onsdag 27. oktober 2010

Workshop view

OK, here we go again, breaking rules. This is a blog supposed to forward early photo documentation of the use and abuse of those pre WWII US made cicles we all love and care for. But I love old photos showing periodic workshop interiors hence this photo with no American cicles in it (the car is US Ford A, or not?).

This is a photo filled with details such as periodic advertising, oil cans, toolbench, workers, the lot.

tirsdag 26. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

This young Finnish girl is keen on getting out for an early spring ride with pops early twenties Harley rig.
Seems to be a bit early for wearing a skirt when riding motorcycle, snow still not gone.

mandag 25. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles Norway

Mikkel Stensrud from Bagn used his Exceslsior motorcycle to get around when working as an electrician.

lørdag 23. oktober 2010

"While the engine spins"

Thinking back on what I have experienced and who I have meet trough my 30 years of hunting for old motorcycles or remains of such, some persons come forward as more outstanding than others.
Outstanding in that way, they have lived their life as they have felt suits them selves, not following the path of the general society.

Some 20 years ago me and a friend, into old motorcycles too came to the dead end of a remote gravel road having passed several abandoned farms. An old 18`th century farmhouse rested next to the courtyard (hardly so) where we parked our bikes to have a stretch and maybe a peek in the surrounding areas.
Then this old chap came out of the house which the both of us had believed was resting since long gone residents passed.

He gently said; “I suppose you`re here to rob me, two guys wearing helmets and leathers”.

My friend saying, “that would be robbing you for two cups of coffee”,

Big smiles in three faces followed.

Being invited to the house was like stepping back at least a century but this guy was sharp as a knife. His decision to move from the city to this remote place had been taken many years back to get closer to the nature and to bee free from all the stress of the modern society.
We learned to know he as a young man had spent time hiking the deep forests and mountains of eastern Norway with his hero and mentor, the famous Norwegian author Mikkjel Fønhus (1894-1973). Listening to him telling his stories was really fascinating and when leaving we promised to come back eventually another day to rob him for more coffee.

Time flies and next time when my travels lead me to this remote place I found the old chap had passed and I was never going to learn any more from his stories.

I`ve known for years Mikkjel Fønhus as a young man was a eager motorcyclist as this was mentioned in the NVMC club magazine followed by a photo showing the author astride his bellowed Indian.
When recently looking trough a book “I kveldsøkta” by Mikkjel Fønhus (posthumously) and his daughter Gudbjørg, I found this cool novel describing the feeling of driving your motorcycle “Mens motoren surrer / While the engine spins” written as early as in 1919.
Having spent a short time with google I even found the story translated to English by one Norwegian Indian guru, Jan E. Kristoffersen. His efforts make it possible for you all to read even if not being familiar with the Norwegian language. We owe Jan for this, thumbs up.

Reading this story and looking at the picture of Mikkjel Fønhus and his Indian make me remember the since long passed recluse I once met who told me his personal experiences from hiking with this guy that whose novel you are now about to read;

Another picture of Mikkjel Fønhus riding an Indian;

fredag 22. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles Norway

Ivar Klokkerhaug (1879 - 1929) got himself this neat little Cleveland light weight in 1920 to easier get around at the local roads in eastern Norway.
This is a later type Cleveland as introduced in 1920. In previous years the Cleveland was offered with a more oldfashioned round style fueltank, another frame, handlebars and more.
The two stroke Cleveland was introduced to the market in 1915 and lasted until 1927 (?). Cleveland made the now famous Tornado model, a sporty four cylindered machine as their last attempt to secure their part of the market.

onsdag 20. oktober 2010

Christian Bohnstedt-Petersen

Got a cool picture from Mr. Frank Bohnstedt Petersen living in Copenhagen Denmark. This picture shows his grandfather Christian Bohnstedt Pedersen 1894–1956 on his 1915 Harley having just won the 1915 Skagen rally.

