Fairy Motorcycles

Joseph Barter

Fairy motorcycles were produced from 1906 to 1907.

It was the anglicized name of the Fee, built by Joseph Barter of Bristol in 1905.

The machine had a 2.5hp flat-twin engine fitted high in a stock bicycle frame, with transmission by chain to a counter-shaft and clutch, then by belt to the rear wheel.

In 1907, after Joseph Barter had joined Douglas, the name was taken up by them.

  • "As a result of a comment made on this model by a leading American manufacturer in 1906, I designed a more powerful engine which I called the Fairy. A company of Bristol men was formed and a large number of these machines were sold before the business was acquired by a London firm." ~ Joseph Barter (1)

Fee was a motorcycle produced in 1905 by Joseph Barter of Bristol.

Joseph Barter had produced a single-cylinder machine prior to this which he offered under his own name until, in 1905, he turned to a flat-twin engine. Later it was known as the Fairy and was the fore-runner of the Douglas.

The Fee engine was 2.5hp and mounted high in the frame of a stock with braced forks. It had a large flywheel on the left and the transmission was by chain to a countershaft. This carried a clutch and then went by belt to the rear wheel.

Within a year the name had been anglicized to Fairy.

  • 1905-05 Barter designed side-valve flat twins with 198cc, 346cc and 676cc engines which were also known as The Fairy

Barter of Aston Gate, Bristol were motorcycles produced from 1902 to 1905.

  • 1902-5 The machines were designed by Joseph Barter. The engine had its drive pulley mounted on the camshaft so that, as it was larger than usual, belt slip was reduced. It was a primitive affair with the engine inclined above the frame downtube and only a few were built. Joseph Barter then moved on to a flat-twin engine design, firstly called Fee then Fairy, and the forerunner of the Douglas.

Light Motorcycles

A very short article in The Motor Cycle of May 22nd 1907 shows a machine from Light Motorcycles of "180 Gray's In...", with much of the text obscured. The address corresponds with that of Joseph John Barter, so this motorcycle appears to be another variation on the Fee and Fairy machines.

Discussion of Light Motorcycles here: douglasmotorcycles.net

Notes: 1. Bristol Evening World, quoted in icenicam.org.uk

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle, et al.

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