Australian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Beauchamp Motorcycles

Built at the Edward Beauchamp works, 284 Chapel Street Prahran.

Charles Mayman created nine Beauchamp racing motorcycles between 1901 and 1903. During this period he had a number of run-ins with the constabulary, who in one case referred to him as a "criminal motorist.

In March 1904 the first motorcycle race in Victoria was held at Sandown Park. Mayman won it. He died racing a Beauchamp on Boxing Day 1904.

The King family of Launceston, keen motorcyclists from very early on, purchased a Beauchamp in 1901. See Champion.


The following is an account of an interesting motor-bicycle run accomplished recently by Mr. H. B. James, of Melbourne. The roads out in the open country are of the worst description, and the performance is highly creditable to rider and machine The route was from Melbourne to Hamilton, via Geelong, Camperdown and Caramut. The rider started from the Melbourne General Post Office at seven in the morning and reached Hamilton at 4.30 in the afternoon - a distance of 204 miles - this being better time than is accomplished by the mail train. A return was then made towards Camperdown, and at the 12th hour 243 miles had been covered. Out of this time one hour 54 minutes must be deducted for stoppages. The last stretch of 165 miles home was run during the night, and at seven next morning the rider had reached a point three miles on the Melbourne side of Lara, having covered 460½ miles. Deducting four hours 12 minutes from the 24 hours for stops, the net remaining time was 19 hours 40 minutes, which works out at 23½ miles an hour all the way.

The photo shown will give a fair idea of the machine used, and the following are some details :- The motor used is a local production (excepting the De Dion aluminium fly wheel case), manufactured by E. Beauchamp, of Melbourne, with a 2 5-16 bore by 2¾ stroke, and 24 lbs. weight fly wheels. An atomiser somewhat after the Carlton principle provides the carburation - which is fired by an electric spark - timed by a positive make and break contact. An E.I.C. sparking-plug was used, and gave every satisfaction, the plug not needing cleaning during the 600 miles' run. A Dow coil was fitted, in conjunction with four No. "o" Obach dry cells, which still gave a third of an inch spark after the ride. Although the engine became eery hot through continuous running during the hot portion of the day, the Vacuum Oil Co.'s No. 5 Mobile oil gave perfect lubrication. Transmission of power (gearing 1 in 5) was through an inch fiat belt, constructed from two strips of English leather sewn together by raw hide laces. Dunlop 2 inch motor tyres were fitted to the machine, and although they had covered some thousand odd miles previous to the ride, they required no touching nor pumping during the day's ride, despite the rough and stony nature of sonic of the roads. The quantity of petrol used on the trip was 9I gallons, but fully three gallons were lost on the road owing to supplementary petrol tank (which fits on back slay under saddle) leaking. The ordinary consumption of petrol by the motor averages about 80 to 90 miles per gallon, which quantity is carried in petrol tank that fits between the top stays of the frame. The complete weight of the machine is between 150 and 160 lbs., when petrol, tool kit, etc., are fitted, so that it will be seen that the machine docs not err on the light side; in fact, it is Mr. James's opinion that no machine under 100 lbs. is suit able for use on their roads. The majority of the machines imported are too light he thinks.

Source: Motor Cycling Magazine, January 7th, 1903

W. C. Jackson, the well-known racing cyclist, has ordered a 2-horse power motor bicycle for next season's track racing. E. Beauohamp, Prahran, has been entrusted with the work of turning out a motor cycle capable of running miles under 1-35. Jackson is now training for the Warrnambool race,

The Clipper (Hobart, Tas.) Sat 21 Jun 1902

"Speed King" Motor Cycle Under You
Just drop a line to
E. BEAUCHAMP. Chapel-st., Prahran.

Punch (Melbourne, Vic.) Thu 30 Oct 1902

Progressive citizens will find it to their advantage, when they
Desire to Mote
to consult one of the pioneers of the Motor Car and Motor Cycle trade -
E. BEAUCHAMP, Prahran.

Punch (Melbourne, Vic.) Thu 9 Jun 1904

Entrants in the Dunlop Reliability Motor Contest from Sydney to Melbourne
E. C. Joshua. Vic. (3½ h.p. Beauchamp)

Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic.) Thu 16 Feb 1905

BEAUCHAMP Motor and Cycle Works
161, 163, 165 High Street, Prahran

Malvern Standard, Sat 5 Jan 1907

259 to 261 High Street, Prahran

Malvern Standard, 23rd Feb 1907

There is little mention of the firm after January 1907.

Leon Mitchel has written a detailed and fascinating 3-part account of Mayman and the Beauchamp in "Serpolettes Tricycle".

Sources: Trove NLA; Leon Mitchel,;; et al

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