Bat Motorcycles

Tessier, Father and Son - Bat Motorcycles

Who is Syd Justien Tessier?

1910 Bat 3½ h.p.

This image appears online frequently, usually captioned "Syd Justien Tessier, on a 1910 Bat".

However, Wikipedia says of the same image that the rider is Harold Bowen, with the following data:

  • Fastest lap
    Harold Bowen, BAT
    17min. 51sec. 53.15 mph (New record)
    500 Single & 670 Twin Open Class

Bowen competed on a Bat at the IOM TT in 1909, 1910 and 1911.

For sale in The Motor Cycle, December 1910:
Bat racer, Bowen's one-hour record breaker, fastest 3½ h.p. machine on record, splendid condition; £27 10s. 9, Shoe Lane, Fleet St London.

Tessier and Bowen are mentioned in the same paragraph about a race on October 13th, 1910. The same article mentions "H. H. Bowen, 1 Bat-J.A.P." in the sidecar class, so it appears that Bowen raced both solo and sidecar Bat machines.

Written elsewhere: "Due to the concern over increasing lap-speed, for the 1910 Isle of Man TT the capacity of the twin-cylinder machines were reduced to 670 cc. However, Harry Bowen riding a BAT twin-cylinder motorcycle increased the lap record to an average speed of 53.15 mph (85.54 km/h), later crashing-out of the 1910 event on the wooden banking at Ballacraine corner."

The Tessier name refers to both father and son.


  • T. H. Tessier (5-6 h.p. Bat) July 28th 2010
    J.A.P. engine used by T. H. Tessier in the End-to-End Trial. July 28th 2010
    S. T. Tessier (Bat) Entry for Brooklands, October.
    All got off the mark well except S. T. Tessier (son of the well-known rider), who failed to start.
    11. S. T. Tessier (2 Bat) October 6th

Bat-1903-MMC-Tessier-TH-GrG.jpg
Tessier Senior, 1903

Mr. Tessier on his "Bat" racing motor cycle, fitted with M.M.C. engine, at Canning Town Track. where he succeeded in breaking world's record twice on Saturday, August 1st.

Graces Guide gives the following:

T. H. Tessier - Theodore Henry Tessier, (c1868), and Sidney Theodore Tessier (age 18 born Peckham), a Motor Cycle Engineer (in 1911).

Google Patents: 151,847. Tessier, S. T. Nov. 6, 1919. Wheels...

In conclusion, the machine pictured in the 1910 image is a touring road machine with belt drive, and the rider appears quite young. The 1910 and c1913 images show very similar facial characteristics. It seems likely that the name "Syd Justien Tessier" is an error and that the rider is S. T. Tessier.

Sources: imuseum.im, The Motor Cycle, Wikipedia, heritage-holiday.co.uk, https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Sidney_Theodore_Tessier, https://patents.google.com/patent/GB151847A/en



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