Author Topic: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond  (Read 4492 times)

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Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #50 on: 04 May 2017 at 09:36 »
After rechecking the stroke on my Fairy motor with the crank laying flat I have made a mistake in the stroke which should be 54 mm.
regards Alan



[Made specified correction to previous post. 04May17. Doug, Site Moderator]
« Last Edit: 04 May 2017 at 19:37 by Doug »

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #51 on: 04 May 2017 at 12:17 »

Mmm... 57x54 is 275cc which sounds fine for 2 1/2 hp. Tempting to think the earlier 2 hp motors might have been 54x54 = 247cc, except that 54 mm is almost bang on 2 1/8, rather than Barter's 2 3/16.

The NZ article is interesting Ian. Nice to see another engine number just nicely above 1000 - maybe total Fairy production was something like 1-200? There are certainly many of them in the classifieds of the Motor Cycle, Clew says Japan, testimonials from South Africa, articles in NZ, and a number in Sydney. Mills had 6 Fairy motor cycles and 3 motor sets left in October 1907, so the number coming to Australia might have been something like 10-20?

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #52 on: 04 May 2017 at 12:26 »

Not to mention the Fairies that went to Nyassaland. Here's Mr. Norman with his, c1910.

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #53 on: 05 May 2017 at 00:11 »
Here is one of the many ads in The Motor Cycle classified for Fairies in 1908 as suggested by Leon, but this one is from Douglas themselves.....maybe came from Barter or the one they used to copy for the Douglas Model A?

Offline TonyC

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #54 on: 05 May 2017 at 08:04 »
Attached is an image which has the same pictures of an early Fairy but has different transcript around it and probably predates the previous one.
Interesting to see a different name in Mr P.M.G.Tombs

Cheers Tony

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #55 on: 05 May 2017 at 09:22 »

That would be none other than Pelham Mervyn Gainsford Tombs, 37, Henleaze Gardens, Bristol, Commercial Agent, who had about 20% of the shares in the original Light Motors Ltd, 13 December 1905 - see Doug's document in Reply 13 above. One of the money men, no doubt. Interesting that "the big Fairy" was on the horizon even at this early date - is there a date Tony? I'd guess some time around December 1905 or January 1906.

Interesting also that Douglas had a Fairy, because Fairy had Douglases as well! This advert comes from September 1908, the beginning of the end for Fairy. The Douglas and Fairy engines, other than their general layout, were really very different. "Comparison" perhaps rather than "copying".

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Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #56 on: 06 May 2017 at 08:19 »
I don't think any of the Fairys (is this better than Fairies?) built during 1907 were fitted with magnetos.

The first mention I can find of a Fairy magneto is at the Stanley Show in November 1907 when the features of note were the new carburettor, handle-bar control for the valve lifter, and the option "if desired" of a lightweight, gear-driven magneto, rather than the coil ignition used up until then.

The lightweight Douglas was announced at this same Show, in November 1907, where it was described as having "high-tension magneto, gear driven, ... with a high-tension distributer [sic]" . Despite this description, early advertising (below, from January 1908) showed a bike with coil ignition, although with "Simms Bosch H. T. Magneto" written underneath. Nothing about optional coil ignition. Presumably the magneto-less Model A Douglases - pictures of at least two appear in the various Douglas books - could be thought of a prototypes, or perhaps very early production machines. Since the prevailing story is that only 20-something machines were built in this first batch, perhaps very-very-early production.

Similar Fairy advertising in January 1908 offered a choice of magneto or coil. Maybe the choice was more like "new model, or left-overs from last year"!

By mid-1908, both Fairy and Douglas advertising showed bikes with magneto ignition. Note the Fairy testimonial from South Africa.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #57 on: 08 May 2017 at 04:21 »
There's plenty of evidence that Fairy motorcycles were being developed, produced, marketed and sold up until around mid-1908, some 18 months after we think Barter left Fairy and moved to Douglas to develop the Model A. The development of the magneto model for 1908 and the advertising above suggest all was well, but it seems not.

It looks there was little or no production of Fairys after mid-1908.

Look at the Fairy Motor Co. advert in the previous post. Dated June 1908 it shows the Fairy, with a testimonial, and says - more or less - come any buy a Fairy from us.

