer for Bikernet and Easyriders, American Iron, Tattoo Magazine and Cycle Source for over three decades.
With Marcus’s help we were able to bring the new Petersen Museum Overland Motoring Exhibit directly to you.
by Michael Horne from https://urbanmilwaukee.com
Schlitz beer may have made Milwaukee famous, but the Cream City’s most famous and widely available product is the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The firm has retailers in 98 countries spanning the globe. So strong is the brand loyalty that the H-D logo is frequently requested by customers at tattoo parlors. The firm’s headquarters remains at 3700 W. Juneau Ave., where the first factory was built in the back yard of the home of William C. Davidson (1846-1923). His sons Walter Davidson, Sr. (1876-1942), William A. Davidson (1870-1937) and Arthur Davidson (1881-1950) founded the firm in 1903 with their neighbor, engineer William S. Harley (1880-1943). Since 1915 the company has set aside one of each model made, storing the machines along with an incredible amount of corporate memorabilia in its warehouses and other facilities. The collection of motorcycles includes the earliest known H-D vehicle, Serial Number One.
Such a burgeoning assemblage begged to be placed in a home of its own, so during the 1990s the firm hired Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum (1946-2014), a UWM professor and poet who styled himself as The Holy Ranger, a character appealing to the motorcycle crowd, becoming a cult figure in his own right. According to his obituary:
Marty was a diehard Harley enthusiast and while working for Harley-Davidson, he was responsible for organizing the archives, motorcycles, and materials that went back to the beginning of the Motor Company. His efforts played a major role in the creation of the current Harley-Davidson Museum.
But where to locate the museum? The company wanted a high-visibility location, so the headquarters was out of the running. There were plans to place it at Schlitz Park, the site of the former brewery, but they fell through. But in the early 2000s, a home was found on 15 acres of land at the eastern end of the Menomonee River Valley, surrounded by canals on three sides, and contaminated by over a century of heavy industrial uses.
A parcel was assembled on land used by the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, Morton Salt Company and Lakeshore Sand Company at 125 N. 6th St. The huge property was bisected by W. Canal St., and located between the two spans of the cable-stay bascule bridges of the new 6th St. Viaduct, a dramatic structure that opened to traffic in 2002. It replaced a 1908 viaduct that spanned the entire valley, with a small spur leading below. When engineers from the state proposed a similar design, Mayor John Norquist pushed instead for the current one, which allowed for development of the region to accelerate with ground level access to W. Canal St.
On June 1st, 2006, a groundbreaking ceremony was held, with a distinctly H-D touch. Eschewing the traditional golden shovels, the soil was broken by dirt biker Scott Parker, riding a Hog. Attendees received a small vial of the earth, with a tag attached, commemorating the event. The museum opened to the public on July 12th, 2008, and now ranks as one of the city’s top tourist attractions and event venues. At the time, the city assessor calculated the property’s value at $1,899,100 for the land and $9,000,900 for the improvements, for a total valuation of $10,900,000. Today the land is valued at the same amount, while the improvements are assessed at $10,120,600 for a total of $12,019,700.
It will soon be time for the assessor to pay another visit to the property, as a second groundbreaking was held on Thursday, July 15th, as Jeramey Jannene noted in his story for Urban Milwaukee. Once again, a motorcycle replaced the golden shovels. The new 8,200-square-foot “Garage,” is to be an event facility and replace a seasonal tent on the grounds, and will certainly increase the value of the property.
The Site in History
“Milwaukee” is sometimes translated from the Native American “Milioke” as “Gathering Place by the Water.” The Menomonee River flowed lazily to its confluence with the Milwaukee and Kinnickinnic rivers, rimmed by native plants and wild game, with abundant marshes of wild rice (“Menomin”) to provide grain. The Potawatomi tribe occupied the land by the 1700s. Other tribes to gather here at various times included the Ojibwa, Fox, Menominee, Ottawa, Sauk and Winnebago. They were displaced by white settlers in 1835. By 1850 the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad ran from the valley five miles west to Wauwatosa, ultimately reaching the Big Muddy at Prairie du Chien in 1857.
