The Mystery of the 1916 Traub Motorcycle

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The 1916 Traub motorcycle - a one-of-a-kind classic American motorcycle.
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The 1916 Traub motorcycle - a one-of-a-kind classic American motorcycle.
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A tension adjustor.
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The Traub transmission had two separate neutral positions.
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The Traub was quite slender.
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More than pegs, the Traub had full footrests.
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The cut-out on the tank that gives access to the front cylinder’s spark plug and priming cup is a curious feature on the 1916 Traub.
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Getting the Sunday paper was never this good: Dale Walksler giving the 1916 Traub a run.
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The 1916 Traub’s unique rear brake features both an internal set of expanding shoes and an external set of contracting shoes.

Found hidden in a bricked-up wall in a Chicago suburb 40 years ago, the 1916 Traub motorcycle is still a mystery today.

Pulled from its dark, secretive hiding place of 50 years, this Traub is the only example ever found. Since its discovery, the Traub has provoked more questions than it has provided answers. But one thing is for sure; this is a unique, one-of-a-kind classic American motorcycle. And with all attempts to reveal its true identity leading only to frustrating dead ends, at this time we have to be content with the hard facts that have been collected by its current owner, Dale Walksler.

As the man who owns the world famous Wheels Through Time classic motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, N.C., Walksler has been riding, working on and collecting rare and classic American motorcycles for nearly 40 years. And in all his years around American classics, he has never seen anything quite like the Traub.

Hidden Origins

Found in 1968, the Traub was bought in 1972 by Bud Ekins, famous as Steve McQueen’s stuntman. Ekins later sold the Traub to collector Richard Morris, who then sold it to Walksler in the mid-1990s. The Traub is now one of the “crown jewels” in Walksler’s collection of 240 classic American motorcycles. And believe it or not, it actually gets ridden on a fairly regular basis: Dale has even had the engine apart to cure a knocking noise that turned out to be a worn out connecting rod bushing.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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