1904

1904 MOTOR MASTHEAD
After a few months’ publication in 1902 Motor Cycling was been absorbed into The Motor, leaving Motor Cycle as the sole magazine devoted soley to motor cycling. However The Motor devoted plenty of pages to two and three-wheelers. (Scroll down for a comprehensive report on the motor cycle exhibits at the Ninth Annual Motor Show.)

SPRAY CARBURRETORS were replacing wick-in-a-tin ‘surface’ carbs (which, let it be noted, were known as ‘bubblers’). Rubber and canvas V-section belts were replacing  twisted rawhide belts and mechanical inlet vales (MOIV) were replacing automatics (AOIV). Tyres were growing from two to three inches wide. Other innovations included high-voltage magnetos, Bowden cable controls, clutches and sprung forks.

1904 SURFACE (DEDION)
This De Dion surface carburretor doubled as a petrol tank.

THE FIRST MOTOR cycle in India was dubbed ‘shaitan-gari’ or ‘devil-carriage. The rider lived 1,700 miles from the nearest petrol.

RACERS WERE routinely exceeding 60mph.

WITHIN SIX months 21,521 motorcycles and 18,340 cars had been registered (lower cost made two wheels more popular than four). Just 770 motorcycles were exported; 979 were imported.

INDIAN ADOPTED twistgrips way ahead of the pack, though Werner had pioneered them for racing.

1904 LETTERS AW

HIGH TENSION VS MAGNETO IGNITION.
Sir,—As the question of ignition still appears to be rather a vexed one, we must make this our excuse for writing you on the subject, as we thought possibly our experience would be useful to you. We have just completed a long series of extensive experiments with practically every known system of ignition, and as a result we have decided to retain the well-known high-tension system upon our cars this season. Our experience is that for all-round satisfaction the high-tension system is very hard to beat; speaking broadly, there are no working parts which are at all times apt to get out of order, and if any trouble is encountered the fault can usually be traced by the merest novice, whereas with the magneto form of ignition any derangement is usually outside, the scope of the average driver’s capabilities, and the result is that the whole apparatus has to be removed and returned to the manufacturers for repairs. With the high-tension form of ignition the most important detail which requires attention is the accumulator. A good quality coil practically never requires any attention whatever (we are prepared to fit induction coils with one, two or four tremblers) and the only attention needed to the commutator is occasional adjustment and cleaning of the platinum points. Sparking plugs have now reached such perfection that defect is seldom experienced, and with careful driving the sparking plug points should rarely require cleaning. To overcome any likelihood of trouble with accumulators we are this season fitting two accumulators with two-way switch within easy reach of the driver, and will also in addition supply, free of charge, a spare four-volt accumulator. All insulated wires and terminals are thoroughly protected, and providing the driver occasionally tests his accumulators, we think that ignition troubles will—at any rate on Ariel cars—be few and far between.
Yours faithfully,
The Ariel Motor Co.

1904 L&K MOVIE
This snap of a 1904 Laurin-Klement is taken from an early chase movie. So while the bikes that raced for Austria-Hungary in the Coupe Internationale would have looked like this, it’s a fair bet that the riders didn’t wear boaters. L&K also built an in-line four, but soon dropped bikes in favour of cars.
1904 IN DAHOMEY
Dahomey, in West Africa, was a French colony; this chap is presumably an administrator. Colonial models were produced by a number of manufacturers.

GERMAN EMIGREE Johannes Gütgemann adopted the name John Taylor (later changed to Goodman) and, with his partner William Gue, produced Hampton bicycles. They took over the Begian firm Kelekom Motors and developed a 2hp powered bike which they marketed as the Veloce (Italian for Speed). It was not a success, but Veloce would be back.

TRICARS AND forecarriages were outselling trailers so instead of eating dust hapless passengers served as an early form of airbag. Here’s a selection of forecars from the 1904 season…

1904 GRIFFON FORECAR
This survivor is a Griffon.
1904 BRUNEAU FORECAR
…this is a Bruneau.
1904 HUMBER OLYMPIA TANDEM
Humber ‘Olympia Tandem’.
1904 ROVER FORECAR
Rover (note the weather protection for the passenger and expansive running boards).
1904 WESTFIELD FORECAR
Westfield, summing up the Edwardian style that marked the early years of British motor cycling.
1904 FN LE DRUIDE
This sporty single-seater FN is a survivor which for decades has been owned and ridden by pioneer rallyist Jean-Marie Debonneville, know to his motorcycling friends throughout Europe as Le Druide. Meilleurs vœux, Druide!
1904 OSMONT TOUR
Record breaking French ace Georges Osmont rode his solo FN on a winter Tour de France, completing 2,700km in a month.
1904 REEVES
JH Reeves, newly appointed secretary of the Motor Cycling Club, pictured in The Motor at Purley, starting point for the club’s first run of the year.
1904 MONOWHEEL
La Vie de l’Automobile reported that a working monowheel featured at the Milan Exposition; judging by the illustration it was electrically powered and featured an outrigger.

