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.
1914 Yale twin boardtrack racer on display at the National Motorcycle
Museum, Anamosa, Iowa.
Yale motorcycles were a byproduct of the Consolidated Mfg. Co. of Toledo, Ohio, acquiring the rights to the California motorcycle. The California motorcycle gained fame for being the first internal combustion vehicle to cross the American continent in 1903. Consolidated put the Yale name on the motorcycle and released it as the Yale California in 1906.
The first actual Yale motorcycle built independent of the California was a 3-1/2 HP, single-cylinder model introduced in 1909. Over the next five years, Yale motorcycles became well-known in the U.S., the most notable being the company’s 950cc V-twin with 2-speed gearbox and chain drive to the rear wheel. This boardtrack racer was built in 1914, and 1915 saw the introduction of a well-made 350cc 2-speed twin with chain drive that sold for $260.
The Consolidated Mfg. Co. continued making motorcycles and bicycles until December 1915. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the high demand for materials to support the conflict led the company to convert its remaining production capabilities into the manufacture of shrapnel.
This motorcycle was professionally restored by Lonnie Isam, Jr. and Bryan VanderLaan of Sturgis, S.D.