Pope Model L

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Pope Model L
Pope L14 1000 cc 1914.jpg
ManufacturerPope Manufacturing Company
Engine61 cu in (1,000 cm3) OHV carbureted V-twin
Iron cylinders, aluminum crankcase
Bore / stroke3.328125 in × 3.5 in (84.5344 mm × 88.9000 mm)
Power15.4 hp (11.5 kW)
Ignition typeBosch magneto
TransmissionThree speed, chain drive
Eclipse multiple-disk clutch; lever on left side of chassis
SuspensionFront: Leaf spring
Rear:Twin coil springs
BrakesV-band brake actuated by backpedaling
Tires28 in × 3 in (711 mm × 76 mm) clinchers
Wheelbase56.25 in (1,429 mm)

The Pope Model L was a motorcycle produced by Pope Manufacturing Company in Westfield, Massachusetts,[1] between 1914[2] and 1920.

The Model L was, at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), the fastest motorcycle in the world when it was introduced.[3]

It was technologically advanced for its time, with features not found on other motorcycles, such as overhead valves, chain drive (from 1918) and multi-speed transmission.[4][5] It was also expensive at $250, as much then as a Model T automobile.[1][4] (Another source of competition were cyclecars)


Specifications in infobox to the right are from the Smithsonian Institution.[1]

Postage stamp[edit]

A five cent United States postage stamp was issued in October, 1983, with an engraved image of the Pope Model L.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "America on the Move | Pope Model L motorcycle". National Museum of American History. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  2. ^ "Pope advertisement", The Saturday Evening Post, April 4, 1914
  3. ^ Carroll, John (1997), The Motorcycle a Definitive History: A Comprehensive Chronicle of Motorcycles Throughout the World, Smithmark, ISBN 0-8317-6292-6
  4. ^ a b "1918 Pope Motorcycle", Jay Leno's Garage (blog), November 2, 2007, retrieved 2013-10-16
  5. ^ Motorcycle: The Definitive Visual History, Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 0756690528
  6. ^ Thomas Myers (May 16, 2006), "5-cent motorcycle [stamp]", Arago: People, Postage and the Past, Smithsonian Institution

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Williamson Flat Twin
Fastest production motorcycle
Succeeded by
Cyclone V-twin