Rover 1917 499 cc side valve 3 ½ HP frame# L3013 engine # 7146
The Rover safety bicycle had created a breakthrough in bicycle design at the end of the 19th century. At the end of 1903 the company presented its first motorcycle, which was much ahead of its time: a well- designed side valve engine with mechanically operated valves, spray carburettor, strong frame with double front down tubes and excellent finish.
It created a lot of interest and a thousand or so were sold in 1904.
However, in 1905 a serious slump in motorcycle sales started because public confidence in the motorcycle had waned considerably due to the marketing of many inferior and badly engineered models.
Rover didn’t want to risk its good name and stopped motorcycle production entirely, to concentrate on the bicycle business.
In 1910 the motorcycle’s future seemed rosy again and designer John Greenwood (later of Sunbeam fame) was commissioned to draw up a new engine.
The 85×88 engine had spring loaded tappets.
The Bosch magneto was placed high and dry behind the cylinder barrel and it was driven by a silent “ inverted tooth” chain.
Carburettor was by Brown & Barlow and Druid spring forks were fitted.
At the end of 1914 a 3 speed countershaft gearbox was added, and from then on till 1924 little changes were made.
After WW1 the management decided there was more future in car production and the motorcycle production was moved to other premises in Coventry.
This 1917 machine has an E.I.C. magneto because the Bosch instrument was not available in Britain during the war.
The machine is very complete with acetylene lighting and bulb horn and is in very presentable original condition.