Bike Of The Week

1915 Iver Johnson

Written by Motorcyclepedia

This weeks bike of the week is the 1915 Iver Johnson!

Today, Iver Johnson Motorcycles are extremely rare, with an estimated 10 in existence. Our 1915 Iver Johnson is perhaps the finest in the world. It is new, original, and had never been started, making it the rarest of all. This motorcycle’s Keystone frame is very unconventional and has a flathead 62.25 ci, 8 horsepower V-Twin motor. The magneto is chain driven with two pumps, one mechanical and one manual. This model uses a three speed gearbox.

Iver Johnson came from Norway to Worchester, MA where he started the Iver Johnson Company in 1871. Originally started as and most well known as a firearm manufacturer, Iver Johnson went on to produce many things. Such as : bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles and even baby strollers. Although Johnson died in 1895, the company continued until 1993.

The motorcycle division was started in 1907 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, under the name “Iver Johnson’s Arms and Cycle Works”, though they had actually been manufacturing bicycles for 23 years. Their bikes were advertised as “Mechanical Perfection”. Even now, Iver Johnson’s features are known to be the finest examples of engineering of their day. In the face of growing demand for armament for WWII, the “Cycle Works” was dropped to concentrate on their expanded arms business. Aside from military use, Iver Johnson guns have prominent places in history. President McKinley was shot and killed in 1901 by an Iver Johnson .32 caliber Safety Automatic revolver in Buffalo, NY. In 1969, Presidential Candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated with an Iver Johnson .22 caliber Cadet 55-A revolver.

Interview about Iver Johnson

Here's an interview Ted Doering did with Ray Chatigny a former Iver Johnson employee on the history of the company.

Posted by Motorcyclepedia Museum on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

About the author


1 Comment

  • I have an original,in very good condition a 1915 Iver Johnson Bicycle,motorcycles Firearms catalog. It is hardcover and little signs of wear. I was thinking maybe someone there may be interested in it.