1910 Pierce Four


Engine: 696 cc T-head inline-4 with compression release

Horsepower: 7 HP

Transmission: Two-speed manual

Top Speed: 60 MPH

Frame type: 3.5-inch tubing

Suspension: Front: Leading link fork, Rear: rigid

Tires: 28×2.5 in. pneumatic

Weight: 275 lbs. (dry)

George N. Pierce founder of the G. N. Pierce company, manufactured bird cages and refrigerators in the late 1890’s. In 1908, George’s son Percy brought a Belgian FN Four motorcycle to the United States. Pierce studied the design and based their new Pierce bike on the FN. Using the FN for technical inspiration, the Pierce Four became the first four-cylinder motorcycle manufactured in the United States. The Pierce engine differed from the FN’s; Pierce used efficient side valves in a ‘T-Head’ configuration, while the FN used atmospheric inlet valves. This change was so efficient, FN used the ’T-Head’ design themselves later on. Along with the unique valve design, the bike’s frame was also one of a kind; with a diameter of 3.5 inches, the steel frame housed both fuel and oil.According to its makers the Pierce would be, ‘Vibrationless, give motor car comfort and travel comfortably from a mere walking pace up to the speed of the motor car.’ Fast and well made, the Pierce soon had a string of city-to-city endurance race wins to its credit.  When the Pierce Four was launched, the company had initiated a policy to strictly build luxury cars. Under the name Pierce-Arrow, the company supplied cars to high ranking officials around the world. A number of cars were sent to the White House for use of the President. Priced at $325 in 1910 when a Ford Model T could be purchased for $525, the high price reflected the quality and ingenuity of the motorcycle.

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