One of the world’s first motorcycles from 1899 goes on auction

Andrea Divirgilio / April 28, 2012

We have previously shown you in great documented detail about the great cars from yester years, which were aggressively sought after by collectors and fans alike. A similar wave of affection also seems to exist for 2-wheelers as well, whereby the earliest renditions garner attention from collectors of these vehicles who have a soft corner for the nostalgia and history they bring along. Our past writings on such events include the vintage BMW bike sale, and also the 1894 Roper Steam Motorcycle which changed hands in Las Vegas in 2011. Now an 1899 Motor-Wheel with Singer Bicycle frame is up for auction through Bonhams, and is expected to fetch $34,154 (£21,000).

1899 Singer bike

Like most vintage autos, one perhaps ought to not compare the engine performance with those fitted with the modern engines of today. This 4-stroke motorcycle has a maximum speed of barely above what brisk walking would be, and the fuel tank can hold for it to travel a distance of 50 miles at a go. Also the rough terrain of the roads would be felt on this machine, as the shock absorbers seen in most bikes today, are absent on this one. But then, way back in 1899, not even the premium cars had them, and this was more than just a normal cycle.

1899 Singer bike engine in the rear wheel

When this bike was being created by the pair of Edward Perks and Harold Birch, they showed their keen acumen in designing, by including some subtle modifications to the construction of the frame. The engine for example, was placed within the confines of the rear wheel, which made more comfortable for the occupant to travel on this bike. The central frame only has the green and gold worked fuel tank, which is connected to the engine through a couple of thin pipes.

1899 Singer bike fuel tank

As per its ownership history goes, one can find evidence of its being registered in 1927, by Dan Bradbury, after which it had changed hands a few times. Eventually in 1999, the restoration work was done, including the chains, wheels, and frame and also the paintwork. However, since the front mud-guard was missing, it hasn’t been replaced in this case.

1899 Singer bike

Via: Daily Mail

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