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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    Posts
    927

    Default 1911 Racycle

    The attached Advance Sheet for the 1911 Racycle was recently retrieved by me from a box of papers that were destined for a fire.
    I just happened to be at a chaps place while a major clean-up was taking place and a brown envelope with an American stamp on it caught my eye.
    "Don't you want that" I enquired. "Take it, it's yours" was the reply.
    When I extracted the Racycle leaflet from the envelope there was a very red face on the person concerned and it wasn't from the heat of the fire.
    He just shrugged his shoulders and said "You better keep it, It'll be safer in your hands than in mine"
    Moral of the story is check everything during clean-outs as you never know what may have accidently dropped into that box or bin.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Peter Thomson, a.k.a. Tommo
    A.M.C.A. # 2777
    Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    234

    Default

    That was a close call! Looks to be in amazing shape for a document that age. Nice find.

    Dale

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,711

    Default

    I don't know how I missed this, but sure glad you saved it from the fire Peter. I think the Raycycle is one of the gems from it's era, but got over-shadowed by the Flying Merkel when it moved to Miami Cycle. There were so many excellent motorcycles in that period of time, but Henry Ford's Model T, the inevitable 3 speed transmission, WW 1, and the superiority of Indians, and Harleys made it a hard road for anyone else. If you were a teenager in 1911, and had enough hard earned money saved up, you would probably buy an Indian, or Harley; particularly if there was a dealer in your region. You'd be kind of crazy to buy a Royal Pioneer, Raycycle, Torpedo, or Jefferson if you were out in the middle of nowhere. Sure glad a few people did, and that at least one of each of those rare motorcycles survived.
    Last edited by exeric; 01-08-2018 at 03:43 PM.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #4

    Default

    In 1911 Indian was the largest producer of motorcycles in the U.S.; Excelsior was the second largest and Harley was probably third. The factory built their 10,000th machine in the first part of 1910; Harley didn’t reach that number until a little more than a year later. Harley didn’t surpass the factory until the mid-teens. Also, by late 1911 Excelsior had garnered a reputation as a performance machine, which was further enhanced by the Humiston Comet. In his scrapbooks Clymer commented on being surprised at the performance of a Harley in the mid-teens, as Excelsior were considered the fast machines.

    The Indian-Harley rivalry, or competition, wasn’t really a “thing” until the twenties, really the late twenties. It became more so in the thirties and forties. When we paint an image of a point in history, we often project backwards, depicting situations or circumstances from a later period in earlier one.

    Bob Turek
    #769

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,104

    Default

    Dear Tommo, that Racycle brochure needs to be part of the AMCA Virtual Library. Can anyone out there tell me what's happening on that front? I sent Lake and Rikuo brochures a year ago and haven't seen them in the library yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,711

    Default

    A member informed me that there is no complete, or true Jefferson motorcycle currently known; so I spoke out of turn when I said there was at least one in existence. The Waverly, Jefferson, P.E.M. story is interesting, complicated, mysterious and beyond my scope of knowledge. It would be great to have members post things they know about this obscure marque.

    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,711

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyt View Post
    In 1911 Indian was the largest producer of motorcycles in the U.S.; Excelsior was the second largest and Harley was probably third. The factory built their 10,000th machine in the first part of 1910; Harley didn’t reach that number until a little more than a year later. Harley didn’t surpass the factory until the mid-teens. Also, by late 1911 Excelsior had garnered a reputation as a performance machine, which was further enhanced by the Humiston Comet. In his scrapbooks Clymer commented on being surprised at the performance of a Harley in the mid-teens, as Excelsior were considered the fast machines.

    The Indian-Harley rivalry, or competition, wasn’t really a “thing” until the twenties, really the late twenties. It became more so in the thirties and forties. When we paint an image of a point in history, we often project backwards, depicting situations or circumstances from a later period in earlier one.

    Bob Turek
    #769
    Holy cow! How could I have left out Excelsior from the Big 3? When you look at vintage motorcycle photographs from circa 1910-1916 you can see why Excelsior was such a viable player because there always seems to be an Excelsior in those group photos.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    234

    Default

    I know nothing about the Jefferson marque. In fact I had never heard of them. Just figured they were one of many obscure makes I had never known about. Which is the reason I clicked these pictures. So what would this be if there are no known examples? Now I'm curious.
    Dale

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