CYCLE ATTACHMENT ENGINES: 1923 JD Motor Bicycle (Bowden Wire Ltd)

 

1923 JD Motor Bicycle Cycle-Attachment Engine

Designed and Manufactured by the Bowden Wire Ltd

(Now sold)

 

 

After Starley’s famous design of the Safety Bicycle, and Dunlop’s marketing (not invention) of the pneumatic tyre, E.M. Bowden Patents Syndicate Ltd was responsible for one of the most important innovations in the history of cycling (and motorcycling) – the first effective rear brake kit. It was introduced soon after the freewheeel hub (1897) made an efficient brake necessary on bicycles and was immediately adopted by every cycle manufacturer.

THE JD MOTOR BICYCLE DE LUXE

The company evolved into Bowden Wire Ltd and, in keeping with many other manufacturers, jumped on the bandwagon when cycle-attachment engines started to gain popularity in the early 1920s. Not many cyclists know of Bowden’s foray into this uncharted territory, so I’ve combined these pictures of the Bowden engine with a potted history of Bowden brakes.

JD Bowden engine

BOWDEN BRAKE HISTORY

E.M. BOWDEN’S PATENTS SYNDICATE Ltd