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Lot 329: Reading-Standard V-Twin

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

Another early American V-twin, this one manufactured in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company got its start in 1903 by producing single-cylinder clones of Indians and Thors, but soon engineer Charles Gustafson would make his mark. Gustafson had studied European design trends, and when Reading-Standard introduced its first sidevalve engine in 1907 it was the only American manufacturer offering this type of power unit. Its superiority to other contemporary designs was illustrated in July of that same year when a trio of Reading-Standards climbed to the top of Pikes Peak, a feat that would remain unequalled by any other motorcycle for the next five years. By 1915 Gustafson's sidevalve had grown into an 1160cc V-twin housed in a chassis that no longer had provision for pedals. Sadly the company had less than a decade left, its assets sold off to the Cleveland Motorcycle Company in 1923, which itself went out of business in 1929. Gustafson fared better, having left Reading-Standard for rival Indian, where he applied his sidevalve engineering to the existing V-twin bottom end to come up with the Powerplus engine. This would go on to glory in the showroom and on the racetrack, cementing Indian's place in motorcycle history. The Hobday Reading-Standard, finished in optional green paint, is to be sold with an accompanying sidecar, a rare in the U.S. left-side model.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number329
Estimate$50000-$75000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1918
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number81344
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors