From the Library of Congress (and other links of interest)

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f11at125

Guest
I was a little disappointed that a search for "motorized bicycle" only turned up three images in the Library of Congress, but one of them is quite nice: http://memory.loc.gov/ndlpcoop/ichicdn/s0048/s004844.jpg

CREATED/PUBLISHED
1906.

SUMMARY
Portrait of Priest, motorcyclist, standing next to a Merkel, an early motorcycle or motorized bicycle, on a street in Chicago, Illinois.

NOTES
This photonegative taken by a Chicago Daily News photographer may have been published in the newspaper.
 

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A

antique-rider

Guest
WOW great pic, very typical of the era. A Merkel before they called it Flying Merkel. note the half front fender, direct drive belt, no clutch just a constant belt tensioner.
 
F

f11at125

Guest
There might have been a coaster on the rear, but definately nothing up front (save for the audible and Irish-accented "Sweet Fancy Mother of Moses" exclamation prayer-braking system).
 
A

antique-rider

Guest
Yup, coaster brake in the rear only. you mainly use the compression release to start and stop. Remember this is 1906, no traffic, no stop signs, you just got on your bike and rode non-stop to your destination, at about 15-20 mph avoiding chickens, dogs, and horses. This direct drive method was used for a long time, even after everyone else had clutches and three speed transmssions a light weight motorcycle named Servi-cycle had no clutch from 1935 to 1940 or so.
 
G

gone_fishin

Guest
i found this repro of a 1906 advertisement while i was researching the popularity of motoredbikes in europe.

i didn't want to lose it & knew it would sorta fit in here, plus i figured a few of you might be glad to see it: http://www.sportsposterwarehouse.com/warehouse/terrotmotor02cl.htm

same search gave me this, so...: http://www.ozebook.com/azm/mich.htm

this could be a good thread...just a collection of links to heritage sites and articles of interest. if you find anything worth talking about, but not worth a new topic, post it here... :cool:
 
D

DougC

Guest
....I like the front brake. I bet that could get squirrely slowing down from 40.

That's called a spoon brake.
They're famous for not working well when cold, and not working at all when hot or wet.

A lot of later ones on third-world bikes are very big, so that they can absorb more heat--but many early (pre-1900) ones were made very small. They'd heat up rapidly and then the friction they could generate dropped to almost nothing.
~
 
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