Author Topic: One for the Kiwi's  (Read 167 times)

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One for the Kiwi's
« on: 07.01. 2018 11:31 »
Credit: Classic Motorcycles

Edworthy 1906 Replica
 
 Made by Kenneth Mervyn Edworthy based on an Edworthy motorcycle built in Rozelle, New South Wales, Australia, 1906
 
 Australia's first recorded motorcycle race was held on New Year's day 1901 around a concrete cycling track at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Jack Green averaged 37.7 km/h on his motorised tricycle. Motorcycling took off in popularity; there was even a women's club in South Australia in 1912. Motorcycles were used during the First World War and ridden by dispatched raiders. By 1919 the motorcycle had become an accepted means of transport. Motorcycle racing played a big part in encouraging designers to build better and more reliable machines. The speedway or dirt track form of motorcycle racing on a cinder-covered track first became popular in Australia and spread throughout the world. By the 1930s speedway racing was as fashionable as football and cricket are today and motorcycle riders were the most highly paid sportsmen.
 
 In Australia, the Edworthy family must have seen newspapers and magazines with photographs showing the early European and/or American motorcycles and decided to build their own. The first was built in 1896 which comprised a single-cylinder Minerva engine to a modified bicycle frame. This was said to have been the first or third built in New South Wales. Two other motorcycles were built, none are known to survive but one is rumoured to have been taken to New Zealand. The third motorcycle, built in 1906, was photographed with Jack Edworthy sitting on it on the front verandah of the Edworthy's family's bicycle shop at 97 Weston Road, Rozelle. It was this photograph that bicycle enthusiast, Ken Edworthy, used 90 years later to build a reproduction of his family-built motorcycle. Bicycle production in Australia from the 1890s was undertaken in numerous small family workshops and the motorcycle was produced at a time when the assemblage of parts was put together by enthusiastic blacksmiths without the use of modern technology.
 
 The Edworthys did not think the motorcycle would become popular so instead concentrated on bicycle production, which by the 1930s was enormously popular, especially bicycle racing. Not being able to compete with the large manufacturers and mass production, the Edworthy family concentrated on low volume purpose-built bicycles producing everything from racing bicycles to delivery bicycles and children's bicycles. In the same way, 90 years later, Ken Edworthy reproduced his ancestor's motorcycle with "bush mechanics" aided by his knowledge of plumbing and welding.
 
 Gifted to the Powerhouse Museum by Kenneth Mervyn Edworthy, 2006
 
 http://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/classics-e/Edworthy-1906-Replica.htm