Chater-Lea 1934 Model “ M 545” 545 cc side valve single frame # 3262 engine # S 1259-1
Founded in 1890 , Chater – Lea turned to the manufacture of lugs and fittings for cycle and motorcycle frames around 1900.
Incorporated that same year as the Chater -Lea Manufacturing Company Limited, the firm was soon supplying its high-quality products to the greater part of the emerging British motorcycle industry.
The manufacture of components soon led to the supply of entire frames and, in 1903, the firm offered its first complete motorcycle.
Prior to WWI, Chater Lea motorcycles accommodated a bewildering range of engines from more than a dozen different suppliers before the firm began offering its own, alongside those of Blackburne and Villiers, in the mid-1920s.
Earlier in the decade the firm offered two Blackburne-engined models: a 350cc overhead-valve sports roadster and a 545cc sidevalve-engined ‘sidecar tug’ alongside the long-established ‘Big Twin’. Following the record-breaking successes of Dougal Marchant’s Blackburne-based overhead-camshaft Chater Lea at Brooklands, the company introduced its own design in 1925.
This was A C Woodman’s famous ‘face-cam’ engine that used two contoured plates at the top of a vertical, gear-driven shaft to operate the rocker arms.
Chater-Lea motorcycle production was scaled down from 1930 and finally ceased in 1936 after a total of around 5,000 machines had been built.
The 545cc sidevalve remained a fixture of the range until the end.
This machine is a well-running older restoration.