ca. 1915 Great Western built Mead 'Pathfinder' Motorbike

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Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
Ca. 1915+/- Great Western built Mead badged “Pathfinder”
An excellent survivor machine highly reminiscent of it’s motorcycle counterpart in the catalog.
I haven't found a 15' catalog that shows the Pathfinder but by 20' when the Pathfinder shows up in a few catalogs it has adopted many later traits. I would love to see any images you fine sleuths dig up!
The closest I've found is the attached 1915 advert for another GW built Mead, the Ranger Superbe Motorcycle Model, but there are a couple discrepancies between mine and this model.

Original matched rims sport the same sexy maroon & black with gold bar outlined paint as the fenders. The maroon and flowing black pin stripes are strong throughout the frame but like a well-aged burgundy, difficult to show but intoxicating in person.

I’m not generally a fender man given I’m working primarily with racing machines of the 1890’s but these fenders speak to me.
Dual factory braces that run well outside the wheel well of the fender all intact.

The tiller bar stance, those motorcycle style pedals and longspring with the welded truss rod forks combined with the fenders really drives this one home for me as a proper "motorbike" from the period.

As a Great Western built machine it’s no surprise to find a fine half inch pitch Fauber crank hanger, at this point I love to see an early machine with original 1/2” pitch drive.
Sadly the badge is basically electro printed on brass and has not held up well enough to photograph well either but you will just have to visit the shop to appreciate it.

Gear rundown:
-Troxel “Tip Top” long spring saddle with tool kit
-Standard Co. pedals
-Atherton coaster brake hub
-Bull dog grips
-Goodyear Blue Streak tires

Mead Pathfinder1.jpg


Mead Pathfinder2.jpg


Mead Pathfinder3.jpg


Mead Pathfinder4.jpg


Mead Pathfinder5.jpg


Mead Pathfinder6.jpg


Mead Pathfinder7.jpg


Mead Pathfinder8.jpg


Mead Pathfinder9.jpg


Troxel Tip Top.png


1910 Atherton Coaster Hub.jpg


Goodyear Blue Streak Tires.jpg


1915 GW Mead Ranger Superbe Motorcycle Model.jpg
 

oldmtrcyc

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I have the mead catalogs from 1913, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, and 25. I don't see this model in the 1916 or earlier. My 1918 catalog shows exactly like Josehuerta's 1917 catalog. Red w/ black trim.

Worth noting in the 1918 catalog, the artist's renditions of the Rangers (top of the line) showed the rod style fender braces, while the Pathfinders showed the flat braces. I could see Mead using whatever they had handy. In fact, you could order the European style md guards, shown with round braces, in 1918. So my hunch is that Jesse's killer bike is 1916-1920, but some gaps still need filled in. I have several rangers from the late teens, early 20s. Time to dig deeper!
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