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Thread: White Grips- 1916 J

  1. #11
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    Sep 2007
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    Jersey City
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    I was under the impression that rubber was white to start with?

  2. #12

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    It is before it's vulcanized through the addition of sulfur, heat, etc.
    It's also rather sticky.
    I've often wondered about "gum dipped" tires.
    Were these vucanized (black) tires that were dipped into rubber "gum" to make them sticky for better traction???

  3. #13
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    Reynolds,ND/Queen Valley,AZ
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    I believe rubber was first white. I have no idea, by the way when HD used white or black. I will leave that to you guys. But as far as car tires they were white until shortly after WW1. Actually they were not bright white like the reproductions today, but rather an off white. Sort of a grey tint. They deteriorated rather fast in sunlight. Then they became black with the addition of carbon black. Black tires were more expensive and of course better then white tires. An interesting side note; they developed a middle priced tire, these had black tread and beads but the sides were still white. Thus was born whitewall tires. Funny how they then became a popular "dress up" item in the 30s, becoming more expensive than all black tires. Another interesting side note; on the cheap but reliable Model T Ford, Henry equipped them with the better quality all black tires choosing quality over cheap economy. Ford went to all black tires I believe around 1919 or 1920.

  4. #14
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    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    Goodyear also made the 'Blue Streak' tire which was white, with the center tread being blue. Our past treasurer, Bud Cox had an early Indian factory racer that had original Blue Streak tires. The bike was used in that movie with David Carradine, 'Fast Charlie, etc. etc.' The bike was suppose to be used for authentic background color and not raced, but as Bud said, when he got the bike back, the tires were smooth, and worn out
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    1,112

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    Vulcanizing was from the early 1800s & made rubber tires possible.Carbon black was added to tires in the early teens to make them durable & less sticky.By WW1 tires for cars & motorcycles had carbon black added.A new 1915 HD would have carbon black tires not white.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    I believe that this 1916 factory photo is showing white tires. I could be wrong on the year.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  7. #17
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    Jul 2002
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    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    I was told that this is a 1915. I couldn't say for sure. Dirty whites or?
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    first pic is 1914..second is round tank '16 or later & is color black

  9. #19
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    Sep 2005
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    I can't say when black tires became standard, but white, gray, off-white tires were common into the early 1920s. I had a book that Goodyear published in the 1950s and it went into depth on tire technology starting from the early days. Tires did not get better overnight, and it was a long process of small discoveries, and development. Even today, tire technology is still in process.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  10. #20

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    Good- I think it's established that they could be delivered With white tires- but were there also white floor mats- if rubber technology was still mainly natural rubber I Guess they should be white as well

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