Belgian Motorcycles

Bercley Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured in Belgium, 1904 to 1909
c.1906 616cc Bercley

This fascinating Belgian veteran machine has a long single-family history and a notable public one. Originally taken as a part exchange in 1914 by the vendors family-owned motorcycle business, the Bercley languished in a hidden corner of the extensive workshop for decades until spotted by Graham Walker (father of Murray), the one time curator of the Montague Motor Museum. Taken in by the museum in 1962 it was restored by them and put on display for many years until retrieved by the family in 1970. From then until 1996 it was on permanent display in the family showroom and was occasionally started up for demonstration purposes. Last run in 1986 it has been dry stored since 1996 until the present with a very occasional airing.

The parallel vertical twin engine was designed by the engineer Gustave Kindermans and has a three bearing crankshaft and mechanical side valves all mounted transversely in the frame. The fuel from the black lined silver flat tank is fed via a Longuemare carburettor. Of particular interest is the complex arrangement of the sprung forks. These machines are described in the November 27th 1905 issue of "The Motor Cycle" where its debut at The Stanley Show is covered.

The Bercley is discussed between the vendor and the motoring journalist and historian, Michael Worthington-Williams, in a letter supplied with the motorcycle. It would appear from this letter that at least two other examples of the Bercley have survived and that there is plenty of scope for some detailed research by the prospective purchaser. Detailed examination of this rare piece of motorcycling history is recommended.

Source of the information above unknown.

In 1909, Triumph experimented with a vertical twin 616cc Bercley engine.

Hugh Mason of N.U.T., in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is mentioned in connection with Bercley.

Sources: Henshaw, et al.

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