Bradbury 1912 3 ½ HP 554 cc side valve single frame # 38205 engine # 5328
Bradbury & Co. was one of the pioneers of the British motor cycle industry: already in 1902 the company advertised a motorcycle driven by a Minerva clip-on engine.
Before motorcycles were being produced at the Wellington Works in Oldham, the company – established in 1852 – had already earned a worldwide reputation as Britain’s and Europe’s first sewing machine manufacturer.
Bradbury & Co. was active on various markets: the firm also made bassinettes, bicycles, forecars and a range of engineers’ and machine tools.
In 1903 the company started producing motor cycles under Birch’s patent whereby the frame was brazed into the crank case.
This crank case was made of steel; on the offside an aluminium side plate was fixed that housed the timing wheels and cams.
This particular design point had the advantage that the engine was practically a part of the frame and this made for a very rigid construction.
It would become a Bradbury trademark and was used till the end of motorcycle production in 1923. Year by year the models were improved: by 1908 both valves were mechanically operated, by 1910 the crankcase ran on ball bearings.
The 1912 catalogue presented five models, all with bore and stroke dimensions of 89×89 mm.
This meant a change in cubic capacity, in 1911 bore x stroke were 87 x 87 mm, giving 517 cc. There were two models with direct drive, one model with a free engine hub and two models with two speed gears, one with belt drive and one with chain drive.
The machine we offer here has a 3- speed Sturmey Archer hub gear with practical hand controlled clutch.
A reliable Bosch magneto is responsible for the spark and the mixture is controlled by a Brown & Barlow instrument.
This sturdy and practical veteran comes complete with Pioneer Certificate and is an older restoration