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Thread: 1910 Yales motorcycle?

  1. #1
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    Default 1910 Yales motorcycle?

    Just came across this photograph today. I thought it was kind of neat. Post card was post marked 1910 so I figure the bike might be 1910 too. Says Yale on the tank.
    Looking at it the bike has a speedometer, plus shields on the front fork and rear fender plus a luggage rack so maybe it is an earlier Yale. Looks like a tire pump under his leg. Most likely taken near Viroqua, Wis. and mailed to Inverness, Montana.The hills in the background sure like like it was taken near Viroqua. I couldn't locate a Yale registered in Viroqua in the Wisconsin 1912 motorcycle registrations.

    Dick
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  2. #2
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    I thought Yale got that tank in 1913. I tried to buy a 1912 Yale years ago and it had the round torpedo tank, kinda' like an M-M. I love the picture and thank you for putting up.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I thought Yale got that tank in 1913. I tried to buy a 1912 Yale years ago and it had the round torpedo tank, kinda' like an M-M. I love the picture and thank you for putting up.
    Hi Eric, you could very well be right about it being a 1913 model. I was just going on what was written on the post card. I am not at all familiar with Yale motorcycles. If I remember correctly they were built in California?

    Dick

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    Quote Originally Posted by pem View Post
    Hi Eric, you could very well be right about it being a 1913 model. I was just going on what was written on the post card. I am not at all familiar with Yale motorcycles. If I remember correctly they were built in California?

    Dick
    Yale started as the California made by the California Motor Co. of San Francisco, CA in 1902 and 1903. In 1903 the Kirk Mfg. Co. and Snell Cycle Fittings Co., both of Toledo, OH merged into the Consolidated Mfg. co. of Toledo and purchased the California Co. By 1904 Consolidated was making two brands Snell-California and Yale-California. The Snell-California brand was dropped in 1905. From 1906-08 the brand was still Yale-California, but from 1909 through 1915 when production ceased the brand was Yale.
    The bike in the picture looks like 1913 or later. Consolidated Mfg. Co. were located at 1763 Fernwood Ave., in Toledo, OH.

    AFJ
    Last edited by AFJ; 07-18-2015 at 08:42 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5

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    AMCA library has 1911 and 1913 info-You can see tank and motor differences-It is definetly later than '11

  6. #6
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    Now we know. Thanks guys. I knew somebody would have the answers.

    I got bored one day and counted up the different makes of motorcycles registered in Wisconsin in 1909, 1910 and 1911. Registration first started in July 1909 and reg# 1 was on a Merkel. This is by no means accurate as at least 500 registrations were missing plus god only knows how many bikes were never registered.

    There were at least 78 different makes of motorcycles. Most were home build's. 34 were registrations of at least 2 motorcycles. It's amazing how many back yard mechanics were building motorcycles back then. Quite a few were registered using the builders last name. 44 I believe were made in Wisconsin but again most were home builds with numbers registered ranging from 1 to 4. Some names were the "Advance", the "Meator", the "Wausau", the "S.O.S.", the "Pritchard", the "Torpedo", the "Schoofs" and the
    "Shoe".

    Dick

  7. #7
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    I've heard that a fair number of H-D motors were sold as a stand alone unit. Do you agree with that Dick? Also, what other motors would have been used?
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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    Hi Eric, we know that HD sold stand alone motors as there were ads for them and HD has at least one buckboard motor in their museum. The stand alone motors were motorcycle motors or buckboard motors. I have an ad from the 10-01-1905 Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal where HD is advertising motorcycle motors only and they say "available for pacing machines and light buckboards". I don't think they wanted to sell them so other people could make motorcycles out of them. But how were they to stop them? Then again HD's advertising manager in 1910, S. Lacy Crolius, was an original investor in Perry Mack's 1910 Waverley Mfg. Co. so who's to say.

    I have a one of a kind photo that I posted a while ago of a 1912 P.E.M. motorcycle badged and registered as a Comet motorcycle with a completely new and unknown overhead valve motor in it. Some home builts and low production motorcycles had their own motors (I believe) such as Schoofs, Scholler, and Advance. For example one registration looked like this.

    Ernest Amico
    912 West 4th St.
    Merril, Wi.
    Ser #1 3hp
    "Home Assembled"
    by Joe Weigard
    Reg #358 09/17/1909

    Quite a few home builts were registered without any Ser #'s at all. These are usually the makes that only had one motorcycle registered. And other home builts had Ser #'s like 248, 10172, A7810 and 6658 which makes me think they used popular motors from HD, Merkel, Thor or Indian. I'll post an original registration to give you an idea. Dick

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    You have to remember that the early days of the motorcycle industry (and the car industry) was like the early days of Silicone Valley or the computer industry. Dozens... hundreds of folks in their garages. Many of them bicycle mechanics... tinkering their way to motorized transport. No different from Hewlett and Packard or Woz and Jobs...

    Two things winnowed the herd. 1. The Great Depression. The economy would no longer support motorcycles for recreation. 2. The price of the Model T Ford dropping to the point that a car was far cheaper than a motorcycle. Until the Model T, the motorcycle was cheap transport. After the Model T... the only way that motorcycles could compete was as a leisure-activity. A Model T ultimately dropped to $265+-... motorcycles were luxury items as opposed to basic transportation by the early 1920's.

    But to the OP... that postcard is really cool! Is that guy wearing a sombrero? Or a Stetson at an odd angle? Thanks for posting it!!!

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
    Last edited by sirhrmechanic; 07-18-2015 at 07:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    Sirhr, you are absolutely correct. Can you imagine how many home builts and low production motorcycles were built in this country in the early 20th century? Wisconsin was not the only state where there were backyard mechanics. And talk about thinning the herd, cyclecars went the way of many motorcycles too. In 1913 there were dozens and dozens and dozens of cyclecar companies in this country and by 1915 there maybe was a handful left.

    I don't know what kind of hat he was wearing but it had style! Viroqua was in Vernon Co. which was not the richest county in the state and I think he shows that.

    Dick

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