Two-seat Henderson - passenger in FRONT

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by DougC, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. DougC

    DougC New Member

    Dunno if anyone posted this before, might be a repeat........

    I was browsing for something else when this picture of a Henderson motorcycle turned up.

    This image-

    Which appears about 1/3 down on this page-

    Something about this motorcycle is VERY unusual--I noticed that the handlebars, shifter and pedals (at the front of the footboard) are placed properly for the driver,,,, sitting in the rear seat. You could not reach the pedals or the shift lever from the front seat..... and you need to reach them, to drive the thing. So the driver did not sit in front....

    ,,,and there are small footpegs hanging off the fork, for the FRONT passenger to put their feet on, that the single-seater motorcycles didn't have. Also note the black 'handgrips' on the handlebar crossbar.

    I can't comment on the safety aspect much, but I can sure bet you don't see them like this anymore.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011

  2. Mr.B.

    Mr.B. Member

    Yep, That’s pretty wild!

    Though early era tandem bicycles were always designed with a step through in front (woman’s seating) and the steering done in back (fork connected to the rear handlebars with rods).

    Perhaps this concept evolved from that?

    Looks like there is a extra set of small inboard hand grips and a skirt guard on the front fender...

    Thanks for sharing!

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  3. Chris Crew

    Chris Crew Member

    Cool. Take a look at the blog---check the position of the squeeze bulb horn on the '24 Norton and then look at the utube of the old Indian---throttle on the left.
  4. Chris Crew

    Chris Crew Member

    check the newer post "old bikes, cycles and mopeds at auction"
    you could be the proud owner of the henderson tandem
  5. DougC

    DougC New Member

    Okay, this is totally not related to motorbikes, but ........ They did it with cars, too.

    Back in the days (~1900-1920) when electric cars were still competitive with gas engined cars, one advantage that the electrics had was far fewer controls.

    A gas-engine car would have
    1) a steering control (wheel or lever),
    2) an idle-speed control lever,
    3) a throttle (gas pedal),
    4) a spark advance lever,
    5) a shift lever (most had at least two speeds)
    6) a clutch pedal and
    7) a brake pedal.

    An electric car needed only
    1) a steering control and
    2) a throttle.
    Most also had a drive setup with a "freewheel" so they could coast down hills, so they also had
    3) a brake pedal.

    Electric car builders took advantage of this simplicity and built cars that had dual controls, in both the front and rear left-side seats, so that the occupants could arrange themselves as they pleased.

    Here is an ad from 1913, showing the interior of a dual-control car-

    More pics and a period article at this link-