Motorcycle Throwback - The 1913 Reading Standard
 
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Motorcycle Throwback - The 1913 Reading Standard


This 1913 Reading Standard ran off of a flathead engine design.

In the early 1900's motorcycle racing was a fast growing fad that sprouted from the much loved pastime of bicycle races. Many new motorcycle manufacturers began to pop up in order to offer their latest and greatest advancements in intensely fast paced motorcycle industry. A company by the name of Reading Standards started producing their motorcycles just as the fad started in the beginning of the 20th century. But it wasn't until 1913 that the company's name started to become a part of the consumer's motorcycle vocabulary.

Reading Standards started out as primarily a racing motorcycle. Showing up in 1903, these motorcycles were nothing more than a Thor engine slapped on a frame that was derived from the Indian motorcycle design. These bikes were sold country wide but didn't gain much recognition until 1907 when the company entered one of its bikes in its first competitive race. It hardly even took a year before one of their bikes won first place in a 1,000 mile endurance race.

This Reading Standard had gas and oil shut-off valves on the actual fuel tank.   The acetylene gas powered headlight definitely wasn
This Reading Standard had gas and oil shut-off valves on the actual fuel tank.   The acetylene gas powered headlight definitely wasn't the prettiest design.

After focusing on racing for a few years, the company turned its attention back to the consumer. Originally run off of the typical F-head engine and adding v-twins to their line in 1908, by 1913 the company put out this featured Reading Standard. The 1913 version of the motorcycle had converted to the flathead engine design and could displace 990 cc. The bike had a few quirks like a acetylene gas powered headlight and gas shut-off valves, gas and oil caps and an oil drip regulator on the fuel tank but it wasn't enough to make the company front runners in the motorcycle industry. Unfortunately, it only took another nine years before the company was bought out and the Reading Standard's name is now long gone.




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