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British Motorcycles

Kenilworth Scooters

A Brief History of the Marque

The Kenilworth factory in Coventry built interesting scooters between 1919 to 1924. The machines were fitted with engines from Villiers, JAP, and an OHV 143cc Norman 150 engine (not the Norman of Ashford, Kent). Engines between 150cc - 300cc were used, both two-strokes and four-strokes.

Olympia Show 1920

Kenilworth. (Stand 144.)

  • l¼ h.p. Norman; 55 x 60 mm. (142.5 c.c.); single-cylinder four-stroke; over-head valves; drip feed lubrication; single-lever carburetter; Runbaken direct-driven magneto; single-speed gear; belt and chain drive; Kenilworth 18x2in. tyres. Price £52 10s.

Booth Bros., Much Park Street, Coventry.

Kenilworth-1920-TMC-01.jpg
Kenilworth 1920

On the Kenilworth scooter (which is propelled by a Norman engine) the seat and footboards are sprung in unison.
Overhead valves are embodied in the Norman engine used on the Kenilworth.

Although originally a scooter, the fact that it possesses a seat, and that this steering head is triangularly supported by duplex tubes from the main frame, makes the Kenilworth actually a miniature motor cycle. The diminutive Norman engine is remarkably efficient for its size, and a simple saddle suspension connected with the footboards allows quite long journeys to be undertaken in comfort. Legshields and a carrier are now fitted, as is a capable-looking band brake on the rear wheel.

Altogether, the Kenilworth strikes one as being a thoroughly practical little machine that will stand much hard use and abuse, and which, by reason of its 80 lb. total weight, possesses exemplary docility and convenience. Its mudguarding might well be studied by some designers of more ambitions machines costing three times as much. A neat electric lighting set is supplied at £4 4s. extra.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 710

KENILWORTH at the 1921 Olympia Show

A clutch on the countershaft is the chief addition to the now well-known Kenilworth miniature - a type of machine often miscalled a scooter. The four-stroke overhead valve engine is retained, and detail improvements have been embodied as a result of another twelve months on the road. For the lady who has had no previous experience with motor cycles, and who wishes to substitute a petrol-driven vehicle for her pedal cycle, the little mount is eminently suitable. It is extremely easy to wheel about and to start at walking pace, and the new clutch should facilitate this.

The Motor Cycle, November 1921

Kenilworth-1922-TMC-p710.jpg
Kenilworth for 1923

(Left) One of he last of its class, the Kenilworth has been modernised for next year; the engine is now set transversely in the frame.
Disc drive variable gear replacing the primary belt drive.

FRICTION-DRIVEN MINIATURE.

Kenilworth Machine Now Fitted with an Infinitely Variable Gear.

IN spite of the fact that large numbers of scooter type machines have disappeared from the market, the little Kenilworth has met with success, and has proved exceedingly popular amongst its owners.

Originally the machine had primary belt drive to a countershaft, the final drive being by chain; only a single gear ratio was available.

Transverse Engine.

The engine is now set longitudinally in the frame, and the crankshaft carries a cast-iron flywheel at the rear end; against this flywheel bears a Ferodo-faced driven disc having a diameter of 7in. The disc is carried on a square shaft and supported in Skefko ball bearings, the final drive sprocket lying on the outside of the central bearing. Only a very light compression spring is needed for engagement.

The whole friction gear is mounted in a cast aluminium case which also forms the engine bearer, and lies neatly in the standard Kenilworth frame.

So light is the operation of the gear that the control is effected by an ordinary carburetter air lever, and since the Vici single-lever carburetter is employed, the only addition to handle-bar fittings is a clutch lever.

Since the whole mechanism is enclosed it is unaffected by wet, and the friction gear is so efficient that it is possible to get away from a stand-still on a gradient of 1 in 9 with ease; the range of gear ratios available vary from 6 to 1 to 12 to 1.

Propelled by a 142 c.c. o.h.v. engine (55 X 50 mm. bore and stroke), the Kenilworth is noted for its sturdy construction and sprung saddle pillar and foot-rests. It is a handy little machine, and in its latest form should make an appeal - especially to ladies who require to travel short distances daily.

The Motor Cycle November 16th, 1922.