Premier 1914 3 ½ HP 499 cc side valve combination frame# 8157 engine# 9665
The firm of Hillman, Herbert and Cooper changed their name in “Premier Cycle Company ”in 1891.
Before that year bicycles had already been produced, and also after 1891 this stayed their core business. I
n the early years of bicycle production the firm had been very successful with a type of machine that bore the name “Kangaroo”.
This kangaroo was retained as their trade mark and it would also become the badge on the petrol tank.
The first Premier motorcycle was introduced to the public at the Stanley Show in November 1908.
It was equipped with a White & Poppe engine.
In the course of 1909 a 548 cc V-twin was developed and put on the market, and early in 1910 a 499 cc single was brought out.
For the 1914 season three types of engines were marketed: 246, 499 and 998 cc.
In all 12 models were available.
Five of them were equipped with the 499 cc engine and the machine we offer was the top model, equipped with three speed countershaft gear ( quite a novelty in 1914), foot clutch and the added advantage of the Auxiliary Exhaust Release.
This was an extra valve in the lower part of the cylinder with the purpose to release the hottest exhaust gasses at an early stage.
Thus the engine ( and more particular the exhaust valve) would keep cooler and last longer.
After the Great War the company decided to stop motorcycle production and concentrated on a passenger three-wheeler.
This was a commercial failure and the firm went bankrupt in the early twenties and was consequently taken over by the Singer car company. This quality combination is a real eye catcher and a practical veteran because of the countershaft gearbox and clutch.