Today in Motorcycle History

Osmond Cycle Co

Osmond Junior 1922

The Perfect Motor Assisted Cycle. 26 Guineas.

Motorcycles produced between 1902 and 1925, by Osmonds Ltd, firstly of The Tower, Tomey Rd, Greet, Birmingham, and later of Sparkbrook.

  • 1897 Advertisement for Ladys' Bicycle from the Osmond Cycle Co.

    1902 In November, the company advertised their Slip-Not motor bicycle, and compared it with their standard Manumotive cycle. They exhibited at the Stanley show that month but gave few details on the machine's specification or engine. It would probably have been a Minerva.

    1903 Osmonds Ltd was registered on 31 July, to acquire the undertaking of a company of similar title.

    Nothing further was heard of the company's motorcycle for a decade.

    1911 Late that year the name returned at the Olympia show when the company was, by now, based at Sparkbrook. They exhibited two models with Precision engines, Bosch magnetos, either direct-belt drive or a Villiers hub gear, and Druid forks.

    Once again, the make slipped from sight - until after the end of the First World War.

    1923 They introduced a miniature with open frame and braced unsprung forks. It was fitted with a 104cc two-stroke Simplex engine, with chain drive to a countershaft and then belt to the rear wheel.

    1924 That single-speed machine, suitable for male or female use, became the Junior, and a new, lightweight motorcycle, the Osmond Royal, was introduced. It had a 249cc two-stroke engine, Druid sprung forks and two-speed chain-cum-belt drive.

    1925 Only the Royal was listed that year, after which the company left the market.

Osmond 1902

Designed specially for the great majority of riders, who want a light motor bicycle that can be easily handled.

Stand No.87. Osmonds, Ltd., Birmingham, show three specimens of Osmond motor-bicycles. In these the engine is clamped to the tube from head to bracket, the outside flywheel balances the weight of the engine, so that the total weight is central; drive is by twisted raw hide belt, running over a jockey pulley on main tube of frame. The claim of Osmonds, Limited, is, not that they have produced a racing motorcycle, but that their machine is still a bicycle, with the addition of an engine capable of propelling the machine and rider at the rate of 30 miles an hour; the weight of the complete machine is only 721bs., so that the engine has not got a heavy load, and can put forth its best efforts with the least possible handicap. Although bicycle parts have been used throughout, strength has been increased where necessary, and replacements can be made with facility at bicycle prices - a good point.

All Osmond motor-bicycles are fitted with the patent "Radilever" front rim brake, which can be swung from one side of the handlebar to the other, or placed in any position desired by the rider, without interfering with the adjustment of the brake. Belt pulleys are spoked into the back wheel rim; either back-pedalling hub brakes or hand-applied rim brakes are used, according to taste.

Another pattern is shown having a chain drive and a two-speed gear, the engine being in the same position as on the previous machine, driving by chain to an additional bracket, placed a few inches in advance of the usual bottom bracket; this extra bracket carries the two-speed gear, which is on the sun and planet system, giving a reduction from high to low of 25 per cent. This enables the machine to mount any hill. The price of the belt-driven machine is £45, and the chain-driver, with two-speed gear, is £50.

Stanley Show 1902

Sources: Graces Guide, Motor Cycling, 26th November 1902