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National Treasures

A look at the vintage motorcycles on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

1913 Thor Motorcycle

Editor’s note: Welcome to National Treasures, where we’ll be featuring many of the amazing vintage motorcycles on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Of course, nothing beats viewing the museum’s amazing vintage motorcycle collection with your own eyes, so be sure to visit the National Motorcycle Museum website and plan your trip today. 

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1913 Thor motorcycle on display at the National Motorcycle Musuem
in Anamosa, Iowa.

The 1913 Thor motorcycle is representative of the many small brands making motorcycles in the early 20th century.

Thor motorcycles, built by the Aurora Automatic Machinery Co. of Aurora, Ill., were in production from 1907 to 1916. Aurora built Oscar Hedstrom-designed engines for Indian motorcycles, and components for other brands, with Thor representing the company's in-house brand. Named after the Norse god of thunder, the Thor's nameplate features a lightning bolt.

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Unique features of this 1913 Thor Model 13U Twin include a 61-cubic inch, 50-degree v-twin engine producing 7 horsepower that was similar or even better in quality than those supplied to Indian. The bike also featured a long, flat tank in a loop-tube frame and acetylene lamps that were later replaced with electric. Blue was the standard color and white tires completed the package. Sales records show a downward trend over the next few years, likely due to Henry Ford and his Model T, as well as installment credit being offered for the first time. Only four examples of this model are known to exist today.