Byron Kilbourn, the founder of the railroad, intended it to bring the bounty of Wisconsin’s farms and forests to Milwaukee’s port. As early as 1861, Milwaukee’s port led the world in the shipment of wheat, exporting as much in a day as Edward D. Holton did in a year, when he sent the first load by ship in 1842. As traffic grew, port improvements were called for, and by 1869 the valley floor was raised 21 feet, while the bluffs to the north were lowered as much as 60 feet. The river was channelized, and the site for the Harley Museum was for a period of time an island, with the since-filled-in Holton’s Canal to its west, along with the extant North and South Menomonee canals. Bagnall’s Slip, also since filled in, ran east-west on the middle of the site, now the middle of the museum.
For over a century, the four-mile long and half-mile wide valley became the polluted heart of “The Machine Shop of the World,” with hundreds of factories employing thousands of residents in a panoply of 19th century industrial jobs.
Here, at the northeast corner of the valley, where we now find the museum, were located a number of enterprises typical of the time. One of them has a family connection to its current use.
J. S. Davidson’s “Shoddy Mill”
The Sanborn Atlas of 1894 shows a number of heavy industrial uses on the site. J. Gross & Sons and the Wisconsin Fuel Co. stored mountains of coal on the site, while the Milwaukee Lumber Company, Steinman Lumber Co. and Moe and Bentley did the same with the enormous volume of logs transported from the interior of the state. J. Rademacher did them one better, dealing in coal and wood. A. C. Beck planed the lumber at its mill, while Mueller & Sons converted scraps into boxes, with the entire third floor of its factory devoted to the manufacture of cigar boxes.
The map also mentions the “Shoddy Mill” of J. S. Davidson. This was not to disparage the property of Mr. Davidson, but to describe it for fire insurance purposes. A “Shoddy Mill” is used to convert waste fabric scraps into an inferior type of cloth, often used to stuff mattresses. Many of this city’s industrial recycling firms began with an early family member buying rags and transporting them to the mill. Upon such humble beginnings are great fortunes made.
The mill’s owner, John S. Davidson (1849-1907) was the younger brother of William C. Davidson, whose three sons and William Harley were to found the motorcycle company in 1903.
By 1910 we find a new viaduct rising 22 feet above the site, with a U-shaped approach leading to the docks of the Western Line and Cement Co., organized by Orren Robertson, the son-in-law of Edward D. Holton, whose canal was right around the corner from the cement warehouse. Bentley and Company’s lumber piles averaged 12-feet to 15-feet high. Davidson’s shoddy mill was gone, with the adjacent Gross coal piles expanding to that site, at more than twice the height of their woody counterparts.
As the decades rolled on, the entire valley fell into a general disuse, with only a few firms remaining by midcentury. These tended to be rather disagreeable affairs like stockyards, slaughterhouses, and the Milwaukee Tallow Company, whose malodorous emanations were familiar to nearby residents and County Stadium visitors on humid summer nights, and much remarked upon. The Stockyard Bar and Feedlot Restaurant lasted until the late 1980’s, located right in the middle of the mess and popular with those who used knives at work, and occasionally for mischief, as a scarred bartender who worked at the establishment made abundantly clear.
The Site Today
By 1999 the Menomonee Valley Partners was incorporated to help redevelop the area, including the Harley site, raised yet another five feet to contain the contaminated soil beneath. The sheds of the city were torn down, as the factories preceding it had been decades before. HGA designed the brick-clad structure, which was once again surrounded by native plants and trails. The Menomonee Valley Partners also is now spearheading the reclamation of the stagnant and polluted Burnham Canal to the south. The valley has also drawn a number of modern factories, sandwiched between American Family Field, the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel and the Harley-Davidson Museum — three of the area’s principal attractions, which have returned the valley to its historic role as the “Gathering Place by the Water.”