ALFRED ANGUS Scott patented a vertical twin two-stroke engine of advanced design [and you can read an account in his own words in the 1914 Features section].

THE FOUR SONS of motoring pioneer John Knight (see 1895) acquired a 1¼hp engine and built it into a trike frame made of two planks of ash, lengths of angle iron from their dad’s scrap pile and the rear wheel of Knight Snr’s historic car. They incorporated rubber-block front suspension and made a surface carb from a Bath Oliver biscuit tin. Knight’s oldest son reported: “It is a fact that for a whole week we tried to get that engine to go, but a few spasmodic explosions were all we could get! At the end of that period, my father designed a carburettor embodying another biscuit tin containing coils of lamp wick wound on a wire frame, the petrol rising by capillary attraction up the wick, and thence evaporating very readily. Then at last the engine not only ran, but drove the machine…”

1904 KNIGHT JNR TRIKE
The Knight Junior: Built from scrap parts by teenagers, but it ran.

GLENN CURTISS took one of his bikes to Ormond Beach, Florida where he set a 10-mile record for 10 miles on the hard-packed sand and did 67.3 mph. After a Curtiss beat an Indian in an endurance race from New York to Cambridge, Maryland, Hendee rep EH Corson went to check out Curtiss’s Hammondsport base and was startled to find the entire Curtiss motorcycle enterprise in the back room of Curitiss’s modest shop.

1904 CURTIS ON HERCULES
This is the contemporary caption, from an unidentified US magazine: “GH Curtis, on the Hercules motor cycle, with which he made 10 miles in 8min 54⅖sec, averaging 53⅖sec to the mile, and making a world’s record for all distances from 2 to 10 miles. The race was one of the events at the Daytona-Ormonde meet. The machine has a 5hp 2cylinder motor and is made by GH Curtiss Mfg Co of Hammondsport, NY. It was fitted with a Morrow coaster brake.”
1904 CURTISS HERCULES
The Curtiss Hercules was clearly a good all-rounder. With more comfortable bars, a bigger fuel tank, mudguards and a ‘tandem’ set-up there was plenty of room to take Mrs Lena Curtiss for a spin. And doesn’t she look charming?
1904 SAROLEA KERRY
Most British manufacturers got their start with imported engines; the East London Rubber Co went further by importing complete Sarolea motor cycles from Belgium, tarting them up and selling them under the Kerry banner, so the newly adopted British racing green livery was a tad cheeky. As Britain caught up production was transferred to the Abingdon factory, where the engines were made too.
1904 ADER
The French 250cc V-twin Ader Cardan with a driveline patented the previous year. This was among the first shafties; time was when ‘cardan drive’ was a synonym for shaft drive.
1904 MOTO CARDAN 2
This Cardan could hardly be stripped down any more, presumably to meet the Continental 50kg limit.

THE MOTOR MAGAZINE (INCORPORATING Motor Cycling) commissioned “a special lightweight touring motor-bicycle…to demonstrate that a type of motor-bicycle alternative to existing types is quite practicable…There are a large number of would-be motorcyclists to whom the powerful and necessarily very heavy machine does not appeal…to jump from 26lb to 170lb or so is too big a step…Our ideal has been to have a machine constructed that would have an engine developing a full 2hp and scaling between 70 and 80lb minus petrol and accessories. By suitably proportioning the parts and introducing one or two innovations, chief of which is the employment of the metal aluminium where possible, we have obtained a mount scaling 78 1/2lb, having a solidly constructed frame, equipped with strong tyres, two brakes, two accumulators, wide mudguards and large petrol capacity.” The 169cc lump weighed 19lb and developed 2.35hp at 2,500rpm. The cylindrical fuel/oil tank was aluminium and gave a claimed range of 150/450 miles. “This is the first aluminium tank ever fitted to a motor-bicycle.” The spray carb and mudguards were also aluminium. The accumulators were said to supply sparks for “easily 550 miles”. Brakes (Crabbe Special front, Garrard Moderatum rear) were said to hold the bike on a 1 in 7. “In actual running there is a marked absence of vibration, due to the high-speed engine, large flywheel and extra wheelbase. The pace on the level is ample to satisfy even a fastidious tourist…the stiffest climbs on the Brighton Road were surmounted with ease, the merest touch of the pedals on one or two occasions alone being necessary. Our designs and suggestions have been carefully carried out by the makers, Messrs Garrard, of Birmingham, and we think from the foregoing it is clear that the 80lb touring motor-cycle can be made.”

