Europe by Motorcycle c.1953 | A Continuous Lean.

Europe by Motorcycle c.1953

Oct 11th, 2011 | Categories: Motorcycles, Photography | by Michael Williams

This past weekend in Italy I was sort of surprised to see so many motorcyclists on the winding roads of Piemonte. Upon my return to the States I received an email from the guys in at Bike Exif (which is a pretty awesome site that should be on your daily reads list) with a link to an amazing photo series from a 1953 motorcycle tour of Europe. It all just seemed too perfect considering my recent adventures; though, truth be told my weekend was spent behind the wheel of a Fiat 500, sadly not an old Triumph.

Paul Gander shared the story of his father Goeffrey’s 1953 motorcycle holiday:

In the Summer of 1953 my father Geoffrey Gander and his friends set off on their annual Motor Cycling holiday around Europe. It was probably quite an adventurous trip to take at the time. They would ride through France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. We think of old bikes as being unreliable, but my father and his friends were keen riders and engineers and completed the trip without much more than a puncture.

When we cross from England to France now we have a ferry or the tunnel. For this trip they choose to fly the bikes from Lympne Airport in Kent over to Le Touquet. Whilst the bikes were swiftly loaded at the English end, it took a while for the French to unload the bikes. So what do you do just a few minutes into France as an Englishman… of course you brew tea whilst you wait. My Father stands on the right of this picture, clearly dressed for a motor cycle ride!

Amazing photos of what must have been the adventure of a lifetime. Great of Paul to post these images and share his father’s trip with the rest of world. Be sure to click over and see all of these photos in the large size here.

Thanks again to Bike Exif for the tip.



Comments: 11

11 Comments to “Europe by Motorcycle c.1953”

  1. Miguel Ramalhao
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 2:44 PM

    I’ve done a similar trip by car, and the only thing that I was thinking all throughout the trip was…. I wish I had my bike here. This trip was in 1996. I can only dream how it would be in the 50′s…

  2. Larry Felitto
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 2:46 PM

    How about a Norton down to South America next?

  3. Alex Frankel
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 2:52 PM

    These photos are incredible. Good of Bike Exif to change things up a bit. While I love reading about new motorcycles (and bicycles on Cycle Exif), it’s always important to keep up with history.

  4. Ray Hull
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 7:18 PM

    Lovely saga and particularly well-framed photos too. Many thanks and I have passed it on to my Triumph buddies.

  5. Mick
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 10:43 PM

    I’ve got to say that while I like this (and I love Bike Exif), I read ACL for its AMERICAN-focused content – not for European clothes makers, car makers or nostalgia makers. ACL has built its name on things American, right? Ok, so try to stay on point. You’re good at it. That’s why I come to this blog.

  6. Smith & Ratliff
    on Oct 12th, 2011
    @ 10:37 AM

    We took a little road trip in a Fiat 500 last week too. Too bad it was rural NJ/PA and not Italy.

  7. doane
    on Oct 12th, 2011
    @ 11:23 AM

    Get busy liven’

  8. Jonas
    on Oct 13th, 2011
    @ 2:47 PM

    Inspired me to dig out our old ’76 Moto Guzzi V1000 and take it for a Autumn scoot.

  9. Raj Asarpota
    on Oct 16th, 2011
    @ 4:35 PM

    Great pics! I just replaced my Harley Sportster. Can’t wait to ride on the new bike.

  10. Graz
    on Oct 19th, 2011
    @ 1:58 PM

    Great stuff. I was in Italy in June and I was seriously envious of all the motocyclists. Perfect suit. Helmet. Wayfairers. Triumph motorcycle. Everywhere. I was ready to move there.

  11. osd
    on Nov 3rd, 2011
    @ 4:49 PM

    More European content please!