A Brief History of The Rover Co., Ltd., Meteor Works, Coventry
The Coventry-based firm built bicycles as early as 1884, and its founder, John Starley, had had the foresight to evaluate a number of Peugeot motorcycles in 1899. Starley died in 1901 and was succeeded as Managing Director by Harry Smith who continued development and demonstrated the company's first motorcycle in November 1902, the Rover Imperial.
Prior to the First World War Rover built conventional diamond-framed machines using 496cc 85x88mm sidevalve engines of their own design, augmented after the war by Rover 248cc and 348cc OHV engines and JAP engines including a 676cc V Twin.
During the Great War the company supplied motorcycles to the armies of Britain and Russia. Subsequently production of motorcycles took second place to automobiles, and in 1924 the manufacture of all two-wheelers ceased. Over 10,000 motorcycles had been built.
A report on the 1924 Motor Cycle Show reads, in part:
"The Rover Co. have replaced the 250 c.c. model by one of 350 c.c., this having an engine of 74 mm, bore and 80 mm. stroke. A speed of 6o in.p.h. is guaranteed with the standard model, and even this can be improved upon if an aluminium piston be fitted at an extra cost of but 75. 6d. While the engine has been increased in size, it has also, of course, been necessary to strengthen up the other parts of the mechanism and frame. The gear box has been stiffened, the clutch has an extra plate, and the strength of the primary chain has been increased. Generally speaking, the design remains as before, but the overhead-valve gear is now enclosed, as is also the primary chain. Notwithstanding all these improvements, and the increase in power, the price still remains at £55."
There is a mention on an Italian site of The Rover 1924 - 1938, indicating there may have been further manufacture of the marque in the Milan region.
Sources: Motor Sport Magazine
Mon, 12 Mar 2018
m.boersig at web.de
Gentlemen, I'm doing some research on Rover Motorcycles for a documentation. I could not find a lot about the early years, but from 1903 I've got some details. When I was told right all started with a motorised version of the "Coventry Chair" - with a de Dion engine in 1898/99. Then, in 1901, the should have been a motorcycle like a Motosacoche. From 1902/03 there has been a 2 1/2 hp, later becoming a 3 1/2 hp. During the period from 1906 to 1910/11 they did not make motorcycles, but in 1908 at the Dublin Motor Show there was a Motosacoche model shown on the Rover stand. It is said that Rover produced parts for MAG engines from 1907 to 1909. Is there any specialist who can confirm some of these details or whom I cold contact? Thank you for a helpng hand. Kind Regards, Michael
Michael P. Boersig
Thu Jun 20 2013
Rover Motorcycle Information
Any information, links, contacts for Rover motorcycles would be greatly appreciated, I have a motor however unsure what year, would appreciate any resources that could possibly help with getting more information
Sun Feb 17 2013
We have a 1912 Rover motor cycle and are wanting to post it for sale is there any interest
New Plymouth NZ
Fri Aug 19 2011
jewels< at> slingshot.co.nz (bounces)
I have orig catalogue pics and specs for Rover Motorcycles 1912& 1915,i can email your site,cheers Graeme
Tue Apr 12 2011
Rover 1917 3.5hp
Rover 1917 3.5hp Rover 1917 3.5hp
Rover 1917 3.5hp stolen alongwith 1910 Rover bicycle. Motor bike as per picture. Both in great condition. Bicycle had 1960's rubber pedals
Tue Feb 16 2010
iain.kerr at live.co.uk
I own a 1922 un restored motorcycle. I'm would like to get it valued and wondered if anyone could help. Many thanks Iain Kerr.
Sat Nov 22 2008
brown.laura at tesco.net
what models are these?
here are two pictures of my Great Grandad and Grandma taken around 1920's, and my Father would like to know which models they are.
Thu Nov 13 2008
bob at hinton330.fsnet.co.uk
I have a photograph of an old motorcycle being ridden by my Great Uncle. I am trying to identify the model.
Wed Sep 05 2007
gosfordsigns at cirruscomms.com.au
Hello we have a 1912 Rover Motorcycle with Fitall Gear And would like some photos or old poster or any info on the old girl We would like to put it toghter and sell at later date
Tue Jan 16 2007
erik.brinkman at erikbrinkman dot com
Rover Brand Ownership
I am interesed in knowing who owns the rights to "Rover" as applied to motorcycles ?
600 miles west of Los Angeles
Tue Dec 19 2006
erik.brinkman at erikbrinkman dot com
I read your bit on the Rover and that you were looking for more info. I too am looking. I am looking for whomever OWNS the rights to the name when applied to motorcycles.
The bike is quite stunning. Well worth a visit to the site:
Sun Jan 22 2006
speedbj at spray.se
ROVER MOTORCYCLE CLUB?
I need Rover motorcycle club address.
Thu Sep 08 2005
schwietzer at t-online.de
I need to in contact with somebody who can give me information about rover motorcycles, because i has to write a story about thes for a german oldtimer-magazine!