Charlie’s Golden Pan To Benefit The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum
We are less than thirty days out from one lucky person winning the Golden Panhead that is being raffled to benefit the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.
Tickets are being sold, but it is somewhat slow going. It would be wonderful if each you would help promote this. I know Charlie would be honored to see his legacy go towards the motorcycle community.
The direct link to the raffle is here : https://rafflecreator.com/pages/49273/charlies-golden-pan-to-benefit-the-sturgis-motorcycle-museum
Thank you in advance!
From Cycle Source Magazine
In Charlie’s memory, and in the spirit of the great thing he liked to call Motorsickilism, this incredible handcrafted 1961 Panhead Chopper is being raffled for $20 per chance or 6 opportunities for $100.
On Friday, August 13, 2021, one lucky winner will be selected randomly through a third-party source to be the caretaker of Charlie’s legacy. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum in Charlie’s honor.
It is the perfect way to end this story, maybe the only one that makes sense in the wake of such a tragic loss. Help put Charlie into the history books for one last great accomplishment.
July 4th weekend we’re celebrating our 19th Anniversary. Celebrate With Us.
Join Us in Celebrating 19 Years.
This July 4th weekend, we’re celebrating our 19th Anniversary! Join us as we fire up some of the rarest motorcycles and machines in the world, including the newest additions to Wheels Through Time, the 1912 Harley-Davidson Twin, the 1922 Harley-powered cyclecar, and the world’s fastest Model A, all while continuing to share the history of the American Motorcycle.
We’re also proud to announce the American Motor Drome Company: Wall of Death Thrillshow will be joining us all weekend long. The Wall of Death is a vintage live-action thrill show featuring a motor drome, a silo-shaped wooden cylinder 30 feet in diameter. Inside the drome, motorcycle daredevils travel along the vertical wall performing trick, fancy, and acrobatic riding.
Our anniversary weekend will be July 1st- July 5th, 10 am – 5 pm
by Felicity Donohoe from https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk
Grampian Transport Museum (GTM) finally welcomes the dream machine Triumph Hurricane to the floor as Mike Ward finishes up his final year as curator.
After 37 years at the helm of GTM, motorcycle lover Mike Ward made sure to see out his last season before retirement with a rare Triumph Hurricane gracing the display alongside the other classic bikes – including an even rarer Triumph Bandit.
Mike said: “With 2021 being my last season at GTM, I was determined to have a Hurricane in this year’s exhibition.
“They are extremely rare, very valuable and much sought-after, but they’re not being used on the roads and to find one was difficult.”
The Hurricane will sit with the dedicated British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (BMCT) display for just this season.
GTM is open Thursday-Tuesday with plans to resume seven day weeks in summer, tel: 01975 562292. To book tickets go to gtm.org.uk
Mike employed the help of the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club, before Scottish-based club member David Currie, from Irvine, rode to the rescue and offered to loan his rare motorcycle to the museum.
Mike’s love affair with Triumph motorcycles began in the early 70s when he was at Lincoln College of Art studying museum conservatorship. As an 18-year-old student, he was the proud owner of a 350cc Triumph 3TA “café racer” complete with clip-on handlebars.
BSA / Triumph had just swept to success with their 750cc triple production bikes, the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3, with the most famous Trident, “Slippery Sam” – so called after springing major oil leaks in an early race – winning five consecutive production 750cc class TT races at the Isle of Man from 1971-75.
The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was made by Triumph Engineering and BSA (both part of the Birmingham Small Arms Company) from 1968-75. The high-performance bike was technically advanced, bringing a fresh face to street bikes and marking the start of the superbikes era.
Mike said: “That was the golden era of the Triumph Triple just ahead of the Japanese multi-cylinder tsunami which swept the British motorcycle industry aside. Every young enthusiast coveted one, and as soon as I graduated and found employment in 1976, I remember rushing out with my first pay cheque and buying one of the last Triumph Trident T160’s – a dream come true!”
