Vintage American Motorcycle Quiz


I have a theory that male motorcyclists automatically develop an interest in vintage motorcycles the minute they get involved with motorcycling. I’m not sure why, but I think there is something genetic in our wiring that men inherit more than just the love of riding when they enter this sport. On the other hand there are parts of the sport that females inherit that we don’t such as empowerment. I have been a little more interested in vintage motorcycles of late. Especially American iron. This is a result of recent books and DVD’s coming my way for review that inspect the history of American motorcycling. The sport itself is rather young, only about a hundred years.

  1. Which company started producing motorcycles first: Harley-Davidson or Indian?
  2. Who were the founders of the Indian Motorcycle Company?
  3. What year was Indian founded?
  4. What was the original name of the Indian company?
  5. Where was Indian founded?
  6. What year did Harley-Davidson start making motorcycles?
  7. What wealthy Delaware family purchased the Indian motorcycle comapany?
  8. What engine configuration is Henderson known for?
  9. What company purchased Henderson and Excelsior?
  10. What Philadelphia motorcycle company did William Henderson help form after leaving Excelsior?
  11. How did William Henderson die?
  12. What company ceased production in 1947 after production of approximately 100 motorcycles?
  13. What brand of motorcycle was produced in Reading, Pennsylvania?
  14. What company made the first 100 mph motorcycle?
  15. What company made the De Luxe?
  16. What company made the Super X?
  17. What brand of motorcycles were imported and sold as Indians in the fifties?
  18. What brand of motorcycle is considered the holy grail by collectors and the first superbike?

red bike

Bonus questions regarding American motorcycle history:

  1. Who was the first man to cross the country on motorcycle?
  2. Who broke the land speed record in 1948 wearing a bathing suit?
  3. Who designed the first factory custom?
  4. What year made Hollister, CA famous for a so called riot?
  5. What 1953 movie was inspired by the events in Hollister?
  6. What organization coined the termed “1%er”?
  7. Who were the POBOBs?
  8. What club took their name from a Howard Hugh’s movie?
  9. Who founded the Boozfighters MC?
  10. Who founded the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels?
  11. What four clubs are considered The Big Four?

1970 Harley davidson Super Glide the first factory custom

17 Responses to “Vintage American Motorcycle Quiz”

  1. Ok…I’m gonna’ try to do this without cheating. I’ll let you know which ones I cheated on.

    1. hmmm. Indian? (Indian was formed in 1901 and had bikes built in 1902. Harley planned a bike in 1901 but didn’t build it until 1903)

    2. Hendee and Hedstrom (CHEATED!)

    3. 1901

    4. Hendee MFG. Company

    5. Springfield, MASS

    6. Crap…1903? but first plant in 1906

    7. Who hasn’t bought Indian…heh…DuPont. or some dude named Rogers, Stellican (CHEATED!)

    8. Henderson Four man!

    9. My first bike…Schwinn

    10. ACE? (please be right.)

    11, Bike accident testing an ACE (CHEATED!) I knew it was an accident but didn’t know if it was on a biker or in a cage…I guess it was a combo of both.

    12. Crocker? (They think it was actually 200, but no one knows.) The last one sold for $420,000!

    13. R-S Motorcycles…(CHEATED!) There are actually a few of ’em.)

    14. “The Fastest Indian?”…Indian. (I wanna say Crocker. I bet I got this one wrong.)

    15. ACE

    16. Excelsior – Henderson

    17. Royal Enfield and another one, but I can remember the name.

    18. CROCKER, CROCKER, CROCKER…but it’s not official…”If a harley beats your crocker, I’ll return your money in full”.

  2. Dude, it’s been like two minutes…did I get it?

  3. You waited a whole two minutes! Ithink you got two wrong toward the end but I’m not say’n yet. Are you gonna go for the bonus questions?

  4. Bonus question #12 should be “What happened to Joker?”. Where are you buddy? When are you coming back to the Internet?

  5. OK, I’m game…No cheating on this one.

    1. I have no freakin’ clue. None, but my guess is he took the Lincoln Transcontinental route. That’s all I know.

    2. Free! Free at last! Rollie Free. I have a picture of him prone in the swim suit. They have it hanging in the Solvang Motorcycle Museum.

    3. Gottlieb Diamler? I really don’t know. Second guess…Harley-Davidson!

    4. 1947

    5. “The Wild Ones”…still haven’t seen it though. Can you believe that crap?

    6. The A.M.A. It was originally coined to point out any motorcycle event that was not sanctioned or approved by the A.M.A. , Later used to describe “hooligans” who give enthusiasts a bad name, then embraced by outlaws to designate, “we ain’t going along with your stupid rules pinheads!”

    7. “Pissed Off Bastards Of Bloomington”..which became the “Pissed Off Bastards Of Berdoo”…which became the first chapter of the Hell’s Angels… pre-Barger.

    8. The “81”

    9. Wino Willy? Focker, Forkner…some “F’in” last name.

    10. Sonny Barger

    11. Hell’s Angels, Outlaws, Bandidos…(shit, I know this. I think its a North East club. Starts with a P, but I can’t remember.

  6. Oh yeah, bonus question # 12 – Honestly? He figured out who he really was. That is my guess and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

  7. I got 14 wrong huh…I just realized that.

  8. Wow, you even got the bonus to the bonus questions. You da man! Now can someone help me figure out who I am?

  9. Pagans! for #11, ….yes, I cheated on that one.

  10. What is the answer to the first bonus question?

  11. email me the answers…i’m freakin out here!

  12. Who is George Wyman? You need to go to and order the DVD documentary: American Biker so you can know this stuff. Although Crockers are known for speed, so are Hendersons with their big four cylinder engines.

  13. I have to say that this was a good time, good time indeed. Thanks…I know less that I thought, and more than I thought…I’m still stupid though!

  14. You done real good. Got most of them! Henderson made the De Luxe and brokw the 100mph mark first according to my reading. I believe Willie G designed the Super Glide credited with being the first factory custom. I give you credit for R-S even though I was looking for Reading Standard. You still da man!

  15. I only knew 5 of the original quiz questions, but I got 7 of the bonus ones…is that weird? Or am I just a chick, so it doesn’t matter anyway?

  16. Not Weird Di…but yeah, you are just a chick…HOWEVER! The good new is, that it all matters even more, just for the fact that you are a chick!

    Oh, I went out and watched “The Wild One” finally. Uhhhh… I know why folks laugh at me. Hated Marlin Brando and that character…but Lee Marvin’s character? I love him…wish there was more of that dude in the flick.

  17. It’s about time! Lee Marvin’s character is the non conforming outlaw biker. Supposedly based on Wino Willie Forkner the founder of the BFMC. Hero to outlaws. The original misunderstood bad boy biker.

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