Australian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Carbine Motorcycles Australia

Manufactured by Carbine Cycle Co, Melbourne

In 1901 they imported front-wheel-drive Werner motor bicycles which were re-branded Carbine-Werner.

Newspaper articles in 1903 reported that Carbine built a motorcycle using an M.M.C. engine.

In 1918 the Carbine & Collier 2-Speed Cycle Co merged with E.W.Brown to become Carbine Cycle Co & E.W.Brown. They later became the Carbine Motor Co and then merged with Turner Bros to form Turner Bros & Carbine Motor Co, later Turner Bros.

CARBINE Cycle Co.— Werner (French) Motor Bicycle, Used 100 miles, beautiful machine; what offers? Princes-bridge, Melb.

The Age (Melbourne, Vic.) Sat 26 Apr 1902

The Carbine Cycle and Motor Co. of this city have just completed a motor cycle that will interest motorists, as the machine embodies a few new features not seen in English, Continental or American motor cycles. The machine has been built to the design of the well-know Melbourne motorist, Mr H. B. James and will used in the forthcoming motor cycle race from Warrnambool to Melbourne on 22nd August.

The principal departure from the ordinary lines is in the frame, which is built fairly high in the front, and then sweeps down until the saddle pillar lug is only about 15 inches above the bottom chain stays; the top of the saddle only some 33 inches from the ground.; The frame provides a long wheel base, 52 inches from centre to centre of wheels, the full measurement over all 80 inches. This long wheel base, in conjunction with a low centre of gravity, ensures comfortable and safe riding, even at high speeds over rough roads. The motor is a 2¾ h.p. engine [1], set vertically well forward in the frame, and is fed through a Longuemare carburettor.

The transmission is through a flat Belt 8½ feet long. The wheels are 26 inches, fitted with Dunlop tyres, the back tyre being fairly large, with a view of absorbing vibration. Provision for petrol, cells, lubricating oil, coil, tools and repair outfit is provided for in one large copper tank, so that everything is kept dry and clean, and out of the way. The motor is compact and very racy looking, the rakish lines of the frame and front forks giving the machine a graceful appearance, despite the big tank, which fills in nearly all the centre of the frame. The machine was built with a view of affording a comfortable touring motor cycle, capable of climbing any ordinary hill with out pedalling assistance, and at the same time fast, and what is of more importance, strong enough for any speed work over the average Australian roads. Trial runs around Melbourne have proved the machine a comfortable riding one, easy of control, with a speed range of from 4 to 30 miles an hour.

The machine weighs, empty (i.e., without oil and cells), about 170 lb., and 195 lb. with cells and a supply of petrol sufficient to carry the motor from 130 to 150 miles. The machine is enamelled black, lightened up with red rims, and red lines on tank, the whole machine reflecting the greatest credit on the manufacturers, who have thus early in the Australian motor industry departed from the ordinary lines of the imported article, and built a motor cycle that should prove itself well adapted for Australian conditions.

Leader (Melbourne, Vic.) Sat 4 Jul 1903

Carbine Jap., 4-h.p.; Single, 4, 5, 6, 8 h.p Twin, 1915 model engines, built to your own order and specifications.
Any make of cycle and motot taken as part paymcnt...
4 Doors Above G.P.O.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Sat 3 Jun 1916 (also Mon 3 Aug 1914, 192 Burke St)

Sources:; Trove NLA; et al


  1. An almost identical article of the same date in another newspaper says the engine is M.M.C.
  2. There were two Australian marques named Carbine, one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney - see Disambiguation

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