Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 102

1911 Wagner Strap-Tank Belt-Drive Single

  • Frame no. 68474

Sold for $22,000

3.5 hp, 442 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine, belt drive.

• An excellent example of Wagner’s highly advanced pre-WWI designs

• Period accessories

During the blossoming of American motorcycle manufacturing in the early 1900s, some 300 different companies tried their hand at attaching engines to what were essentially bicycle frames. The Wagner was the first motorcycle built in Minnesota, and while George Wagner was the person behind the name, it was his daughter Clara who brought the company fame. In 1910, at the age of 18 and already a Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) member, she was a highly successful racer and the first documented female motorcycle rider.

The Wagner benefited from George’s bicycle-design savvy; he recognized the quality of the diamond frame but also realized a loop frame improved weight distribution and increased strength. Accordingly, he designed a hybrid frame by grafting a forward loop onto a modified diamond frame, and engine exhaust was routed through the frame’s front down-tube and exited the frame behind the engine. The stout frame cradled a 442-cc single-cylinder engine, and the bike was capable of reaching 40 mph. Choices of battery or magneto ignition, as well as V-belt or flat-belt drive, were available.

For the astute collector of American belt-drive machines, the 1911 Wagner offered here, richly finished in its factory-correct red paint, would make a superb acquisition. Equipped with V-belt drive and complemented by white tires, red handlebar grips and a handsomely tooled Troxel Mfg. Co. saddle, it is a very fine and highly desirable example of Wagner’s advanced and remarkably user-friendly designs, marking the development of the motorcycle as we know it in its pre-WWI days.


Please note this Motorcycle is sold on a Bill of Sale only.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Jake Auerbach

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Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more