Vintage Photographs of People Posing with Their Motorcycles

There’s something inherently rebellious, romantic, and even nostalgic about motorcycles. They embody freedom, a sense of adventure, and a dash of defiance—qualities that have appealed to riders across generations. Now, imagine coupling this charm with the allure of vintage photography, and you get an enticing blend of history, style, and narrative that tells a compelling story about people and their prized two-wheelers.

In the early 20th century, motorcycles were a novelty. They were an exciting amalgamation of the familiar—the bicycle, and the groundbreaking—the internal combustion engine. This period saw a steady increase in motorcycle manufacturing, with brands like Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Triumph making their mark.

As we venture into the 1920s and 30s, motorcycles became more commonplace, no longer just the preserve of the well-to-do. They were increasingly used for practical purposes such as commuting and delivering goods. In this era, motorcycle clubs began to flourish, offering camaraderie and shared passion for these two-wheeled machines.

The post-war era saw a new wave of fascination with motorcycles, particularly in the United States. The 1950s and 60s are often associated with the rise of the ‘biker’ image—rebels without a cause, riding their motorcycles as a statement of personal freedom and non-conformity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Matthew Green

Andrew's writing is grounded in research and provides unique insights into the cultural and historical contexts of vintage pieces. Through his work, he aims to foster a greater appreciation for the value and beauty of vintage items.

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