However, with Japanese superbikes hot on their heels, BSA decided a revamp was on the cards. The company sent one of their Rockets over to American fairing creator Craig Vetter to boost the showroom appeal of their Triples.
Vetter employed a sweeping fibreglass combined fuel tank/seat and extended front forks giving it the now-vintage “Easy Rider” look. With its stunning paint job and outlandish triple exhaust, the bike stood head and shoulders above the standard BSA range and, winning popular public appeal, the X75 Hurricane was badged as a Triumph motorcycle.
Norton Villiers Triumph (1973-78) was liquidated in 1978 and in the end only 1,172 Hurricanes were built. Since then, the Hurricane has remained a rarity and one of Britain’s most exciting motorcycles of the 1970’s.
“The Triumph Hurricane has such an amazing story attached to it, said Mike. “It’s a really colourful and cheerful machine – and everyone needs cheering up just now, don’t they?”
Laconia Motorcycle Week® Welcoming Press Conference Thursday, June 10, 2021 at North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 922 NH Route 106, Loudon, NH 03397.
The 98th Anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week® begins Saturday, June 12th, 2021 and the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association invites all media personnel to help us kick-off this year’s Rally at the Welcoming Press Conference hosted by North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 10th from 11:00AM to Noon.
Cynthia Makris, President of the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association, will moderate. Scheduled to appear are:
Media inquiries and to RSVP, please Contact Jennifer Anderson – 603-387-6628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Rally Press Conferences for Laconia Motorcycle Week® will occur at the Naswa Resort (1086 Weirs Boulevard) from Monday June 14th through Friday June 18th at 9AM.
Reopening, new exhibits, installations, programs, events and more
As a part of the Harley-Davidson Museum’s phased reopening, the H-D Museum will soon expand its hours of operation. Beginning Thursday, May 6, the H-D Museum and The Shop will be open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant will also have expanded operations on Thursdays, with its hours of operation 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
And with a new installation arriving May 14, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the expanded hours. “The Harley Fox” bike will be on view in the Custom Culture gallery. This display showcases the explosive growth of women’s riding in the 1980s and draws a direct line from those efforts to the riders of today.
But don’t fret. Even if a trip to the H-D Museum isn’t in your plans just yet, our Virtual Gallery Talks, taking place Thursday evenings, aren’t going anywhere. This month, topics will include Harley-Davidson’s humble beginnings, the role H-D has played in U.S. military efforts and more.
The Summer Sale
The International Classic MotorCycle Show (Three-Day Auction)
2 – 4 Jul 2021
Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
1940S RACING MOTORCYCLE LEADS SUMMER STAFFORD SALE
An ultra-rare example of arguably the ‘Holy Grail’ of classic racing motorcycles – a 1940s AJS 497cc E90 ‘Porcupine’ Grand Prix racing motorcycle, previously owned by post-war AJS works rider Ted Frend, is being offered for the first time at auction in the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale on 2 July. It has an estimate of £250,000 – 300,000.
The E90’s reputation was made as the first motorcycle to win the 500cc World Championship in the series’ debut year of 1949, carrying Frend’s fellow works rider Les Graham to his (and AJS’s) first and only world title. Dubbed the Porcupine by the era’s motorcycle press due to its distinctive spiked ‘head’ finning, the E90 remains the sole twin-cylinder machine to have won world motorcycling’s flagship series.
Just a handful of E90s were built by the British firm, purely for its works team. Ted Frend who had tasted earlier success earning a gold star at Brooklands having lapped its outer circuit at over 100mph on his Vincent-HRD Rapide, was signed up by AJS in 1947, thanks to a 4th place finish in that year’s Isle of Man TT. He was the first rider to win on the Porcupine at the 1947 Hutchinson 100 race.
Development on the E90 continued over the next couple of years, while the motorcycle picked up 18 world speed records and a number of podium finishes before reaching its 1949 zenith. Graham won two of the six championship races, the Swiss and Ulster Grand Prix, securing the rider’s trophy, while teammate Bill Doran rode to victory in Belgium to ensure AJS’ manufacturer’s title.
