Author Topic: S.L. Bailey  (Read 54949 times)

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Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #200 on: 19 Dec 2020 at 09:52 »
Hi Roger,

Sorry, I'm not quite sure where I found the illustration , but I wonder if it was from "Flawed Genius"? Maybe the ABC Road Motors website? I'm far from home so I can't check just now.

"described in the press in late 1912": The 500cc ABC motorcycle engine - with the three-throw-crank - was described in detail in the motorcycle magazines at the end of December, 1912.

For example, the Motor Cycle issue of 26 Dec 1912  that carried the story of SLB's record-breaking at Brooklands on page 1544 ("... At Bailey's request, Mr. Bradshaw designed and made the cylinders, valve, pistons, and connecting rods of an exactly similar type to those used in the new [ABC] aeroplane engine, and it was with these that the Douglas motor bicycle was fitted, experimentally, when the above records were broken...") also carried the story of the new 500cc ABC motor cycle engine on p1541.

I'll attach both below. My reading of articles like this, and many others in the period, suggest that Bailey was developing and racing bikes for Douglas in the second half of 1912, and got some assistance from Bradshaw to develop the ohv engine.

The report of Bailey's record-breaking Motorcycling, 24 Dec 1912, p252, contains a contradiction to this storyline, by stating in part that "... Bailey has employed his spare time in having built a very remarkable 500 cc horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder engine..." My views on this are here: .

But clearly you have new info - please share!



Offline Brooklander

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #201 on: 21 Dec 2020 at 08:10 »

Thank you for your prompt reply, i can confirm that the image of the first ABC engine parts was in Barry's book.  Unfortunately he doesn't give the source but on the next page (94) he states that the new engine was revealed to the public in April 1913 so I suspect that was the date of the picture.  That fits in with the other information I have (the first 1913 catalogue) which contains a different picture of the same components.
This would then be in line with ABC's approach to announcements of its aero engine.  This starts with a brief description of the new engine with scant details at the start of the year.  By April a more detailed description accompanied a mock up of the engine at the Olympia Show and finally an exclusive description in The Aero in the summer that showed pictures of the components to demonstrate their novel features. In most cases no further  trace of the engines appeared in press reports.  In the case of the motorcycle engine this was entered to race at Brooklands in October.  This was in modified form but it didn't appear until January 1914 when it took world records but by that time it had a two throw crankshaft as did the identical  WE Brough engine that was introduced in 1914.