Hobart-Coventry Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Hobart Bird and Co

Hobart were motorcycles produced from 1901 to 1923 by Hobart Bird and Co of Coventry, who were also suppliers to many other firms.

1892 Advert. 'Hobart' cycles.

1901 The company began producing an auto-cycle with an inclined engine. It was very well finished and became known as the Handy Hobart.

1903 They added a model with a vertical engine in a loop frame fitted with braced forks.

Hobart 1903

1904-1905 This range continued, with little change.

1906-1909 The firm was just a supplier.

1910 The company returned to complete machine and produced the new Hobart. This had a 2½ hp engine inclined in the frame over the downtube, gear-driven Bosch magneto, an adjustable pulley for the belt drive and Druid forks.

Hobart 1909-1910

1911 A 3½ hp twin and a ladies' model were produced. This had a revised open frame and the engine mounted lower with the cylinder horizontal, and all the works fully enclosed.
Hobart 1911

1912 Listed in Spennell's directory of Coventry as Cycle Manufacturers.

1913 By now they were using JAP engines as well as their own.

1914 A 225cc two-stroke version was added that year.
Hobart 1914

1915 That engine changed to a 269cc Villiers, along with a 6hp V-twin with a JAP engine and three speeds.

Post-War the two-stroke, including a spring-frame model, was listed.

1920 That year they also listed a 292cc JAP four-stroke.

1921 More versions of both were listed, including the spring frame for both sizes.
Hobart JAP 1921

1922 There were new machines with 348cc Blackburne and 346cc JAP engines. Both of these were listed in solo and sidecar forms.
Hobart 1922 Models

1922 McKenzie Hobart 70 motorcycle exhibit.

1923 The 269cc Villiers was replaced by a 170cc Hobart two-stroke engine driving a two-speed gearbox, and the 292cc JAP by a 249cc sv Blackburne. All the four-strokes had a good range of transmission options, with two or three speeds and final drive by belt or chain. In this period, the company was acquired by Rex-Acme.

1924 The company was renamed Hobart-Acme, and the range was reduced to the 170cc two-stroke and 346cc JAP, plus the 292cc JAP. It was the last year of listing.

Note: Although they were no longer listed as a motorcycle manufacturer, Hobart engines continued to be supplied to other firms for several years.


Hobart 1909 2½ h.p.

The 2½ h.p. Hobart lightweight, the main features of which were detailed on page 860 last week. It is obtainable with either 24in. or 26in. wheels.


2½ h.p. Model: 69 x 78 mm.; m.o.i.v.; Bosch H.T. magneto; automatic carburetter, h.b.c.; Michelin or Dunlop tyres; V-belt transmission.

HOBART Bird and Co., Ltd., Coventry.

This new motor cycle is an extremely light, simple, and, as its name implies, handy machine. The engine is placed over and slightly forward of the bottom bracket, and is inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees with the horizontal, the gills on the cylinders being cast horizontally. Both the valves are on the right-hand side, and are equal sized and interchangeable. The carburetter is placed above the crank chamber, between the cylinder head and the magneto, which is attached to the upper side of the aluminium crank chamber, where it is driven by enclosed gearing from the mainshaft. The carburetter has an extra air valve, easily operated from the saddle, and is of an entirely automatic type, specially made for this machine.

Druid spring forks are fitted as standard, except on a smaller machine with 24in. wheels, which has a fork that springs horizontally and vertically. On both models a special backpedalling rim brake is fitted. This is operated directly by the pedalling cranks, and is provided with a catch, which allows the machine to be wheeled backwards. The petrol tank is placed in the usual position under the top bar of the frame, is cylindrical, and comprises an oil tank with pump at its forward end. The machine ready for the road weighs under a hundred pounds.

Stanley Show 1909 The Motor Cycle, November 22nd 1909 Page 915

See also McKenzie

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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