Today in Motorcycle History

Monopole Cycle Co

Monopole Cycle Co of Foleshill, Coventry

  • Monopole were motorcycles produced from 1902 to 1903; from 1912 to 1914; and in 1927.

    1902 The name first appeared late that year, when a machine was exhibited at the Stanley show by the Monopole Cycle Co It was a very primitive affair with a 2¼ hp engine and a single-lever control. The name did not appear again for several years.

    1912 The name surfaced once more at the Olympia Show as the Monopole Cycle and Carriage Co of Foleshill, Coventry. Two models were exhibited, similar in type, with 2½ hp and 3½ hp Precision engines. They both had Saxon forks and direct-belt drive, the larger to a Sturmey-Archer three-speed hub gear. The design and finish were of high quality although the specification was conventional.

    1912 Listed in Spennell's directory of Coventry as Cycle Manufacturers.

    1913-1914 Those two models continued, with little change.

    1915 Nothing was listed for that year.

    1916 One model was listed with a 269cc Villiers engine, a Jardine two-speed gearbox and belt final-drive. A single-speed version was also available.

    Post-WWI. The two-stroke ran on and was joined by four-stroke models with Abingdon and JAP engines and a choice of transmissions. Some sports versions had all-chain drive as standard.

    1922 The MotorCycle magazine issue of Nov 24th 1921 listed the marque at the Olympia show. Models fitted with Villiers, Abingdon and JAP engines.

    1924 Only the 292cc and 346cc JAP remained.

    1927 The make made another brief appearance when a 147cc lightweight with an Aza two-stroke engine went on the market for one season.

Monopole at the 1902 Stanley Show

Stand 75. The Monopole Cycle and Carriage Co., Coventry, are showing a couple of motorcycles, the engine of 2.25 h.p. being placed in a slanting position below the lower member of the frame. A spray carburetter is provided, and the drive is by a three-ply V-shaped belt. The tank is of large size, nearly filling the opening of the frame, giving room for oil, accumulators, and coil, and for a large supply of petrol. A Bowden exhaust lifter is used, and two brakes are provided, one being the New Departure coaster.

Motor Cycling, 26th November 1902

Monopole at the 1921 Olympia Show

Improvements in the Monopole range are chiefly limited to the detail alterations to their components already described in several recent issues of The Motor Cycle. From this it may be inferred that the machines bearing this transfer embody familiar gear and eiigine units. Nevertheless, they are all serviceable and roadworthy productions. The chief types are : Villiers 293 c.c. and 350 c.c. J.A.P.-engined lightweights (the latter as a sports model), and 499 c.c. Abingdon and 654 c.c. J.A.P. dual purpose models.

The Motor Cycle, November 24th 1921

Monopole 1922

All the essentials of a practical touring solo machine are embodied in the lightweight Monopole.

The 1922 Olympia Show.

MONOPOLE. (Stand 37.)

Five 350 c.c. Solos.

3 H.P. Model.

70x90 mm. (346 c.c.); single cyl. four-stroke; side valves; hand pump lubrication; B. &. B. carb.; chain-driven mag,; 3-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; chain drive; 26x2¼in, tyres. Price; Solo £69 10s.; with Sidecar, £85 5s.

Monopole Cycle and Motor Co., Ltd., Coventry.

Five Coventry-built machines, none exceeding 350 c.c, are staged. Various proprietary units - Villiers or J.A.P. engines and Sturmey-Archer gearboxes are employed - and generally speaking the machines do not differ greatly from last year's models. Chain transmission on the 348 c.c. semi-sporting model detailed above is, however, an innovation. It is neatly carried out, transmission shocks being absorbed by the cushion arrangement in the Sturmey gearbox.

All the Monopole machines are finished in a soft shade of green, which, particularly on the sidecar model, looks quite attractive. The sidecar itself is a lightweight sporting Grindlay.

Another 348 c.c. solo mount uses final belt drive, when the price is £67 5s.

A single-geared 247 c.c. Villiers-engined lightweight at £40, and a 293 c.c. J.A.P.-engined model with a two-speed gear, clutch and kick-starter, at £58, complete the exhibit.

Olympia Show 1922
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 841

Sources: Graces Guide, Mortons