The World’s Rarest Motorcycle

traub motorcycle

Found hidden behind a brick wall in Chicago in 1968, a unique invention of its era is the Traub and till date it remains a mystery concerning who designed it. Presently it is located at the Wheels Through Time museum, in Maggie valley in the mountains of North Carolina.

Dated back to 1917, 14 years before Harley-Davidson motorcycle company came into existence.

The owner of the building confirmed that his son had stolen the machine before going to the World War and unfortunately didn’t return.After investigating the Traub, the fact that it used a Schebler carburetor, a Bosch magneto, a Troxel Jumbo seat, and it had wooden handles.

Amongst it other amazing features. It  had an unknown 3-speed transmission that was responsible for the attainable speed of 85mph (pretty fast for a motorcycle at that time ) and a side valve arrangement that Harley Davidson company didn’t figure out until 1936, an engine capacity of 1278cc while bikes around that time were about 1000cc.

After its discovery, the Traub was sold to Torillo Tacchi(undisclosed fee), a bicycle shop owner in Chicago. Tacchi later sold it to Bud Ekins(undisclosed fee) who was on set for the Blues Brothers movie that premiered in the late 1970s. After Richard Morris bought it from Ekins ,he sold it to Wheels Through Times curator, Dale Walksler in 1990 and it has remained there till date.

After so many years, the mysterious motorcycle still functions properly. Mr Walksler  occasionally takes the Traub for ride and at one time dismantled the engine to cure a knocking noise that happened to be a worn out connecting rod bushing.

Such an invention at an early period is impressive, but what makes it mysterious is the fact that it can’t be traced back to any origin. At that period of time, motorcycles were nothing more than heavy bicycles with an engine. Mr Walksler called it the future of new motorcycles. “The Traub had one of the most advanced constant mesh installed in 1917 when technology was still brand new “. Maybe the genius must have died during the war, but he surely made impact before leaving.


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