Tuesday, 20 March 2012

American Motorcycle

U.S. Postal Service have proud to recognize the role of motorcycles in American culture by issuing the four stamps that feature American motorcycle in early August 2006.
Three of the stamps feature digital illustrations of a 1918 Cleveland, 1940 Indian Four and a 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide that are modeled after motorcycles in existence today. The fourth stamp shows a circa 1970 chopper, a computer generated stamp image created by the stamp artist in consultation with professional chopper builders.
The first of these stamps, along with the actual cycles the stamps are modeled from, kick-started the 66th Anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, SD, August 7, 2006.
Cleveland 1918The single-cylinder Cleveland motorcycle depicted on this stamp was built by the Cleveland Motorcycle Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, OH. Technical data of this motorcycle featured a 2.5-horsepower, single-cylinder motor, could travel 75 miles on a single gallon of gasoline and reach speeds of up to 35 to 40 mph. Weighing around 150 pounds . The lightweight and affordable reason makes the Cleveland a popular motorcycle of its time. The Cleveland A2 that modeled for the stamp is owned by Penny Nickerson of Long Island, NY.

Indian 1940The motorcycle depicted on this stamp was made by the Indian Motorcycle Company. The 1940 entry in a series of deluxe, four-cylinder motorcycles known as the Four, this streamlined bike featured skirted fenders that partially covered the wheels, a controversial design innovation that soon became an Indian trademark.
The model for the illustration featured on this stamp is a motorcycle owned by Michael and Larry Spielfogel of New York City. It is depicted in the deep red color often associated with Indian motorcycles

Harley-Davidson 1965With features such as whitewall tires, extensive chrome, large fenders, and spacious fiberglass saddlebags, the Harley-Davidson featured on this stamp is considered by many to be one of the company's most iconic motorcycles.  The Harley that posed for the stamp is owned by George Tsunis of Port Jefferson, NY.
The 1965 Harley-Davidson FL Electra-Glide motorcycle was the last Harley fitted with the venerable Panhead engine and the first big Harley with electric start. That combo has made it a highly coveted collectible.The Electra-Glide, with its electric starter, made its debut, but it would be the last year for the famous "Panhead" V-twin that was introduced in 1948.
Chopper circa 1970
The Chopper circa 1970 featured on this stamp was invented by the stamp artist in consultation with professional chopper builders. Although lacking various safety features such as mirrors and turn signals that are usually required under current laws, this chopper would have been legal to ride circa 1970.
The name "chopper" derives from the process of removing, or "chopping," unnecessary or unwanted components from a motorcycle. The term often indicates an extensively customized motorcycle with such features as a stretched frame, stepped seat, and raised handlebars. Typically, the frame has been stretched with an extended-length fork leading to the front wheel.

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