Fact or Fiction: Vintage Motorcycle Brands

By: Chris Warren

Fact or Fiction: Vintage Motorcycle Brands
Image: Photo 12/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Many Americans are obsessed with vintage motorcycles. Ask 10 enthusiasts which brands are the best and you just might get 10 different answers. Take a spin at our motorcycle quiz to see what you know about these vintage bikes and the companies that make them.
T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a Harley-Davidson aficionado.
Fact
Fiction
Lawrence was definitely a motorcycle aficionado, but was the owner of numerous Brough Superiors and was driving one in the crash that killed him.

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Honda had a successful ad campaign featuring the tag line, "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda."
Fact
It's those Honda ads that are credited with widening the popularity of motorcycling.
Fiction

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At the turn of the last century, there were only two motorcycle manufacturers in America.
Fact
Fiction
There were hundreds of motorcycle makers at the beginning of the 20 century, although many simply slapped motors on bicycles.

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The Harley-Davidson Company was launched in 1953.
Fact
Fiction
The company was started 50 years earlier in 1903 by two brothers and a friend.

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The value of a vintage motorcycle is determined exclusively by its age.
Fact
Fiction
Many factors contribute to the value of a bike, including its condition, the number originally made and whether anybody famous rode one.

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Vintage bikes are generally considered those made before 1974.
Fact
Fiction
There's no set age that makes a bike vintage. In fact some experts believe Japanese models made in the 1980s can be considered vintage.

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The Sears & Roebuck Catalog once sold motorcycles.
Fact
During its 100 years in existence, the Sears & Roebuck Catalog sold motorcycles at various times.
Fiction

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No British-made vintage motorcycles are highly sought after.
Fact
Fiction
Many motorcycles made in the United Kingdom are valuable and sought after, including those by companies like Brough Superior and Triumph.

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Philip Conrad Vincent, the founder of Vincent-HRD, studied at Oxford.
Fact
Fiction
Vincent actually studied mechanical engineering at Cambridge.

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Steve McQueen, James Dean and Bob Dylan all rode Triumph motorcycles.
Fact
All three superstars rode the British brand, giving an invaluable boost to the motorcycle's image.
Fiction

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Cafe racing describes a type of racing that involves drinking coffee while riding.
Fact
Fiction
Popular in the 1960s and 1970s, cafe racing involved racing for the duration of a song.

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Flathead and Knucklehead are models made by Honda.
Fact
Fiction
Both are popular motorcycles made by Harley-Davidson.

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T.E. Lawrence named many of his Brough Superior motorcycles after Queen Victoria.
Fact
Fiction
Lawrence named his bikes George I, George II etc., up through George VII, the bike he was riding during his fatal accident.

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Elvis Presley rode only Hondas.
Fact
Fiction
Presley rode Hondas, Harleys and many other types of motorcycles.

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BMW motorcycles are known by many fans as "the thinking man's motorcycle."
Fact
Devotees of the German brand praise the company for the bikes' elegant engineering and simple maintenance.
Fiction

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Moto Guzzi motorcycles have been in production for 100 years.
Fact
Fiction
The company is on its way to 100. It celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2011.

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Japanese-made bikes in the 1970s put pressure on other companies to improve their motorcycles' reliability.
Fact
In the years before Japanese companies made a big splash in the motorcycle business, many riders had to spend as much time fixing their bikes as they did riding them.
Fiction

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Before it made motorcycles, Kawasaki made furniture.
Fact
Fiction
The Japanese company made just about everything but furniture, including ships, jets and heavy machinery before it got into the motorcycle business.

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It's impossible to buy a vintage motorcycle for less than $100,000.
Fact
Fiction
Vintage bikes can cost as little as $100 to $200 or as much as $1 million depending on several factors.

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At the time of their release, some Brough Superior motorcycles cost as much as a house.
Fact
Known as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles, Brough Superiors were made for affluent people who could spend on a bike what others would spend on a place to live.
Fiction

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You Got:
/20
Photo 12/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

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