1904 TORPEDO
The Torpedo, built to Motor Cycling’s design, weighed in at less than 80lb and boasted the first aluminium fuel tank.

THE AUSTRIAN MOTORCYCLISTEN-Vereinigung staged a 100km benzine consumption competition between Wiener-Neustadt and Neunkirchen.

M FRANCHINI OF COMO made what was claimed to be the first two-wheeled ascent of the hill from Varese to Santo Monte “the hill being very steep and rugged”.

1904 ASCOT
Ascot, based in North London, went into the motor cycle business in about 1901; this example was among the last made although company founder Percy Sandham stayed in the industry, among other ventures making the Sandum sidecar. I recommend http://www.go-faster.com/AscotMotorcycle.html. Here you will find the results of an enthusiast’s tireless research into the man and the marque. It goes into exquisite detail; any motor cycle obsessive will read it with relish.

NOTTINGHAM FIRE BRIGADE sent two engines and two escape ladders to the Campion Cycle Co. “A close inspection of the premises failed to disclose any trace of a fire, but later it transpired that a member of the firm had been testing a motor-bicycle previous to taking it out for a run, and had over-lubricated the engine. The smoke issuing from the shop caused some passer-by to give the alarm.”

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD amended the Motor Car Act to allow cars to be reversed “to the extent which is consistent with the safety or convenience of the occupants of the car. Under the amended laws “any horse driver may, by raising his hand, compel a motor driver to stop”. Until this change motor drivers could only be stopped by drivers of “restive” horses.

1904 SHOW LOGO
1904 SHOW OVERVIEW
Horses out, vehicles in. The Islington Agricultural Hall housed everything from bicycles to luxury cars.

“THE NINTH ANNUAL MOTOR SHOW at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, and the only one which has received the patronage of the Automobile Club, is now open…a horse show which proceeded the show (rather a curious juxtaposition, by the way) was not cleared out until the Tuesday…The place was in an indescribably filthy state, reeking of the stable…Those who had left the Hall in chaos on the Friday…were compelled to marvel at the transformation effected in the night…There is scarcely an inch of room unoccupied in the Hall…The Clarendon motor-bicycles exhibited by The Clarendon Motor Car and Bicycle Co, Ltd, Coventry are of taking design and neatly finished. They are fitted with 3hp engines, the cylinder and head being cast in one piece. Mechanically operated valves are a feature, as are the patent pulley bearings. This ball race, which is carried on two projections cast on the left hand side of the crank case, takes the full driving strain of the belt, which actually runs between two bearings. It is claimed that this method prevents any possibility of the flywheels running out of line or uneven wear on the bushes. The belt can also be tightened to any pitch without affecting the running of the motor. The motor is attached to the frame by four bolts, and is supported by a loop tube in a vertical position. The frame, too, is of patent design, the bottom head lug being in one casting, thus greatly strengthening this important part of the machine. A Longuemare carburetter with throttle, a Lithanode accumulator, and a high-speed trembler coil are fitted. The wheels have two-inch Clipper motor tyres, although any other make can

1904 EXCELSIOR FORECAR
Motor Cycling’s artist popped onto the Excelsior stand…

be fitted to order, A tri-car having a 4½hp water-cooled engine, is also shown. The popularity of the Excelsior motor cycles, made by the old-established firm of Bayliss, Thomas and Co, Ltd, Coventry, is testified by the large number of these machines which are to be met with on the road. Consequently they require no introduction or recommendation by us. None the less, we advise those of our readers who visit the show to make a close inspection of the latest models. Various detail improvements are noticeable and all bear the high-grade stamp as regards workmanship and finish. The 2½ and 3 ¼hp bicycles, a 3¼hp tricycle (air cooler) and a 3¼hp tri-car (also air-cooled) strike the eye. All are fitted with Clincher A Won tyres, duplicate Lithanode non-spillable accumulators, two-way switches, Bassee-Michel high-speed trembler coils, wipe contacts, Lincona belts and spray or surface carburetters. A new addition to the Excelsior group is the 4hp model fitted with a carriage built forecar. It possesses the usual features, but the engine is free and water-cooled and is started by a release handle in exactly the same way as an ordinary car. Moreover, two speeds are provided, and

