1911 Pierce 7 pk viercilinder frame no 869 motornummer no 028.
America’s first four-cylinder motorcycle, the Pierce, was manufactured by the Pierce Arrow Motorcar Company at its factory in Buffalo, New York.
Although inspired by the Belgian FN four, one of which Percy Pierce had brought to the USA in 1908, the Pierce differed in detail design, its engine eschewing the FN’s atmospheric inlet valves in favour of mechanical sidevalves in T-head configuration.
According to its makers the Pierce would be “Vibrationless , give motorcar comfort and travel comfortably from a mere walking pace up to the speed of the motorcar “.
It was not just its multi-cylinder engine that made the Pierce unusual ; the frame too was novel, being constructed from 3.5”-diameter steel tubes that housed fuel and oil.
Like the FN, final drive was by shaft.
Early models employed direct drive, but from 1910 onwards a two-speed gearbox was standardised.
Fast and well made, the Pierce soon had a string of city-to-city endurance race wins to its credit.
At the time of its motorcycle’s launch in 1909, Pierce-Arrow was embarking on a policy of building luxury cars only, many of which would come to be regarded as America’s finest.
This approach was reflected in the quality and cost of the Pierce motorcycle and would ultimately lead to its downfall.
Priced at $325 in 1909, it cost $400 when production ceased in 1913, at which time the basic Ford Model T cost $525.
This Pierce is in remarkably original, unrestored and unmolested condition.
The machine was imported into Europe in the early 1990s.