Now look at the advert in the post before that, from September 1908. The Fairy Motor Co. had to pay to insert it, but although it offers a shop-soiled Fairy and a couple of second-hand Faries, there is no mention of NEW Fairy motorcycles. And what does "We shall be pleased to advertise your machines in our register..." mean? Douglases aside, the other machines offered for sale are older, low value machines.

From there it only gets worse. Here are more adverts posted by the Fairy Motor Co. in the last months of 1908. No mention of new bikes, and the company seems to be selling off lots of parts that might have been in store to build Fairys that were never assembled. Liquidation, I think.

Yes the Fairy Motor Co. lived on, probably even into 1910. If by chance they were manufacturing motorcycles, it's hard to imagine why they would not advertise these instead of an ancient, tyre-less Argyle car for 10 quid, as they did in September 1909.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #58 on: 09 May 2017 at 06:00 »

In the opening post of this thread, I mentioned that The Fairy Motor Co. announced its "Mark III" model for 1909, but little more was heard from them. It seems likely that the "Mark I" Fairy (not called this at the time) was the small-fin no-sump offering (like Graeme's, and the ebay Fairy motor), and the Mark II was the more common large-fin model with sump (like Alan's motor and the Zimbabwe and Hellowell bikes), which could be had with either coil or magneto ignition. I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the prototype that was called the "Mark III".

Let me explain.

Committed Fairy rider M. Marshall wrote to the Motor Cycle in March 1908 regarding the virtues of a correctly-engineered outside flywheel, as used on his 2 1/2 h.p. magneto ignition model. As this model was first seen late in 1907, it would have been the "latest model" in March 1908. After making his point, Marshall concludes:

"Although from what I have seen of the new 1908 model on the road being tested, I expect shortly to be in the position of most motorcyclists at this time of year, namely, examining the state of my exchequer with a view to the purchase on another faithful friend."

I think this translates as: "I've seen the new Fairy being tested, and I want one."

A week later, 11 March 1908, The Fairy Motor Co. replies, and after extolling the virtues of its flywheel concludes: "We hope to be able to give full particulars of our new [model] Mark III engine, to which Mr. Marshall refers, in [this] journal shortly."

So Mr. Marshall has seen the Mark III Fairy on the road, and he wants one, despite already having an up-to-date magneto model. It must have been something different.

As outlined in the previous post, things were going badly at The Fairy Motor Co. during 1908, and the only other reference I can find to the Mark III is the large display advert (Ian has posted it above in Reply #17) from 18 November 1908 to say FMC are not displaying at the Stanley Show, but to write for particulars of the Mark III Fairy (described only as a "new magneto model") because "you will be interested". The last gasp? Display adverts weren't cheap, and perhaps nobody was interested.

What was the Mark III Fairy? I suppose an updated lightweight.

Suggestions welcome.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #59 on: 09 May 2017 at 22:00 »
The three ages of the Lightweight Fairy: The 1905 Fee (Barter's prototype Fairy), The 1906 Mark I Fairy, and the 1907-8 Mark II Fairy (coil ignition only 1907, coil or magneto ignition 1908).

Motor sets were available for fitting to any bicycle frame, so cycle parts may vary.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #60 on: 10 May 2017 at 01:45 »

I've just replied to a 10-year-old thread http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=1946 about the Fairy and the beginnings of Douglas. I don't want to revive this thread, but I do want to acknowledge the people who started me thinking about the topic, particular thanks to Michiel who knew ten years ago what I've only just learned! To keep everything together I'll post my comments here as well:


Sorry to take ten years to reply to this thread, but after a bit of poking around I think we now have answers to most of the questions posted here. See http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=6560.0;all

Thanks to Howard for kicking the topic off with the important observation that both Fairy and Douglas were advertising at the end of 1907. He wonders "... when Douglas Bros actually took over The Fairy Motor Co?". The answer is NEVER, the Fairy Motor Co. seems to have died a quiet death, motor-cycle-production-wise, in the latter half of 1908, more than 18 months after Barter left Fairy to go to Douglas, where he designed and brought to production a new flat-twin motorcycle - The Model A Douglas. There are many, many books and articles that tell the story of Douglas taking over the remains of the Light Motors Ltd - the story is incorrect.

