One Of A Kind 100 Year Old Traub Motorcycle Found Bricked-Up In A Wall For 40 Years And It Still Somehow Works. This is still a mystery today.
The 1916 Traub Motorcycle
This one and only 1916 Traub Motorcycle was discovered after being buried for half a century. More questions have been raised than answered since the Traub’s discovery. But there’s no denying that this vintage American motorcycle is one of a kind. Unfortunately, all our efforts to learn its true identity have so far been fruitless, so we’ll just have to make do for now with the cold, hard facts that its current owner, Dale Walksler, has gathered.
Walksler has spent the better part of the past four decades riding, restoring, and collecting vintage motorcycles from the United States. He currently operates the renowned Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. He has spent a lot of time around American masterpieces, but the Traub is the first time he has ever seen anything like it.
Where is the 1916 Traub Motorcycle now?
The Traub was discovered in 1968, and the legendary stuntman and friend of Steve McQueen, Bud Ekins, purchased it in 1972. In the mid-1990s, Walksler purchased the Traub from collector Richard Morris, who had originally purchased it from Ekins. To Walksler, the Traub is now one of the “crown jewels” among his 240 vintage American motorcycles. You wouldn’t know it from looking at it, but Dale actually rides it on a regular basis, as evidenced by the fact that he had to take the engine apart to fix a banging problem caused by a damaged connecting rod bushing.
How Does it Still Work?
When asked about the engine’s inner workings, he will exclaim, “Everything within the engine is really beautiful!” Cast iron rings with no gaps are used in these hand-made pistons. Simply put, the engineering and machining are cutting edge. Dale was only required to make the base gaskets in order to reassemble the machine. In fact, the bike’s engine is so precisely machined that it doesn’t require any additional gaskets. This is a strong indication that it was not a factory-scale machine.
Most of the bike’s pieces are handmade, but Walksler was able to pinpoint its manufacture year to 1916 thanks to “off-the-shelf” components. The bike’s maker left some telltale signs of the machine’s age, such as the Schebler carburetor, Bosch magneto, Troxel Jumbo seat, and vintage wheel rims.
Everything else about the bike is one of a kind. Examination of the rear brake, for instance, reveals a dual-acting system in which a single cam pushes a pair of expanding shoes inside the brake and pulls a set of contracting shoes outside the brake. Aside from his own bike, Dale is unaware of any other American motorcycles that use the single-cam/twin-brake arrangement.
Those who step around the bike’s left side will see not one but two clutch levers. Both the standard foot pedal and a hand lever are located on the driver’s side, next to the gas tank. Possibly the first American motorcycle with a three-speed transmission is controlled by a novel lever gate. Furthermore, the tyrant has two distinct neutral settings, each of which is indicated by a zero on the shift mechanism. You’ll find these in the transitions between 1st and 2nd gear, and 2nd and 3rd gear.
The engine is a 78ci V-twin that has a 4in stroke and a 3 7/16in bore, giving it a big for the time 1,278cc of displacement. Big-bore motorcycle engines from the time of the Traub were typically approximately 1,000cc (61ci). On top of each cylinder is a gas primer valve, which is accessed by a side-valve arrangement; nevertheless, as Dale points out, this is hardly a novel design choice. Crankcase breather adjustment and engine fasteners are Traub-specific features.
The Traub is a popular attraction at the Wheels Through Time Museum, where thousands of visitors per year hope to get a glimpse of it in action and hear its engine rumble.
Hidden below a veil of mystery, the 1916 Traub motorcycle was undeniably lightyears ahead of its time. You might never see another American motorbike like this one again thanks to its brilliant innovations, precise craftsmanship, and impressive attention to detail.
1916 Traub Motorcycle: Still A Mystery ?
For the time being, it seems the mystery surrounding the Traub motorcycle will stay unsolved due to the lack of any images, paperwork, or people claiming to know anything about its origin. Perhaps the complete history of this unusual motorcycle will be uncovered one day, but for now, it represents an intriguing period in the development of motorcycles in the United States.
The 1916 Traub Motorcycle is currently kept in a Museum. However, there’s one more thing that is kept in a museum. You might want to take a read at The Real Story Behind Robert The Doll (The Most Haunted Doll Ever)
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