Story: Motorcycles

Richard Pearse’s bike, 1911–13 (2nd of 2)

Richard Pearse’s bike, 1911–13

Richard Pearse, the first man in New Zealand to fly, also had a motorbike. In 1911, not long after moving from South Canterbury to farm at Milton in South Otago, he adapted a conventional bicycle frame and fitted a crude home-built engine. The motor drove the back wheel via a belt. This ran from a drive wheel on the engine to the large inner rim, visible through the spokes of the back wheel.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Whites Aviation Collection
Reference: WA-51316; G

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Motorcycles - Customisation and production', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 July 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 11 Mar 2010