Graeme asks whether any of the large Fairys sold. The answer is "yes". It's not clear how many were made between when they were first mentioned in the period literature (at the formation of the first Light Motors Ltd. in December 1905) and mid 1908, but there are photos of three different bikes, mention of one seen at a hill climb in the UK, one privately for sale in the classifieds of the Motor Cycle in 1910, and even one reported at an event in Sydney in May 1910 in the hands of V. St. Clair. So while Clew says "it is alleged that only one was made", I'd say there were definitely four, and there might have been as many as 10-20?

Eddie makes a very good point: "By 1907, Barter was working at the Douglas factory - so, maybe, the trading name 'Fairy' had been sold or relinquished by Barter." Yes it had. Doug has the documents to show that the original Light Motors Ltd. was sold and a new entity with the same name, but a London address (180 Grays Inn Road), was incorporated on January 4th, 1907. Barter also refers to the sale of Light "to London interests" in a 1930s memoir in a Bristol newspaper.

Eddie also asks: "Was this machine anything to do with the 'Fairy' that developed into the Douglas?" Yes, and no. Barter's 1905 Fee developed into the 1906 Fairy, which developed into the 1907 model Fairy, and then into the 1908 model Fairy. I don't think we can prove it, but it's likely that Barter left Fairy at the time of the sale of Light to the London interests in January 1907, so while the Fairy developed beyond this date it was without Barter. Presumably Barter spent 1907 at Douglas developing a new motorcycle, the Model A, which debuted at the Stanley Show (with the fabulous V Four) in November 1907.

Last, it is Michiel who gets the prize for recognising that the tradition story "... that Joseph Barter went bankrupt in early 1907 and merged with Douglas to produce the first prototype of the Douglas twin later that year ..." is incorrect. He goes on: "It seems more and more plausible that his own company was sold off, probably including stock, patents and drawings and formed the basis for the Fairy Motor Company of Blackheath, London." Almost perfect Michiel! There was another company "Light Motors Ltd., London" in between, but the general idea is correct, and we now have enough information to confirm this version of the story.

We can help Michiel with his concern about magnetos, because the post-Barter Fairy sold during 1907 used coil ignition, so a coil ignition prototype Model A would have matched the Fairy spec. Both Douglas and Fairy motorcycles at the Stanley Show in November 1907 had "new" magnetos; clearly the Bosch magneto salesman had been knocking on doors in Bristol and London during the year.

Michiel concludes: "And that leads me to the conclusion that the Fairy Motor Company did more than just sell off some old stock: they were building brand new motorcycles based on a proven design!" Yes, they were!

Cheers

Leon

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #61 on: 10 May 2017 at 06:07 »
Thanks Leon - plus Ian, Doug, Alan, Howard et al

This has been a great bit of research, and I'm sure I'm not alone in being thankful for your perseverance to get to the bottom of the story!

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #62 on: 11 May 2017 at 03:57 »
Yes well done to Leon for his persistence! :-)

Not sure how I missed this picture, but it goes to show that modern text recognition software doesn't always detect what you are looking for and it pays sometimes to do it the old fashioned way !

From pg 422 The Motor Cycle May 22 1907

Pity the caption was cut off in the scanning - interesting to find out what the "Whirling Wheel" exhibition was.....:-)


-Ian

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #63 on: 11 May 2017 at 04:37 »
Here is a slightly better copy of Mr. Norman in Nyassaland (thanks Leon for finding out who he was!) from NCR. Not sure what issue it was from, but it was quite a while ago. Further to the comment in the N.Z. publication Progress in 1908 that the Mk11 Fairy used BSA components the chainwheel on Mr. Norman's bike does look very BSA like. Also some of the other cycle parts do appear to resemble BSA fittings. The spring fork arrangement on his Fairy appears to be an XL'All spring fork manufactured by the Eclipse Motor and Cycle Co. - maybe the spring fork type described in the Mill's and Co. newspaper ad?

More info on BSA fittings information here for comparison;

https://bsamuseum.wordpress.com/1905-bsa-fittings-bicycle/
http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/1907-2/1907-bsa-fittings-machine/

cheers

Ian

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #64 on: 11 May 2017 at 07:31 »

Thanks Ian. The "Whirling Wheel" Fairy is a classic - the description (I think) suggests it is the "smallest motor cycle yet built", and a bit of scaling suggests the wheels are around 20" diameter. So not a massively-gear road bike, but a tiny little clown bike!

