The concept of the motorcycle was a logical progression from the transport options of the day. In the late 1800s, bicycles existed and were widely used. Engines existed too and the logic of using engines to take the work out of cycling soon became apparent.
The early motor bicycles were commonly referred to as 'motor assisted bicycles', and in effect, that is what they were. Pedal power was required to get them started, until the engine could take over. Through research and a lot of trial and error, a successful 2-wheeled motorcycle was eventually produced; one that offered safe, fast, healthy and personal transport. Modern riders, influenced by the latest models from overseas, would not hesitate to describe these early motorcycles as museum pieces. Yet, by their sturdiness in coping with rough conditions, and the years of reliable and pleasurable service they gave to their owners, these machines have earned a high ranking in the annals of this country's early transport. The motorcycles shown on the four stamps of this issue are indeed a far cry from the sleekly-designed sophisticated machines we see on today's roads.
This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 35 in April 1986.
Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link: http://www.nzsgb.org.uk/
Product Listing for 1986 Vintage Transport
Click on image to enlarge.
Single 35c '1920 1000cc Indian Power Plus' gummed stamp.
A typical, big, rugged American motorcycle built for long-distance running over arduous roads, Popularly known as the 'spring frame' Indian, it was one of the first motorcycles to have a sprung rear wheel. Many were supplied to the police and military forces.
Single 45c '1927 500cc Norton' gummed stamp.
With major racing successes in the Isle of Man, this reliable British motorcycle earned great fame in the racing and sports world.
Single 60c '1930 500cc BSA' gummed stamp.
Made by the "Birmingham Small Arms" Company and bearing the logo of three rifles stacked in a pyramid. This was later changed to emphasise the letters BSA. One of their most popular models was the 1930 BSA 'Sloper'.
Single 75c '1915 550cc Triumph' gummed stamp.
In World War I, the Triumph was exclusively used by British Army dispatch-riders, earning the nickname the 'trusty' Triumph. Thirty thousand of these machines were supplied to the British and Allied armies.
|First Day Cover||First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$2.32|
|Date of issue:||5 March 1986|
|Denominations:||35c, 45c, 60c, 75c|
|Designers:||Michael J Wyatt, Queenstown|
|Printer and process:||Waddington Security Print Ltd, England by offset lithography|
|Stamp size and format:||28.45mm x 42.58mm (horizontal)|
|Sheet Size:||100 (10 rows of 10)|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 30 April 1987.|