Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Holden Motor Bicycle. Britain's first motorcycle

Here's something a bit special. The brochure for the first British motorcycle, the Holden. Not only the first British motorcycle but the first four cylinder bike too.

There's an interesting blog article on conserving the original pre-production 1895 Holden on the National Museums Scotland website.

There's discrepancy between sources but the Holden appears to have been in production between 1897 and 1902. From 1899 the motor was updated to being water cooled, though was not a great success. Top speed was 25 mph, a fair lick for the time. The Holden was built around a modified Crypto Bantam bicycle frame and with the cranks driving directly to the front wheel must have been a handful. The Crypto Bantam was a development of the penny farthing and carried gearing built in to the front hub to allow a smaller front wheel. Though a big success it was short loved and replaced by the safety cycle.

Holden brochure front cover.

Holden brochure page 2.

Holden brochure page 3.

Holden brochure page 4.

Holden brochure page 5.

Holden brochure rear cover.

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