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New Ray 1906 Indian Camel Back Single motorcycle

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  • New Ray 1906 Indian Camel Back Single motorcycle

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    It seems sometimes there is very little appreciation for motorcycles in the diecast hobby, which can be unfortunate considering motorcycles have a long history among manufacturers. I recall with some fondness a Police motorcycle with rider made of softish rubberized material (Tomte? Auburn? Sun?) I played with for hours as a toddler. Often an afterthought or accessory sitting on a trailer, makers such as Tootsietoy and Matchbox had their bikes cast in metal and sometimes hard plastic chromed to look like metal.

    History shows how Hot Wheels changed the hobby and the industry, and with the introduction of the Rrrumblers series motorcycles gained newfound appreciation, if only for a moment.

    Perhaps it was fate, perhaps coincidence, or maybe just a happy accident of the universe, but my exposure to Rrrumblers came about the same time a group of bikers moved in across the street, by which time I was ten or so years old. So the choppers caught my eye, and my imagination, and some piece of that remains deep in my psyche.

    That same "fate/coincidence" of life never brought me to more than a flirtation with bikes - a long, sour story I would rather not dwell on - yet the intrigue remains.

    The thing with motorcycles is in 1/64 scale they are quite tiny, and very fragile, and not abundant. So by definition diecast motorcycles almost have to be larger scale. Indeed, most of my experience (and in my collection) hover around 1/18 scale, putting them about 4 inch size - give or take. Any bike with good detail is fragile, that's just the way it is.

    New Ray is much better known for a series of 1/43 automobiles, and most I recall were focused on classic American cars. I even have a few, though I'm very aware of the size limitations with so much of my collection in 1/64ish scale, so I've kept my New Ray purchases to a minimum. (Just couldn't pass on the Chrysler Turbine Car though, inaccurate as a convertible but until the last few years it was the only one in small scale)

    When my eyes hit on this old Indian bike, the draw was instantaneous. I'm guessing the scale to be about 1/43, so would be about accurate to New Ray's cars. Bikes are rare enough, but Harley Davidson is so well represented as to be almost the only brand to be found. And early motorcycles by any maker are almost non-existent. So the combination of an early Indian motorcycle in comparatively tiny size (less than 3 inch) was perfect...and here we are!
    The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • #2
    That looks like a really nice piece! Scale may be as large as 1:32, as they have done a number of motorcycle and scooter ranges at that scale.

    I have bought quite a few trucks and construction machinery from the brand when on sale at Tractor Supply, but their quality is not that great. The tires were out of round on both the pieces of Volvo construction machinery that had wheels in the set; and even the excavator had a few issues. Anything with winches has just pieces of elastic cordage, and they largely use plastic on everything but the cab.

    And let's not forget the radio-control Peterbilt dump truck I had as a teen whose tires had zero traction, and was so weak, it could not move under its own power that well.

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    • #3
      You are right Wes, for most of us motorcycles are kind of a secondary items we might have in our collections. My first motorcycles would have been the ones from the Matchbox regular wheels series with the sidecars. And the only reason I had them was because I had all things Matchbox in those days. Later Matchbox did their Harley Davidson series - and again, outside of the police motorcycles, I bought the rest of them because they were Matchbox, and I was mostly a completist in those days. Still have the police bikes and the regular wheels models but the others went on to other collectors (think you might even have got some of them). And that police motorcycle you had in your younger days - if it is the one I am thinking of it was made by Auburn and I still have one of those someplace in a box in the backroom.


      Matchbox Regular Wheels Triumph Motorcycle with sidecar
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      • #4
        I like Newray buildings from the 90s/00s and their newer Ertl copies, and their machinery is good for the price.

        But I love their motorcycles most since they are great with 1/24 vans, trucks, etc. or in a 1/24 shop

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        • #5
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          My 1/32 or so NewRay Indian board track racer with Homies knockoff figurines and a Chinese made dirt track car

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          • #6
            Found it! Here is the Auburn Police Motorcycle that I thought might be the one Wes was thinking of.

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            • #7
              That is very close to my memory, other than mine being red and a two-wheeler with spoked wheels. Then again, that may be a middle age mind grasping at toddler memories.



              I will say yours makes me think of the Harley three-wheelers still in use for parking enforcement in Vallejo circa 1980, that was the only time I recall seeing a vintage 3 wheel Harley like yours in real life.
              The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

              Thank you for your understanding.

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              • #8

                borrowed image, but this is closer to what I remember. The sideways license plate on the front fender always looked odd to me, even as a child.
                The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

                Thank you for your understanding.

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                • #9
                  I thought the "sideways license plate" said "POLICE" on it....but I may be thinking of another brand's cycle cop. I think I had this one when I was young, but I also have one that came in an Auburn Fire Station set I bought as an adult collector. It's different--it says POLICE on both sides of the front fender, and there's no plaque on top of that fender. Holstered pistol is on the other side of the officer. It came in a set with two of the early Auburn rubber fire engines: an automotive steam pumper and a 40's-ish hose wagon. And a couple Auburn rubber firemen.

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