One of the world's first motorbikes with fuel tank hanging from crossbar is set to sell for £21,000


Advanced: One of the world's first motorbikes that has a small engine attached to a bicycle's back wheel and a fuel tank hanging under the crossbar

It may look like an ordinary bicycle, but this is fact one of the world's first motorbikes that dates back to the Victorian era.
The motorbike, which is more than one hundred years old, consists of an engine simply attached to a bicycle's back wheel with a fuel tank hanging under the crossbar.
The distinctive 'Motor-Wheel' was patented in 1899 and is built upon a classic Singer bicycle frame, which are collector's items in their own right.
The makers, Edwin Perks and Harold Birch, were astonishingly ahead of their time and also invented the world’s first cast alloy wheel.
The motorbike is a rare survivor and auctioneers expect an abundance of motoring enthusiasts when it goes on sale.
The bike would have cost £63 at the time - the equivalent to 21,000 pounds today, which is what it is estimated to sell for at auction.

Hidden power: The tiny engine is skillfully hidden in the back wheel of the bike

But while it may be a piece of classic motoring history, the Motor-Wheel wasn't the most comfortable way to travel, as drivers would feel every bump on uneven roads.
It also isn't very fast - with the four-stroke engine's top speed being little more than a brisk walking pace.
But the tank hanging from the handlebars did hold enough fuel to get the bike 50 miles.

Slow rider: But the engine can only get the bike to travel at the speed of a brisk walking pace

The bike set to go on auction was first registered in 1927 by noted pioneer Dan Bradbury from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and has had only four owners since.
It was restored in 1999 and everything is original apart from the mudguards, which didn’t exist when it was first sold.
Ben Walker, from auctioneers Bonhams, said: 'This is really from the dawn of motorcycling.
'The makers were ahead of their time and what they produced was incredible given the lack of miniaturisation in most Victorian engineering.

Fill her up: The tank, which hangs from the crossbar, can hold enough fuel for 50 miles

'It was basically an engine and fuel tank attached to the frame of a bicycle, but the way they put it together was advanced.
'This example is one of few remaining and it has only had four owners since it was first registered in 1927.
'There is always great interest in vehicles from the early days of motoring.'
The bike will be sold by Bonhams in Stafford on Sunday.

source: dailymail


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