Back in Time.

It has been quite a while since we put up some old photographs of motorcycling, mainly because as the years pass they become harder and harder to find. Some photos have only just survived the ravages of time, but then some of these would be over 100 years, so to have survived at all is surely a miracle.

Two motorcyclists, possibly from the West Coast, on the South Island. The number plate of the motorcycle on the left has a Buller registration. Both machines are fixed belt drive, and the shape of the petrol tanks would indicate around 1910~1912. Anybody out there identify the motorcycles?

A quite badly marked photograph however it has survived 100 years so some might regard it as patina. It is of a 1910s Indian and sidecar with passenger. The registration is from the Dunedin Council and The Kewpie Cash Store is proudly displaying that its owner, F. E. Gratton, was a Returned World War 1 soldier (NZEF is New Zealand Expeditionary Force). Was the rider the owner?

A early Triumph single from late 1910s with free engine belt drive to the rear wheel. There was a clutch plate in the rear hub to engage/disengage the drive by a foot operated pedal on the right hand side of the machine. The rider must have been a keen supporter of enhanced engine performance on the principles of a free flowing exhaust as the exhaust header pipe has been removed from the collector box and is pointing outwards. No doubt to crackle away and sound cool? However I don’t think that this person is the rider and that the photo has been posed. No rider would wear a full length coat that close to the rear wheel drive belt at the risk of it getting caught. Still a great photo though.

These two photographs are from Kevins collection. They are of Louis Taylor, Grove St, Nelson. The first is easily identifiable as an early Indian, the second is of a 1913 Douglas 2 ¾ hp 350cc Model R, WM368 is aWaimea registration (Nelson district). A studio ‘posed for’ photograph the Douglas definitely shows signs of being used.

Douglas motorcycles seem to be the flavour of the month with 2 more images. And both owners seem to like small dogs. Both are the popular 2 ¾ hp 350cc models, with the first a 1922-24 belt drive model, the second is a 1925 Model CW with the new chain drive to the rear wheel.

A well togged up rider on a early 1930s BSA 500 sloper. Clearly a well used motorcycle and even though the photograph is not that detailed one can still read Dunlop Cord Balloon on the front tyre.

A favourite of mine, an early racing photo postcard. Written on the back was “Clive Langmuir on a Harley Davidson. Just one race 15 Pounds Prize Money.” The photograph was taken by Louden Photography, Ward St, in Hamilton and the photo postcard was available at a cost of 6/- per dozen.

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