Tag Archives | Motorcycles

A Brief History Of Harley Davidson Motorcycles

The History of Harley Davidson motorcycles dates back to the early twentieth century, (1903 to be precise) Pioneered by two very talented and dedicated individuals, William Harley and Arthur Davidson.

The earliest motorcycles that were produced by these two men were essentially bikes that were to be used mostly for racing endeavors. This was a strategy to make the brand known by more and more people in the automobile industry. Winning races enabled the company to get the capital that was needed to embark on large scale motorcycle production.

harley davidson

Gradually a stable company was established that produced high performance and good quality bikes for various public institutions and industries all over the United States. In large part this success was attributed to the skill and dedication of the very first employees that were employed by the two pioneers of this beautiful brand.

The racing ventures of these motorcycle production company continued as they went ahead to race in bigger and more influential tournaments. Racing in national tournaments and competitions is one of the major contributing factors to the success of this automobile giant. The crew from Harley-Davidson went ahead to win many races and tournaments over the years and this was just in the early twentieth century before the world wars had kicked off.

The First World War brought about the need to have portable vehicles and automobiles being used to transport soldiers and military personnel in the battle fields. This led to more production of  motorcycles specifically for use by the men and women in the line of fire. These bikes proved to be quite invaluable and very effective in their purpose and this further more contributed to the growth of the brand and enganced its reputation for toughness and reliability..

During this whole period, other motorcycle manufacturers had been gone out of business and in the end two giants emerged in US motorcycle production for public and military use – the Harley Davidson Company and the Indian motorcycle company were the last two competitors who were still standing firmly on their feet during the period before the Second World War.

The Second World War led to more and more production of bikes for the military and service men who were out in the field. Motor bikes could be exported to as far as Germany for this cause and this made the company a worldwide force to reckon with. With just one major domestic competitor, the Harley-Davidson brand had no external pressure to their production activities at all.

After this brief period of war, normal production activities soon resumed and the famous bikes were now accessible to the public once more. This was a good move that saw the faster growth of the company to what it has become today. The production of these bikes continued and the racing activities that had existed there before were taken back and the bikes went on to win many more races in the future.

Like all companies, Harley Davidson has had its ups and downs, but it emergence from the war years guaranteed it an iconic status in American hearts. Today they are seen as quintessential Americana and the brand had evolved from simply a badge on a machine to represent a lifestyle.

Harley Davidson motorcycle merchandise is a huge business and in countries throughout the world owners clubs ensure a healthy social experience for those who embrace the bikes and the brand. When you buy a Harley you are not just getting a bike with the distinctive growl but are entering an established club with a very distinctive identity.

History Of Royal Enfield Motorcycles

Royal Enfield was the name of a company founded in 1893 as Enfield Cycle Company. The now-defunct company was known for its motorcycles, lawnmowers, bicycles and stationary engines. It created many different products during its run, with several models becoming extremely popular. The history of Royal Enfield Motorcycles spans from 1893 to 1971, and is still relevant today as operations continue.

royal enfield

Around 1899, it began producing quadricycles with De Dion engines mounted near the rear. The manufacturer experimented with heavy bicycle frames containing Minerva engines on the front downtube but would eventually build its first motorcycle in 1901. The model contained a 239 cc engine. The year 1907 saw the merging of Alldays and Onions Pneumatic Engineering Company of Alabama and Enfield into Enfield-Allday Automobile. Just three years later, the brand was using different engines and by 1912, released the Model 180 sidecar combination. This was successfully raced during the Isle of Man TT and Brooklands.

During the first World War, the company supplied many motorcycles to the British war department. It also earned a contract with the Imperial Russian Government. It used its V-twin and two-stroke single engines for these bikes. The manufacturer also created a moto sidecar model specifically for the war efforts. This model included a Vickers machine gun. During the 1920s and 1930s, the brand developed new models and launched its debut four-stroke 350 cc single bike. It began to change up the design of some of its bikes, being one of the first companies to utilize bulbous tanks and center-spring girder front forks. Despite the time period of the depression and the loss of sales, it was able to rely on its reserves to maintain its status. One of the business founders, as well as a partner named R W Smith, died in 1931 and 1933, respectively.