1904 REX FORECAR
Rex’s latest Tri-ette sported a 3¼hp engine and wicker-work seat.

2½in motor tyres are fitted to all wheels. This is an excellent machine, and its power and capabilities are such as will make it speedily leap into popular favour. Already a number of orders for it have been secured, notwithstanding that it only made its first public appearance on Saturday. As is the wont of the Rex Motor Manufacturing Co, Ltd, Coventry, when exhibiting they make a brave display. Their well-known 3¼hp motorcycles are staged. We have referred to them so frequently that it is only necessary for us to point out that these up-to-date and well-tried mounts are worthy of the attention of visitors who are thinking of taking up the fascinating pastime of motorcycling. The Rexette possesses two coach built bucket seats, one being attached in the form of a fore car and the other at the back—that is to say, it supersedes the saddle. A water-cooled engine of 4hp drives the carette (as it may be aptly described), and this is rigidly fixed to a registered design of cradle, which permits of its being easily removed when necessary. The vehicle is pedalless and is started by a fixed handle after the practice of ordinary cars. The engine power is transmitted by a chain (protected against dirt and mud) through a clutch to the rear wheel. The tubular framework is very strong; indeed, the Rexette is a serviceable and attractive vehicle, which at 90 guineas is appealing very strongly to that large class of individuals who cannot yet afford the ordinary type of car. A new addition to the Rex models is the Tri-ette. This takes the form of a tri-car, the engine being of 3¼hp and the seat of wicker work. The Begbie Manufacturing Co, 407, Oxford Street, London W, exhibit a Pearson motor-bicycle, The main feature of this machine is that it is fitted with the excellent

1904 PEARSON
The Pearson was powered by a 4hp Aster engine.

Aster engine. This has ribbed copper radiators and develops 4hp. A special design of frame is adopted on this machine, the engine being mounted vertically in a loop running from the lower part of the head tube. It is braced at this point to the main down by two short tubes, forming a double triangle behind the head, thus giving an immensely strong structure. The carburetter is a float feed spray with throttle and air control. The ignition is high tension electric by coil and accumulators, and transmission is by a long V-section belt. It will be noticed from the illustration that the engine is very rigidly held in the loop tube, and the triangle of tubes just in front of the bottom bracket makes this vital part extra rigid. Duplex forks and a large silencer are fitted. Two machines shown by the Aurora Motor Manufacturing Co, Coventry, must be noted, a 2½hp motor-bicycle and a 3½hp tri-car. The former is built on standard lines, and does not call for any special description—although we may say it is excellent value for £38—and the latter is provided with a free engine clutch and a mechanically operated inlet valve. The Fuller motor-bicycle is made in 2, 2¾, and 3½hp sizes. It is a handsome mount, with vertical engine, mechanical valves, and Bowden valve lifter fitted. The motor is fitted in a loop

1904 FULLER
The Fuller, one of many short-lived marques assembled from proprietary parts.

frame, having duplex front forks. The carburetter is of the Longuemare type, with automatic air regulator. The ignition is by a Fuller trembler coil and Fuller dry battery or accumulator. The tyres can be Clipper, Dunlop, Palmer or Continental make at option. The drive is by V-belt. There are two brakes, the rear one being a Bowden rim pattern. The engine is a very excellent one, and securely clamped in the frame, and the regulating levers have ratchet adjustments. The price is 40 guineas. The firm call the machine the Bow motor-bicycle. The Garrard Manufacturing Company, Magneto Works, Birmingham, exhibit their latest production in the shape of a 5hp tri-car, having numerous good features. We have quite recently described and illustrated this handsome little vehicle, so a further description will not be necessary. We can recommend a close inspection, as an effort has been made to eliminate the several disadvantages of the usual type of light three-wheeler. The finish and symmetrical lines especially will be noted. In addition to the tri-car will be found a new two-speed motor-bicycle gear shown fitted in the flywheel of a 2hp Clement Garrard motor. It is of the internal pinion type and is certainly a device from which much may be expected. Motorcyclists will be interested to learn that AW Gamage, Ltd, Holborn, have introduced a new pattern 3hp motor-bicycle, fitted with Fafnir engine on a Chater Lea frame. It has the FN carburetter and coil and accumulator ignition. The drive is by V-belt, and there are two brakes, and the mudguards are wide and well extended. The control levers have ratchet adjustments, and the petrol capacity is extra large. The front forks are duplex, and the tyres are special Dunlops. At £35 this machine is really splendid valve, and a mount to suit the most critical rider. It has excellent hill-climbing powers, and the general finish is equal to anything we have seen. Another fine mount exhibited has a 2¾hp vertical engine built into the frame. It has V-belt transmission and a Longuemare carburetter. High-tension ignition is used and two sets of batteries are provided, including a two-way switch. The front forks are duplex, and there are two brakes and an exhaust valve lifter. This mount is £47, inclusive of all accessories. W Maitland Edwards, at Stand 241, is showing his improved non-skidder, which consists of a specially prepared toughened chrome leather cover, moulded so as to fit all sizes and makes of tyres. On the tread of the cover steel segments are fixed, with bifurcated rivets at suitable intervals. The Palmer Tyre, Ltd, Birmingham, have, as usual, a very attractive display. The nature of the exhibits does not vary from those recently shown at the Crystal Palace. Their famous cord motor tyres of the flange-fixing and beaded-edge tyres are to be seen,

