European Motorcycles

Planet 1497cc V-Twin ca 1915

John Oliver of Kew, Melbourne, had some experience in the motorcycle trade having produced machines under the Planet and Planet Aero marques. His son Monty related that John had arrived home a little the worse for wear after a night on the tiles, then sat drew and up the plans for this behemoth on a piece of brown paper - a story reminiscent of another Australian story, the sketch of the Vincent V-twin on the back of a beer coaster. Or whatever. The Planet became a reality, and could reputedly achieve the very respectable speed of 85 m.p.h - but just where he found roads suitable for such astronomical speeds is a mystery, bearing in mind that the recently set record for a run from Sydney to Melbourne averaged 18mph along the Hume Highway - a narrow dirt road lined with gum trees and rutted by carts and carriages. In the sixties and early seventies parts of the old dirt highway were still plainly visible running parallel to the two-lane macadamised road.

Courtesy Museum Victoria. Licence: CC BY 4.0
More information: Australian Marques