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Motorbikes and Scooters
Our collection of old motorcycle posters and motorbike adverts recalls the days before Japanese dominance of the industry. Amongst the old motorcycle pictures from manufacturers sadly lost we have examples from BSA, Douglas motorcycles, Excelsior, Unibus (an early motor scooter) and Ariel.
In 1951 BSA acquired Triumph motorcycles to become the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, claiming one in four of all motorcycles manufactured. Together with Norton, these manufacturers gave the British motorcycle industry a world-leading position. After World War II nearly 70% of Triumph’s production was exported to the USA, and what bike did Marlon Brando choose to ride in The Wild One? A Triumph Thunderbird 6T.
We have fine examples of motorbike posters and adverts from manufacturers still producing – Norton, Triumph, Harley Davidson and BMW. Remarkably, Royal Enfield motorcycles are still manufactured in India: we have a couple of excellent examples of old Royal Enfield motorcycle advertising.
Motorcycle racing is an important part of Motor Sport. TT week Isle of Man races are probably the best-known bike races and we have motorcycle magazine covers featuring the Isle of Man TT. We also have striking Italian posters for motorcycle races featuring the Italian tracks of the Circuito di Parma and the Circuito di Cremona in the 1920s. There’s also a charming Speedway motorbikes print from 1928.
Motorcycles are not beyond humour and we have a funny Charles Crombie cartoon from 1907.
And at the extremes of motorised two-wheel taste you can see a classic Lambretta poster and the Hell’s Angel cover of Oz magazine from 1969!