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Glenn H. Curtiss  »  Museum  »  Collections  »  Vintage Motorcycles (Antique Motorcycles)

Vintage Motorcycles & Antique Motorcycles


The Curtiss Museum exhibits a truly excellent and varied collection of vintage motorcycles and antique motorcycles. More than half of the motorcycle collection pre-dates WWI. Of special interest is an exact reproduction of Curtiss's 1907 World Record V8 Motorcycle (136.4 mph). Another interesting bike is the 1915 Williams "Clady's Model" that sports a three-cylinder rotary engine fixed to the rear wheel.


Our vintage motorcycle and antique motorcycle collection presently consists of:

  •  1903 Curtiss Hercules

  •  1905 Nelk

  •  1907 Curtiss 8 Cylinder (Reproduction)

  •  1908 Curtiss V-Twin with Sidecar

  •  1909 Curtiss V-Twin

  •  1910 Curtiss Single Cylinder

  •  1910 Shaw

  •  1912 Curtiss Single Cylinder

Motorcycle Exhibit
  •  1915 Williams Clady's

  •  1917 Henderson

  •  1922 Evans

  •  1924 Ner-A-Car

  •  1930 Harley Davidson Hillclimber

  •  1936 Indian with Sidecar

(image from motorcycle exhibit)

Selected items from our vintage & antique motorcycle collection.


Curtiss 40 hp V8 2
1907

In 1907 Curtiss developed a 40 hp air-cooled V8 for an aeronautical customer. He was tempted to mount this engine on a motorcycle, and did so. The result was a shaft-drive motorcycle capable of speeds upwards to 140 mph. Pictured here is the museum's exact copy of this motorcycle - the original of which is in the Smithsonian.




Curtiss V-Twin with Sidecar
1908

This is a very early version of a motorcycle with sidecar and was indeed a Curtiss accessory. This particular example has a wicker seat and affords no protection in the event of a collision. The exhibit includes a photo of Mrs. Curtiss riding in this sidecar.




Williams Clady's Model
1915

10 HP, 2.81 bore, 3.25 stroke. 2-speed transmission. Frame member under seat is also oil tank.3-cylinder rotary engine fixed to rear wheel. Only known surviving example.

James Dennie