Motorcycles Break Out After 25 Years Behind The Bars

By Hap Jameson

Oh, let’s run this thing!

Sure, we’ve got to pedal it, push and jump on or coast down a hill to start the motor. Our clutch may work, but it probably won’t.

Isn’t she sweet? The combined engineering effort of 1910 motorcycle factories. Fast! Why, she will speed up to 45 miles per hour or better. And our roads are dusty and not made for speed anyway. That hill we are coming to? Let’s turn ‘er on full and we can “pedal” up the finish. Be sure to use that hand oil gun for this job has oil appetitis. And what do we care if she breaks down because we can “pedal” her home. Boys, the above picture is not far off color and back in 1910 we paid as high as $285 to $325 for the above dream. These old crocks were fairly serviceable because they couldn’t go fast enough to do much damage. But when we did drive them at top speed, we paid dearly for that pleasure, if it could be called that.

Following 1910 the “improvements” were many. We had three speeds, footboards, electric lighting systems, and saddle positions were getting under 28 inches. Foot brakes, aluminum pistons, improved cylinder head design, Ricardo head, interchangeable wheels, front wheel brake and so on appeared in the next 15 years. Just think of a 1915 twin cataloged to rate 15 H.P.! Today you can throttle grip over 30 H.P. and real ones too in most any one of the twins on the market. Why, a little 21”Single would run rings around any of those old Twins made before 1920.

Miles of ribbon-like roads to all points of the compass reduce our U.S.A. to a small piece of geography. Our times call for a motorcycle that is abreast of the automotive field. And, fellows, we have the most beautiful motorcycles of all times. Our design is pleasing to the eye and so made to give us the greatest possible comfort, ease of control and safety for we wheel at high speeds these days. Our motors are really masterpieces of mechanical engineering. We may ride many thousands of miles without ever having to open up the crankcase. We find the most advanced engineering in our present day machine. Pistons of aluminum which do not require .015” clearance. We mean the T-slots. Mechanical oiling systems so perfect, it is needless to use a hand pump. Muffling systems that take the edge off the “bark” without “gassing” the horsepower. Amply large brakes that work and keep on working without constant attention-rain or shine. Carburetors made to convert the stuff they call gasoline into real economical horsepower. As to the refinements in the 1935 models, we have made real advancement. And we have retained some of the best ideas and designs of the past few years’ practice. Take tires, for instance, 18x4.00 or larger on drop center rims and spoked in keeping with the rest of the design. Look at the method of transmission we now use. It is surely above criticism because we can wheel thousands of care-free miles and the chains can take it. Not like the days when a thousand miles meant a front chain adjustment and probably a new front chain and sprocket. Examine such minor details as the controls on the new machines. Here you will find controls encased and protected from the weather so that they will work.

By Hap Jameson
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