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September 15, 2022

40 Amazing Vintage Photographs of People Posing With Their Motorcycles

The history of the motorcycle begins in the second half of the 19th century. Motorcycles are descended from the “safety bicycle,” a bicycle with front and rear wheels of the same size and a pedal crank mechanism to drive the rear wheel. Despite some early landmarks in its development, the motorcycle lacks a rigid pedigree that can be traced back to a single idea or machine. Instead, the idea seems to have occurred to numerous engineers and inventors around Europe at around the same time.

The first internal combustion, petroleum fueled motorcycle was the Daimler Reitwagen. It was designed and built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt, Germany, in 1885.

During the First World War, motorbike production was greatly ramped up for the war effort to supply effective communications with front line troops. Messengers on horses were replaced with despatch riders on motorcycles carrying messages, performing reconnaissance and acting as a military police. American company Harley-Davidson was devoting over 50% of its factory output toward military contract by the end of the war. The British company Triumph Motorcycles sold more than 30,000 of its Triumph Type H model to allied forces during the war.

By the late 1920s or early 1930s, DKW in Germany took over as the largest manufacturer. In the 21st century, the motorcycle industry is mainly dominated by Indian and Japanese motorcycle companies.

These amazing vintage photos were found by Steve Given that show people with their motorcycles from between 1900s and 1950s.

Man a circa 1908 3 1/2 horsepower Bradbury motorcycle, somewhere in Victoria, Australia, circa 1908

Two sitting on an Indian motorcycle, circa 1910s

Indian motorcycle, somewhere in Scotland, circa 1915

Royal Enfield motorcycle, somewhere in Scotland, circa 1915

Triumph Model H registered in Hertfordshire, circa 1916

BSA motorcycle in Australia, circa 1920s

Damsel on a Douglas motorcycle, somewhere in England, circa 1920s

Harley-Davidson motorcycle and sidecar, circa 1920s

Man on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, circa 1920s

Man with his Harley-Davidson, circa 1920s

Reading Standard 1200cc V-twin 18hp 1921 model. The registration number is from Paris, France, circa 1921

BSA motorcycle, somewhere in Scotland, 1922

A BSA motorcycle and sidecar outside a cycle shop in Victoria, Australia, 1927

A young lad tries a BSA motorcycle for size in Melbourne, Victoria, 1927

AJS motorcycle and sidecar at Wroxham, Norfolk Broads, England, 1929

AJS motorcycle at Wroxham, Norfolk Broads, England, 1929

BMW R2 single cylinder motorcycle, somewhere in Germany, circa 1930s

DKW RT 125 somewhere in Germany, circa 1930s

Puch motorcycle and rider, somewhere in Austria, circa 1930s

Sunbeam 9/90 500cc OHV registered in Cheshire, UK, circa 1930-31

Zündapp motorcycle, somewhere in Germany during the 1930s

Indian motorcycle, somewhere in Germany, 1932

Harley-Davidson, circa 1936

A Harley-Davidson and rider, somewhere in Wisconsin, circa 1940s

Couple on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, circa 1940s

Couple on a Triumph motorcycle, circa 1940s

German soldiers on a Zündapp motorcycle during WWII

Ladies on Meister motorcycles, circa 1940s

Matchless motorcycle, on an Air Force station, somewhere in Canada during WWII

Member of the Wehrmacht in Berlin, Germany, 1940

American soldier on a 1938-39 Victoria motorcycle, somewhere in Germany, 1945

BSA motorcycle in England, 1947

BSA Bantam D1 in Kent, UK, circa late 1948

Puch motorcycle and rider, somewhere in Austria, 1951

Young mother posing with the family Harley-Davidson in California, 1953

Brough motorcycle and sidecar, on the Isle of Man, 1955

Young lad posing with his Triumph motorcycle, somewhere in Victoria, Australia, May 1959

A team of motorcycles and riders, including a Triumph, Indian and Harley-Davidson, somewhere in Wisconsin, circa 1950s

Father holding his child on a Pannonia motorcycle and sidecar, somewhere in Hungary, circa 1950s

Harley-Davidson motorcycle taken in Illinois, circa early 1950s




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