This bike is more than just a restoration, as much of it was hand built by Tim Thoele, like the frame. His attention to detail is so good that this recreation, based on an original Pierce motor, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show.
This spectacular bike has as much of Mr. Theole’s own fabrication as it does parts from the Pierce Cycle Company. Starting with a not quite complete 1911 Pierce 600cc single found at a swap meet in 2005, the rest of the bike was recreated from pictures, as there are only about a dozen genuine examples still around. Missing parts for the engine were hand milled with nothing but some old factory drawing to go by. Some parts, like the seat, fork, wheels, spokes, and hubs were used by other manufacturers as well back in the day, but that large tube frame had to be hand made. The Pierce used oversized tubing, with oil contained in the front down tube, and fuel in the top tube and seat tube, and the engine as a stressed member fully 80 years before Buell attempted something similar.
You can read more details about the project on Tom Strongman’s site.
You can read more about the history of Pierce bicycles and motorcycles, a division of the Pierce-Arrow luxury car company, at the AACA Library.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Our Clymer manuals don’t cover anything as old as this board tracker, but our founder Floyd Clymer would be quite familiar with this bike. Floyd was riding, fixing, selling, and racing motorcycles since the early days when this Pope was new.