Today in Motorcycle History

Motorped and Simplex Motorcycles

Patrick Engineering of Royal Works, Brearley Street, Birmingham.

The company produced a Simplex motorcycle power unit from 1919 to 1922.

Hubert Henry Patrick built the prototype in 1915, but war intervened and it did not enter production until October 1919. It had a strengthened bicycle fitted with a 105cc two-stroke engine. The unit was sold separately, to be fitted to any gents' or ladies' bicycle. It fitted above the rear wheel which it drove by chain.

Motorped was a motorcycle produced from 1919 to 1922 by Patrick Engineering of Birmingham.

A two-stroke auxiliary engine was fitted above the rear wheel of a strengthened bicycle to create this machine and it was available in either ladies' or gents' versions. It had a 104cc engine with a horizontal cylinder that had the fuel tank above, magneto ignition, Amac carburettor and drove the rear wheel by chain. A plate clutch was optional.

The power unit was also available separately, as the Simplex, and could be attached to any machine. It was fitted to other brands including Zephyr.

Source: Graces Guide

...the publication of patent specification: No. 3,514, 1 91 5, in the names of H. H. Patrick and the Oxygen-Welding Works, Ltd., of New Summer Street, Birmingham. In this construction also the power plant is located on a platform mounted over the rear wheel, but the cylinder head faces forwards, and power from the engine is conveyed by a chain to a gear box. From this the drive passes to the rear wheel by means of a V belt. The chain which transmits the power to the gear box is arranged also to effect rotation of the magneto driving sprocket. The tank is mounted on supports as shown, and the silencer is attached to the underside of the platform.

"The Motor Cycle", November 1915, p490

Simplex 1920

A sectioned Show exhibit of the Simplex bicycle attachment, showing the two-stroke engine clutch and magneto drive.

Olympia Show 1920

Motorped. (Stand 18.)

  • l¼ h.p.; 51x51 mm. (105 c.c); single-cylinder two-stroke; petroil lubrication; Amac carburetter; Runbaken magneto; single-speed gear; chain drive; 28xl½ in. tyres.

Patrick Engineering Co., Ltd., Brierley Street, Birmingham.

The Motorped is new in name only - this being the title the makers of the Simplex cycle attachment give to the complete cycle built by them, and equipped with their power unit. One of the earliest units made for this purpose, the Simplex is a "flat" two-stroke single of fairly conventional design. A tiny plate clutch is optional this year, and a means is provided of holding the plates permanently apart should the need arise on any occasion for pedalling home. Merely an ordinary pedal machine of strong build, the cycle itself may readily be re-converted to a "one rider power" mount.

With clutch the Motorped sells at £42, without at £37 16s.

Olympia Show The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 731

N.B. Several firms used variations of the Simplex brand.

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