Today in Motorcycle History

Raglan Motorcycles

Raglan Cycle and Anti-Friction Ball Co

Raglan motorcycles were produced in 1903, in Coventry, and later in Birmingham, until about 1915.

The company names Colonial Coventry Co, and Raglan Cycle Co. Ltd. were also used, as was M. Adler Ltd., Birmingham. Adler was a successful Dutch cycle maker based in Amsterdam, with factories in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England and agencies in the British Colonies, Japan and China, Spain and Portugal, Scandinavia, Italy and elsewhere.

The machines used engines of 292cc, 347cc and 496cc from Precision, and also watercooled Green-Precision engines.

It seems likely that they also used Sarolea engines from Belgium.

1896 The company was registered on 4 December, to take over the businesses of Taylor, Cooper and Bednell and the Anti-Friction Ball Co.

Late in 1903 the firm exhibited at the Stanley show. The machine was said to have a stout frame and excellent 2.75hp engine. They also showed a forecar with a 3.75hp engine, fitted with a water-cooled cylinder head.

Reports from the 1903 Stanley Show

The Raglan Cycle Co.

The Raglan Cycle and Anti-friction Ball Co., Ltd., inform us that they will exhibit on their stand at the Stanley Show a motor bicycle of the most approved and up-to-date construction, and they also claim that in designing this machine their primary aim has been to provide a frame which will be of such strength as not to incur the risk of failure under any of the strains to which a motor bicycle is subject. The motor is of excellent workmanship and design, built on thoroughly approved lines, the cylinder, the head, and the valve chamber all being cast in one piece, with abundant radiating fins around them. A motor bicycle, with forecarriage of the same make, wall also be exhibited, the engine of which will be of 3¾ h.p., with water-cooled head.

The Motor Cycle, November 18th, 1903. Page 798
Stanley Show 1903

Raglan Cycle Co., Ltd.

Two examples of Raglan motors are shown on this stand. First a motor bicycle with Raglan engine of 2¾ h.p. This, while being strong and neatly made, does not call for any special mention, as the details of the mechanism are on what are now practically accepted lines. The frame and other details of the cycle part of these machines are well up to the usual standard of this old-established Coventry firm. The forecarriage with water-cooled engine of 3¾ h.p. should receive the attention of every motor cyclist who is thinking of going in for a motor tandem. The cooling is effected by syphon circulation, two wind catchers being fitted, one at each end of the water tank, the one on the right facing forward, and the one on the left facing back ward. This enables a current of air to enter at the right, pass through the tank, and out the other side. The forecarriage body is of wood, neatly upholstered and hung on well designed springs. One of the special features claimed for the Raglan engine is its silent running, which we should think is well based, the silencer being of particularly large proportions. (Stand 106.)

The Motor Cycle, November 1903
Stanley Show 1903

The Raglan Cycle Co., Ltd., are introducing a motorcycle for 1904 which, by reason of its many good points and special features, promises to rank amongst the first flight. It has a 2.75 h.p. engine, a special float feed spray carburetter, and belt transmission. It is worked by two levers situated on the top tube, actuating the throttle and the ignition, which is by wipe contact. An exhaust valve lifter is fitted and actuated through the medium of a Bowden wire terminating in a pull-up lever under the right handle. An extra tank is fitted into the back part of the frame, which will contain a gallon of petrol. This exhibit will be at the Stanley.

The Motor magazine, 18th November 1903

Raglan Cycle and Anti-Friction Ball Co., Ltd. Coventry.

This well-known old Coventry firm is making a special display of its 1909 patterns at the London depot, Colonial Buildings, 59 to 61 Hatton Garden, E.C. The machines are exhibited in a very attractive way, and Mr. Peters, the London manager, will be pleased to see agents and discuss business for next year. The Raglan models are up-to-date in every particular, and as the prices are also quite in line with modern developments, agents should make a point of seeing the machines.

Cycle and Motor Trades Review, 1908

Sources: Graces Guide, et al.

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