Thank you David Clark for this most interesting find .


On display at the NMC Birmingham



A Frenchman, Monseur Clement, designed a miniature engine of 143cc specifically for fitting to pedal cycles.  Clement sold the engine as a D.I.Y. kit, the carburettor and silencer were supported by the engine which in turn was clamped to the front down tube of a gents bicycle (there was no fitting for a ladies drop frame) with a universal type clamp.

A battery box for the coil ignition and a petrol and oil tank could be hung on the machine where convenient.  Twenty minutes work and you could be mobile. 

Clement engine kits crossed the Channel through the enterprise of one Charles Garrard who imported them.  He made some up himself and sold them as Clement-Garrards.  James Landsdown Norton of Birmingham made frames for Garrard and in return took some engine kits and built some up himself.  They were the first Norton motorcycles.  Whichever way you said Norton and Clement it did not roll off the tongue so he called his version Energette.  He then moved on to real motorcycles as better engines appeared.


It was this Clement engine kit which gave the Glasgow makers of Victoria cycles their start into the new world of powered wheels.

This Clement-Victoria of 1902 closely resembles its Southern cousins.






Badge commemorates

1961 Pioneer Run at Brighton



Seen here in 1955




Harold Henderson poses with his Victoria in 1903

 The story behind the picture


It was the 10th July 1903 when Harold Henderson, an 18-year-old apprentice at the Caledonian Railway Works, Perth, climbed aboard the 9.5am train for Carlisle, his 1 ½ hp Victoria motorcycle safely secured in the luggage compartment.  Being a railway employee, he of course took advantage of his privilege rate ticket for the journey.  During the journey he checked his planned route for a motor cycle ride from Carlisle to Swansea, a distance of over 350 miles, which he expected to complete in three stages.

In the days before wheeling it on to the platform at Perth he had completely serviced his 120lb machine and had even weighed himself, finding that he was heavier than his mount by 26lb.  Firstly the 60mm stroke by 70mm bore Zedel engine had been unshipped from its position in front of the down tube, stripped to check its bearings and carefully reassembled.  On its ½in diameter crankshaft a B.K. & Co. patent non-slipping pulley carried a ½ in diameter twisted rawhide belt to the rear belt rim, giving a ratio of 6 ½ : 1.  A 15 amp low accumulator supplied the coil ignition and a surface carburettor fed mixture to the engine.  Housing these assemblies was a cycle-type frame on 2in Dunlop tyres, made by the Victoria Cycle Co., Glasgow.

At 2pm the young engineer, confident that his preparations were satisfactory, set out from Carlisle, and is own timeline shows his progress.


“Left Carlisle 2pm, arrived Kendal 5.30pm (tea and petrol).  Left Kendal 6.00pm, arrived Preston 9pm (night).  Left Preston 10.00am, arrived Chester 1.00pm.  Left Chester 2pm (tea and petrol at Shrewsbury), arrived Hereford 10.45pm (night).  Left Hereford 11.00am (dinner and petrol Monmouth), arrived Swansea 7.30.

Left Swansea 2pm, arrived Cardiff 5.30pm (petrol).  Left Cardiff 6pm, arrived Gloucester 11.00pm.  Left Gloucester 8.00pm, arrived Hereford 10.30pm.  Left Hereford 10.30am (petrol at Shrewsbury), arrived Preston 9.50pm.  Left Preston 12 noon, arrived Kendal 3.00pm.  Left Kendal 3.30pm arrived Carlisle 12.00 by way of Keswick, Ambleside, Windermere, etc..”


The interesting part of the journey was that the rider’s planned timetable had been adhered to throughout and no attempt at fast riding had been made. He had one puncture, outside Kendal; the belt stretched and “pulled through” twice.  The pulley needed replacement in Swansea due to wear, the freewheel clutch springs gave out twice, but the machine had no ignition or engine troubles.


C.D.T.  1974 in the VMCC Magazine