Premier 1915 4 ½ HP 499 cc side valve frame# M 263 B32 engine# B 315 S 1
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.
In 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.
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 top model was 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. In the first years of the war a limited number of machines was produced.
Interesting features of this rare machine are the four speed gearbox with foot and hand operated clutch, the double rear brake and of course the Auxiliary Exhaust Release.
This motorcycle spent its entire life in The Netherlands: the number M 3524 was issued in 1916 in the province of Gelderland to Hendrik Dave who lived in the small village of Geesteren.
This sturdy machine is an older restoration and has been used regularly in vintage rallies.