This triggered me to find out some more on Christian Bohnstedt Petersen. By reading a biography written shortly after his death there is a chapter; “From bicycles to assembly lines”. This was truly interesting reading, and I soon learned that Christian was a true hard working business man from young years. Starting his own bicycle hire and repair shop in Copenhagen in 1911 at the young age of 18, this shop soon extended its business to incorporate motorcycles as they had become more popular by the masses.
At the start he would offer some European brands such as Wanderers and Styria and even one Phanomobil, this odd looking two seat side-by-side motorcycle with its two cylinder engine hanging on the front fork.

Business expanding, he soon started a mechanical workshop in addition to the shop where he made his own brand sidecars as well as other nifty items such as a sprung cushioned rear seat, the “Ilford”.

WWI arriving to Europe forced Christian to travel to the US to try to get a motorcycle brand name for himself to import to Denmark. His selected brand became none less than the Militoire ( Militaire) in its time a luxury four cylindered masterpiece which today is the holy grail when talking of US made vintage motorbikes.
Christian arrived back in Denmark with his first Militoire in the early spring of 1917. If he ever sold any Militoirs is unknown, tough the fact that there have ever been such a machine in Scandinavia gives chills in itself.

Shortly after the end of WWI Christian went to the Olympia Hall motorcycle exhibition in London UK where he got the brand name for Dot and The Sun. The first batch of bikes bought at this exhibition where driven back home to Denmark going trough Belgium, Holland and Germany by Christian himself and some of his staff. Shortly after he attended the annual Motorcycle exhibition in Copenhagen with the same bikes as had arrived safely from his recent journey. Good timing and very god advertising on their quality.

In a year Christian had got two more US brands in addition to the Militoire, the Cleveland two stroke and the Reading Standard big twin from Pennsylvania.

Christian was not just a sales man, he did also love the sport of motorcycling and did compete in many reliability runs such as the Skagen rally which he won in 1915 on a Harley.

Note, the sign on the front mudguard advertising for Christians “Ilford” sprung cushioned rear seat.

Here is a cut from Motor Weekly issue 13 in 1915 having a several pages long article on the Skagen rally where Christian participated;

After getting the Reading Standard brand in 1919 he also started competing in speed trials such as the Fanø races held at the beach on the Danish Island Fanø.
These races where incredibly spectacular in its time, being held from 1919 to 1924. Race stars from all over Europe came to these events and at the final event Malcolm Cambell set an unofficial speed record with his car at the beach. This attempt ended tragically when he lost a wheel hitting a young lad in the public who was instantly killed. This in its turn was the end of the Fanø races until recent years when this event have been held as anniversary runs (tough at less speeds).

For the 1921 Fanø race Christian in cooperation with his best mechanic Mr. H.F. Carlsen made their own Reading Standard special racer, where their main goal was beating the Danish baldhead dear devil Walter Scmidt operating a Harley factory 8 valve open port racer.

In attempt to bow Walters neck they shortened the Radings frame, altered the gearbox to a fixed gear (single intermediate shaft run in two bearings) as well as the sidevalve engine was ported and tuned to its outermost.
As they run with open ports Christian got himself some steel legshields for protection at race.
The Fanø races where electrically timed and at the end of the day Christians reading Standard racer was beaten by Walters Harley by 1/5 of a second.

If the above Fanø spectacular was the reason or not is hard to say but Christian got more into the sport of flying who was a new sport at this time, soon getting Denmarks 59`th flight license ever handed out.

In the year to follow Christians business went from motorcycles to cars and making factories for assembling some of the cars that he imported to Denmark. As the car part of his career is what is known it was indeed interesting to learn more about his start with motorcycles.

