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Designers and Entrepreneurs

For every classic bike there is a personal human story. This category looks in depth at the life and careers of people associated with classic bikes, from designers and engineers to entrepreneurs and racers.

Honda, The Early Years

Howard Raymond Davies
One of the all time classic motorcycle marques has to be Vincent. The company and bikes were named after the founder: Philip Vincent. But it was another name that adorned the fuel tanks of the first bikes: Howard Raymond Davies(HRD).

John Bloor
Money Magazine profiles John Bloor, the entrepreneur who rescued Triumph Motorcycles from fading into history with his innovative new models and a savvy marketing campaign.

George Barber
George Barber started his collection of classic motorcylces in the 1980s when he realized that no museum existed to tell the American experience through the history of motorcycles. Barber Museum now contains the biggest collection of classic motorcyles in the world.

William Sylvester Harley
In the summer of 1901, then 21 year old William Harley drew up plans for a small gasoline engine that was meant to propel an ordinary pedal bicycle. This design would lead to the beinning of a dynasty in classic motorcylce design.

Phillip Vincent
In 1928 Phillip Vincent acquired the HRD trademark and and Vincent HRD & Co was born. By 1934, seven different models of the Vincent were available.

Massimo Tamburini
Massimo Tamburini is a legend. He was chief designer on two of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made: the Ducati 916 and the MV Agusta F4.

Classic Motorcycle Design Quiz
Motorcycle manufacturers have tried pretty much everything. From engine configurations to bizarre suspension set ups, the world of motorcycle design is always busy. So, just for fun, can you identify the strange designs and the bikes in our quiz?

History of the Vespa scooter. The first Vespa's were designed by aeronautical engineer and inventor Corradino D'Ascanio, with the first machines being offered to the public in 1946.

Norton, the iconic English motorcycle manufacturer, was founded by James Lansdowne Norton. The Manufacturing Company was established by Norton in 1898 in Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham, England.

Indian Motorcycles

Dave Degens started producing frames under the Dresda name in the 60s. Returning to their roots, the company now makes Dresda Tritons for the booming café racer market.

Villiers, The Early Years
For many companies associated with bicycle manufacturing, the fast-growing markets for motorized cycles were becoming hard to ignore. For Villiers the decision to commence engine manufacturing was one that would take the company onto the world stage for motorcycles.

Supercharged Gold Wing

Rickman Motorcycles

Minerva Motorcycles
Putting a Swiss engine onto a bicycle frame was just the start for Minerva. From 1900 to 1909 the company manufactured some 35,000 motorcycles.

Duct Motorcycle Manufacturers
Eysink, Simplex, Sparta, Van Veen and Jamathi may not be the first names to come to mind when thinking about classic motorcycles, but to Dutch classic enthusiasts they are well known.

Sachs and Hercules Motorcycles

Brough Superior Today
Brough Superior motorcycles were renowned for their quality. Today, some 90 years after the first SS100s became available, a modern version is being produced. And just like its predecessor, the new bike is full of technical innovations. We take a closer look.

Indian World Record
In the annals of motorcycle record setting, one man stands out for his sheer determination: Burt Monro. Monro managed to set world land speed records on a machine that started out with a top speed of 55 mph when new!

Morgan Three Wheelers
Morgan cars have been around since 1909. However, the company stopped producing the famous three wheelers in 1953, that is until recently when a new version of the classic returned to the company’s lineup.

V-Twin Engine Design
Designing an engine is not simple, designing an engine that will be in competition with Harley Davidson is even harder. But one company - S & S Motorcycles - did just that, and successfully too.

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