Shall we add it to the gallery of Odd Fairy Contraptions? Two more entries below.

Re Mr. Norman: the caption in The Motor Cycle says Nyassaland. The photo was also in the Douglas Centenary book, where it was labelled as being in Rhodesia. I'll leave geographically interested parties to sort that one out! Lots of name and border changes in Africa in the last 100 years.

Yes some of the cycle parts look BSA, but there was also a roaring trade in "BSA pattern" parts, so I wouldn't like to be too certain. Mr Drew released the Druid fork in 1907, and the lightweight single-blade version was very popular. I think Model A Douglas spring forks would be Druid, but I'm not sure about Fairy.

Cheers

Leon


Offline 9triton

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #65 on: 11 May 2017 at 12:05 »
what a great thread -well done guys

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #66 on: 11 May 2017 at 23:23 »
For your edufication Leon - Nyasaland was what is now Malawi. Back in the day the administrative area was Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #67 on: 12 May 2017 at 01:07 »
Brilliant! I see that Nyassaland shared a border with Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) so the bike might have been sold in Rhodesia, where there is a survivor. UK, Rhodesia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, ... and to think Clew says "nearly all were exported to Japan"!

Two questions spring to mind: Who was driving the export sales of Fairy motorcycles? and How many Fairys were produced?

Re exports: Pre 1910 many of the cars coming from the continent and UK into Australia were imported by firms like Tozer, Kemsley and Fisher who represented a range of manufacturers and wholesaled vehicles to distributors in the colonies. TKF were active in all the colonies - particularly Australia, New Zealand and India - so if someone at Light/Fairy had the correct contacts with a firm like TKF sales of half-a-dozen Fairys here and there in the colonies could be achieved without Fairy themselves being involved.

Re production: The standard story is that Fairy were quite unsuccessful, despite Clew's assertion that "at the peak" Fairy production "reached ten per week". Ten per week for a couple of months is 85 bikes! Given the reasonable number of machines appearing second-hand in the small adverts in The Motor Cycle 1907-1911 (including the still-new motor sets being flogged off by Maudes as late as October 1909), maybe 10-20 machines in Australia, and the other markets (including "nearly all" of them in Japan), and given the Mark 2 engine numbers surviving in the range (maybe) 1000 - 1070-odd, I suppose there might have been 100-200 Fairy motorcycles/motor sets all told? Not as unsuccessful as some!

Cheers

Leon

 

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #68 on: 12 May 2017 at 23:37 »
In re-reading this thread right through, it has dawned on me that one obvious tie-up between Light Motors and Douglas that hasn't been noted, is that the Douglas company would clearly have been well aware of the goings-on at Light Motors by supplying Joseph Barter with castings for his machines. I note that Jeff Clew writes that cylinders and cranks for the Fairy were supplied by Aeron Jackson, a neighbouring foundry, but presumably the crankcase and other sundries, including the carburettor were made by Douglas. I wonder if with Willie Douglas becoming increasingly involved with Barter whether maybe even more of the engine castings were made at the Douglas foundry, perhaps when the MkII design came into production? Pure conjecture of course - I wonder if the later Fairy engines have any signs indicating Douglas manufacture?

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #69 on: 13 May 2017 at 06:25 »

Hi Graeme,

It's a good thought - certainly we don't know where and by whom Fairy motors were manufactured after the sale of the first Light Motors Ltd (in Bristol) in January 1907 and the change of address to London. From Daren's photo of modern 180 Grays Inn Rd it doesn't look to be the sort of place to make motors, although it's not impossible. Perhaps manufacturing continued at Orchard St, Bristol?

The problem I have with the story of Willie Douglas flitting around visiting the Williamsons in Birmingham and Barter at Orchard St is that I don't know where it comes from. Did Willie write a memoir? Similarly it would be great to have some evidence to support the story that Douglas made castings for Light Motors Ltd. Re-reading Clew I'm quite sure he didn't realise that Fairy continued on after Barter left to join Douglas, and so far I've not seen anything to support Clew's story that a Fairy had a 200 cc engine. A "creation story" is a nice thing to have, and in the 1911 Motor Cycle article above I sense Douglas was busy crafting theirs very early on. A nice orderly progression from Fairy to the first Douglas is an easy story to believe, particularly when it includes William Douglas listening to son Willie, then offering a benevolent hand to "rescue" Barter and his motorcycles.

