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Veterans: Very old motorcycles

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Our classics are usually the bikes of our youth. And let some of us navigate our own experience around the sixties, then you see what we experience as our classics: the late British, the early Japanese, BMW and Harley.

What happened before the second world war?

Well… A few photos of family members on the plantation in our former Indies. Axles… 'Steam bikes'. What was there in motorcycles long before that time? That was the basis of our passion: the motorcycle and its evolution.


In the beginning

Classic is just the beginning: 'Veteran' is the designation in the UK within the Vintage Motor Cycle Club for motorcycles from 1905 to 1914. Designations for other classes are: Pioneer, Vintage and Post-Vintage. Veteran is also a classification at Classic Reliability Trials, the bikes from before 1915.

And there have been hundreds of motorcycle brands in the early days.

Many bicycle builders were pleased with the new development and the first engine block suppliers simply supplied their power sources to anyone who wanted to pay for them. Many names and information about motor primeval times can only be found on paper and after a lot of research. Fortunately, that is made easier by the Internet. But still.

Unique solutions

The fact that technology was still in its infancy at the time often resulted in (rightly) forgotten solutions. Nowadays that requires a great frame of mind and a massive empathy plus really technical genes to be able to understand some things. Certainly with box projects including 'missing parts'. Because you will often first have to understand how such a thing should or could actually work.

To bring such a veteran back to life, you need a serious metalworking workshop, or you need to know like-minded people who have it. Fortunately there are many people in this branch who know each other and who often know everything together. Veteran enthusiasts may be the friendliest people in the world.

Many of those old machines may still have documentation somewhere, but at least not (yet) on the Internet. And whether that will come? The source group has long since passed away. The target audience is actually minimal and usually at least 60 ++.

Happy with almost nothing

If you turn up such an old pastry as a connoisseur, you can be very happy with it. The passion in that corner can best be described as: “I don't know what it is, it's broken up and all kinds of stuff is missing. Fun!"
Then follows a process of fitting, measuring and searching. And make. And amaze you. Because in the infancy of the 1900's, technology was still in its infancy. All sorts of things were still invented and Willie-Rooted.

The club

The Veteran Motorcycles Club is an association of people who own or are interested in an old motorcycle. This concerns motorcycles built up to and including 1940. The VMC currently has about 1200 members and donors.

The interest is not only limited to the restoration of the motorcycles and the maintenance of a 'driving museum', but also extends to other matters related to the motorcycle, such as documentation, advertising material, photos, accessories, etc.

4 Comments

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  1. if you go to such a ride of the VMC, you keep your eyes on the structures of the past. Even though I drive new stuff myself, those oldies are still fascinating. And it produces piles of photos to enjoy.

  2. Enj if after a long time searching, doing puzzles, working, etc., you kick that thing up and it walks …… ..
    We should all experience it once.

    • Isn't that feeling the same with all “long” repairs?
      Whether you're repairing a 40-year-old moped after a long standstill,
      A car gives a very large service where it hangs on a bridge for 3 months in the air
      Or let a VMC run again after 30 years.
      That first pop, that first walk, always gives a moment of YESSSSS.
      We are on the way back (often not yet so...;))

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