Today in Motorcycle History

Morris Motorcycles

The Morris Motor Company of Cowley, Oxford was a British manufacturer of cars and lorries established by William Morris. The company grew considerably over the years, merging with others to become the largest automotive corporation in the United Kingdom, BMC. The Morris name remained in use as a marque until 1984. Motorcycles were produced from 1902 to 1905.

1902-1905 Having started out as a cycle agent based in George Street, Oxford, William Morris gradually turned his attention from bicycles to motorcycles, and then to cars.

He began using 2¾ hp De Dion and MMC engines of primitive type with belt drive. The engine was set upright in the frame that was formed to run around and beneath the crankcase.

Morris later used chain drive and a clutch, listed as a forecar, and used MMC engines only.

The Oxford Automobile and Cycle Agency.

The above Automobile and Cycle Agency are exhibiting the Morris motor bicycles, fitted with belt drive; also some with chain drive and clutch, giving free engine. They will be fitted with the Morris patent carburetter and registered frame. They are also fitting the new 2¾ h.p. M.M.C. engines with mechanical inlet valves.

The Motor Cycle, 18th November 1903
Stanley Show 1903

Oxford Automobile and Cycle Agency.

Here are shown the Morris motor cycles fitted with M.M.C. and De Dion engines. The principal point of interest in the bicycle is a new pattern wick carburetter designed by Mr. Morris, the works manager. The engine is built rather high and forward in the frame, the loop going right underneath the crank chamber. The forecarriage is fitted with the Phoenix Trimo attachment, 2¾ h.p. engine, mechanically-operated valves, air-cooled, and the transmission (which is the novel point) is provided with a friction clutch and starting handle, the clutch being operated, as are the whole of the other levers, by the Bowden handle-bar control. (Stand 56.)

The Motor Cycle, 25th November 1903
Stanley Show 1903

Sources: Graces Guide, Martin Shelley, The Motor Cycle.

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