Great photo - I wonder where the fenders were?
Early 1917:s made during 1916, since the asbestos wrapping on the muffler was discontinued about that time.
You just can't get good asbestos anymore.
Such a shame.
That guy at the left foreground, now that's a purist!
Is there mud on the tread of the tires or are they white walls?
: ^ )
That's where tire development was in 1917. If you look at the pages about the Rip Van Winkle '17 in Bruce McCalley's book, you can see close up photos.
The thread part was made out of rubber mixed with coal powder to increase wear resistance, while the rest of the tire was natural rubber. The front tires were smooth.
I think it's mud, since the line between the light and dark is very uneven.
Well Mike, the lines between light and dark were indeed uneven due to the production process - it was not like later days when the white sides were an added feature to make the tire look good, it was more by accident since the war conditions forced some experimentation, and mixing with carbon black showed better wear characteristics.
(Message edited by Roger K on February 03, 2015)