1904 BARTLETT
Bartletts displayed a wide range of accessories at the Agricultural Hall.

and various sizes of motorcycle tyres are also displayed viz. 2in, 2¼in. and 2½in. The last is now made of the cord fabric, and should appeal very strongly to motorcyclists who are seeking a high-class and ingeniously constructed tyre, embodying in a very marked degree speed with durability. The Fisk detachable tyre, shown by the South British Trading Co, is an American tyre of sound construction and fine quality material. Its novel point is its principle of attachment to the rim. It is clamped on by steel rims and drawn bolts, and is most securely fixed, and yet very readily dismounted for repair. Fisk single-tube tyres are another special line. They are secured to the rim by bolts. Numerous accessories are shown, including a set of the Fuller batteries, etc. Other details are steering wheels, jacks, pumps, tyre repair outfits, cycle belting, tool outfits, etc. The ‘Arclight’ lamp stands out prominently among the exhibits of H Miller and Co, Ltd, Miller. This is an acetylene lamp having a burning capacity of six hours. The Miller Tail Lamp is so constructed that it can be used for inspecting the engine. It has a red glass and a white glass, and the red glass can be folded back. It burns paraffin…The Anglo American Oil Co, 22 Billiter Street, London, EC, makes a bold bid with Pratt’s motor spirit which is so extensively used throughout the kingdom. Mr AA Godin, of 9, Littyle James Street, Gray’s Inn Road, WC, is showing a pump which will appeal very strongly to those who are tired of the old back-aching method of inflating tyres. It is put into gear with the engine, the amount of air which is pumped into the tyre at each piston stroke being the same as that pumped by an ordinary foot inflator. The indiarubber valve connection has a gauge fixed to it, in order to show the pressure of the tyre. This gauge is provided with a two-way tap, which, during the inflation, communicates with a safety valve fitted with a whistle. When the required pressure is obtained the whistle sounds, and it is then only

1904 BROWN ENGINE
There was a lot of interest in a sectioned Brown engine.

necessary to turn the tap into its second position when the surplus air will find its way out. Messrs J Bartlett and Co, of South Tottenham, London, N, have entered the list of manufacturers of lamps…The motorcycle lamp is made with a separate generator, to be clipped on the front forks…Another novel feature is the gas generator, carried in a compartment of the tank [which] is well made, with petrol and oil gauges fitted…Messrs Lake and Elliott, of Braintree is displaying a carrier-stand, which is quickly brought into operation without the necessity of undoing any screws…It is very strongly made, and when in use as a stand has a wide base of 10½in, which gives it great stability, and allows motor-bicycles to be run on it for test purposes with security. When folded up (which is quickly and readily done) it supports the carrier,

1904 LAKE STAND
The Lake Millennium carrier doubled as a stand.

and closes up to 6½in, leaving no awkward projections to catch the rider’s leg when dismounting. A great point about it is that the luggage of the carrier in no way interferes with the use of the stand. Alfred Dunhill, Ltd, of Euston Road, London NW, have a most complete and varied assortment of their numerous specialities: jackets of various patterns, waistcoats, chrome-dressed calf skin clothing, gloves, gauntlets, overcoats, dust coats, aprons, furs, waterproofs, overalls, caps, leather over boots and foot muffs, gaiters, etc all tempt the eye…in addition, headlights, test lamps, pumps, speed indicators, number plates, altitude recorders, side baskets, goggles, motor horns, in fact, as the firm aptly puts it, ‘everything’ but the motor can be obtained here. Wass and Cocks, Ealing, show the Gripwell brake. This consists of a lever working in a clip which is attached to the compression stay of the motorcycle. One end carries a shoe which engages with the belt pulley, the other carries a pawl which comes into action by back pedalling. The power of the brake can be graduated to a nicety. It has few parts and is altogether highly effective.” A selection of the ads that accompanied the show report may be found in the ad section at the end of this page.

