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America's First Four-Cylinder Bike To Be Auctioned This October

If you feel like getting your hands on a piece of motorcycling history that is really hard to come by, here's a nifty treat for you. Bonhams will have an 1910 Pierce Four motorcycle under the hammer in the Autumn Stafford Sale in 17-18 October.
1910 Pierce Four 1 photo
The autumn auction will take place at the Staffordshire County Showground near Stafford, some 35 miles (56 km) north of major UK city Birmingham, and the 1910 Pierce Four is probably one of the most interesting bikes in the lot.

The model Four is the first four-cylinder ever to be made in the United States, and it was in production between 1909 and 1914. It was manufactured by the Pierce Motorcycle Company, a subsidiary born of Pierce-Arrow company which used to make cars.A story of reverse engineering
The president of Pierce Motorcycles is said to have bought an 1908 FN Four bike in Europe and disassembled it in a process of reverse engineering. It took around two years until the Pierce Four was contoured.

Unlike the initial bike it was inspired by, it gained a two-speed transmission in 1910, adding to the versatility. However, it looks like the price was not at all competitive, as Pierce Motorcycle used to spend more on making a model Four than it would get from selling it.

All in all, less than 500 units have been built before the company ended up in insolvency, but only very few bikes in decent condition can be found these days. This makes them prized treasures for collectors, but they are a rather rare presence in auctions.

This 1910 Pierce Four is expected to sell for anything between £60,000 and £80,000. In US money, this means ($93,000 to 124,000), while potential European buyers must think about a check reading between €85,000 and €113,000. The bike comes from a 6-strong collection that belongs to Italian Tiberio Lonati, the CEO of Santoni Group.

Other vintage bikes in the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale auction include a 1930 Indian Model 402 four-cylinder Combination and a 1920 Harley-Davidson Model J.

 
 
 
 
 

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