Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
George Wyman left San Francisco on the first transcontinental motorcycle trip riding a 1902 California Motorcycle Company motor bicycle. He arrived in New York City 51 days later, finishing 20 days before Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first person to cross the continent by automobile. Wyman's machine was equipped with 28 x 1.5 in. tires, wooden rims, a leading-link front suspension fork, a Garford spring saddle, a Duck Brake Company front roller brake, and a 1902-patent Atherton rear coaster brake. A leather belt-drive with a spring-loaded idler pulley directly connected the engine output shaft to the rear wheel. Using a standard steel bicycle frame, the California weighed approximately 32–36 kg without rider, and was capable of approximately 25 mph using the 30-octane gasoline of the day, with a range of 75 to 100 miles. Throttle control was not yet perfected, and engine revolutions were mainly controlled by means of a spark timing mechanism. The wick-type carburetor was crude, consisting of a metal box with internal baffles stuffed with cotton batting. With no float chamber, the rider had to open the gasoline tap periodically to admit fuel into the carburetor.