1904 LAURIN & KLEMENT
Laurin & Klement came up with a purposeful four.
1904 ROSSLER & JAUERNIG
This one’s a bit of a mystery. It’s captioned a Rösler & Jauernig which sounds German or Austrian; if you happen to know more do get in touch.

THE CONCOURS D’ENDURANCE pour Motorcyclettes de Tourisme was hosted by the Autocycle Club de France, at Dourdan. It was open to motorcycles weighing up to 50kg over five laps of a 34-mile course, with entries limited to three per country. Britain was represented by a JAP, a Lagonda and a Quadrant. They took on three Griffons from France, three Progresses from Germany, two Laurin-Klements from Austria-Hungary and a Humber-based Jurgensen from Denmark. Nails scattered on the course created havoc. The French took top three spots and one of those fragile 110-pounders achieved 76.5mph. But when the Brits protested about the nails and other irregularities the race was declared null and void. Someone had to bring some order to international motor cycle racing so the sports authorities of the five countries put their heads together. At tghe end of the year delegates met at the restaurant Ledoyen in Paris and established the Fédération Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes (FICM).

1904 CISSAC @ DOURDAN
Henri Cissac at Dourdan with the 12hp Peugeot. The 1,489cc 45deg V-twin engine weighed 27kg and, to comply with racing rules, the whole bike weighed just 50kg, leaving no margin for brakes.
1904 FICM LOGO
The FICM was set up to regulate international motor cycle sport.
1904 LANFRANCHI
Vincenzo Lanfranchi won the motocyclette class at La Course de Cote de Gaillon hillclimb, also on a potent 12hp Peugeot twin.
1904 LANFRACHI HYDRA
…and here he is again, having won the Coupe Hydra and setting a 100km 250cc record.
LANFRANCHI RECORD AD

WATCH AND INSTRUMENT manufacturer Samuel Smith moved into the automotive sector with the the Perfect Speed Indicator. The first example was delivered to Edward VII for the royal Mercedes. Smith’s speedos would dominate the British motor cycle industry.

“THERE IS NO novelty in seventy pound machines; they were made two years ago, exhaustively tried, and found wanting, and one of their first defects was excessive vibration. The motor bicycle can be, and will be, lightened, but the first aim should be—and it has been with the majority of makers—efficiency and a reasonable margin of strength. The lightening process will be gradual, and not seventy pounds at a time. Weight is a great drawback, but it is at present the lesser of two evils.”