Frank Bohnstedt-Petersen
Biography Bohnstedt-Petersen AS 1934-1959

More to come on the Fanø races, stay tuned.

tirsdag 19. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

This guy beeing on of many traveling out from Scandinavia to work as a missionary in Africa needed transport to get around. His choise fell on a Harley magneto model wich seems to be a 1917 model due to the nickel plated handlebars.

mandag 18. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

X-776, 1918/19 Harley Davidson 61" (1000cc) magneto model with sidecar. This is one great cap. Strange tough, there are no ligts on the bike. Normally a magneto model would have been equipped with acetylene lights. OK, maybe this guy only rode on sunny days.

søndag 17. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles Norway

V-457 is a Harley previously presented on this blog. The owner working as a teacher did carry his pupils in the previous pic.
In this pic with a friend in the sidecar, both guys seems to be dressed for some special occasion?
There is one strange detail with this bike, there is the original HD acetylene headlamp with an electrical lamp added to the side.
One can just wonder where the generator might be added if this is a magneto model.

American Motorcycles

This is a cool pic from approx 1920 showing a bunch of local motorists ready for a spin, some by car other by cicles.
Bike with reg plate 305 is one great one from Pennsylvania, the Reading Standard. Another seen at the far right. In addition there is what seems to be two Excelsiors and the bike behind 305 is of some unknown European brand.

Reading Standard where the first ones to offer sidevalves on their machines whilst still the IOE (inlet over exshaust)valve configuration was the common.
Periodic Reading Standard advertising;

fredag 15. oktober 2010


OK, I rather post historical images from the Scandinavian motorcycle scene, but there need to be room for exceptions when one stumble across a huge lot of cool pics such as the above.
There is no doubt when reading the look at the faces of the bystanders that this guy is a hero.
Noone should ever wonder what sport created the bobber when looking at this racer.

Follow this link if you want to check out some more cool photos from the fourties;

(copy and paste into your web browser)

American Motorcycles Norway

Came across this real cool image while surfing the www some days ago. Unfortunately as you will see this is an image that is "owned" by a picture company who placed their logo across. OK, there is no way to get this pic for free without the logo (actually there might be eventually) but I share this still as this is to cool to stay hidden in an archive.

Whats cool with this picture? Its because our previous King Olav (then Prince) is passenger in the first sidecar outfit. These smiling young chaps are on their way home after having spent the weekend hunting at the Kings cottage Sikkilsdalen. There are hunting dogs in all three sidecars behind the bike where Olav is passenger.
Picture is taken in 1924. All bikes in the picture are Harley Davidsons from late teens / early twenties.

torsdag 14. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

This is an interesting photo with many details. First of, would you have crossed a lake by a wooden barge with your beloved motorcycle resting on two planks across the gunwale? I would have attached some ropes as a start.

The bike D-105 is a very interesting one, a 1916 or 1917 Harley model C single where the rear cylinder is replaced by a Dixie magneto? This fact is easily seen by the angle of the timing gear cover (pointing upwards).
According to the brilliant site; http://www.techsweb.us/hdvin.html there where only 862 of these tiny 35"`s (500cc) made in 1916 and even less, 605 bikes in 1917.
One can only wonder why the owner decided to order this model rather than a mighty big twin with loads of punch.

onsdag 13. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

Rearwheel issue?
This is one baby Indian lightweight, an odd machine today.
I love those wooden fences along the road, an impressive piece of work rarely seen today.

Vintage style Motorcycle racing jerseys

As a result of my blogspot activities I came in contact with a enthusiastic Frenchman; Fred aka ketchWRMc (yes he is driving a Harley WR at local club races) who is running a small bussiness in providing the classic motorcyclists with vintage style racing jerseys. Those are jerseys where you can select your logo front and back to show the world what bike you ride and or what club you hang out with.
His bussines website is found at;
French only as is, but just looking at the pictures will tell the look and quality of their products, the De-Luxe jersey, made for motorcyclists.

OK, the need of jerseys have been there for quite a while among some of my friends as well as myself and I made Fred a order that in a short time got me a huge parcel on my frontdoor steps.

Anyone local innterrested, let me know by mail and I can assist in getting hold of Fred.
Prices? You want this jersey anyway!

Indian Jersey for our friend Villy who will have to wear this whenever he ride his Chief

Super X for me, need to speed up that restoration.

