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Thread: 1911 Racycle

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

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    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
    1,103

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    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
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    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    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
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    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
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    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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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Palmerston North, New Zealand
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    Steve,
    If I read it right the last AMCA magazine had a report stating that the Antique Motorcycle Foundation was taking over the Virtual Library and that it was still undecided as to whether or not members will have to pay to access or download from it.
    If its user pays why should I give them something that I've spent a lot of money and years collecting and then have them gain financially from it.
    It's a bit like you giving your VL book away at no charge to whoever wants it.
    If members still had free access to it, downloads included, I would be a lot more receptive to donating downloads from my extensive library collection but until things are a lot more certain I'll just sit on the fence.
    Peter Thomson, a.k.a. Tommo
    A.M.C.A. # 2777
    Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,103

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    Dear Tommo, Jon Radermacher said in the Nov/Dec magazine 'The Foundation will convert the current Virtual Library into a professional grade, searchable archive that will store thousands of scanned copies of historic documents. Downloads of some files will be exclusively available to AMCA members.' I don't think this implies charging, but will check and report back. As he said thousands rather than the existing hundreds of documents, I hope this means a big expansion of our Virtual Library, which I see as a major resource and a feature (like judging) that sets the AMCA apart from other old bike clubs. Don't hold back from donating your rare literature - information is the single most valuable resource when you have a new bike. George Yarocki donated all of his literature collection, that early Harley stuff comes from Bruce Linsday, and we had a major donation of four cylinder literature for scanning before it went up for auction.

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