1918 Reading Standard V-Twin Engine no. 81344
Lot 327
1918 Reading-Standard V-Twin Sidecar Combination Frame no. 47401 Engine no. 81344
Sold for US$ 29,900 inc. premium
Lot Details
1918 Reading-Standard V-Twin Sidecar Combination
Frame no. 47401
Engine no. 81344
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.

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