Category Archives: Motorcycle photos
Although winter might still be a few weeks away on the calendar, we just got our first measurable snow of the season here at The Old Motor. Motorcycle enthusiasts in the northern latitudes have long sought ways to enjoy their machines during the winter months and while J. Armand Bombardier may lay claim to the first commercially successful small snowmobile, the company’s 1959 Ski-doo was preceded by a long line of ingenious tinkerers who often used contemporary motorcycles as the basis for their designs. The beautifully crafted Indian-based motorsled above is just one such example.
The very different machine seen above was built by Norwegian-born Sigurd Olsen “Sig” Haugdahl. Haugdahl migrated to the United States in 1910 settling in Albert Lea, Minnesota and started his racing career on a 70 mile per hour Indian powered ice-cycle in 1912. Soon after, he switched to racing motorcycles but is perhaps best remembered today for his Wisconsin Special in which he hit 180 miles per hour on the sands of Daytona Beach in 1922. You can also find more early motorsleds here on The Old Motor. Our top photo courtesy of the Indian Museum of Australia. Photo below from the Sigurd William Haugdahl Collection courtesy of Bob Lawrence.
The endless creativity of the pioneers of motor transportation and the variety of their creations are what keep things interesting for us here at The Old Motor. It has been our “mission”, so to speak, to bring you interesting images and provide some historical information about them. But every now and then we come across photos of things that are great fun but so far out of the box that we can’t find out much about them. Such is the case today, so we invite you to join in with any information you might have about these unconventional machines.
To our eyes, the most practical of this group is the motorcycle/canoe combination in the our top photo. The starboard placement of the bike makes us think that it’s probably from the U.K., but as to the make, please tell us. The SIMO trike in our first thumbnail is a complete mystery to us. The caption on the second photo said that it’s The Grand Duke Alexis of Russia’s landau being drawn by a Heilmann electric tractor, c.1898.
If that’s correct, it makes us wonder if it’s the same Heilmann responsible for these unusual machines. And it seems that the curious 1926 Peugeot boat-car in our last image was not amphibious but was designed to promote the company’s newly formed marine engine division, Peugeot Maritime. You’ll find more uncommon subjects covered on The Old Motor. Today’s photos courtesy of the Yacht club des Avions de la Route.
We’re sure that sitting in traffic on a modern highway during rush hour has given rise to many thoughts of solutions to the seemingly endless problem. We offer these as humorous possible ways out.
The motorcycle in our top photo looks like a 1911 Indian. One source identifies the bi-plane as a Wright-Martin Model “R” owned by Eleuthere Paul du Pont, scion of the wealthy E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company empire. The founder of DuPont Motors was an aircraft, automobile and motorcycle enthusiast who became president of the Indian Motorcycle Company in 1929. Taking a motorcycle along for the ride in this fashion seems like a sensible idea for traveling from a remote country airfield into town. Photo via Isabelle Bracquemond.
The motorized roller skate is a somewhat less practical device. Like the monowheel, it’s one of those wonderfully wacky ideas that just won’t go away. Below we see a very intensely focused Monsiuer H. Mercier photographed in 1912 demonstrating his v-twin powered version of the perennial favorite. It’s one of the earliest incarnations of the invention that we were able to find although fellow Parisian Alphonso Constantini’s design predates him by six years. You’ll find other aircraft related posts on The Old Motor and well as many more devoted to two and three wheeled transport. Photo via Vintage-Point.