The second World War meant that Enfield was recruited by British authorities to manufacture military-style motorcycles. Several of these models were produced, including the most well-known bike that was nicknamed the Flying Flea. This was a 125 cc motorcycle that was lightweight and designed to be dropped by the parachutes containing airborne soldiers and troops. In addition to the motorcycles built for the war, other high-precision products were made during this time and used for war purposes.

Over the years, the products manufactured by the brand continued to improve and grow. Following the war, the business became known for its single cylinder models that were ride-to-work ready and in high demand for those needing every day transportation. Furthermore, numerous military models were also being sold. Rear suspension springing was created in the late 1940s, originally for competition models. Soon enough it was being utilized on several other models and was known for giving a comfortable ride.

The business worked out of its Redditch factory in England until it had closed in the early half of 1967. The last new bicycle by the company was the Revelation small wheeler, which made its debut in 1965. Production of these motorcycles stopped in 1970 and just a year later, the company was completely dissolved. Still, it was in 1965 that Enfield of India began to assemble Bullet motorcycles under a license.

Six years later, in 1962, Enfield of India was building complete bikes. This company bought the rights to use the Royal name in the year 1995. Production, based in Chennai, continues today. This makes Royal the oldest motorcycle brand in the entire world that is still in production with its Bullet model serving as the longest motorcycle production run ever. In May 2013, a new facility for assembly was opened in Oragadam, Chennai.

The brand has a rich history. Although many of the original founders and parties involved with the company are no longer alive or involved, the driving principles behind the workmanship and brand are still present. Many are familiar with this brand, especially its manufacture of high-quality motorcycles. Today, the brand manufactures and sells primarily in India. Still, it exports its goods to Europe, America, Australia and South Africa. There are Royal Enfield drivers all around the globe. The company is, and will continue to, undergo changes in different aspects of design and business. These efforts may be just what the brand needs in order spark new interest in its goods and become a household name again.

To date, some of the most popular products from this company include its Clipper, Crusader, Interceptor, WD/RE, Super Meteor and Bullet models. Some of these are no long produced or widely available as they were during their peaks. Many of these products showcased new innovations or techniques by the company.

Welcome To My Motorcycles Website

Thanks for stopping by the Musuem of Motorcycles website. As you can see this site is currently receiving a bit of a facelift as we get ready for some awesome new content, featuring some of your and my favourite motorbikes.

Whether you are a new rider, an experienced motorcylist, or are simply a non-riding enthusiast you are very welcome here.

I was initially bitten by the motorcycling bug on a trip to India when I first heard the distinctive sound of an old Royal Enfield machine. I didn’t have a license at the time so wasn’t confident in renting or buying one for a trip on the open roads, but a couple of short trips as a passenger convinced me that I wanted one.

Upon my return to the UK I passed my test and found an old Enfield that belonged to an uncle. 3 months of restoration later and I was good to go, turning heads as I drove through my local village with that distinctive sound.

Needless to say, on my next trip to India I bought a similar machine for $800 from an Australian traveller, rode it for three glorious months around the cities, deserts and jungles, then sold it to another traveller for $750. The best 50 bucks I’ve ever spent!

I have to give thanks to my friends Matt and Nikki at MTS motorcycle training school, Sussex who gave me the idea for the website in the first place. I did my lessons with them and love their commitment to their students. Sorry, didn’t mean to embarrass you guys 😉

Please bookmark the site and stop by soon when there will be some exciting bike-related content.

In the meantime to whet your appetite here are a couple of YouTube videos I love.

Classic Motorbike Documentary

A British documentary about classic bikes. This is the first part of three.

Classic Motorcycles Restored In India

What a contrast from our throw-away culture as you see these bikes still on the road 70 years later.