PAGE 62. ‘Cyclemotorization’ & Current Projects

Cyclemotorization

…I’ve just coined a new word for the English language. Cyclemotorization. In case you haven’t yet discovered the various joys of cyclemotorization, it’s a simple concept: you locate a cyclemotor engine, then you choose a vintage bicycle into or onto which to mount your power unit. Bingo …you’ve just cyclemotorized it.

Of course, this was the original idea when cyclemotors were made after the War, when vehicles were in short supply and the population had to go to work on their trusty old bicycles. These days, we might do it for different reasons (I can’t imagine anyone these days who would be willing to leave their luxurious modern car parked at home in order to commute to work on a cyclemotor).

If you fancy a cheap way to get involved in the vintage motorcycle hobby, and to simultaneously ‘customize’ your own vehicle, Cyclemoterization is the answer. I hope the cyclemotors you see here at the Cyclemaster Museum can provide you with some inspiration; the only tools you’ll need to start are computer, ebay and a credit card.

Engines and bicycles may be found to suit all pockets. There are always cheap engines needing rebuilds and cycles requiring renovation; less common are totally restored examples (with engines already fitted to frames), although I intend to have a few available for sale this year.

Once obtained, it’s useful to join one (or both) of the vintage cyclemotor clubs; they are great at helping with technical knowledge if required.

A word of warning though – once you’ve done a few of these projects, there’s a danger that you’ll become a bit more adventurous. You might start looking for more unusual examples. Cyclemotorization can become addictive.

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Current Projects

I always have projects on the go. I work from home to minimize overheads, and various friends restore for me; it’s like having a garage without the premises. Most restorations are for my business, ie vintage motorycles or cars, so they tend to take precedence. Cyclemotors, being my hobby, get fitted in around them. I’ll keep you up to date here with projects that involve cyclemotors.

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Cyclorex Clip-on

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This Cyclorex is being restored for me in France. Not sure how long it will take, but I’m looking forward to seeing it. They are very rare in France now. The picture below is of one I found on the internet, to give you an idea of what they look like.

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Harding Adult Tricycle

Next up is my Harding Tricycle.

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As you can see from the article below, R.A. Harding (Bath) Ltd fitted some of their tricycles with Cyclemaster engines.

As mine has no brakes and no front mudguards, I assume mine is not the ‘Model C’ mentioned in the advertisement. Nevertheless, we’ll have a go at fitting an engine and seeing how it performs using the Cyclemaster back-pedal brake.

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R.A. Harding was also well-established as a manufacturer of ‘bath chairs’ (advert below courtesy Stuart Cyphus)

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UPDATE:

Well, I found a solution to the brakes and mudguards missing on the Harding trike. The solution was another Harding! It appeared out of the blue, on ebay, and is in such good original – and complete – condition that I snapped it up. It cost me a lot more than my original Harding, but the seller has dropped it off at Andy Tiernan Classic Bikes in Suffolk for me and Andy will deliver it to me at Kempton Park autojumble this
weekend.

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1950s Pashley Light Delivery Trike

Another contender for the clip-on treatment – my dear old Pashley Grocer’s Delivery Truck.

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Compare my late 40s/early 50s version with the up-to-date version, below:

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The ‘Pashley Freightmate’ has electric power assist, independent steering for each of the front wheels with Ackerman steering (like the Harding tricycle), disk brakes, turn signals, lights, and a horn. Unfortunately, it’s a ‘design and development’ model only and is not currently available.

I wasn’t too sure about motorizing my Pashley, as I also like to keep my vehicles original; however, once I saw that Pashley’s new design model had ‘electric power assist’ – ie the modern equivalent of a cycle-attachment – I decided that mine was definitely fair game for cyclemotorization.

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Cyclemaster Roundsman

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This Hercules Delivery Bicycle was restored by my friend Rob Dobie; the Cyclemaster engine was restored by Ray Dowling of Leicester. Putting the two together was not as simple as it might seem. My Cyclemaster Roundsman is now nearly finished, and will shortly move to its own page to reveal the full story.

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1922 Labinal Micromoteur

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This is probably my craziest 2-wheeler. It’s not always easy to start. Unlike cyclemotors fitted to the rear wheel or amidships it can not be started from a stationary position, ie using the stand and pedals. To get this one to sound its note requires forward motion, and quite a lot of it.

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You’ll find more about it on one of my other websites, http://www.under50.cc CLICK HERE TO SEE IT

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