Kenilworth 1920 scooter 143cc OHV frame # 730 engine # 638
For some years after the 1914-1918 war small wheeled scooters enjoyed a certain popularity.
The Kenilworth was one of these designs, and it should be said to its credit that it survived for about 5 years, which certainly wasn’t true for most of its competitors.
Designer was Captain Smith-Clarke of Kenilworth.
The multi-tubed frame is bolted rather than brazed for the most part and the engine and petrol tank are placed low in the centre for good weight distribution.
Front forks and rear wheel are unsprung but the seat tubes have coil spring suspension.
Primary drive is by belt, secondary by chain and there are no gears on board. In 1919 tests were carried out with a prototype that was equipped with a veteran Clément engine; by early 1920 production models were ready.
The interesting little ohv engine has bore x stroke dimensions of 55x60mm and seems to have been an own design of Smith-Clarke and his associate T.G. John.
Some years later it was described as a “Norman”.
The first production Kenilworths had no saddle: for short journeys and shopping trips (these machines were primarily aimed at female buyers) standing was preferable to sitting for good control.
Later types were equipped with a saddle.
In 1924, towards the end of its production life, the Kenilworth got front springing, a hand starter and friction drive transmission.
Not many of these interesting devices were made and only very few have survived the ravages of time.
The Classic Motorcycle of March, 2018 features an article in which four scooters from the Sammy Miller collection are compared: The Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Stafford Pup and ABC Skootamota. This machine with the pet name “Kenny” was first registered in August 1921 and was once part of the famous Murray Collection on the Isle of Man.
She was put back on the road in 2007 and has been used regularly on vintage rallies but also for small runs, events and shopping trips.
Kenny is fitted with an ornamental FRS electric front lamp and a tax disc holder displaying a 1925 tax disc.
Kenny has a pleasant patina with original transfers on the tank and comes with an information sheet with running instructions and useful technical data.