Singer Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Singer 1914 349cc Two-stroke


Engine Capacity, 349 c.c.; Drip Lubrication; Two-speed Counter-shaft Gear.

THE Singer Co., Ltd., of Coventry, have always been to the fore with a medium powered lightweight, and, after their many successes with the four-stroke type, it is not surprising to find them coming into line with a very neat and fully equipped two-stroke. The company are believers in the machine of moderate power as opposed to the "toy" engine, so that we find a single-cylinder engine of 75 x 79 mm. bore and stroke, giving a capacity of 349 c.c.

The engine is peculiar in several ways, and though built under Peco patents is quite distinct in general appearance. The engine is of the three port type, having the transfer pipe cast with the cylinder and very high crank case compression. Roller bearings are employed on the crankshaft and big end, assisted in the former case by plain compression retaining bearings. The piston has two top rings and is constructed with a double top which, besides raising the crank case compression, prevents the usual deposit of carbon below the head.

Lubricating oil is fed through a sight feed drip to a ring round the cylinder formed by two cast iron ribs formed close together and closed by a surrounding wire. Thence the oil is led direct on to the piston, the surplus passing to a groove in the top of the crank case and thence through ducts to the main bearings. By this means the piston gets the full lubricating effect of the fresh oil - an important feature in a two-stroke engine where high piston temperatures are prevalent.

The outside flywheel is of large diameter and all the weight is in the rim. The new two-stroke Singer is a fast machine on the road - 43 m.p.h., we are told, is its maximum pace. This will not be wondered at when we state that during the exhaustive tests of the engine by the Singer Company the revolutions attained were 3,900 per minute.

An enclosed roller chain transmits the power to a two-speed gear, the change being effected by dog clutches, and both shafts run on ball bearings.

The actuation of the dogs is carried out by a lever on the handle-bar connected to the gear striking lever by Bowden wire. The handle-bar lever is fitted with a ratchet after the manner of Singer controls, and this scheme, besides being self-locking, does away with the necessity of an adjustment, for the slack of the wire is automatically taken up by moving the lever a notch further. An adjustable pulley of 6in outside diameter is a refinement which tourists will greatly appreciate. The normal ratios with the belt at the top of the pulley are 4½ to 1, and 8¼ to 1.

The Detail Work.

As might be expected, the cycle work and fittings are of the first order. Druid type forks, stout stand and carrier, 26x2in, tyres, Rotherham filler cap petrol gauge, and fully valanced mudguards are supplied, while special mention must be made of the fact, that, unlike most manufacturers of light machines, the Singer Co. fit a large and comfortable saddle - to wit, the Brooks B180. The U.H. magneto, which is placed high up behind the engine, is controlled from the handle-bar by a lever fixed directly above the gear lever, and an Amac carburetter supplies the mixture. The top tube of the frame is neatly dropped, and a cylindrical tank contains one and a quarter gallons of petrol and rather over a quart of oil.

One other feature deserves special notice, and this is the fitting of aluminium foot plates, shaped to fit the foot, and having a curved up front to protect the toe. The top of this curved front is grooved, and forms an alternative position for the feet.

This very attractive little mount sells, at £40, and should have a ready sale.

The Motor Cycle, September 17th, 1914. p350.