1904 YAMABA STEAMER
Torao Yamaha made Japan’s first powered vehicle—a 10-seat steamer which he used as family transport.

“WILL THE PEDALS BE RETAINED as a part of the equipment of the motor-bicycle of future seasons? Are they necessary even now? These are questions which are being extensively discussed amongst riders at the present moment, as they will undoubtedly influence the design of future types of motor-bicycles to an important degree…Up to now most motorcyclists will, I think, agree with me that pedals have proved of great value in nine machines out of ten. If we go back a matter of four seasons, we find that the small and inefficient motor of that period was regarded more as an adjunct to the pedal-propelled machine. Manufacturers claimed that their 1¾hp machines could go twice as fast on the level without pedal assistance as the ordinary bicycle could, but it was rarely claimed that even a moderate hill could be surmounted without pedal assistance. But nowadays things have changed greatly; the small motor of to-day is greatly superior in point of efficiency to its predecessor of 1900, and pedals are more or less regarded as a useful accessory for starting and controlling the machine over short distances when the engine is switched off rather than as an aid to propelling the machine on stiff hills; but in reality, I contend, there are very few machines under. 2½hp that do not require pedal assistance at some time or other in their career. I regard the pedals as, in a sense, taking the place of a variable speed gear. With a medium-powered engine minus pedals more often than not it would be a case of walking up the finishing stretch of a hill which a few turns of the pedals would have sufficed to surmount, and this, in practice, amounts to the same thing as putting a low gear into action when the hill becomes too much for the engine. A surprising amount of power can be put into the pedalling gear over a short period, even though the rider be not or the muscular order; and this feature is of the utmost value at critical periods. For actual starting of the machine pedalling can certainly claim to be a very convenient method, though by no means the only one; there is the method, for instance, of running by the side of the machine for a few yards, dropping the exhaust valve, and then vaulting into the saddle—but this is hardly to be recommended to the novice, as it is more or less of an acrobatic performance. Of course, the easiest method of all is to have a clutch and hand-starting gear; then all that is required is to start the engine up, get into the saddle, and let the clutch in gently. This latter method, indeed, would appear to be the only practicable one for a 3 or 4hp machine, with its immense weight. On very heavy machines I really cannot see that pedals can prove of the least service. To be able to move the machine from rest an abnormally low pedal gear would have to be used, and even then the strain might have serious consequences for a rider with a weak heart. It was just this very difficulty of ‘starting up’ a great dead weight by pedalling that helped to kill the quad. But for the type of motor-bicycle which, to my thinking, must become by far the most popular—a machine which will scale about 84lb all on and develop a good 2hp—the pedal gear will certainly be retained. In traffic riding the pedals give one a control over the machine which the rider of a pedalless machine cannot possibly have. True it is that something can be done even in this case by manipulating the machine a la ‘hobby horse’,’ but it is not a method that commends itself to me. With the help of pedals, and having the valve up, one can go along at a mere crawl of two miles an hour in dense traffic, which would otherwise mean dismounting every few minutes. On greasy surfaces, crossing badly laid metals, and rounding corners, I invariably find it better to switch of the engine, lift the valve, and put in a few strokes of the pedals. A not-to-be despised convenience with pedals is the ability to jack the machine up on the stand and give it a preliminary test indoors to see that all is right. I now come to the last advantage of pedals—although this particular one is becoming more and more of a negative value, as it is so rarely necessary to make use of it—and this is the fact that, given a fairly light mount, if by any chance the engine should break down, or even should one run unexpectedly short of petrol or current, it is always possible to pedal the machine to the next town and get a repair effected. I am quite aware that the ‘anti-pedallists’, if I may so term them, hold strongly to the view that a modern mount of good class should never break down, and that no rider worth the name would be so careless as to let his supplies run short. This statement looks well enough on paper, but can it be borne out in actual practice in the majority of cases? Personally, I do not think any practical engineer would stake his reputation that it would be quite impossible for any vital part of the complicated mechanism of a motor to go wrong, no matter how excellent the work or how careful the tests or inspection in its manufacture. We hear sometimes of a flaw developing in the propeller shaft of a great liner, and surely if it is possible for a steel shaft eighteen inches thick to break in two, despite all the tests and precautions modern engineering science can suggest, it is not unreasonable to admit a greater chance of a break on some part of a tiny petrol engine. I do admit that the ordinary type of pedal gear does not make an ideal footrest, and yet it is not uncomfortable by any means when one is used to the position—of which, by the way, it is possible to make innumerable changes, and thus avoid a tired or cramped feeling. Swing cranks, I am afraid, hardly fill the bill in their present form; they are rather susceptible to wear and derangement, and are awkward to manipulate into the ‘driving’ position. I rather favour auxiliary footrests of some kind, so that one can take the feet off the pedals if desired. The anti-pedallists may have a stronger case than that I have just indicated: if so, I hope they will give us the benefit of their experiences on the subject.

1904 DRs
“Three motor cyclists were employed as despatch riders on the staff of the Duke of Connaught at the 1904 manoeuvres.”

THE AUSSIES HELD their first long-distance race; it was won by a 2hp Minerva.

THE MOTOR CYCLE PRESENTED A FIFTY-GUINEA CUP to the Motor Cycling Club “for competition among teams representing clubs of Great Britain”. Each club entered a team of six riding four solos and two ‘passenger machines’ over a 100-mile course between Bicester, Aynho and Deddington, Oxon. Ixion reported: “A twenty-five miles out and home course was originally fixed upon, to be covered twice. However, as in the team trials a checker to each mile will be necessary, since each rider is to score one mark for every mile covered without a stoppage, it became clear that a twelve and a half miles out and home course would be ample even for this short stretch about a score of reliable marshals will be requisitioned.” The course included four climbs, the steepest of 1 in 12. Five clubs entered: The MCC, Coventry MCC, Guildford C&MC, Peterborough &DMC, and the Southern MC. Riding for the MCC were F Hulbert (3½hp Hulbert-Bramley with Minerva engine) who went on to become works manager at Triumph and Billy Wells (2¾hp Vindec) who was Hendee’s UK manager. The Coventry team included RW Ayton (2¾hp Triumph), the original patentee of aluminium cylinders with steel liners. And the Guildford riders included AW Wall (3½hp Roc and trailer), who invented the Roc gear and the Auto-wheel. Most of the passenger machines were trailers or tricars—only one of the new-fangled sidecar outfits was entered. The Coventry MCC won the cup, ahead of the MCC, Peterborough, Guildford and Southern; the team trial would become a popular annual event—as would the MCC’s London-Edinburgh Trial. Of the 46 stalwarts who started on that first outing  21 made it to Edinburgh within the required 24 hours. In later years a cup was competed for by riders who, after a night’s sleep, made the return run south.