The truth is a little more complicated!

Are you coming over to the NVR in September? Bringing the Fairy? I bags a ride sometime.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #70 on: 14 May 2017 at 05:03 »
Re capacity: Despite Clew's reference to "200 cc", repeated pretty much everywhere, period references suggest 2 3/16 x 2 3/16 (55.5 x 55.5) = 269 cc is the best guess at the capacity of the Fee and Mark 1 Fairys, both of which were called "2 1/2 h.p.". (Let's ignore the Australian small ads that refer to some early Fairys as 2 h.p.)

Motor Cycle, 30 October 1905, The Fee Motor Bicycle "The bore and stroke of each cylinder is 2 3/16, and Mr. Barter informs us that this gives 2 1/2 h.p."

Bristol Evening World, mid-1930s, J.J. Barter says... "I then designed another motorcycle, a light machine weighing 60 lbs... The cylinders were 2 3/16" bore and stroke and attained a speed of 20mph."

In the Bristol Evening World article, Barter goes on to say "As a result of a comment made on this model by a leading American manufacturer in 1906, I designed a more powerful engine which I called the Fairy.  A company of Bristol men was formed and a large number of these machines were sold before the business was acquired by a London firm." This is a bit muddled, because until the formation of Light Motors in December 1905 there would have been only the prototype to for the "leading American manufacturer" to look at. But let me guess that the American pointed out that the in the US the trend was to over-square motors, and this lead to the development of the "more powerful engine" (note, not "larger capacity" engine) that would have been 57 bore  x 54 stroke (275 cc) Mark 2 Fairy.

Progress, NZ, March 1908, The Fairy Motor Cycle "The engine gives 2 1/2 h.p. at 1700 revolutions per minute, the bore and stroke being 57 by 54 mm."

The only other reference we've come up with is Australasian, 31 March 1906, Light Motor-Cycle "Fairy" "The bore and stroke are both 57 millimetres, and the makers claim for it 2 1/2 h.p. at 1,700 revolutions per minute." An error perhaps? Perhaps in the conversion of 2 3/16" into mm, which would have been done by either long multiplication, log tables, or a slide rule!!

Let's go with 2 3/16 square 269 cc for Fee and Mark 1, and 57 x 54 275 cc for Mark 2, both rated 2 1/2 h.p. (often 2 1/2 - 3 h.p. for the Mark 2), at least until there is evidence to the contrary. I can't find anything to support 200 cc, for either prototype or Fee, and it's probably just wrong.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #71 on: 15 May 2017 at 07:26 »
Confirmation of the winding up date of Light Motors Ltd from The London Gazette Feb 5th 1907 and also it looks like Fairy Motor's struggled on until 1912 as stated in the London gazette 5th Nov 1912

cheers

Ian

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #72 on: 15 May 2017 at 07:42 »
We are not the only ones confused about the capacity of the Fairy - this question from The Motorcycle Sept 18th 1913 !I gather the  HP rating refereed to would be a RAC one by 1913 (was that introduced in about 1910?) rather than an actual HP rating? I have not found a reply yet to ECH's question yet......

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #73 on: 15 May 2017 at 21:51 »

Hi Ian,

The RAC rating for car engines began around 1910, and depended, via a formula, on bore size and number of cylinders, but NOT the stroke. And since the cost of road tax depended on the RAC rating, British cars for many years had small bores and long stokes because they were cheaper to register. All the while, American cars like T Fords had big bores and short stroke because they produced more power.

Bikes didn't use the RAC rating. By the teens, hp ratings were most often (but not always!!) just a way of expressing the capacity, so 2 1/4 hp was 250, 2 3/4 hp was 350, 3 1/2 hp was 500, 6 hp was 750 and 8 hp was 1000cc. Towards the end of the 1920s there was a shift to "penny a cc", so 349cc became 3.49 hp, 499cc 4.99 hp and so on.

All this waffle is my way of saying that I have while I can guess about Fairy capacity, I have no real idea!!

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #74 on: 15 May 2017 at 22:14 »
Here's a tip for Sydney-based Fairy hunters. Try the Rectory at Dungog!

