Chater-Lea Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Chater-Lea Models

1910 Stanley Show

The Chater Lea Manufacturing Co., Ltd. London.
Stand No. 248.

Four motor-cycles and three side-cars will be exhibited en this stand. The Chater Lea Standard No. 7, price 75 guineas, is a passenger machine specially designed for sidecar attachment. They have further improved the No. 7 in detail for the 1911 season, the specification including either 8 H.P. Chater Lea or J.A.P. 6 H.P. engine, ball bearing 3-speed gear box, ball bearing multiple disc clutch, chain drive, and starting handle. The disc clutch, which has been reduced in weight, gives an easy drive.

A similar machine in construction is the No. 7 Chater Lea De Luxe, which is priced at 79 guineas. It is fitted with new Chater Lea 8 H.P. twin engine, and Voiturette tyres. The Chater Lea No. 9 motor-cycle, priced at £47 10s., is fitted with either 4 H.P. Chater Lea or J.A.P. engine, and has a low saddle position. The machine is fitted as a full roadster with all usual fitments, and can be had with or without pedalling gear, as desired.

The No. 8 lightweight Chafer Lea, priced at £35 10s., has been further improved in detail. It is fitted with 22 J.A.P. engine, gear driven magneto, Druid spring forks and complete roadster equipment. This machine is in the medium weight class, and is built for reliability. The Chater Lea Standard Side-car at £8 8s., and the Cane Side-car at £9 8s., and the Coach-built Side-car at £11 5s. 6d., will complete an interesting exhibit.

Engine - 2¼ h. p. two-stroke, 269 c.c.
Iqnition - U.H. magneto, chain-driven.
Carburetter - Senspray.
Change Speed - Counter-shaft gear box, 5/4 and 10 to 1.
Transmission - Chain and belt.
Dimensions - Ground clearance, 42in. Wheelbase, 52in.
Lubrication - Oil mixed with petrol.
Price - $36.

Chater-Lea, Ltd., 74-84, Banner Street, E. C.

British Lightweights, 1914


Among the many makes of motor cycle to be seen in South Australia nowadays, the Chater-Lea has no prominence yet. That is to be remedied by Messrs. E. T. Fisher & Co., who hold the agency in this State now.

The Chater-Lea is a noted machine, and its speed is a byword in Great Britain. W. D. Marchant used one during his famous record-breaking trips in London on Brooklands last summer, and his experiences were used in making that model still faster and thoroughly reliable. It was found possible to make the record breaker a standard model, and Messrs. Fisher & Co. can supply it from stock. It has the overhead camshaft, which is such an important factor in ensuring the safety of push rods at high speed, and which is used on ail record breakers nowadays. Riders will appreciate the interchangeable wheels, removal of which does not entail interfering with chains. A low saddle position is made possible, and it is fixed where it reduces wind resistance to a minimum. The tank retains the famous streamline shape, and the Blackburne engine, which was so successful in the tourist trophy races on the Isle of Man, is incorporated.

It is the intention of the producers to install a J.A.P. engine on one model, but that is more of an experiment than a standard production yet. Its permanence will depend on experience during the year. The experiment is valuable chiefly as a proof of the determination of the manufacturers to give the public the best goods procurable.

The Register, Adelaide. Tues 29th Dec 1925.

Trove NLA

Excerpt from Reports on sports machines of 1926 in the Motor Sport Magazine (penned in 1949).

... a 350-c.c. o.h.c. Chater-Lea combination. The sidecar was of sports pattern, but decidedly heavy and a windscreen and spare wheel were carried, while 3-in. tyres and a full acetylene lighting set were fitted. In addition, wide trials ratios and a rather high-top top were in use, so a speed of over 55 m.p.h. was consideted extremely creditable. In more sporting trim over 65 m.p.h., or 80 m.p.h. solo, was anticipated without tuning. Stanmore Hill was tackled at about 25 m.p.h. in top gear and on 3/4-throttle after the bottom corner the Chater-Lea accelerated steadily, still in top, and went over the summit at about 35 m.p.h.

Later a 53-mile run from one of the University towns was accomplished in 80 minutes with the sidecar heavily-loaded, and no overheating, rattles or discolouration of the exhaust-pipe were evoked. The wide ratios ruined the performance, but 35 m.p.h. was possible in 2nd gear.

The riding position was low and comfortable, the front suspension worked perfectly and steering was at all times light and steady sans damper. Both brakes were really good, but the universal dislike of hand-lever operation of the front one was registered. Absolutely the only criticism of this thoroughbred was that the rear wheel spent rather a lot of its time off the road. The price of the solo was £80."

Sources: The Motor Cycle, et al.

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