1904 PBP CANALE BONNARD
Competitors in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race: Messieurs Canale et Bannard…
1904 PBP FONION LA FOUDRE
…and Fonion and La Foudre. Fonion rode a Bruneau powered by a Zedel engine; the following year Bruneau started production of its own 498cc vertical twins. Riders started two at a time at one-minute intervals.

“LAST WEEK WE HAD THE PLEASURE of a trial spin on the new Triumph motor bicycle. The machine is fitted with a vertical air-cooled 3hp engine, and weighs complete about 140lbs. The frame, which is built from seat tubes of 22in and 24in, is made from stout gauge tubing, and is specially reinforced where required. The wheelbase is slightly longer than the majority, namely, 53in from centre of front wheel to centre of back wheel. This, Mr Schulte explained to us, had been done to provide for increased storage accommodation for oil and batteries, and to steady the machine in grease. The wheels are 26in diameter, shod with 2¼in diameter Clincher motor cycle tyres, extra stout spokes being fitted. The engine has a bore of 75x80mm [353cc] and develops 3hp at 1,800 revolutions a minute. The petrol is vaporised in a Longuemare spray carburetter, the exhaust valve being fitted with a governor and valve lifter. The governor is worked by a lever fitted on the tank, and causes lesser or greater lift of the exhaust valve according to the speed required. In addition to control by means of the exhaust, there is a combined switch and exhaust lift lever on the handle-bar. One of the special points of the Triumph motor cycle will be the improved design of tank, which is made of a special stout gauge acid-resisting metal having only one longitudinal seam. This should prevent any possibility of leakage, besides rendering a somewhat delicate part of the machine less liable to damage through falls or other accidents. The capacity of the tank is one and a half gallons of petrol and two pints of lubricating oil. Two accumulators are firmly fixed in the tank by means of a special clip, which is both neat and prevents any possible short circuit through the terminals touching the metal of the case. The accumulators are connected up to a two-way switch, and to prevent any possibility of damage to the batteries an automatic cut-out is provided. Brook’s B90 saddle and two toolbags complete the equipment of one of the most up-to-date motor cycles that we have yet examined.”

1904 TRIUMPH
The 1904 Triumph developed 3hp at 1,800rpm.
1904 ROUX
Among the exhibits at the Paris Salon was this remarkable powered front wheel, courtesy of a designer named M Roux.
1904 VIENNA WEDDING
Clearly a wedding party, these stylish motor cycliusts were pictured in Vienna.

To conclude the year, a selection of contemporary adverts…

1904 HUMBER AD
1904 GERMAN AD
1904 GRIFFON AD
1904 LA LOUVE AD
1904 GEER AD

Here are some of the ads that accompanied the Motor Show at the Agricultural Hall, Islington:

1904 BAT AD +
1904 BRAD BSA ADS
1904 CIVIL SERVICE AD
1904 CLARK'S AD
1904 CLIPPER CROUCH ADS
1904 GAMAGES AD
1904 HAMILTON FRY'S ADS
1904 NAB WOLF ADS
1904 PHOENIX LUCAS ADS

Here’s a selection of ads from the colonies…

1904 MARSH AD
1904 CROUCH AD
1904 MERKEL AD
1904 POPE AD
1904 POPE PRODS AD

These adverts appeared in The Motor which, following the suspension of its stablemate Motor Cycling, took an interest in motor cycles…

1904 ASCOT AD
1904 BRANSOM AD
1904 BROWN AD
1904 CLEMENT AD
1904 CORYDON AD
1904 COUNTY AD
1904 DUNHILL AD
1904 FULLER AD
1904 JEHU AD
1904 KERRY AD
1904 LUTHI AD
1904 MOTORITIES AD
1904 PHOENIX AD
1904 VINDEC AD
1904 SIDEBYSIDE
“It’s mad…but it might just work!”
1904 MC SUBS OFFER AD