Leon


« Last Edit: 15 May 2017 at 22:19 by cardan »

Offline Hutch

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #75 on: 17 May 2017 at 08:13 »
Thanks Leon for the info on RAC H.P. and its use for motorcycles, I've learnt something new!. I looked it up and yes in 1909/1910 the tax based on cylinder bore and number of cylinders etc was introduced to cars but not motorcycles. There was a fixed fee for motorcycles that appears to be 5/- in 1903, rising later to 15/- and then 1 pound by 1910 or so. I have seen some tables of H.P. figures vs capacity in The Motor Cycle in the veteran period and they might have been what was adopted later to set the "arbitrary" capacity vs H.P. rating used by manufacturers? - (more research to do.....)

In the ads in The Motor Cycle I have seen Fairies advertised with 2, 21/2 (the majority), 2 3/4  and 3 H.P. but there appear to be only two actual capacities for the Fairy documented as Leon suggests. Also, there are 2 HP Fairies advertised in UK as well as Australia.

I have not found anything yet that definitely points to a 200cc fairy engine. Maybe the normally very reliable Clew made a typo and later everyone else copied his mistake, especially as they usually quote the bore and stroke but don't check that the capacity actually matches them? Like Leon says, The Best twin appears to be the earliest quote of the "200cc" Fairy.

A possible explanation (which i can't find any proof of so it is pure speculation on my part!) of a 200cc Fairy would be if the original prototype (or Pre "Fee" engine) had for convenience a 2" bore and stroke the capacity would come out at 206cc. But in fact i think Clew made a typo mistake on what I can find so far, as also Leon suggests.

cheers

Ian

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #76 on: 12 Jun 2017 at 04:03 »
Was Barter's Fee the first opposed twin motorcycle?

No. Before Barter there was a beast called the Barry, illustrated below.

At first glance the South-Wales-built 1904 Barry looks like it has four cylinders, but it is in fact an opposed twin, plus a pair of "pumping cylinders" that accept the incoming gases and transfer them into the cylinder at the appropriate time.  Just to complicate matters, the motor was rotary: the crank shaft was fixed to the frame and the entire motor rotated around it. The front belt pulley would be fixed to the crank case. Interesting machine.

Like Barter's early experiments with the Fee, the Barry used a single-throw crank.

Some extra reading: http://www.fairdiesel.co.uk/Redrup.html

Cheers

Leon
« Last Edit: 12 Jun 2017 at 04:28 by cardan »

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #77 on: 12 Jun 2017 at 23:06 »
Fascinating! I'll bet the engine ran hot without any cooling fins

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #78 on: 12 Jun 2017 at 23:15 »

If it ran at all! I'm not sure how successful it was, but it certainly was different and that's all I ask for in a pioneer machine.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Doug

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #79 on: 13 Jun 2017 at 02:48 »
Leon,

Would the Barry be classified as an opposed twin, or a rotary that just happens to have two opposed cylinders? I thought I might catch you out with 'horizontally opposed twin', but I see you were too careful to include the word 'horizontal'. Whirling around it could be horizontal, vertical, and every angle in between! Given that rotary is a more specific/delimited category than opposed twin, I would have thought it would take precedence in classification.

-Doug

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #80 on: 13 Jun 2017 at 04:27 »

Hi Doug,

OK pedant, challenge accepted!  :D

Was Barter's Fee the first motorcycle with a horizontally-opposed engine?

No. In 1897 Jackson Deneal of Toledo, Ohio patented his horizontally-opposed bicycle - US582346.

Just a slight hitch: no spark plugs! In fact the h-o motor was driven by compressed air, that was generated by... pedaling! I reckon we could be pretty certain that the Deneal motor cycle didn't go into production.

So was Barter's Fee the first motorcycle with a horizontally-opposed non-rotary internal-combustion engine?

Mmm... maybe. Watch this space!

Cheers

Leon

Offline Barter

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #81 on: 10 Sep 2017 at 12:57 »
Apologies for bumping such an old thread but I came across the photo of the 2 1/4hp Barter motorcycle on this thread and immediately recognised it. An identical machine exists in Ireland but badged as a "Tredagh". Would anyone have any more information on the Barter bike itself or the history behind it?

 The Tredagh features in a book or feature which I was given a photocopy of. Pg 5 is titled "Bristol Fashion, an account of the events which led to the Douglas marque coming into being, by John Hill" I then have Pg 7 but no idea if they are from the same book? I want to find out what the book is called so I can buy a copy and see what it has to say about the bikes but have no idea what it came out of? Would anybody recognise the pages or be able to check their Douglas books for a match?

