Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quadrant Motorcycles

Quadrant Motorcycles | British Motorcycles | Vintage Motorcycles
Quadrant Motorcycles | British Motorcycles | Vintage Motorcycles 
Quadrant was one of the earliest British motorcycle manufacturers, established in Birmingham in 1901. Famous for their big singles, Quadrant pioneered many innovations that proved important for motorcycle development but struggled after the First World War and the company was wound up in 1928.
Quadrant Motorcycles | British Motorcycles | Vintage Motorcycles
Quadrant Motorcycles History
Founded by Walter and William Lloyd in 1883 as a company to make bicycles and tricycles, Quadrant developed some of the first motorcycles in 1901.The first Quadrant motorcycle was fitted with the then very popular Minerva "clip-on" engine. They also made powered tricycles in 1902. Walter took out a patent in 1902 for an 'all-in-one' control lever to raise the exhaust valve, control the ignition switch and operate the throttle and the ignition advance. The LLoyd brothers began designing their own engines from 1903. These were ahead of their time as the engines was not just fixed on to a bicycle frame. Instead, the frame was purpose-built to properly hold the engine, and the Quadrant motorcycles also pioneered a suction inlet valve, hand oil pump and direct drive, as well as a spray carburetor in 1904 and magneto ignition in 1907. A famous long-distance motorcycle rider called Tom Silver was contracted by the company and gained them a lot of publicity through his success on Quadrant motorcycles in long distance events and in 1907 he became the managing director. The arrangement was not a success, however, and the company collapsed from internal disputes in 1907, with Silver leaving to form Silver Motors.
Walter Lloyd bought Quadrant and Tom Silver returned in 1909 but once again Silver was not able to get on with the new owner and left to build motorcycles under his own name. In 1911 Quadrant produced several models, including a 1129 cc V-twin and a 600 cc single. Production was halted by the First World War, after which they produced a range of 654 cc and 780 cc single-cylinder motorcycles, for which they became well known. They also developed an early prototype of a 292 cc scooter. In 1924 two models were offered, a 490 cc side-valve with bore and stroke of 79x100 and a hefty 624 cc side-valve with bore and stroke of 85x110. The Quadrant range included outdated side-valve motorcycles, updated in 1927 with the launch of a 490 cc overhead-valve model, but it did not sell well and the company was wound up in 1928.
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