CYCLE ATTACHMENT ENGINES: *4 The Motorised Bicycle

 

THE MOTORISED BICYCLE

The original conception of the motor cycle was a bicycle with a small engine to assist the rider. Fifteen years ago The Motor Cycle referred to the 3 1/2 hp machine as a high-powered model, and today there are potential buyers of motor-driven machines who tell us they aspire only to own a machine with just sufficient power to make pedalling easier.

In the previous page we observed, in a series of articles featured in 1914 editions of Motor Cycle magazine, some nostalgia for the early years of motor cycle design. While motorcycle design initially focussed on machines becoming larger, to make them more suitable for long-distance travel, by the end of WW1, with the public now used to the idea of motorised transportation, a demand arose for smaller machines using cycle-attachment engines like the first models, that could be used for local journeys:

…These potential riders of petrol-driven cycles want that which the early designers set themselves to provide, ie a motor-assisted cycle, or, as our American cousins term it, a motorised bicycle. Undoubtedly there will be a big demand for such a machine, provided it is proved efficient and reliable.

So the cycle-attachment engine or motorised bicycle made a comeback. Below you can see British, American and French machines that came onto the market in the postwar years.