The Barnstormers library has slowly been amassing some more photographs of early motorcycling in New Zealand and it is about time to do something with them. We have arranged a selection of interesting machines and riders, in a few the quality is not what a lot of people would expect however some are over 100 years old and the messages shared with some of them, or the detail held within makes them well worth putting up on the site.
One of the earliest photographs advertised as “a boy on a pushbike with a motor”. The make is unknown but the condition of the motorcycle would indicate that it is not very old which could date it as pre 1910. The photo was purchased from a dealer in Dunedin. And the caption from the younger rider – well that would have to be “I wish I was bigger!”
An interesting photograph from photographer FB Hought, Christchurch. Possibly a combined dealer advertising venture on the enjoyment of motorcycling as the machines have their makes advertised on the front mudguard instead of their registration number. Dates from around 1910.
A genuine photo postcard from Blenheim dated 1915. Photo postcards were personal photographs made into post cards that you could send to your friends. And these gentlemen believed that the world should know how proud they were on their machines. Suits were the order of the day as riding attire. Motorcycles are (from left) Rudge Multi, unknown, and a 4hp Douglas.
Another photo postcard, this one still has the message on the back, though hard to read and not of motorcycling interest. Once again suits are the riding norm and Raymond and Clarence do look smart. Don’t recognise the registration prefix.
An original photograph with the caption on the back “taken at Motokarara about 23 miles from Christchurch, where 300 of us motored. Getting ready for the motorcycle and sidecar race”. Photo is about 1915 and the 300 seems rather excessive but it is clearly visible. Would have had to been a very special event indeed.
These are of Ted, his bike (an AJS) and possibly Teds wife and child in what looks like their Sunday best. No place given.
Two photographs from the same family perhaps? Good shots of a well used pre 1925 Harley Davidson and sidecar taken around the early 1930s. Interestingly this motorcycle has been fitted with acetylene lights, most Harley Davidsons sold were fitted with electric lights.
And for something different – an Indian and sidecar with electric lighting. A rural setting with the rider wearing his vest and shirt sleeves rolled up. Junior is probably sitting on the tweed jacket in the sidecar.
A riderless loop frame Harley Davidson. The unusual aspect of this photograph is that the motorcycle is fitted with disc wheels, seldom seen but really easy to keep clean. Sidecar is fitted with an all weather hood so the rider must have thought a lot of his passengers comfort. The registration prefix TBC belongs to Timaru Borough Council.
Purchased from Blenheim of a proud rider and his late 1920s BSA sloper.