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Homepage. This page: Various old motorcycles that feature in original old photos from the 1910s-1930s.

Photographs of pre-war motorcycles.

Many of the old motorcycle-related photos I've turned up over the years now feature in here, the image archive section of OCC (Old Classic Car). A link to the images index is given at the foot of this page, where you'll find links to period photos of various BSAs, Nortons, Scotts, Velocettes and Triumphs, plus the occasional Indian, Levis, and even a motor-powered tricycle. Pages of sidecar photographs may also be found there. This page will focus on very early (ie vintage/veteran) motorcycles, machines that have yet to be firmly identified. If you know your classic and vintage bikes, and can help with identifications for the pre-war motorcycles shown below, please drop me a line and I'll update the page.

1. Two motorcyclists and their vintage machines.

A sepia snapshot probably from the 1920's opens this page. Two motorcyclists in their riding overalls and flat caps, stand by their (as-yet unidentified) bikes. Perhaps they were preparing to go out for a Sunday afternoon's blast down the lanes, stopping for a swift refresher at an out-of-the-way public house, or maybe they'd just returned from a ride out. No notes accompany the photograph, although judging by the age difference of the two gents, it may well be a father-and-son shot.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Two vintage motorcycles and riders

2. A lady rides pillion - on a Triumph perhaps?

Again two people are in the photo, this time though there's just the one motorcycle, with a hatted gent up front and a smiling lady sat "riding" pillion behind him (although the bike is actually up on its stand). RI 697 is the motorcycle's registration - this is a Dublin (Ireland) series that first went into use in 1903, and continued right through until 1921. It looks like it could be a Triumph to me, but as there were many different versions available I'd like to pin down the make and model with more certainty if possible. Frustratingly, on the reverse of this old photo is an extensive description of the scene - but alas it was stuck into an album, then removed by the person I bought the photo from, destroying all but the odd word.
Possibly a vintage Triumph

3. A chap in uniform with his motorcycle.

Next, a chap on his own this time, astride his prized machine. Registered PR 1962, it was first used in Dorset. This series ran from January 1923 to December 1927, putting this machine at about 1924 or thereabouts. The rider - no flat cap or other headgear in evidence this time - appears to be wearing a uniform, if the epaulets on his shoulders are anything to go by.
A man on his motorcycle

4. Lady and the motorcycle.

A young lady graces the following photograph. TT 5537 is this bike's registration, a Devon issue that ran from June 1924 to October 1926, putting this bike at around mid-1925 at first glance. Is there enough of the bike visible here to help i.d. it?
A lady sat on her vintage motorcycle
Even if all the machines shown in the above photos can't be identified 100%, they're fascinating images in their own right so deserve their own spot on the site. If you have any similar photos to these that you're willing to see shared on OCC, please let me know, thanks. I'll be adding in more photos like these soon.
Return to Page 20 in the motoring photographs archive, or visit the main index here to view a great many transport-related images. c
A number of pages across OCC deal with vintage motorcycle matters and memorabilia. They include this page for example, which takes a look at a rare original sales leaflet for Palmer Motor Cycle tyres, dated October 1913.

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