1919 Reading Standard 990cc Board Track Racer

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The name Reading Standard (R S) is derived from the town Reading, Pennsylvania, where the factory was. Standard is derived from the popular idea that production motorcycles should incorporate proven industry standards. Their slogan was, “Built and tested in the mountains”.

source:mpd.museum /image: Glenn Bator

Reading Standard offered Flathead engines, these were the first flatheads offered in America. The V-Twin engine had been around since 1908, which was before the flathead. The first year it displaced 722cc, but when this 1913 model came out RS increased the displacement to 990cc.

The R S also had a Prest-O-Lite on the handlebars and a brake light on the rear fender, powered by acetylene gas. The motorcycle also featured a gas shut off valve, gas and oil caps, regulator for oil drip to the engine, and a pump to fill the oil reservoir, all of which were located on the gas tank.

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Reading Standard grew tired of the racing scene and decided to sell more motorcycles at a retail level, around 1910, however, it was too late. By 1914 the company was in bad shape, and business was slowing down.