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US motorcycle identification


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It is a little-known fact that the American Army had ordered several British motorcycles and combinations contracts. Royal Enfield 6HP combinations, Matchless, Rover, Douglas just to name a few:


But the other day I found the photograph below. Two French moustaches, but the driver of the outfit could be an American? There are US markings on the petrol tank, but the bike looks very British to me. Does anybody recognise the make / model?


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Thanks Andy, it is indeed a New Imperial! I've just done some research... In the spring of 1917 New Imperial (together with several other British manufacturers) had a contract for a number of 8HP solo machines for the Russian Imperial Army:


In September 1917 there was another Russian contract, for 8HP motorcycles with a military side car:



The Russians did some serious testing of all the British motorcycles and combinations:


In February 1918 the US Army also ordered New Imperial (solo) motorcycles:


But due to the October revolution in Russia, lots of undelivered Russian contract motorcycles and combinations were diverted to other countries. And so it happened that the Russian contract New Imperial outfits ended up in the US Army...


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