Despite its successes, the E90 was plagued by various problems concerning carburetion and its magneto – a magneto shaft failure caused Graham to retire from the 1949 Isle of Man Senior TT, which he was leading, two minutes from the finish. In 1952, its successor, the E95, was introduced, with a revised engine and new frame. Although the spikes disappeared the Porcupine name stuck. The E95 had a dream debut, with a one-two finish in the season-opening Swiss Grand Prix.
Between 1949 and 1954, the Porcupine, in E90 and E95 guise, finished 24 races, securing five wins, seven 2nd places and one World Championship. Ted commented that ‘for its day, the Porcupine had lots of potential, but its development did not keep pace with the opposition.’ In total, only four complete E90 and four E95 motorcycles were produced, along with an unknown number of spare engines.
Ted Frend, who left the AJS team in 1950, also finished his racing career in 1954 to concentrate on his sheet metal business. He maintained that the Porcupine’s glory year was 1949, not just for its World Championship win, but also for holding its own against the more powerful rival Gileras and early MV motorcycles. He said: “At Spa, I managed third place, splitting the Gileras. Masetti, Pagani [Gilera riders] and I were the first to average over 100mph for a full Grand Prix.”
The motorcycle offered was found as a collection of parts in the estate of Ted Frend when he died in 2006. It was his friend and neighbour Ken Senior who acquired the Porcupine and other motorcycle-related possessions from the executors, including Ted’s TT trophies, also offered in the Summer Stafford Sale. Senior oversaw the Porcupine’s rebuild, with missing parts custom made.
Ben Walker, International Department Director, Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles, said: “We have only seen two other examples offered for sale publicly, both of which Bonhams sold for world record prices at the time. With the few known examples being in the world-famous Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum or in the possession of private collectors, this is an extremely exciting, once in a generation opportunity to buy a much coveted and sought-after machine.”
The Porcupine leads the Ken Senior Collection of 90 plus motorcycles to be offered on Friday 2 July, at the three-day Summer Stafford Sale. This just a quarter of the near 400-strong collection of ‘everyman’ classics that Ken Senior amassed in his lifetime.
The Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale makes a welcome return to the International Classic MotorCycle Show, and will offer in excess of 650 lots, comprising important collectors’ motorcycles, important early bicycles, spares and memorabilia over three days from 2 to 4 July.
Friday 2 July The Ken Senior Collection and other important one owner collections
Saturday 3 July Bicycles, Spares and Memorabilia
Sunday 4 July Collectors’ Motorcycles
09:00 – 1700 Friday through Sunday
Other highlights include:
1940 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP, estimate £60,000 – 75,000
The very last Brough Superior 11-50HP to have left the Nottingham factory, offered from long term ownership (having been repatriated with its original owner from new), the 1940 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP is to be sold Without Reserve.
The Ron Cody Collection
Well-known in MV Agusta club circles, the late Ron Cody, a former sports car racer and engineer, turned to his passion for building up and restoring his collection of Italian machines as a retirement hobby. This collection offers 48 motorcycles, including many examples of MV Agustas, as well as other Italian marques.
A Significant Norton Collection
More than 10 pre-War marvels are offered from the stable of a lifelong Norton dedicated collector. The collection also includes more than 150 lots of mostly Norton pre-war spares: from engines and gearboxes to pie-crust tanks.
The sale will be a traditional live auction, welcoming bidders back into the saleroom in addition to enhanced online bidding features rolled out throughout 2020, a record year for attracting £7.6 million in motorcycle sales alone.
The sale will also be streamed and available on the Bonhams App, which provides registered bidders the opportunity to bid in real time online via Bonhams.com while watching the auctioneer and videos of motorcycles on offer. Absentee and telephone bids are also encouraged.
Visit www.bonhams.com/summersale to preview the lots on offer. The full lot listing will be published in early June.