1903 Other Other
Year of manufacture1903
1903 Avondale 239cc Lightweight Motorcycle
Registration no. to be advised
Frame no. AV1
Engine no. SM245
The only survivor of two made
Three owners from new
Many-times Pioneer Run and Banbury Run participant
This unique Veteran motorcycle is one of two constructed in 1903 by the Avon Vale Cycle Company of Evesham, Worcestershire, a bicycle manufacturer, and was first owned by a Mr Andrews from Evesham. Like many such, Avon Vale decided to branch out into motorcycle manufacture by the simple expedient of fitting a proprietary engine into one of their bicycle frames. The engine they chose was made by E Buchet, a French manufacturer, and two machines were built, although this is the only one that actually took to the road. Displacing 239cc, the motor is of the four-stroke type, with 'atmospheric' inlet valve and mechanical (side) exhaust valve. It also boasts a float-type carburettor by Longuemare, one of the earliest known applications of this innovative device to a motorcycle engine. Transmission is by the simplest means imaginable, belt drive directly from the crankshaft, the engine being started by pedalling and stopped by switching off the ignition. Trembler coil ignition would have been fitted originally but has been replaced by a more modern coil ignition set up, powered by a total-loss battery. Lubrication is by means of a hand operated plunger pump.
Acquired by the vendor in 1975, the Avondale has been ridden by him on various events including the VMCC's International Rally and Cotswold Road Trial, winning the James Flood Cup for the best single-gear entry in the latter. The Avondale has also been a regular participant in the Banbury Run and Pioneer Run since 1952. It was last ridden in 2014 and is pictured on the front cover of the VMCC Cotswold Section's Newsletter (Issue 95, April 2014) being ridden by the late Arthur Mortimer (copy on file). The electrics are working, although a new battery is required, and it should be noted that the crankcases currently fitted (numbered 'SM245') are from the other Avondale. The original repaired crankcases ('SM261') are included in the sale. This unique Veteran motorcycle is offered with a Pioneer Certificate and old/current V5/V5C registration documents.