White Heather, built in 1903, is a fortunate survivor of the era of assembly machines. The badge on the fuel tank bears the name of McIntosh, Coventry, by whom the machine was assembled from a multiplicity of bought-in components and the complete model is the only known example.
It is probable that the frame fittings and front forks - braced but unsprung - were supplied by Chater-Lea, an indication of this being the marking on one of the components of the steering head. The frame is of substantial construction, some items showing the influence of heavy engineering practice and houses the engine. This is a 4 hp side valve unit manufactured by V Antoine Fils of Liege, Belgium, which firm was well known supplier of engines as well as building complete motorcycles. Antoine also supplied car and aero engines in the pioneer days.
The engine featured chain driven Bosch magneto ignition, a two lever carburettor and total loss lubrication from the hand pump mounted on the fuel tank. Transmission was by direct belt drive and the footbrake was a block operating against the inside of the belt rim. The brake pedal was mounted on the near-side as part of the footrest assembly. Tyres were 26in x 2.25in.
N.B. Graham Clayton writes: "Damien Kimberley in 'Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage;, p.124 gives the production span of the White Heather as c.1915-1925."
Source: Graces Guide
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