Today in Motorcycle History

Osborne Motorcycles

Osborne Motor Co., Princess Works, Salthouse lane, Lincoln.

Built in Lincoln by Ryle Osborne, unrelated to the Osborn concern.

Osborne 1908 3½ h.p

A 3½ h.p. Osborne Motor Bicycle fitted with ,the same make of four-speed and free engine pulley. To do away with the necessity for a jockey . pulley, the above machine has been fitted with a sliding back wheel to take up the slack of the belt.


The Osborne Motor Mfg. Co. showed a new type of spring fork. The front wheel spindle is mounted in a pair of eccentric sheaves, which work in straps on ball bearings fitted to the fork and girder ends. The wheel spindle is placed considerably out of the centre of the sheaves, so as to allow it to travel round the requisite degree. To each of the sheaves are fixed pins at an angle of about 16° between lines drawn from the centre of the spindle to the centre of the sheaves. These pins are connected to a pair of side links which run upwards, and are connected to a pair of arms (forming one piece) swinging on the fork crown. These forks struck us as being well designed and devoid of all side play. An improved form of Osborne four-speed pulley, which obviates the necessity of using a jockey pulley, was also shown.

This pulley works in the following manner:

  • The back wheel is mounted in bearings working in specially constructed slides, which replace the ordinary fork ends. The bearings are connected to the ends of two side links, which are connected at the other ends to a pair of arms, formed with a pedal carried in a specially constructed bracket. There is a ratchet on the left-hand fork end or slide which locks the wheel in the required position after it has been moved.

To put it clearly, the back wheel is extended when the pulley groove is expanded, and vice versa. Both the pulley and rear wheel are operated by independent movements, but their manipulation is very quickly learnt.

Stanley Show 1908
The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1908.

1909 April. Advertisment. 'THE NEW OSBORNE 3 1/2 h.p. Peugeot MOTORCYCLE: 4 speed gear, fitted with back sliding wheels, doing away with jockey pulley and all belt difficulty. It has climbed the Steep-hill up the Strait, right to the Cathedral. Demonstration by appointment.

1911 June. Advertisment. 'THE OSBORNE MOTORCYCLE, the finest in the world. Obtainable in Lincoln only from the actual Manufacturer. Agents in every other town. Come and see and judge for yourself. Don't be misled by parties interested in the sale of other Machines really not half so good. OSBORNE MOTOR CO. Salt House lane, Lincoln. Private Address: 21 Portland street

Sources: Phil Meggett, Graces Guide

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