Our friend Rune drives, ehh have a guess.

mandag 11. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles Norway

D-1218, another late teens Harley model F (magneto ignition w. acetylene lights) from the eastern parts of Norway. Someone remanufactured the rear mudguard quite heavily to prevent dirt from the road to ruin the passengers clothes. This type of modifications where quite common in earlier days as the roads where all gravel, imagine yourself a rainy day!

fredag 8. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

Two late teens Harley`s in need of a gas fill up. Bike at the pump is equipped with snow chains and skies, no wonder why many old Harley mudguards have lost their shape as they most likely have been beaten up by a chain coming loose.

tirsdag 5. oktober 2010

Modern Motorcycle Maintanance

"Motorcyclists, propoably more than owners of other types of roadgoing vehicles seek knowledge about what, very litterally, makes their wheels go round.
They are in general insistant upon having their machines, their motorcycles, sport or touring in top-notch condition, wheter this is for the purpose of competing in sports or for the sake of ordinary road use."

Quote from Bernard Osborne editor of Modern Motorcycle Maintanance publ. 1949

How come our motorcyclist ancestors where so keen on getting to know all technical issues involved in the construction, operation and maintanace of their motorcycles?
They had since the very early years after the birth of the motorcycle accsess to books impressively thick filled with technically thoroughness on the matter.

Is this the case today?

Does the average Joe motorcyclist care on any of the above matters?

Victor W. Page wrote a 500 page book filled with technical know how for the motorcyclist in 1913, fully illustrated with hand drawn sketches.

Bernard Osborne use the first 29 pages of his book to explain the essentials in how to use and care for files and other tools essential for the motorcyclist (like a sharp chisel!!). Does your files lay all stacked in a shelf rather than beeing hung up individually? If you followed Bernards instructions you would know what to do and not.

Needless to say, I love those old books cramped full of information relevant still.

My favorite, Peder Lobben`s pocket handbook for the Mechanic vol. 1 & 2 counts 991 + 1196 pages. HOW big pockets did the mechanics have back in the late 1890`s when this giant was first published???

Search for those old books and read them, you will never regret.

søndag 3. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

Have just got all my motorcycle gear hung up for drying after having spent the night in the woods, tenting along with some other morons, daredevils, enthusiasts, whatever fits best for guys going by motorcycle in the worst wheater ever to drink booze sleeping in tent when other stay indoors in front of the telly tube with the electric heating on top notch.

Checking my e-mail gave a nice surprise coming in from Anders in Sweden whom I meet at A-Bombers last. Anders drive an old school panhead chop, by himself categorised as a "lollipopcandypan" wich is quite true!
Anders shared with me (and you) some real nice pics from Yesterdaze showing an ACE. Its rare to see photos of those early fours compared to the overwhelming lot of pics showing Harleys and Injuns.

What is intriguing with these two pics is why the owner of the bike H-150 gave it a total face lift from its dark blue ACE colours to bright white with the Indian 4 logo?
ACE had cream white as an optional colour. ACE where purchased by Indian in 27 becoming the Indian ACE in 27. In 28 the old ACE chassis was discontinued and Indian 4 model 401 was borned. This means the bike pictured is (my theory) upgraded from beeing an ACE to become an Indian 4 when painted all white. Why, Indian 4 would most likely be cooler among fellow motorcyclists than a discontinued ACE?

fredag 1. oktober 2010

American Motorcycles

Two lovely looking Swedish motor maids on their early Injun Scout. The Indian Scout was produced from 1920 to 1949, quite a number of years for a model designation. The Scout in the picture is from the very first years, indicated by its style of headlight.
Again we see a bike that needs to be pretty new or with less use as the tire pump is still attached to the frontfork leg. These pumps didnt stay to loong when operating on bumpy gravelroads.

Article in the last issue of HDOCN mag.

Lets just hope the Rakkestad folks have a god sense of humor!! (they would be able to read the text with big pics on their computer screen ( push F11 )).

Made an article on them and their racing event at Kala Raceway this summer, four pages and 8 pics (by Øyunn) in the last issue of the as ever great HDOCN magazine, cool and thanks to Elin beeing in charge of the editorials.

Lets hope this bring some more old US made Iron for the 2011 race.