Today in Motorcycle History

Etna Tricycle

Brixton Motor Works of Brixton, London

The Etna was a motorised tricycle built at the Brixton Motor Works by Hubert Fawconer Harding for his own use.

  • 1911 Directory lists them as of 289a, Brixton Road, London SW and as motor car makers
  • It was a mighty tandem tricycle with a 1,750cc water-cooled V-twin engine fitted at the rear between the back wheels and underneath the passenger. It had overhead inlet, side exhaust-valves, and the crankshaft extended across the frame to a detachable starting-handle.

    There were two radiators, between the rider's knees, with a pump to keep the water flowing. Ignition was by trembler coil to start, and magneto for running. The fuel tank was positioned alongside and above the engine. By a complicated process, the gearbox had four speeds. This involved two crown wheels, two pinions and an epicyclic gearbox.

    It was quite a bulky contraption and eventually the front forks were changed to Chater-Lea. The Etna was capable of reaching a rate of 70mph/112kmh and this was very fast considering that speed limits in those days were firstly 12mph and then 20mph. The capabilities of the braking system were always questionable.

    The Etna is still in existence and can usually by seen in the Pioneer Run

Source: Graces Guide

Wed Aug 15 2012
etna chassis number
brixton motor works etna
Etna 1904 that is still in exsistance bears the chassis number BMW1.
It started life as a de dion bouton tricycle but was not fast enough for Mr Harding or capable of carrying this girlfriend so he extended the frame and built the v twin engine from 2 engines he built for the GPO.

In its day the Etna was known in South London as the ghost of the Portsmouth Road as nothing the police had could keep up as Mr Harding rode to see his girlfriend.
sussex , uk

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