Cheers,
Robert

 




Thanks Graeme. FAIRY and no number. That fits.

In my mind I've been calling the later motors "big fin", but maybe I should call them "big sump".

Given the short time line in Bristol (December 1905 to January 1907, just 13 months) it would be reasonable to think that all the Bristol Fairies (Mark I) were the same, with no engine number. Unless we come up with new info, I think it would fair to call these 1906 models. Also the Bristol reference on Tony's Fairy advert dates it to 1906.

Graeme do you happen to know the bore and stroke of yours? Do you know where it came from originally?

It took me a while to come up with a photo of a Barter motorcycle, other than the one on page 23 of The Best Twin, but here it is, from 1903, and a slightly different model. Not very Douglasy.

Cheers

Leon
« Last Edit: 11 Sep 2017 at 13:05 by Barter »

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #82 on: 10 Sep 2017 at 22:22 »
The pictures unfortunately aren't visible Robert

Offline eddie

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #83 on: 11 Sep 2017 at 08:48 »
Evidently Photobucket no longer support 3rd party hosting of images downloaded to their site (unless the owners of the images pay a ransom). Other forums are suffering in the same way.

  Regards,
                 Eddie.

Offline Barter

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #84 on: 11 Sep 2017 at 13:10 »
Thanks for the replies guys and my apologies for the hiccup with the images, they should hopefully be up on the original post now. Would anyone know which book the pages hail from? As you can see the Irish Tredagh would appear to be a re-badged Barter. pressumably PJ Fulham who assembled the Tredaghs must have bought Barter's unsold inventory of parts / machines and rebadged them

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #85 on: 11 Sep 2017 at 21:50 »

Hi Robert,

No need to apologise. Thanks for posting the interesting article. I thought it might have been the article referred to by Doug on the first page of this thread http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=6560.msg24634#msg24634 but the author is different. Perhaps it comes from an earlier edition of the New Con Rod (Douglas Club journal), or the VMCC Journal.

I'd guess that the sum total current world knowledge of Barter motorcycles is included in the posts of this thread. But of course there was a time in the past when people knew more than we do now!! My experience is that early motorcycling history is, these days, best uncovered from the pages of local newspapers. In 1902 and 1903 motorcycles were so novel that a new machine in town was often mentioned as a curiosity.

Cheers

leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #86 on: 11 Sep 2017 at 23:51 »
So was Barter's Fee the first motorcycle with a horizontally-opposed non-rotary internal-combustion engine? Mmm... maybe. Watch this space!

I did get as far as looking quite hard. My suggestion is "probably". I couldn't find an earlier one other than the two "unconventional" bikes above.

However by the mid-late-1890s the "flat twin" was in routine use in cars, and probably industrial engines, which explains why there are no Barter patents for the motor itself. Benz and Lanchester examples below.

Flat out organising the Australian National Veteran Motorcycle Rally - starts Sunday and bigger than Ben Hur with 141 pre-1919 motorcycles. Quite a gaggle of machines powered by horizontally-opposed non-rotary internal-combustion engines with Barter ancestry, but alas no Fairy.

Cheers

Leon

Offline graeme

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #87 on: 13 Sep 2017 at 23:43 »
"but alas no Fairy."

Sorry Leon, maybe next rally - too poor at the moment  :(

I hope the rally goes well - I don't envy the organisers' tasks with 141 entrants - that's a lot!

Offline Bob M

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Re: Fairy motorcycles and motor sets, in Australia and beyond
« Reply #88 on: 14 Sep 2017 at 01:18 »
The John Hill article was printed in the VMCC Journal back in the 70's. The Nyasaland photo was used by the VMCC as a front cover photo on their Journal at much the same time. I have kept all my VMCC Journals since joining so can haul them out for perusal if there is sufficient interest. As was the usual routine in pre- social media days there was often the odd "Letter to the Editor" in response afterwards so I can browse forward six months or so to see if any thing transpired.

I'm surprised how often I drag the old VMCC Journal issues out for research like this. Back then there were still a lot of the original characters still around and they were happy to pass on their stories. Vintage motorcycles are much more interesting when you get the story direct from the horses mouth.

Cheers, Bob 

 

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